Chef's Secrets: Hard-Anodized Aluminum Cookware

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Calphalon Commercial Hard Anodized Cookware
Article By: Calphalon Team
Originally Published: 5/7/2013

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In 1968, Calphalon created the original hard-anodized aluminum cookware, an innovation immediately embraced by the professional culinary community. Soon after, home cooks also discovered the benefits of Calphalon, and brought its exceptional durability and commercial performance to kitchens across the nation.

Cooking on a hard-anodized aluminum pan is a slightly different experience than cooking on nonstick or stainless steel, but the advantages – and cooking results – are nothing less than amazing. Want to learn more? Here are some essential facts and suggestions, straight from the Calphalon Kitchen.

FEATURES OF HARD-ANODIZED COOKWARE

Hard-anodized aluminum cookware is stick-resistant. When raw aluminum is hard-anodized, it turns from silver to "Calphalon" grey and also seals the surface of the metal to make it virtually nonporous. This nonporous surface is smooth, but still allows food to temporarily adhere while cooking. This bonding process produces the beautiful golden browning that adds intense flavor to food, as well as the fond on the pan surface needed to make delicious pan sauces. Then, as food reaches the ideal degree of "doneness," it actually releases itself from the hard-anodized surface.

Hard-anodized aluminum cookware is exceptionally durable. In fact, it is over 80% harder than stainless steel, making it tough enough to stand up to the rigors of a busy kitchen. It is safe for use in both the oven and the broiler. And because it is hardened, it is scratch-resistant, so you can use metal utensils when you cook, too.

Hard-anodized aluminum cookware is non-reactive. This means you can cook acidic or alkaline foods – such as tomatoes or recipes with lemon juice – without worry that they will pick up a metallic taste of the pan.

 5 TIPS FOR COOKING SUCCESS

• Take food out of the refrigerator 10-15 minutes before cooking. Cold food will stick to a hot pan.

• Pre-heat your pan over medium heat. Calphalon hard-anodized aluminum cookware conducts heat quickly and easily. Don't preheat on high – your pan will probably be too hot when you add the food. It only takes a couple of minutes to preheat Calphalon cookware at the proper temperature.

• Use the butter test to see if your pan is properly preheated. After preheating, test your pan by rubbing a teaspoon of butter over the inside of the pan. When the butter begins to bubble briskly (it should not brown), it's properly preheated. If the butter begins to burn and turn brown, the heat setting is too high. Carefully wipe the burned butter out of the pan with a paper towel, lower the heat, wait a minute, and try the butter test again.

Shop Calphalon Commercial Hard-Anodized Cookware

• DO NOT use aerosol cooking sprays. Aerosol sprays contain a chemical propellant that is difficult to remove. Instead, use an oil mister filled with olive or vegetable oil, or dab a bit of oil on a paper towel and carefully wipe the interior of the pan.

• Keep your cookware thoroughly clean. Residue from previous cooking (or aerosol cooking sprays) is a common cause of sticking. After each use, wash hard-anodized surfaces in hot, sudsy water using a liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn® and a non-abrasive sponge or soft bristle brush – we recommend using Scotch-Brite™ Dobie® pads. For stubborn, burnt-on spots, allow your pan to cool, then soak in hot, soapy water for 10 minutes. Burnt-on foods will lift off after soaking. Maintain with Bar Keeper's Friend® cleanser and a Scotch-Brite™ pad, being sure to rinse thoroughly.

Dawn® is a registered trademark of Procter & Gamble. Bar Keeper's Friend® is a registered trademark of SerVaas Laboratories. Dobie and Scotch-Brite are trademarks of 3M.

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