PTFE-coated “non-stick” cookware, otherwise known as Teflon cookware has been known to be toxic for high heat cooking. Are you using it?
If that is true, are there any alternatives that are highly rated and good for your health?
When teflon is exposed to very high temperatures, higher than you would normally use for cooking, it can decompose and release fluorine gas, which is intensely toxic. It is dangerous to expose Teflon to an open flame.
Fluropolymers such as polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE) and substances containing polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAs) are commonly used to create conventional non-stick cooking surfaces such as teflon.
What you may not know is there are some safe alternatives that can protect your health in the long run. Here are 5 alternatives to Teflon:
I have added this one to my list!
Ceramic cookware also creates a non-stick cooking surface similar to teflon. It contains no traces of PTFE or PFOA.
Differences Between Ceramic and Ceramic Coated Cookware:
100% ceramic cookware is generally made from clay, minerals and quartz sand. After the shape-forming process, the mixture is hardened by firing to vitrification at about 1915 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ceramic coated cookware is made of a metal such as aluminum that is coated with a hard film of polymer materials with a ceramic appearance. This can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years.
Non Stick- Cast iron when properly seasoned can also be “non-stick” . Cooking with cast iron has the advantage that you can cook with it on very hot wood stoves or out on fire-pit griddle.
Durable- There is a reason why you see 75-year-old cast iron pans kicking around at yard sales and antique shops…. they are durable! Use it to make pizza or bread right in your oven.
Holds Heat Well – Another advantage of cast iron is it’s ability to retain heat. Once it’s hot, it stays hot which why dutch ovens are so popular in cast iron.
Read more of 7 myths about cast iron that need to go away here
Consider these tips:
From Nurished Kitchen.com
Enameled cast iron is doesn’t leach. While I use my regular cast iron skillet for many different foods, I avoid using it for acidic foods like chili and tomato sauces as acidic foods can potentially damage cast iron’s seasoning and potentially leach iron and other metals into the food I prepare. This, of course, isn’t a problem with enameled cast iron.
Essential Enameled Cast Iron Pieces
- Dutch Oven: You can use a Dutch (or French) oven for soups, stews, homemade broths, braised meats and even baking artisan-style bread. Find an enameled cast iron Dutch Oven here and here.
- Braising Dish: I use these wide, shallow lidded pots to make risottos, braised vegetables and for baking, from time to time. Find an enameled cast iron braising dish here.
- Cast Iron Grill Pan: If you can’t grill outdoors, a grill pan is super convenient to have. This is the one I use in my kitchen
- Enameled Cast Iron Wok. Heavy and sturdy, I use a cast iron wok for stirfries and for frying. Find one here.
- Enameled Cast Iron Baking Dish. I use this dish for roasting and baking. Find one here.
It stays hot outside the oven longer- Glass is a poor conductor of heat, but it also distributes heat more evenly. So, it doesn’t pick up heat well, but once a glass pan is hot, it will stay warm much longer outside of the oven. For casseroles and pies when you set them on the table, the dish will stay warmer for longer.
- Glass pans should never be used to broil foods because the glass may shatter. Glass pans shouldn’t ever be used on direct high-heat cooking situations, like on the stovetop.
- Pyrex or glass cookware can be harder to clean when you burn stuff on.
Similar to ceramic, stonewear is a non-toxic alternative that is usually made from a combination of crushed stone and a PTFE-free coating. You can achieve similar results to teflon with stoneware.
Stoneware can withstand heat – During its production process, stoneware is heated to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. It is capable of easily withstanding the highest heat level your home oven can generate.
Stoneware holds heat well, distributing it evenly. Because stoneware retains heat well, it continues to cook after the food is taken out of the oven. This is important to know for cookies for example.
Some (some) stoneware can contain lead, which releases toxins into food, so check the manufacturer’s specifications before buying to make sure the brand you choose is lead free.
About stainless steel:
Stainless Steel Is Durable—You are not going to see this cookware peel or chip or more importantly, vaporize as do nonstick pans.
Stainless Steel is Aluminum-free. However, unlike ceramic, enamel and earthenware pots, stainless steel is mildly reactive, which means that some of its nickel and chromium leaches into your food as it cooks. That is a negative for steel cookware.
Stainless is not a good heat conductor, a sheet of aluminum or copper is often sandwiched between the stainless steel to enhance its heat-conductivity.
Stainless steel cookware is excellent for braising, frying, sautéing, steaming, simmering, boiling and parboiling.
Enjoy cooking! There are some great alternatives to pick from