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Cookware Durability

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Howdy,

It looks like the anodized finish inside my Magnalite sauce pans is starting to deteriorate. The exterior finish on the bottom and along the top rim where the cover sits is definitely worn through the anodizing to the bare metal in some places (not a big deal since they aren't cooking surfaces). I've never used any metal utensils while cooking with these pots. I've had the Magnalite since about 1979-1980. It looks like the pots are approaching the end of their useful lives. Is a twenty-five year life span about normal for anodized cookware, assuming frequent use?

What about stainless steel? Can I expect similar or longer use with an All Clad type pot?

Thanks,

Shel
post #2 of 11
Stainless steel should last a lifetime if it's good quality (All-Clad goes without saying). My brother had a set of Calphalon anodized when they first came out. He gave them a lot of use and the finish deteroriated as yours has.

On the other hand, my mom got a set of copper-bottom Revere Ware in about 1956. She's still using the smaller pieces (she's 85 and doesn't cook much these days). I learned to cook in those pans. Except for handles cracking, they are very serviceable. I'm not sure about more recent Revere Ware- whether cost cuts have taken a toll on their materials and workmanship- but I would go with stainless steel over anodized any day.

Don't even get me started on Circulon! :mad:
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
C'mon, tell us what you think - seriously, I'm interested in your opinion. Personally, I don't care for the stuff, but my feelings are not based on use or experience. The cookware just doesn't "look right" to me.

Shel
post #4 of 11
When I got my Magnalite about 20 years ago it came with a 100 year warranty. I was told that the (limited) warranty is actually for ever but they have to state a finite period.

Anyway, the thing that destroys the surface more than anything else is acid. I saw a 2 Qt pot in someone's house once with a neat line half way up the inside. The top half was the black, pristine finish it always was and the bottom half was shiny aluminum. The owner had stored tomato sauce in it overnight in the fridge.

You might want to look into the warranty thing. You never know.

Jock
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi, and thanks. I searched around the web and it looks like Magnalite is no longer making the anodized cookware, and I'm not sure if the product line is even owned by GHC as it was back in the "old days." The new stuff - at least from the pics - seems to be of lower quality and far less useful than the cookware from the 1980's. Even the warranty is less than it was.

In any case, I've decided that, for most items, I want a SS interior, and, at this point, I'm strongly leaning towards All-Clad, although there are a few other brands that have been mentioned that seem worthwhile as well.

Thanks for the help and suggestions, Jock. I don't recall ever having stored tomatoe sauce in the Magnelite, but I sure made a fair amount of tomato-based suces in thos pans - no one that I recall ever mentioned the sauce thing to me <sigh>

Kind regards,

Shel
post #6 of 11
I think Magnalite can pit, if I remember my mom's old roaster. She got it from her MIL who often made stuffed green pepper with tomato sauce in it.

As for Circulon: remember the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for, you may get it"? I got a set as a wedding present in 1992, early in Circulon's life. I never felt the pans were really clean if I sauteed or fried in them. Later on they sold a little scrubbing brush for the pans, which made me feel justified in my dislike of the. The non-stick finish started peeling away after a couple of years.

I now have some Emerilware (nonstick interior) and am slowly adding SS All-Clad pieces.
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was thinking of getting some Emerilware or Sur la Table pieces for certain uses, but I'm unsure if doing so is a waste of money in the long run. I really like the All-Clad pieces I have, even though they are "only" the earlier Master Chef (non-stainless exterior) pots and the aluminum finish now looks very used <LOL>. They still cook great - I'm sold on All-Clad!

The next piece of All-Clad I get will probably be a sauté pan. Right now I'm trying to decide upon Copper-Core or SS, and 3-quart or 4-quart.

Thanks,

Shel
post #8 of 11
Shel, something you might want to read..

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load...2322868.html?9

The sixth post down. About the Emerilware pot separating.. I watched that on our news.. Pretty shocking that a pot could ever do that!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi, thanks for the link, although I read that somewhere else as well. I spent quite a bit of time looking over some Emerilware and comparing it to All Clad, and I did likewise with the Sur la Table pieces. I could get by with either for a small sauce pan for boiling water, making porridge, and the like, but have concluded that it would be a waste of money as I'd ultimately end up duplicating the pan when I wanted that size for more serious cooking.

Now that I'm not working as much, I'm doing a lot more cooking, and those old All Clad pots and pans continue to impress me. Clean up is a breeze, they seem to heat evenly, even on my crummy stove, and, unlike others, I find the handles are comfortable to use.

I read somewhere that the thickness of the aluminum on the less expensive MC2 series is greater than that of the stainless series, and that heating is even better and more even with the less expensive pots. I don't know how accurate that is, but if it is the case, getting the MC2 instead of the stainless would be very appealing. Still, I lust for the Copper Core, but it's rather spendy.

The Demeyere looks very nice, and I had a chance to look at the Mauviel as well, and make direct comparisons between All Clad, Demeyere, Mauviel, and Sur la Table. The Sur la Table stuff looks to be somewhat better built and designed than the Emerilware, and the Mauviel is something to lust after, but from a practical and affordable POV, the All Clad and the Demeyere seem like the best choices for me.

Well, enough of this late night ramble,

Shel
post #10 of 11
I would strongly suggest checking out a restaurant supply house. Not only is the quality of commerical s/s cookware far more durable, it is also the same price, or a little cheaper than brand name stuff.

That being said, even s/s can pit. Some of the better quality pots will include a notice telling you the hazards of salt: It seems if you add salt into a cold liquid, salt will settle down to the bottom of the pot. Since the heat source is from the bottom, it will react with the pot and pit the bottom of the pot. Doesn't matter what the material of the pot is.
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have checked the restaurant supply house nearest me (which is a good one, from what I can tell)when last looking for cookware and did not find that to be the case. However, that was then and this is now. I'll take a ride over there in the next day or so to see their current offerings.

I was taught never to add salt to a cold liquid, so I don't.

Thanks,

Shel
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