What Is Magnalite?

Magnalite is a type of cast aluminum cookware created by a casting process that allows the pans to have varying thicknesses in the base and sides, which allows for maximum heat conductivity. According to World Kitchen, the cookware is oven-safe up to 350 degrees, meaning you can take the pan from the stovetop to the oven.

Better Heat Transfer

Magnalite cast cookware is created in a process in which molten aluminum is poured into molds. Magnalite pots and pans have thicker bases than typical cookware. Those bases allow for better heat transfer from the pan to the food. Aluminum is used because it conducts heat well and quickly reacts to temperature changes, an essential fact that allows the cook to more precisely control the amount of energy used when cooking.


Magnalite was first marketed in 1934, during the Depression. Its properties allowing less energy to cook the same amounts of food were a selling point. Wal-Mart has reintroduced the Magnalite Classic line of cookware. Magnalite products come with a 50-year limited warranty.


Pots and pans in the Magnalite line are used just like any other cookware, but the manufacturers claim they do the job better. The cookware can be used on any type of stovetop: gas, electric or flat top. Skillets, deep fryers and saucepans can move from the stovetop into an oven no more than 350 degrees. And the roasters can be used in ovens as high as 500 degrees.


Magnalite cookware is available as a fry pan, Dutch oven, two sizes of saucepans, two sizes of oval roasters, two sizes of stockpots and a casserole. Retail prices range from $65 to $140 for each individual piece. However, a better deal can be found by purchasing sets of the cookware.


Magnalite cookware is shaped into varying thicknesses where it makes the most sense on each piece. The pan bottoms are always thicker to absorb and retain heat. The sides of the pans are thinner to more quickly distribute heat. The part of the pans where the handles connect is reinforced for strength. The cookware also comes with thick, heavy lids that retain moisture.


Magnalite cookware shouldn't be confused with Magna-Lite magnifying flashlights, which are used to magnify and inspect. Photographers sometimes use them when reviewing photos.