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The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

What is so great with pans that are constructed with multi-ply bottoms?

Their bottoms have three layers: a middle ply (generally aluminum) sandwiched between two stainless steel ones. The purpose of this design is to give the cook the best of both worlds by eliminating each metal's disadvantages.

The aluminum layer cannot become discolored, nor can it color or flavor foods, because it is completely enclosed within the stainless steel. The upper stainless steel layer does not have the hot spots that are common in 100 percent stainless steel pots, because by the time it reaches that stainless steel tier, the heat from the burner has been more or less evenly diffused by the aluminum (which is, unlike stainless steel, an excellent conductor of heat). And because the pan's entire metal surface is stainless steel, it has an attractive shiny finish and is easier to clean. Still another bonus is that multi-tiered construction has much the same effect on the pan's bottom that it has on plywood: The possibility of warping is decreased.

07:24:55 on 02/24/07 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Differences between anodized aluminim pan and a nonstick aluminum pan.

An anodized pan will likely be thicker gauged and better built but, like a nonstick pan, can be easily scratched and impaired by a careless cook or dishwasher. Both pans help prevent food from sticking, though the nonstick pan performs that mission demonstrably better. Unlike the nonstick variety, an anodized pan usually needs to be seasoned occasionally.

The anodization process is based on the principle that an oxide layer forms naturally on aluminum and that this oxide helps prevent food from sticking to the metal. The thicker the layer, the more effective the defense. Manufacturers discovered that they could artificially create a reasonably thick layer by means of electrolysis.

03:31:48 on 02/24/07 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -