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How can you tell whether a pan is made of aluminum?

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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 07:54 PM
Original message
How can you tell whether a pan is made of aluminum?
I picked up a really cool 10" (base) pan (2-1/2" high) at a consignment store. All I know is it was made in Taiwan and is a no-name brand. There are no other words on it. It has circles in the metal going up the sides. I put water in it and allowed to dry to see if it rusted. It didn't.

I want to know whether this is aluminum or steel. And if it's aluminum, is it safe to use? I remember reading about the harm of aluminum leaching into foods.

Thanks for anything you can tell me.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. My best guess is that it is aluminum
The next thing you can try is using a magnet. If it sticks, it's steel. If it falls off, it's aluminum.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Follow-up Question
Magnet stuck to the bottom of the pan. It didn't stick to the inside or the exterior sides.

Can it be a steel or iron bottom but aluminum top? Or can it be all steel or iron but "coated"?
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-07-08 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Bottom line
Magnets will stick to ferrous metals: iron, steel, most stainless steel. They don't stick to aluminum, brass or bronze.

A thin coating won't affect this, which is why magnets will stick to a painted fridge.
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Petrushka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. "Test" it with vinegar, lemon juice, or tomato juice---anything acidic will darken aluminum. (eom)
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