Our online store includes aluminum gift items such as spoon rests, chip and dip bowls, pitchers, and cake stands (although these are currently sold out), among other items. The photograph above shows the pitcher we carry in our online store. When we first purchased these products to add to our store, we thought they were pewter. Upon further investigation, we learned they are actually aluminum. Once we started researching the difference between aluminum and pewter, we realized that all of the “pewter” pieces we registered for and received as gifts when we married are actually aluminum. So interesting! Do you know the difference between the two products? Below is a brief tutorial on the differences between aluminum and pewter.
Aluminum products may be heated in the oven or cooled in the refrigerator or freezer. Aluminum pieces are also low-maintenance. These pieces need to be washed by hand and dried immediately, but they do not necessarily need to be polished. If aluminum pieces are washed and dried as soon as possible after being used, the pieces should last for one’s lifetime. If serving acidic foods like tomatoes, garlic, or onions wipe the aluminum piece with vegetable oil before placing the food on it in order to minimize the possibility of harming the finish on the piece.
Some brands of aluminum can be used as baking dishes. The aluminum pieces we carry can be used in the oven up to 250° (F), making them ideal for keeping food warm. Aluminum should not be used in the microwave, though.
Aluminum pieces may be made of up to 10 different types of metals, but the main metal in the piece must be aluminum.
To be classified as “pewter,” a product must consist of at least 92% tin. Because tin is considered a precious metal right now, pewter prices tend to be higher than prices for aluminum pieces. In general, pewter that contains a higher percentage of tin is considered a higher quality pewter.
Like aluminum, pewter is fairly low-maintenance. Similar to aluminum, it must be washed and dried by hand, preferably as soon as possible after it has been used. Unlike some brands of aluminum, pewter cannot withstand high heat and should not be used in an oven or a microwave.
Some pewter pieces are made by hand, so be sure to check for hallmarks or stamps pressed into the piece that might indicate who made it.
Do you have any aluminum or pewter pieces in your home? If so, we would love to know your favorite pieces, so feel free to tell us in the comments!