Aluminum probably makes a stronger appeal to the purchaser than any other
ware in house furnishings. Its attractiveness, lightness, and
durability have been so widely advertised by the manufacturers that few housekeepers
are unacquainted with its advantages. The salesperson therefore needs to be
particularly well informed in regard to all its good points.
The stock includes utensils of the same sorts as those made of enameled ware,
and in addition others, such as frying pans, which cannot safely be made of
enameled ware, because of the extreme heat to which they are subjected. Fireless
cooker receptacles are usually of aluminum.
The bright, silvery appearance of aluminum ware makes a strong appeal to all
purchasers. Aluminum, moreover, does not tarnish as silver does. A kitchen
in which many of the utensils are of this metal is decidedly attractive.
Aluminum is one-third the weight of iron, one-fourth the weight of silver,
and lighter than glass. Its lightness makes it especially suitable for such
articles as large frying pans, double boilers, and roasters, which in cast iron
are too heavy to be handled conveniently.
Aluminum is as strong as iron. In fact it is often used in the place of iron
when strength and lightness are both required, as in air-ships. The remarkable
durability of the metal assures the purchaser of an article of aluminum that
it will last a lifetime. In addition to its inherent strength this metal has
the advantage of being non-rusting. This quality means much in any cooking utensil.
The initial cost of aluminum is rather high. This is offset, however, by its
durability, and by the economy in fuel which attends its use.
Aluminum ware requires less fuel, for it conducts heat readily. Heat is distributed
through it twice as fast as through tin, and three times as fast as through
iron. It requires a large amount of heat at first, but when the article is
once filled with heat very little is required to keep the contents of the aluminum
kettle boiling. If gas is used, it should be turned down by one-third or one-half
after the contents of the utensil have begun to boil. This is very different
from iron or steel, where the heat collects in the center of the utensil. This
characteristic of aluminum makes it a good warm-weather utensil.
Handles of aluminum utensils are quite often of tinned iron, steel, or wood,
because aluminum ones become hot so quickly.
Furthermore, as aluminum is a good conductor of heat, food does not burn in
aluminum utensils quickly: the heat distributes itself through the vessel instead
of concentrating in one place.
In addition to conducting heat rapidly aluminum also holds heat longer than
any other metal. This is a valuable property when food is to be kept warm. Coffee
and tea will keep hot longer in aluminum pots than in other materials.
Aluminum is therefore the common material for fireless cooking. Food which
has started to cook on the stove and has been transferred to the fireless cooker
will retain the original heat for a long time. (For further information upon
Occurrence of Aluminum
Aluminum is more abundant than iron, constituting 8 per cent of the earth's
crust, but it is always found in combination never as a free metal. Its most
common form is in combination with oxygen in clay. In fact, aluminum is the
basic metal of all clay. It is also found in nearly all rock. Even the beautiful
precious stones, the ruby and the sapphire, are forms of aluminum in combination
with other elements.