Anyone use straight gauge aluminum cookware?

I do a lot of steaming, boiling water for pasta, making stocks, soups, etc. So I end up bringing a lot of water to boil. That’s why I was interested in the boiling speeds of various cookware, and did a number of posts about it a few years ago. I’m still searching for cookware that will reduce boiling times. I thought I would at some point be able to have the budget for Demeyere Atlantis or Fissler, Hestan, or Falk copper, but I now realize I will just never be able to afford these high end pots. So I’m kind of looking sideways at bare aluminum, as Kaleo once suggested.

I’m sort of wary of using aluminum because even though it would probably be a little faster at bringing large amounts of water to boil, I would still need to use the same pots for cooking food in them, and I think I would a bit nervous about cooking acidic foods like tomato sauce in them.

Has anyone used straight gauge aluminum for regular foods with acidic ingredients? Does it affect the flavour? Do you need to season aluminum cookware? Any special washing/drying considerations?

I do have a simple straight simple aluminum. I don’t think I have used it for acidic good though. I cannot imagine it will affect the food flavor too much. Most restaurants actually use simple aluminum cookware. As for washing and drying, aluminum cookware can discolor, but nothing like rusting like cast iron or carbon steel. So as long as you are into shiny perfect looking cookware, aluminum cookware is not that difficult to take care. Its biggest weakness is actually that aluminum is softer compare to stainless steel, steel, cast ion. So aluminum cookware is easier to dent.

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Why not consider a better value clad aluminum/stainless pan like the Tramontina Tri-Ply series. I’ve had seven of them over the past five years and have been completely satisfied with them. Lifetime warranty, great handles and lids, and completely oven-proof.

Before that I had Calphalon anodized aluminum, and all of the larger pans warped (and I treated them pretty well, never doing something like hot pans under cold water).

I already have try-ply Cuisinart multicald pans. They are ok, but the larger sized pans take a long time to bring to boil. I would like to find some 6 litre to 10 litre sized pots that could be faster.

Not sure what you’re looking for, but I just performed the following test…

My largest all aluminum pan is 2.75 quart. I put 2 quarts cold tap water in it uncovered.

I put the same 2 quarts of cold tap in my Tramontina 3qt saucepan.

Set both on the exact same size burner on high.

Tramontina reached a rolling boil 3 minutes before the all aluminum pan. Obviously this is not an exact science as the shape of the two pans are not identical… but it tells me a good clad SS pan is at least as good as plain aluminum.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo