The History of Magnalite Cookware
Magnalite cookware (cast aluminum cookware) has been around since 1934. Another name for the original design is WagnerWare. It is very durable and is made so from the casting process of magnesium/aluminum alloy. It has a bright, shiny appearance and conducts heat very well.
However, beware of knock-off parts that claim to be Magnalite cookware. It is shocking that a company with the reputation and status of World Kitchens (formerly Corning Ware) would be the source of these foreign-made cast aluminum counterfeit parts. To add insult to injury they don’t even fit the originals!
Then again, the company that claims to have the original molds and to be the only source of true Magnalite cookware, (American Culinary, established in 1865) has failed to produce anything in the way of spare parts for years, so I guess there was a need. …and you were thinking this would be a boring discussion on pots and pans… my source is Established 1906.
The Magnalite cookware line includes everything from stovetop to oven and roasting pans, in various sizes and shapes. The real ones actually do look like the ‘iron maiden’ of cookware – ‘cast iron’ lean, mean roasting machines. You can see the difference between them and cheaper, lighter versions of cookware, right off the bat, without even handling them.
Having said that, Magnalite cookware does appear to be reasonably priced – especially the ‘imported’ fake one, of course. I suppose it wouldn’t matter if the parts fit the real McCoy if you had the entire set of fakes. Question is, what price will you pay for saving money?
The authentic Magnalite can range from $100 for a roasting pan to under $300 for a 13-piece set of pots. When compared to alternatives like all-clad cookware, especially copper, this is reasonably priced. Especially where the quality of the materials used is a paramount concern, since a bad pot will overheat, warp, pit and look bad over time, etc., it is fairly important not to be ‘penny wise and pound foolish’ when choosing your cookware. You would assume you could keep decent cookware for many years. Most have ‘lifetime’ guarantee, whereas I note Magnalite only promises 50 years.
If you want to read something interesting, about the actual history of the authentic Magnalite process, visit: American Culinary