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Aluminized Steel
Posted: 23 May 2010 01:41 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Contrary to advertisements, this stuff WILL rust if left exposed to water.  I had a nice brownie pan that I left soaking in water and it ended up with rust spots all over it.  Likewise, my sturdy Williams-Sonoma cake pans are starting to come out of the dishwasher with a few rust spots.  Does the aluminum coating fade with time?  Or was it spotty in the first place?  Or is it so thin that the carbon steel underneath reacts with the water regardless?  Dunno.  I plan to buy pure aluminum in the future.

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Posted: 23 May 2010 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Charles, sorry to hear about the rust.  Speaking of aluminum pans (sorry, not completely unrelated but maybe a little off-topic), I have the WearEver model 5314, 13 gauge aluminum cookie sheet, which discolored the very first time I used it.  I baked little parmesan crisps on parchment, and the twelve little parmesan outlines stayed on the sheet and never left.  I tried scrubbing them off once, which was a mistake and only scratched the pan.  Other than appearance, it works fine, no warping etc. but I have always been mystified as to the instant discoloration.  Does anyone know why this happens, and is there something special I should have done to care for/season the pan initially?  Thanks!

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Posted: 24 May 2010 12:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Loopy - 23 May 2010 11:55 PM

Charles, sorry to hear about the rust.  Speaking of aluminum pans (sorry, not completely unrelated but maybe a little off-topic), I have the WearEver model 5314, 13 gauge aluminum cookie sheet, which discolored the very first time I used it.  I baked little parmesan crisps on parchment, and the twelve little Parmesan outlines stayed on the sheet and never left.  I tried scrubbing them off once, which was a mistake and only scratched the pan.  Other than appearance, it works fine, no warping etc. but I have always been mystified as to the instant discoloration.  Does anyone know why this happens, and is there something special I should have done to care for/season the pan initially?  Thanks!

Maybe your spots are polymerized oil.  This is the toughest thing to get off aluminum.  I’ve had some success with “Goof Off”, the little yellow can you find at the hardware store to remove paint.  Apply a little bit and some gentle rubbing with a paper towel and it will remove the hardened oil.

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Posted: 24 May 2010 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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CharlesT - 24 May 2010 03:20 AM

Maybe your spots are polymerized oil.  This is the toughest thing to get off aluminum.  I’ve had some success with “Goof Off”, the little yellow can you find at the hardware store to remove paint.  Apply a little bit and some gentle rubbing with a paper towel and it will remove the hardened oil.

My sheet pans all have this, too, mostly from roasting potatoes in oil.  I’ll have to think about going the chemicial route for removal.

Thanks for posting Charles, I must say that I find more and more that nearly all my baking items, even the ones that are dishwasher safe, need to be hand washed.

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Posted: 24 May 2010 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Julie - 24 May 2010 01:27 PM
CharlesT - 24 May 2010 03:20 AM

I?ll have to think about going the chemicial route for removal.

I kinda gave up on it.  When we get nice new shiny pans, we tend to want to keep them that way.  Just like when we get a new car, we don’t want door dings in the side.  Once we get a few, we resign ourselves to reality.  Using parchment on baking sheets keeps them pretty clean, but if you’re cooking on bare metal, keeping them spotless is an almost impossible goal, and probably counterproductive.  Even though it’s ugly, the polymerized oil is exactly the same thing that makes cast iron almost a non-stick surface.  If you’ve seen the equipment used by professional kitchens, it mostly has a dark brown surface.

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Posted: 24 May 2010 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Julie, I agree with you. I hate hand washing, but I think it is the only way to keep nice baking pans. I’ve thrown out too many supposedly “dishwasher safe” things from dishwasher damage.

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Posted: 25 May 2010 12:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I usually throw everything in the dishwasher except my baking pans.  I think that the deteregent, over time will damage the finish of your pans.  Also they take up too much space.

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Posted: 25 May 2010 12:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Liza - 25 May 2010 03:03 AM

I usually throw everything in the dishwasher except my baking pans.  I think that the deteregent, over time will damage the finish of your pans.  Also they take up too much space.

I put pretty much everything in the dishwasher.  So far, only this aluminized steel stuff has shown damage, which is why I won’t buy any more of it.  The pure aluminum does fine, as does the well-coated non-stick, such as the Williams-Sonoma pans.  The cheapo non-stick, the gray metal pans like you find at Target, may very well not last, but I only buy that sort of equipment when I have no other choice, such as with springform pans.  Some of the metal fittings on some springform pans may not be rust resistant.  So far, however, even that has weathered the dishwasher just fine.  Maybe if I used it every day, the story would be different.

I really don’t like the non-stick stuff because 1)  it really ISN’T non-stick 2) I’ve got to be a little more careful with it, and 3) the darker pans require temperature adjustments.

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If error is corrected whenever it is recognized as such, the path of error is the path of truth.

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Posted: 25 May 2010 02:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Charles, don’t know how you’ve gotten away with aluminum in the dishwasher. It has ruined anything aluminum I’ve ever put in (finally learned my lesson and stopped trying) smile What’s your secret?

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Posted: 25 May 2010 09:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Matthew - 25 May 2010 05:06 AM

What?s your secret?

Maybe lower standards?  grin

I’ve put aluminum stuff in there for years and years and it sure isn’t ruined them in my book. What damage do you see?

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Posted: 25 May 2010 06:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Charles, surface gets pitted and/or it turns very dark gray—like tarnished silver, except it rubs off on your hands.

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Posted: 25 May 2010 10:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Matthew - 25 May 2010 09:31 PM

Charles, surface gets pitted and/or it turns very dark gray—like tarnished silver, except it rubs off on your hands.

Hmmmm, no pits on any of mine.  I’ve never seen pits.  Pans are slightly duller than when new, but certainly not dark gray.  Interesting, maybe it varies with the hard/softness of the water, or brand of dishwashing soap.

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Posted: 25 May 2010 11:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I hate that dark stuff that rubs off.  And I don’t like the way it smells, either.  I get my pans at places I can take them back no matter what, because as far as I’m concerned, that stuff is some kind of real problem if I’m not using acidic stuff like tomatoes.  It rubs off, but it never GOES AWAY!  I take pans back when I see that (been lucky on this batch of them)!!!  I’ve gotten it on a brand with “Magic” in the name, but I can’t remember the whole name, but I’ve been lucky with my Chicago Metallics and Nordicwares.

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Posted: 26 May 2010 12:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Well, as a beginner in baking, I’m completely lost! And, reading those posts, I feel even more. Let’s see if anybody can help me out.

1) I’ve been thinking of buying stainless steel pans, assuming that it’s better than aluminum or non-stick ones. Am I wrong?
2) Charles T talked about the temperature adjustment being necessary in case of using non-stick pans. I didn’t know that. I only have a few recipes asking for an adjustment. The very same author doesn’t call for this in all his recipes. So I thought it would be necessary only according to the recipe. Now, I understand it’s a mistake. This, probably caused the really dark edges of my red velvet cake.
3) I used a Wilton non-stick muffin pan to make cupcakes and, after the third time, I noticed
some yellow spots on it. Is this normal, regarding non-stick pans or is the Wilton pan a problem itself?
4) I also had a problem winch a Wilton loft pan: In this case, I only used it once and dark spots showed up already! After all, of course, I’m not willing to have any Wilton pan in the future.
5) Finally, is the adjustment supposed to be about less 25F than regular pans?

Thanks!

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Posted: 26 May 2010 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Vanie - 26 May 2010 03:57 AM

Charles T talked about the temperature adjustment being necessary in case of using non-stick pans. I didn’t know that.

Only because they are DARK, not because they are non-stick.  The usual recommendation is to lower the temp by 25 degrees.

I’ve been thinking of buying stainless steel pans, assuming that it’s better than aluminum or non-stick ones. Am I wrong?

Stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat, so it’s never recommended for a cooking pan; SS skillets are normally bonded to aluminum or copper, which are great conductors of heat.

some yellow spots on it. Is this normal, regarding non-stick pans or is the Wilton pan a problem itself?

Polymerized oil, perhaps?

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Posted: 26 May 2010 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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As I understand it, also, aluminum baking pans WILL darken over time, and that’s not the problem dark stuff.  The problem dark stuff is that stuff you can wipe off, yet never goes away.  So, if you get aluminum pans (and I have and I love them dearly), make sure you distinguish your dark stuff! 

For example, the stuff I don’t like tends to follow the curve of the pan and be very pencil-lead color.  It wipes off on a paper towel (yet remains on the pan) and has a metallic odor.

The okay stuff is more “amorphous” in shape—sort of like it’s been airbrushed.  It doesn’t wipe off and doesn’t smell.  That’s the natural darkening of an aluminum pan.

I got Nordicware and Chicago Metallic round cake pans (about $8 each) and have had no trouble.  I also got Chicago Metallic 1/2 sheet pans for cookie sheets (2/$18) and have had no trouble.  However, I also get them at Sur La Table, and I know if any weirdness ever creeps in, they will take it back no problem, no questions.  I always hand wash and dry them (personal preference), also, and don’t use them for anything acidic.

My bundt is also a Nordicware ($32).  I’ve only used it once, and I used Spectrum no-trans-fat shortening and flour to grease it, and the stuff released great.  My friend used spray stuff in hers (not sure what), and it is yellowish and seems to never wash out completely, so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it.  Another friend uses all Baker’s Secret grocery store pans and loves them.  Uses no temp adjustments or anything, and all works well for her.

Included prices only becuase sometimes its helpful to know it’s not “super high end really expensive stuff.”

Hope that helps!

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