Non-stick pans are an essential part of every kitchen due to their great convenience when cooking with foods that might stick. Another plus is the ease of cleaning as non-stick coating keeps food from sticking. Nonstick cookware can also provide health benefits by cutting down the amount of fat needed to prevent sticking.
Problems with Traditional Non-stick Cookware
Unfortunately, some traditional non-stick pans have been linked to health problems. Teflon-coated pan can release toxic fumes into the air when overheated. This cookware is also known to create chemical byproducts and pollutants during the production process.
The two chemicals in traditional nonstick cookware that may be harmful to health are PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), and PTFE (the chemical name for “Teflon”). PFOA is a potentially unhealthy byproduct that can contaminate our water and soil. PTFE is a potentially hazardous chemical that releases toxic fumes when heated above 500°F (260°C). Those fumes can kill indoor birds and cause hallucinations and flu-like symptoms in people.
Is There Safe Non-Stick Cookware?
In response to growing customer demand, manufacturers started to produce non-stick cookware using more environmentally friendly materials. Now, there is a wide range of non-stick pans on the market that are claimed not to leach any unwanted chemicals into your food. The new lines of non-stick cookware include ceramic-coated, titanium-reinforced, and diamond-coated cookware. The popularity of enamel-coated pans has also been growing in the last decade.
Ceramic Non-Stick Pans
The most convenient feature of ceramic cookware is its non-stick surface. Additional advantages are:
- Ceramic coated cookware can be used on nearly all types of heat sources
- It can go from the refrigerator or freezer, to the stove, and to the dining table.
- Ceramic pots and pans can be cleaned easily and quickly.
- Ceramic cookware has an attractive appearance and comes in a wide range of beautiful colors and different shapes and sizes.
Make sure to use only wooden, bamboo, or silicone utensils as metal utensils can leave scratches and damage the ceramic coating.
Popular Brands include GreenLife, Calphalon, Bialetti, Xtrema (pure ceramic), and Ozeri.
Titanium is an extremely strong, scratch-proof, non-porous, and non-reactive material. The cookware with a titanium-reinforced interior surface is safe for cooking all kinds of food. The non-stick surface is great for people who are counting calories. You can actually cook without using any oil. Another nice feature of titanium nonstick pans is that you can just wipe them off with a towel after use.
Pure titanium cookware is convenient for people with arthritis and ideal for campers because of its lightweight. However, the price of titanium pans is not accessible to everyone.
Popular Brands include T-fal, Anolon, Woll USA, EVERNEW, and Scanpan.
The enamel-coated cookware is not fully non-stick, but enamel coating has some advantages that feature non-stick cookware. It is very easy to maintain and you don’t have to deal with the constant seasoning process.
The base can be made of cast iron, steel, or aluminum. Enamel-coated pans are very versatile. They can go from the stove to the dining table. These pans are available in many different colors and look elegant and aesthetically pleasing.
Some manufacturers use black enamel in the production of the coating. The matte black enamel has exceptional durability. Over time and with regular use, it develops a natural surface patina and gradually goes non-stick.
Enameled pans need special care to ensure that they do not get damaged. If you drop an enamel-coated pan accidentally, there is a risk of damage. These pans cannot take very high temperatures (over 500 degrees) like traditional cast iron pans. You shouldn’t use metal utensils on an enamel-coated pan, or otherwise, you’ll end up with a scratched cooking surface. High-quality enamel-coated cast iron pans are more expensive than ordinary frying pans, and with a good reason.
Popular Brands include Lodge, Cuisinart, Le Creuset, and Staub.
Also worth considering:
Stainless Steel Non-Stick Frying Pan by Made In