Is Hard Anodized Cookware Safe for Everyday Cooking?

Hard anodized is used in a variety of cookware. This layer of oxide makes the aluminum hard and resistant to corrosion. It’s an extension of the process that uses higher voltage and lower temperatures. Is hard anodized cookware safe? This question has become the main concern now.

 What is Hard Anodized Cookware?

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The term anodized means that material, for example, the aluminum in cookware that has been subjected to a process of electrolyte, which controls natural oxidization.

This involves assigning the anodized aluminum in a chemical bath and applying a current to it, that causes oxide to be produced from the turning out the rust on the aluminum.

Advantages of Aluminum Anodized Cookware

A shortlist of the advantages of the hard aluminum anodized cookware is given below:

Extra Hard

The extraordinary feature of this kind of aluminum cookware is very durable. By anodized cookware, it is scratch-resistant, no chip or peels easily. It is two times harder than stainless steel cookware. Though Calphalon claims that their products are over 80% harder, the strength of each product depends on the anodizing process.

Non-Toxic Nonstick

It’s not like Teflon, the plain and smooth surface is from an electro-chemical anodizing process that creates nonstick layers. So, it does not use PFOA for production.


The non-porous coat isn’t like other metallic pans that lock in the aluminum inside to prevent aluminum leaching possibility when you cook acidic food like lemon juices or tomato sauces.

High Cooking Performance

By getting benefits from the whole aluminum building, it conducts heat unsurprisingly very fast and evenly. The capability of heat conductivity is inferior to pure aluminum.

Easy to Clean

Hard anodized aluminum products are very easy to clean as smoothly nonstick. And this is the only impressive advantage of all.

So, hard anodized cookware is as great as a heat conductor. It spreads heat perfectly and evenly. This product is lightweight and easy to handle. It is stable for use with metal utensils.

Disadvantages of Aluminum Anodized Cookware

A shortlist of disadvantages about the hard aluminum anodized cookware is given below:

Expensive Than Conventional Nonstick

This kind of aluminum cookware is rather costly than usual nonstick pans but worth buying. For a better option, you can try to look for long warranty products.

Avoid High Heat

This cookware absorbs heat very quickly, for long cooking, this does well for medium to medium-high temperature. And you have to avoid pre-heat on high too.

No Cooking Spray

Any kind of aerosol sprays has water and a chemical propellant. When you preheat the pan, the chemical and water will instantly evaporate and leave a sticky remainder which is very hard to remove. This makes the pan stickier later. If you buy this pan then try to use some oil or butter to wipe the inside surface of the pan.

Hand Wash

Any nonstick or hard anodized products are not good for dishwashers. Though some of them are labeled dishwasher-safe, such as Calphalon Unison, Circulon Symmetry, and T-Fal Ultimate, typically the experts still suggest washing these by hand to last longer.

No Abrasive and Scratchy Sponges

As traditional pans, soft bristle and dishwashing detergent and, like Scotch Bright, is good and enough to clean. For burnt spots, soak the pan for 10 minutes in hot soapy water and keep it cool, and follow this with regular cleaning. By following the death of an aluminum anodized surface, a sealer is applied to close the pores effectively and prevent staining, fading, or bleeding out of color.

Not Induction-Safe

As induction stoves require a magnetic referral in the bottom, most of the gears are not compatible with induction cooktops. However, some products are designed for this kind of stove, such as Circulon Symmetry.

Everything in this world has positive and negative sides and we all know about it. So, hard-anodized aluminum cookware products also have some advantages as well as disadvantages. But the disadvantages have a health risk and the advantages are not that much impressive.

  Hard-Anodized Cookware Health Risks

The hard-anodized aluminum coated cookware does not allow the aluminum to leach into the food. That means food does not in contact with the metal directly. According to FDA reports, “The use of hard-anodized aluminum cookware is not so harmful to health”. It is not toxic. The levels of high heat will not damage the anodized finish. Anodized surfaces are heat resistant to the melting point of aluminum that is 1,221°F.

The most important thing for cookware, hard-anodizing makes its surfaces so extra smooth that they become virtually nonporous means without pores. Our health and aluminum were brought to our attention in the 1970s when a research team of Canada linked aluminum with Alzheimer’s disease and then they found high concentrations in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients of aluminum. Since then, the research has been anatomized in a manner quite similar to the chicken and the egg story. Which came first, the aluminum or the disease?

So, Is Hard Anodized Cookware Safe?

We all do know that high concentrations of aluminum are toxic. The December 2007 Idaho Observer article says that aluminum Toxicity is a Misdiagnosed Epidemic. As a result, a hard-anodized aluminum cooking surface is scratch-resistant, non-stick, and easy to clean. According to manufacturers, anodized surface seals aluminum so that the metal cannot leach into food.

Final Thoughts

I suggest you avoid hard-anodized aluminum cookware. The problem is not about the small single dose, it is about the accretive effect it can have. Just like eating a small chocolate bar is not going to cause serious disease.

If most of the meals are cooked with anodized aluminum frying pans, saucepans, sauté pans, and stockpots, the creative effect, as well as with the aluminum you already get from other items in our environment, may cause a serious health issue. So is hard anodized cookware safe for everyday cooking? The decision is yours whether you want to risk your health or not.


Photo Credit : shutterstock and Video Credit : Youtube

By Flavio Zbinden

Hi ! this is Flavio Zbinden I am French/Swiss cookware reviewer that was born in Asia.

I had an interest in the culinary arts from a young age while watching my grandma prepare cakes and tarts in her home kitchen.

However, I only played my hand at exploring the culinary world when I started lending a hand to my mother with the daily kitchen chores.

I jumped at the chance to cook, clean, and set the table every time my mother would ask. Aside from my grandma and mother, another big influence in my culinary venture was my dad. An avid geeky chef in his free time and a chemical engineer by profession.

Influenced by my family who were always keen in the kitchen, I carried my passion for cooking into adulthood. I have always had a curious eye on different cultures and their cuisines.

Through my exploration of several countries, I learned the uses of various kitchen cookware and the benefits of using them to prepare different dishes. With that knowledge embedded in my mind, I ventured out to nit-pick my very own cookware selections in the market…

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