Even experienced cooks may have a few moments of confusion when it comes to knowing the best ways to cook with cast aluminum cookware. Since cast aluminum cookware is created in a completely different way than standard aluminum cookware, with a one piece creation process, the cooking times can be very different. With these thicker - yet more easily cracked - cast aluminum pans, you will need to make sure that you aren't cooking at temperatures which are too high, and are not cooking with methods better suited for other types of cookware. Here are some easy guidelines for successful cooking with your cast aluminum cookware.
- First, you should make certain that you have completely cleaned your cast aluminum cookware before you attempt cooking with it. A simple wash with a non-abrasive dish soap and gentle patting dry will be sufficient, since your goal is just to get rid of any extra dirt or dust left behind from the store or the packaging your cookware came in.
- Most of the time, you will want to use a cooking oil, or a high quality non stick cooking spray, when you are cooking with cast aluminum cookware. Cast aluminum is not non stick, although it might appear to be so when you see it's reflective polished surface. Cooking without oil should be attempted only if you are using your cast aluminum for a quick and simple task like gently heating up already cooked food. For any type of actual cooking, such as frying, you must put at least a tablespoon of oil in the cookware first.
- The majority of the time you will need to cook at a medium temperature when using your cast aluminum cookware. Since aluminum absorbs heat and then conducts it very rapidly, using a high heat to cook will usually result in foods cooked too much or unevenly. Choose a medium heat, or begin with a low heat and gradually warm for the best results.
- It is very important that you do not clean your cast aluminum cookware until it has completely cooled down following cooking. Since immersion in cold water can cause warping in cast aluminum, it is best to wait, even if it might mean a little bit of extra work in terms of scrubbing.
Finally, it is vital to avoid using any type of steel wool scrubbers on your cast aluminum, since this can cause thinning in the cookware. When aluminum cookware has thin areas, it will cook unevenly. Use plastic sponges and scrubbers to avoid this problem.