What's the difference between titanium and aluminum cookware? Can you explain the pros/cons of each?
Submitted by - Katie - Boulder, CO
Titanium cookware is great if you’re a diehard ounce-counter and money is no object. If you’re the type of cook who only boils water, uncoated titanium pots are as light as they come. And they’re strong, too. Nonstick-coated titanium pots are definitely pricey, but if you sauté the occasional garlic clove or cook any type of food in your pots, it’s worth the investment. (but, as with any nonstick coating, you have to be a little careful with it: no metal utensils or aggressive, abrasive cleaning.) Uncoated titanium is very sticky and difficult to clean.
Real gourmets usually prefer aluminum pots—either nonstick-coated or hard-anodized, because they tend to handle sticky foods and sauces better over the long haul. Hard anodizing is a process that involves an electrically charged bath: it oxidizes the material making it stronger and easier to clean (without the use of Teflon). Aluminum also transfers and distributes heat better than titanium, so that you don’t get scorching hot spots and burnt on food.
In my opinion, the ideal pot set includes a bigger uncoated titanium pot for water boiling and a nonstick frypan or smaller pot for actual cooking. Though many pots are sold in sets, you can also buy them separately, thereby building yourself the most versatile system that is light and also big on performance. Check out our latest round of cookware testing.