Non-stick pans are an inseparable part of every kitchen due to their convenience and time-saving benefits. These pans are so easy to use and cleaning is a snap. Nonstick cookware can also help fight obesity by offering health benefits of low-fat cooking.
Safety Concerns for Non-stick Cookware
Unfortunately, traditional non-stick pans can leach harmful chemicals into your food, or they can release toxic gasses into the air when heated. This kind of cookware can also create chemical byproducts and pollutants during the production process. The two chemicals that cause for concern in traditional nonstick cookware is 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 when heated over above 500°F (260°C), releases fumes that can kill indoor birds and cause hallucinations and flu-like symptoms in people.
Is There Safe Non-Stick Cookware
Manufacturers have responded to growing consumer demand for safe nonstick alternatives and begun to make non-stick cookware using eco-friendly, PTFE free and PFOA free materials. There are a lot of non-stick pans on the market using new materials that can withstand high cooking temperatures without the potential negative health effects, while still providing the same benefits of a non-stick surface. The newer non-stick pans that don’t leach any unwanted chemicals into your food include ceramic, titanium and enamel coatings.
Ceramic Non-Stick Pans
Ceramic is an inert, non-toxic material. Ceramic cookware does not leach chemicals into your food and doesn’t release toxins into the air. The most convenient feature of ceramic cookware is its non-stick surface. Additional advantages worth mentioning are that it can be used on all types of oven and can go from the refrigerator or freezer, to the oven, and to the dining table. Ceramic pots and pans are safe to use at high temperatures and can be cleaned up quickly. Ceramic pans have an attractive appearance and come in a wide selection of colors, shapes, and sizes.
Use only wooden or silicone utensils on the ceramic surface as metal utensils can scratch the pan.
Popular Brands: WearEver, Ozeri, Bialetti, Xtrema and Imperial Home
Enamel-Coated Cast Iron Pans
Enamel-coated cast iron cookware does not have a leaching problem and has all the advantages of non-stick cookware. It is very easy to maintain and you don’t have to deal with the constant seasoning process. Enamel-coated cast iron pans are very versatile. They can go from the kitchen to the dining table, keeping the food warm. These pans are available in many different colors and look aesthetically pleasing.
However, these pans need special care to ensure that they do not get damaged. If you drop your enamel-coated pan accidentally, there is a risk of damaging it. These pans cannot take very high temperatures (over 470 degrees) like traditional cast iron pans. You cannot use metal utensils on an enamel coated pan or otherwise, you’ll scratch the enamel. Good quality enamel coated cast iron pans are a lot more expensive than ordinary frying pans, and with a good reason.
Popular Brands: Lodge, Cuisinart, Le Creuset, and Staub
Titanium is an extremely strong, scratch-proof, non-porous and non-reactive material. Titanium cookware is safe for cooking with no leached substances added back into your food. The non-stick surface is great for people who are counting calories when cooking. You can actually cook food without using oil or butter. Another nice feature of titanium nonstick pans is that you can just wipe it off with a simple dishcloth. They are convenient for people with arthritis and ideal for campers because of their lightweight.
However, the price is not accessible to everyone.
Popular Brands: Anolon, Woll USA, EVERNEW and Scanpan