How to tell aluminum from stainless steel cookware?- 7 ways

It is confusing to figure out which material the cookware is made from. To figure out the acquaintance of the material, let us focus our eyes on some anticipating features that can decide the material’s actual identity.

For Non-Stick CookingBuy Aluminum Cookware

For DurabilityBuy Stainless Steel Cookware

Summary of Contents

How to Figure out aluminum from stainless steel cookware?

So what are the strategies to confirm if it is aluminum or stainless steel? Here are the steps you can follow:

Magnet Test

Probably the most common checking method is if the cookware is aluminum or stainless steel, inject a bar of magnet and see which one attracts the magnet. It is the simplest method that requires a strong and ferocious magnet. We all know that aluminum is non-magnetic and will not be connected to a draw. On the other hand, the same magnet will have a clear magnetic attraction to stainless steel. But remember that this method may not always work as not every stainless steel is pure and has an outstanding amount of iron in it.  stainless steel magnet test

Spark Test

After anticipating so much about the constituents of the cookware, you must be curious what are the possible ways to figure out the actual build-in structure. So what comes to your mind after envisaging the word spark? It must be related to something setting a blaze or scorching the pan, right? But no, nothing is happening like this. Test the pan or the pot by applying it to the grinding wheel. If the spark produces an orange color, it is undoubtedly the stainless steel pan, producing almost nothing as the spark goes on. It is an aluminum pan because it does not have any sort of carbon, so no color is made with a visible spark.

Bonus: Is Revere Ware stainless steel or aluminum?

Mass check 

There are many ways to investigate the material; another tremendous way of revealing it is to check the mass or weight of the two materials. Use the high heat level only to warm the cookware briefly and lower it immediately. A medium level of heat is sufficient for cooking. Be careful not to overheat the cookware. Overheating may damage the non-stick coating. This is especially true for induction. Empty cookware and roasting dishes can reach temperatures of up to 500°C in no time. If you want to compare the two, take two pieces of regular steel and aluminum. Aluminum is nearly three times lighter than stainless steel.

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Visual examination 

The most conclusive way of finding the constituent of a material is by checking it visually. Inspect with your bare eyes and anticipate what the materials are. Some of the properties of aluminum are that aluminum has a lower density than any other commercial metal except magnesium. The right surface type makes aluminum an excellent reflector, especially for ultraviolet light. Aluminum is an odorless, tasteless, silvery-white metal with increasing silicon and ductility and is quite soft.

The aluminum crystal has a face-centered cubic structure. The concentration of the lattice in the less pure metal results from the formation of impurity segregations. Purity also affects most other physical properties. Aluminum has a lower density than any other commercial metal except magnesium. Aluminum may also be used as a selective cold or hot wall or as a body approximating the effect of a black body. In the infrared region, the reflectivity of aluminum is exceeded only slightly by that of gold and silver.

Compare the durability 

Both of the cookware are Promising in terms of durability. If we talk about stainless steel, we’ll find these natures like corrosion resistance, oxidation resistance, sulfidation resistance, and strength and elasticity supported. It is also suitable for cleaning procedures, Stability of properties, Resistance to abrasion, erosion, galling, and seizing.Durability of cookware

Differences between cost 

Aluminum is cheaper than stainless steel. They maintain the non-stick coating, ensure never to cut it, avoid sharp kitchen utensils, etc. When using Vitro-ceramic cooktops, check the bottom of the cookware and Vitro-ceramic hob for residue or irregularity before each use. Lift the stainless steel cookware on hobs. This can leave scratches and marks or cause damage. 

Density and Rust Test

Stainless steel is a standard metal. However, changes in fabrication methods may be necessary to the extent that stainless steels differ in yield strength and work hardening rate. All have work hardening rates higher than standard carbon steels, but the austenitic are characterized by large increases in strength and hardness with cold work. All stainless steels are suitable for crimping or flattening operations except for the desulfurized free-machining grades. The free-machining steps will withstand mild longitudinal deformation but may exhibit some tendency to splitting. Aluminum never rusts. On the contrary, Stainless steel can rust, and contrary to popular belief, it will rust eventually, especially in unfavorable conditions. The summation is that stainless steel is far more heavy and dense than aluminum.Rust Test

Differences between aluminum and stainless steel cookware

There are some opposing facts between aluminum and stainless steel. Let us have close brawling factors between the two, 

  • Aluminum is much softer than its counterparts, so it is more prone to scratches and discoloration than stainless steel.
  • Stainless steel is attracted to magnets, whereas aluminum can not be attached to the magnet. 
  • Stainless steel cookware is far more expensive than aluminum ones. 
  • Aluminum is a great conductor of heat; on the contrary stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat. 
  • Aluminum is reactive to acidic foods like vinegar, tomatoes, and stainless steel and does not rust in touch with the acidic elements. 

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