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What is Anodised Cookware?

Last Updated Nov 2, 2011 · Written by Rob Schneider

If you have been looking for new cookware, you have probably heard about  anodised cookware, but may not know exactly what it is. What is anodised cookware? What is the difference between anodised and hard anodised cookware? Is it superior to other types of cookware?

What is Anodised Cookware?

Anodised cookware is any type of aluminium cookware that has undergone the process of anodisation. The word "anodise" comes from a term widely understood by electricians but not by the general public: anode. Basically, an anode is an electrical current (electrode) that flows into a storage medium as opposed to one that flows out of it, such as a cathode.

The anodisation process involves placing the aluminium cookware into a chemical bath and then applying an electrical current to it. This process results in the formation of a corrosion resistant surface that also has non-adhesive qualities. Hard anodised cookware goes through a similar process that results in a surface that is twice as durable as steel. Some of the advantages of anodised cookware include:
  • A non-stick surface.

  • Scratch resistance.

  • Improved heat retention.

  • Greater dent resistance.

  • Better colour retention.
In addition, the anodisation process is said to be more environmentally friendly than other processes used to make non-stick cookware. The by-products of the process contain no heavy metals, dangerous chemicals or volatile substances. Those by-products the process does create include aluminium sulfate and aluminium hydroxide, both of which are recycled and used in other products.

Caring for Anodised Cookware

One of the benefits of anodised cookware is that it is very easy to clean and care for. However, as with other cookware with a non-stick surface, the use of abrasives can eventually wear through the anodised surface, exposing the non-anodised aluminium. Use a sponge or soft plastic scrubber and scrub lightly. If food is stuck to the bottom of the cooking vessel, let it soak in water and mild detergent for awhile before cleaning. Harsh dishwasher detergents tend to make the colours on anodised cookware fade, so hand washing is recommended.
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