It may be aluminium, steel, or something else. I don't feel its attraction to a magnet, but maybe it is because the keetle is too thin?

  • great question!
    – cnst
    Mar 6, 2017 at 2:31
  • 2
    The thickness of steel doesn't affect magnetism.
    – Chenmunka
    Mar 6, 2017 at 9:54
  • Take your kettle to a store that sells cookware and compare your kettle to the products. Also, you could ask a salesperson. If anybody asks why you are carrying a kettle into the store, you could hint that your are looking for matching pieces to buy.
    – James
    Mar 7, 2017 at 13:57
  • I bought it on-line, and I don't trust the on-line store salesperson. I could compare, but how ? Besides, it is possible that salespersons don't know themselves.
    – user31264
    Mar 7, 2017 at 18:53
  • If all else fails, you can guess the material based on price. If it was cheap than it's probably aluminum. Expensive, copper. Average, possibly stainless steel but very likely still aluminum.
    – user19499
    Mar 9, 2017 at 2:53

1 Answer 1


If it's stainless steel, it may not be very ferromagnetic. Try a very strong rare-earth magnet and test both the bottom and the sides, which may be made of different metals. If there is any attraction at all, the part is likely stainless steel.

If the kettle is quite light (not dense) and tapping the bottom or sides of the kettle makes a particularly dull sound, sort of a "tink", it is likely aluminum (Al). You can confirm this by putting a bit of sodium carbonate (washing soda) or sodium hydroxide (drain cleaner, caustic) solution in an inconspicuous place: if a gray discoloration develops, or bubbles come off, it's Al. N.B. This test will leave a permanent mark on aluminum, but so will washing with automatic dish-washing detergent, which is corrosive to Al.

Copper kettles have a reddish hue, and are more dense than Al.

  • I would avoid testing the bottom of a pot because they often use a 3-, 5-, or 7-ply process which means a different material may be in the core than the inside/outside. Typically the core is aluminum or copper, but All-Clad (for example) uses a magnetic 18/0 stainless steel on the bottom only so it can be used on induction cook tops. Testing the bottom with a magnet would show positive but not indicate what is on the inside of the pot. Mar 6, 2017 at 14:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.