Aluminum club cookware
Having good cookware can be a game changer for your culinary skills and in making the perfect delicacies. When I think of ideal cookware I always remember the good old aluminum club cookware.
The club aluminum cookware was the rave, when it first came out in the early 1900s, its colorful and non-stick exterior made them a beauty to have, and all the women sure wanted them. They come in a variety of colors ranging from green, turquoise, and brown to pink.
A beautiful aesthetic was not the only reason the club aluminum cookware was selling fast at the time. they were affordable, they had great heat conductivity, tight-fitting lids, and wooden handles, and were much easier to lift, and oven safe.
With these qualities, they won the heart of lots of women and cooks. My grandma (god rest her soul) was one of those women and she did make lots of delicious dishes with her favorite set of aluminum club cookware.
Is Aluminum Cookware Still Made?
In 1925 the club Aluminum utensils company released the first set of club aluminum cookware made from processed hardened aluminum, according to the official release cookbook, this cookware was scientifically made to last a lifetime.
They had gone on to dominate the cookware space. The club was not sold in stores at first but they were rather sold through parties. Club aluminum parties were already popular before Tupperware, pampered chef, or Avon parties.
During the great depression, these parties became too expensive for the average person to afford. By the year 1933, the club aluminum cookware company declared bankruptcy which led to its being sold, and years later it was sold again to Mirro Aluminum company which is the current owner to date.
The original “club” aluminum cookware was last produced in the late 1900s before the company transitioned to Mirro Aluminum company. But there is still a lot of the club aluminum cookware available for sale, through second-hand dealers, antique shops, or stores online.
Is Club Aluminum Cookware Safe to Use?
Make sure not to use metal utensils on your pan
Club aluminum cookware as the name implies is made from Aluminum. There have been controversies stating that since aluminum club cookware was made from aluminum, using it can lead to increased danger of developing Alzheimer’s disease but this claim was not supported by the Alzheimer’s association after carrying out research that proved that there was no evidence to link the role of aluminum cookware causing the disease.
Using Aluminum pans would not pose a health risk if used correctly, here are some of the points to note when using aluminum pans:
Avoid cooking or leaving acidic food in your aluminum pans or pots, food as tomatoes, vinegar, Dairy products, Mustard,
Pickles, Pears, Citrus juice, Pineapple, and Salty food could react with the coating and cause leaching of the aluminum into the food, altering its taste and look thereby making the food unfit for consumption.
Avoid using utensils that are made from metals on your aluminum pans these can cause scratches on the surface of the pan thereby damaging it. instead, use wooden or silicone utensils.
Detergents and scouring pads Should not be used on your aluminum pans so as not to wear off the coating or season.
Can You Make an Aluminum Pan Non-Stick?
With aluminum pans being excellent heat conductors and having a seemingly non-stick finish, they are not non-stick on the inside except for the later Teflon-coated non-stick versions.
If your aluminum pan is the traditional non-non-stick pan you don’t need to worry because you can make it non-stick with the right season.
Now for those who don’t know, when I say seasoning I don’t mean adding some pepper or curry leaves to your pan, lol.
The season here is a term used to refer to the process of curing/coating a pan with oils, butter, or fat, making it non-stick, easy to clean, and rust resistant.
Different methods can be used to season your aluminum pans or any other cookware to give them that non-stick effect, but I prefer using either of these two methods that my grandmother taught me which I will be sharing with you here.
The first method involves making sure to properly clean your pan so it’s free from dirt ( a dirty pan defeats the purpose of the seasoning),
then preheat your pan to low or medium heat, the next step is to add a lot of oil to the pan, making sure the whole surface is evenly covered at all times with the oil(you can use any oil or fat of your choice), let the oil heat till it starts smoking,
then let it smoke for 5-10sec before turning off the heat, take the pan off the top of the hot burner and allow to cool to room temperature on its own, once cool pour out the oil and wipe off excess oil, and your pan is seasoned.
The second method used to season a pan does not involve using a lot of oil like the first, After cleaning the pan you simply preheat your pan. Then rub a little amount of oil or fat onto the pan using a paper towel.
After applying the oil, let the pan heat up for about 10 mins till it smokes, then turn off the heat and let the pan cool. Your pan is now set, well seasoned, and ready for use.
Pls, note that overheating your pan will get your food burnt and stuck to the pan, therefore it should be avoided.
Also, It is important to season your cookware regularly especially if you use them regularly to help maintain the non-stick effect, even when you do not use them regularly seasoning pans and pots helps keep them in perfect condition and prevent them from rusting.
How to Clean Club Aluminum Cookware
Cleaning your club aluminum cookware the right way will help maintain it, make it durable and make it safe for use always.
Although the aluminum cookware company has released an official cookbook where there are stated guides on how to clean and care for your aluminum cookware, below are some practical steps and tips I learned from my grandmother which I have used over the years for proper cleaning of my aluminum club pans and pots.
- It is not advisable to use harsh detergents or abrasive sponges when cleaning your aluminum pans and pots to avoid scratching the surface of the cookware or wearing off the seasoning.
- It’s also not advisable to put your aluminum pans and pots in a dishwasher. The harsh detergent can make them pit, lose their season, and start rusting.
- The right way to clean your aluminum pan is to gently hand wash it using soap and warm water to remove dirt, oil, and food residue.
- If there is tough or burnt residue on the pan then let the pan sock in the warm water for a while before using a soft washcloth to wash it off.
- Then rinse the pan thoroughly and let it dry before storing it away.
- Be sure to stick to these easy steps, and you will be able to maintain and increase the span of your aluminum pan and also make it fit and safe for cooking.
Aluminum club cookware is a great addition and investment to your kitchen cookware sets but since they are no longer being made be sure to avoid using the very old-looking ones with scratches or dents for cooking, these older dent sets could be recycled or used to give your kitchen an amazing vintage look to bring back old memories.