Reader question: Possible addition to your Dutch Oven Deals blog post: I spotted these Art & Cuisine cast aluminum cocottes at Amazon.com, at just under $40 for the 2.5qt size in a gorgeous purple. This appears to have a metal lid knob & handles, too. The only thing is that it’s manufacturer-rated oven-safe to only 400 degrees F – possibly because of the removable silicone handle grips included. Here’s a link to the manufacturer’s website. And here’s a link to the listing on Amazon. I know it’s cast aluminum, not cast iron – but would this be worth investigating? ~ Catherine M., Dwight, IL
Hi Catherine. Thanks for keeping your eyes open for good deals on a pot for making Glorious One-Pot Meals. I wish the pots you found would be a good option for making GOPMs, but here are the reasons why they won’t work and you shouldn’t use them:
1. Cast aluminum has different heat conduction properties than cast iron does. There’s a reason top chefs like to prepare food with cast iron cookware: it absorbs, retains, and distributes the heat differently than any other type of cookware. This affects how the food cooks.
2. You should never cook with aluminum cookware because it will leach aluminum, a heavy metal, into your food where you will ingest it. Aluminum is not biodegradable or digestible; instead it is bio-accumulative, meaning that it builds up in your body. Too many heavy metals in your body can cause symptoms of poisoning. Aluminum toxicity may cause effects ranging from flatulence and heartburn to skin problems, liver disease, mental retardation, and Parkinson’s. If you own any aluminum cookware, you should stop using it for food immediately.
Aluminum cookware will usually be value-priced as aluminum is a cheap metal, but this is one time when you should pass up the bargain.