Frypans, Oct 2022 CHOICE

While reading my current issue this statement caught my eye, “Stainless steel is a great conductor of heat”

Stainless steel has a very low thermal conductivity coefficient, so why would the author’s say this?

Also, the article says to avoid cooking “acidic foods” due to reaction between the metal and the food. Wouldn’t alkaline foods also exhibit the same reaction? Hence the mention of not putting them in the dishwasher. I’ve not seen an un-coated aluminium pan for sale for a long time as the article says, they usually come with a nonstick coating.

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You are quite right that, compared to metals common in frypans, SS is a poor conductor of heat. Choice had this to say

Stainless steel

A popular choice because it’s strong, hard, non-corrosive and affordable, but stainless steel cookware doesn’t conduct heat well, so it’s often combined with aluminium or copper in multi-layered bases, which are better at conducting and dispersing heat.

[edit begins]

Ah ha! I have found the offending segment in Choice magazine on stainless steel pans here. It says:

Stainless-steel frying pans

Stainless steel is a great conductor of heat, particularly with a stainless steel, copper and or aluminium layered base. Stainless steel frypans are suitable for sautéing, simmering and searing on high temperatures.

So that page is contradicting the one linked before. Perhaps @BrendanMays could inform the pots and pans team.

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I can’t find any statement about this, a link would make it easier.

As a general observation aluminium is corroded by both strong acid and strong alkali. Do you mean aluminium cookware here? Metals other than aluminium that are used for frypans are not much affected by either acids or alkalis. As for how much aluminium is corroded it depends on how acidic or alkaline the food is. I think that little in the way of alkali is usually fried so that probably doesn’t matter.

If you have any plain aluminium cookware that has been around for a while you will find it is pitted, where other metals are probably not. It is a more reactive metal than others used for the purpose and also softer so it doesn’t wear as well.

Yes if they are aluminium. Dishwasher cleanser is often quite alkaline due to the addition of sodium carbonate. For the same reason don’t put aluminium pans in the wash with your clothes as washing powder often contains alkalis.

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I will add a comment about thin based aluminium fry pan and one i purchased it has attained a bump due to not being heavy based. Goes to show cheap or tjin based are not as good. I certainly give thumbs down to Wiltshire quality wise. That is my own testing done. But it doesn’t matter because i hardly paid much for it. When i compare my older Wiltshire lot set i purchased 17 years they had a much heavier duty base and has never warped. It surely is quite hard with countless cookware sets that are merely sold to sell. If i need a cheap fry pan illbe looking for the Anko one recommended. As long as it is the better one and not the bad anko ones. I find places that sell cook ware sets over priced. Another thing stainless steel price must have gone up unless multi sets are advertised as more compare to a single pan. Im. Quite of the opinion need several pans because one really does not work effectively.

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We have one of the Aldi Al pans with a heavier base. The sides are also thicker. The base on the cooking side has a dimpled pattern and a white non-stick coating. It works well on gas and has remained stable. A caution would be to careful with the oils and fats you use in one or similar as it is not always easy to clean. Especially where stuff appears to have burnt onto the base.

It’s unlikely we would purchase another similar with the dimpled base. It’s better suited to wet dishes or low temperature cooking. With fresh vegetable oil it is ok for cooking eggs, hash browns, wet dishes etc, but fried tomato and most bacon can produce a sticky residue. Poached eggs done in rings stick.

Tefal and other brands coated aluminium pans have heavier bases, steel inserts to suit induction and IMO better nonstick coatings. Typically diecast and machined vs cheaply pressed or spun from plate. For some of our older family though the appeal of the low cost ‘I saved’ and lowest weight ‘age loss of grip and strength’ proved too great. Hence our first hand experience of the kMart, Woolies and other brands base bulging pans.

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In the below article under the heading “Aluminium frypans”