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Aluminum Dutch Ovens. . . opinions?

ThinkandDriveThinkandDrive Posts: 84
edited 10:33PM in EggHead Forum
I'm sitting on (literally, in my wallet) an LLBean Merchandise credit and am lookin' to spend it.

I've been thinking about getting a cast iron dutch oven recently. However, my discipline with my equipment is not all that great and I don't have any storage options for rust-prone stuff until my table is complete. I bought a $6 skillet at IKEA of all places and it was carrot orange after sitting outside under snow all winter. :blink: I've since reseasoned it, but don't want to have to do that to a $90+ dutch oven.

LLBean has a 5-quart hard-anodized aluminum dutch oven on their site.

I haven't seen much about aluminum here before and am soliciting opinions.

I know that aluminum is supposed to melt at 1200+ temps. But perhaps this "hard anodized" stuff is heartier than that? How else could they sell a dutch over?

Thoughts? Discuss.


  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Look at ceramic cast iron. A lot of company's make them. Walmart has some great inexpensive ones and Lodge has some that look very nice.

  • Hmm. . . Okay. That's QUITE a price difference. I would have thought quality CI would have been more than that. And I'm familiar with the Lodge name and know lots of people swear by them.

    NOW, what do I spend my LLBean Bucks on? :pinch:
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    I think the LL bEan one is cool.....and a little different, not to mention easy to take care of. if I has a credit at LL BEan I might buy it.
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    I think the LL bEan one is cool.....and a little different, not to mention easy to take care of. if I has a credit at LL BEan I might buy it.
  • Old SaltOld Salt Posts: 357
    We had 2 sets of cast aluminum cookwear sets we bought about 30 years ago from Montgomery Wards. They were a good set, so good that they disappeared from our house to the kids. All we have left is a 5qt DO. I've used it in my egg until my wife put it out for water for the critters. To my wife it worked just like a CI set.
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 7,638
    I'm with you. I would buy as well.
    Thank you,

    Galveston Texas
  • Anodized aluminum is fine. I prefer the GSI brand and usually get them from NW Rafters as

    A lot lighter and rust proof but they lose heat RAPIDLY in wind or rain.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if you melt it at 1200 degrees, i'll buy you another one.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • CecilCecil Posts: 771
    Academy Sports has a similar one much that costs less. I think it made by Lodge. FYI.
  • DarnocDarnoc Posts: 2,661
    Unless it has a non stick surface I would stick to cast iron or porcelain coated cast iron oven.Aluminum and tomato products do not mix as it will pit up the bottom of the pan or dutch oven.Cast iron will last you a lifetime.Just my two cents.
  • Aluminum and tomato products do not mix as it will pit up the bottom of the pan or dutch oven

    That does not apply to anodized aluminum cookware.

    Anodized aluminum dutch ovens work great inside an egg.

  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Well, it's lighter.... almost half the weight of cast iron. It's much easier to care for, no seasoning and aluminum can be washed (even scrubbed) with soap and water. Because of it's density, it heats up quicker and cools down quicker, so this may be a advantage or disadvantage. The anodized is much nicer than the regular.....because, the downside, from an old camping point of view, is the sound of metal scraping on aluminum cookware. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard. In my backpacking days, I carried a wooden spoon and plastic spoons and forks.

    Stop by a sporting goods store and get a hands-on look and feel before you buy.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Smokin TigerSmokin Tiger Posts: 352
    Anodizing is very good for corrison resistance and provides some scratch resistance, but it is very thin and I do not think it would change the melting point at all. I do not think you would ever melt it in an egg and cannot imagine whay you would ever need to cook in a dutch oven at temps even remotely approching the melting temp of aluminum. If you like, give it a try. I have both aluminum and cast iron, but tend to use the cast iron more often. Probably because it is sitting in the front of the cabinet. The lodge stuff is very good.

    Hope this helps.

  • PyroPyro Posts: 101
    Be careful of enameled cast iron. It is wonderful to cook on with the heat retention of cast iron, protected from any rusting and nearly non-stick. The big caution -Le Creuset says it has a maximum oven safe temperature of 450. Not a good candidate for use on an egg. Hard anodized aluminum, such as the original Calphalon is fairly heavy, rust resistant and available at prices that rival Lodge on Amazon.
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