Is Non-Stick Cookware Safe?
I am sure you are hard pressed to find few homes in the US, Europe or Asia that don’t have atleast one non-stick pan in their kitchen. Most homes are more likely to have a full set of non-stick cookware. The reason of course, the ease of use, non-stick surface that prevents food from sticking and cleaning non-stick cookware is a snap. But, with all these advantages there is one question to be asked, is non-stick cookware safe?
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What is Non-Stick Cookware?
Non-stick cookware generally starts with an aluminum pan, or other similar light-weight metal. The pan is then coated with a non-stick surface. The two most popular non-stick materials used today are polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), or more commonly known as Teflon. The other popular non-stick cookware surface is PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid).
If you are concerned about the health risks of non-stick cookware coated with PTFE or PFOA, some of the cookware manufacturers, such as Cuisinart, offer a line of non-stick cookware made of a ceeamic-bsed natural substances that do not cause any known health risks. Cuisinart GreenGourmet is FTFE and PFOA-free.
How to Use Non-Stick Cookware Safely?
If you are using a Teflon® coated pan, the stove top setting should never go above Medium, or if used in an oven the temperature should not go above 350° F. If used under normal conditions and all manufacturers instructions for use and cleaning are followed, you should have years of worry free use of your non-stick cookware.
Non-stick cookware is designed for use in low to medium heat, and should never be used over 350° Fahrenheit. If the pans are used above 350degrees Fahrenheit, or you forget about the pan on the stove and you come back to a charred, burnt mess, it is best to throw the non-stick pan away. PTFE and PFOA, the most popular non-stick pan coatings begin to break down, and can leach potentially dangerous chemicals into your food. If a PFOA or PTFE coated non-stick pan is used above 350 degrees F, or is scratched, the pan should be thrown away. Even a scratched, chipped or flaking non-stick pan used under normal conditions can still be dangerous, as chemicals known to cause health risks can be absorbed into the food.
Non-Stick Cookware without PFOA or PTFE
The Ceramica® non-stick coating on the Cuisinart GreenGourmet non-stick cookware does not contain PFOA or PTFE, and can be used up to 500° F in the oven or broiler. That means that food cooked in this non-stick cookware will not absorb any dangerous chemicals. As with other non-stick cookware, if the Ceramica® surface is damaged, cracked or chipped, the manufacturer recommends that you discard the pan. We have used Teflon coated non-stick pans, as a matter of fact our first non-stick cookware set was an Analon when we got married. When we replaced it after 15 years, and learning of the risks of PTFE and PFOA, we selected the Cuisinart non-stick cookware nearly a year ago and have been very happy with our choice. Unlike other non-stick cookware, we can use it on the stove, in the oven up to 500° F and it can even go in the broiler.