Control of grain size during recrystallization of aluminum alloys is critical when tailoring material properties for structural applications. Most commonly the grain size is controlled by adding alloying elements which form second phases during homogenization heat treatments small enough to impose a Zener drag on the grain boundary mobility. These phases are known as dispersoids and are in the 10 to 200 nm in diameter range. In Al-Zn alloys, zirconium has been successfully used in controlling the degree of recrystallization after solution heat treatments. It is commonly understood that the Al3Zr dispersoids of about 20 nm in diameter present in the microstructure are the key features affecting grain boundary mobility. With the success of controlling recrystallization in Al- Zn alloys, zirconium has been added to other alloy systems, such as Al-Cu-Mn, and a similar retarding effect in recrystallization kinetics has been observed as seen in the Al-Zn systems. However, in Al-Cu-Mn alloys, zirconium bearing dispersoids are not observable in the microstructure. Consequently, additional microstructural effects such as solute drag need to be considered to explain the experimental observations. In this paper, the role of zirconium additions in aluminum alloys will be summarized.