Is family pot a hazard?

cooking pot with vegetables
Photo credit: EESC slide collection
Q:

My 95-year-old mother wants to give me her aluminum Dutch oven. I would very much like to have it to prepare pot roasts, stews, etc. I would use it on top of the stove to brown meats and vegetables and then put it the oven to continue cooking the meal. The Dutch oven also has an aluminum lid. My mother has used it to prepare our family meals since the 1940s or ‘50s. What is the current thinking on using aluminum cookware? Is it safe, or is there a hazard in using it?

- Lane County, Oregon
A:

Current research doesn't seem to indicate health hazards from preparing foods in aluminum cookware. This fact sheet from Clemson has a little more information, including a reminder not to cook or store highly acidic foods in aluminum because they react with the metal and can discolor the cookware and give a slight metallic taste to the food. Based on what we know, the Dutch oven should be safe to use.

Jeanne Brandt
County Specialist/Educator
Share this