Should we stick with nonstick?
Non-stick utensils are widely used, yet controversial. They are easy to maintain and reduce our oil consumption.There is no harm in using them if we use them properly. The coating which make them free from sticking are of two types: Teflon and Ceramic coating.
Teflon coating contains some toxic chemicals which can seriously damage our health. Earlier Teflon was used to make these utensils but nowadays a mixture of titanium and ceramic is used. Perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) is released when nonstick cookware are overheated. It’s fumes are harmful for humans and pet birds. The popular name for PTFE is Teflon, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer used for making various products including non-stick coatings. The number and thickness of the layers of PTFE sprayed or rolled on along with the quality of the material determine the quality of the non-stick utensils. The more the layers of PTFE the better it is.
Some precautions should be taken when we use this type of coating pans as environmental toxicologist suggest that 500 degree is the maximum for cook the fluoropolymers.
- Don’t cook on high temperature .
- Ventilate your kitchen. When cooking, turn on the exhaust fan, and open windows.
- Don’t roast, it takes time to roast that adds harmful chemicals in the food.
- Choose a heavier nonstick pan. Lightweight pans generally heat up fastest.
- Do not use if pan is chipped or flaked.
- Avoid chipping or damaging the pan, to prevent scratching, use wooden spoons to stir food, avoid steel wool, and don’t stack these pans. (If you do, put a paper towel liner between them).
- After three or four years change the pan.
- Do not over heat or preheat pan else they starts emitting harmful gases.
Now ceramic coated pan also easily available, they are PFOA and Teflon free. They are more resistant to scratches and have good heat resistance too. Chemically, ceramic coating is not as harmful as Teflon coating. Same precautions are advised for ceramic coated utensils as are for Teflon coating while cleaning. As a rule of thumb, scrubbing is bad for any coating.
I like the new ceramic-coated pans. I think they’re safer than the earlier non-stick pans. With these precautions in mind, enjoy cooking in your non-stick cookware.