How Can I Tell Whether a Cookware Is Stainless Steel or Aluminum?

These days, Cookware is built using different types of metals. Like, copper, Aluminum, and Stainless steel. But, the two that are used the most are Stainless steel and Aluminum. Both cookwares are of good quality and adequate to serve the users anyway. But, a lot of folks ask, How can I tell Whether a Cookware is Stainless steel or Aluminum? 

It usually happens when one gets their eyes on new Cookware. Since Stainless steel and Aluminum are similar, They are uncertain as to whether the metal is stainless steel or aluminum.. 

For that reason, I’m creating this ultimate guide in which I’ll tell you how you will know that your Cookware is either made of Stainless steel or Aluminum. Be sure to read the article till the end, so you don’t buy Cookware that you didn’t even want to.

Without stretching the intro more, let’s dive right into the topic.

Difference Between Stainless Steel And Aluminum

Hands down, both the metals have a similar appearance, but the one that makes them different is their distinct characteristics. To pick the right Stainless steel cookware for you, it’s crucial to know the difference between both metals. 

Because it’s pretty hard to tell the difference between each, and when you know the differences, you can easily decide which one is the Stainless steel or Aluminum cookware. I’m going to mention all of the differences in detail.

1. Appearances

I’ve just mentioned that both cookwares have a similar appearance, and they do. But, if you’re smart enough to see, they have some differences even in their appearances. 

The Aluminum cookware has a dull texture and is usually grey. On the other hand, stainless steel is lustrous and frequently has a silvery rather than grey tinge. 

And when it comes to the Stainless steel cookwares, they usually appear brighter and shinier than Aluminum. 

However, due to some factors such as time and weather, the look of Aluminum and Stainless steel cookware may vary. But, you can easily figure it out by carefully looking at them: Stainless steel. 

2. Scratch The Key

Here is another cool trick to pick the Stainless steel cookware easily from many aluminum ones. This method does not necessitate the use of any special equipment. 

All you have to do is, Drag the key along a flat surface of Aluminum or Stainless steel while holding it down. Because Aluminum is softer than Stainless steel, it will scratch pretty deeply without applying much pressure. 

Scratching Stainless steel will still leave a mark, but it will take more effort, and the scratch will be less deep than scratching Aluminum. And then, you’ll have your Stainless steel cookware in front of you.

3. Weight

You can check the weight of both metals and then find out the one you want to buy. However, not everyone can do it. It requires the person to be experienced in both metals to find out the difference. 

Because when a total newbie goes to buy Stainless steel cookware, Aluminum and Stainless steel Cookware will seem pretty much the same weight for him. But let me tell you. Aluminum is generally lighter than Stainless steel in terms of volume. 

Stainless steel is more than twice as heavy as Aluminum for the same volume. So, weigh both the metals and the ones that you find bulkier, and go for it.

4. Do The Spark Test

Spart test is an easy and fast method for picking up the Stainless steel cookware among the Aluminum cookware. It’s too simple to do. Press the metal against a grinding wheel. 

Aluminum produces no visible sparks, whereas Stainless steel produces orange sparks. Steel contains carbon, which burns brilliantly when oxidized, which causes the orange sparks. Isn’t that too simple? 

5. Check The Metals With Magnet

This method doesn’t need anything but a strong magnet. Aluminum is Non-magnetic and can’t get attracted to the Magnet. On the other hand, Stainless steel is Magnetic. The Magnet can easily attract. 

SO, just put both of the cookwares close to the Magnet, and then whatever it attracts is Stainless steel and what it doesn’t attract is Aluminum cookware. But wait… Stainless steel has a lot of types that may either be non-magnetic or magnetic. 

So, this method might not work for the magnetic Stainless steel. However, it’s an excellent method that you can give a shot. 

This trick will surely work for you, as it has worked for many folks. Usually, the Stainless steel used to make the Cookware is magnetic. 

However, there is some nonmagnetic Stainless cookware too. So, if both of the metals don’t attract the Magnet, either both of the Metals are Aluminum, or there is any other type of Stainless steel that is nonmagnetic. That’s the fastest hack to find out the difference between both metals.

6. Check The Label Number Of The Cookware

There are some impressive numbers labeled on the things made of any of the metals. It happens in rare cases, though, but the chances are that you may find it on the Cookware as well. 

So to find out the Stainless steel cookware, Examine the number labels on the Cookware to check if they have a ‘SS’ marking on them. 

If the Cookware is marked with a ‘SS,’ it signifies it is stainless steel. If the label has a distinct indication, it is constructed of steel or other metals, like copper and Aluminum.

7. Take The Help Of a Professional.

Usually, Cookwares made of Stainless steel are pricey, and hence you’d never want to pay more for a metal other than Stainless steel. Therefore, it’s a wise choice to take the help of a professional who can tell you the difference between both the Cookware. 

You can even take a professional with you by the time you get your eyes on a Cookware. It’s an easy and the last way of picking the Stainless steel cookware for you.


Hey Stainless steel cookware lovers, I hope you know how to tell whether Cookware is Stainless steel or Aluminum.  

You can follow any of the above methods to find the Stainless Cookware for you. If the one doesn’t work, give the second one a shot. You won’t have any difficulty applying the methods as they’re too easy to try.

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