Tips on Preventing Oxidation on Aluminum Pans Tips on Preventing Oxidation on Aluminum Pans
Oxidation on aluminum pans will cause discoloration and be unsightly. If aluminum oxidizes, you will see a dull gray coating on the pan. However it is possible to prevent this from occurring and prolong the life and the appearance of your pans. Here are some tips that will help you keep your aluminum pans nice and shiny!
Seasoning Your Pans
Before you begin to use your aluminum pans for the first time, it is important to season them as this will protect them. Seasoning pans doesn't mean using salt and pepper to make them taste better! Instead you should wash the pan in hot soapy water, rinse and thoroughly dry with a soft cloth. You will then need to use a little vegetable oil in the pan and heat it at 250F for around 2 hours. Wash the seasoned pans by hand afterwards. If you put them in the dishwasher, the cleaning action of the machine will remove the seasoning.
Cooking Types of Food
Certain foods will cause aluminum to oxidize quickly more than others. Baking foods that contain eggs such as omelets and quiches will cause the aluminum to swiftly oxidize. Fruits and vegetables with a high acidity level such as asparagus, rhubarb, gooseberries, tomatoes and apples will also have this effect. Avoid cooking these foods if you want to prolong the life of your pan.
When you are cooking make sure you are careful with your aluminum pans as they heat up very quickly. If a recipe suggest that you use cast iron or Pyrex cookware, do not use aluminum. Try and avoid burning food in your aluminum pans. If you are do have burnt on food on your pans however, make sure that you clean it off quickly. You may have to use a spatula to scrape off anything that is really stuck.
Another good method to remove burnt on food is to bring to the boil some water mixed with lemon juice and vinegar in the pan. This will help break down the food particles making them easier to remove.
Every time you use the pan, make sure you clean it thoroughly using warm soapy water and a a soft cloth. Avoid using scourers, Brillo pads or steel wool as this will scratch the aluminum. This could also scratch any Teflon surface your pan may have. Do not put your pans in the dishwasher as this can damage them leading them to oxidize quicker.
Once a month, or if your pans are used frequently, soak them in some oven cleaner such as Easy Off or Cillit Bang. Many of these specialized products come in spray-on containers for convenience. Make sure you wear gloves when you are using oven cleaner as the chemicals can damage you skin. Once you have soaked the pans, wash them well in soapy water and rinse them to make sure there is no residue left on them. Most of all, do not use strong chemicals when cleaning your aluminum pans. Some products such as bleach are will damage the aluminum if they are used and are also dangerous to you if any residue is left. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines.