Is Aluminum or Stainless Steel Better for Commercial Kitchens?

There is an ongoing industry debate on whether aluminum or stainless steel is better for restaurant kitchen and factory settings. Both metals have useful properties that can be advantageous when applied to the commercial food preparation industry, however, as a commercial kitchen owner, the choice is ultimately a personal one.

Continue reading to learn some beneficial attributes of stainless steel and aluminum so that you may decide which one best suits your commercial or industrial food preparation needs.

We Buy Restaurant Scrap Metal!  317-244-0700
We Buy Restaurant Scrap Metal! 317-244-0700


Aluminum is found on the periodic table with the symbol “Al” and atomic number 13. It has a silvery white finish, and mostly admired for its magnetic and ductile (good heat conductivity) properties. This makes aluminum a ferrous metal, meaning it contains iron. Compared to stainless steel, aluminum has higher oxidation and corrosion resistance properties, and is very light in weight.

All of these attributes makes it a well-suited match for kitchen back splashes, counter tops, food preparation surfaces, factory processing equipment, and more. On the other hand, one of the most discussed disadvantages of aluminum is its lack of malleability, which means it is difficult to form and typically cracks under pressure. For this reason, it is not usually recommended for countertops or factory settings.

Stainless Steel

Because stainless steel is made using a combination of nickel, magnesium, chromium copper and iron, it is a very strong and durable alloy that contains several properties that deliver a wide range of benefits. Although its chromium content makes it highly resistant to corrosion and oxidation, if the surface is scratched, it can develop rust.

The 304 series is the most common version of stainless steel used in the restaurant and food industry because it is highly resistant to corrosion. It is common to see components like kitchen sinks, food processing equipment, steam table pans, and more, made of 304 series stainless steel.

Comparing the Two:

🏭 As for strength and weight, steel is stronger and weighs more. Aluminum is only one-third the weight of stainless steel, but this is why it is top-choice for automotive and aerospace manufacturing.

🏭 Both metals are highly-resistant to corrosion, but since stainless steel is non-porous, it is more resistant than aluminum.

🏭 Both metals are also good thermal and electrical conductors, but aluminum retains higher thermal conductivity. This is why it is used to manufacture things like car radiators and air conditioner units.  

🏭 In terms of malleability, aluminum is better. It is much softer and easier to work with compared to stainless steel. In contrast, stainless steel is much easier to weld than aluminum.

🏭 In terms of market price, aluminum is a lot cheaper.

How to Get Paid for Scrap Aluminum and Steel Equipment in Indiana

If you would like to sell scrap metal restaurant equipment in Indiana, call Zore’s Recycling at 317-244-0700 today! We pay the highest returns for all metals based on current market prices, including aluminum, steel, iron, ferrous, non-ferrous, and more. Whether you have broken down appliances or an old countertop system, our scrap metal buyers will pay you top-dollar! Request a free estimate, today.