What Are The Best Materials For Non-Toxic Cookware?
Cookware and bakeware are essential parts of any kitchen. Considering that cookware is directly used for the preparation of food that we consume, it is imperative to consider the factors such as safety and durability. Recently, there has been much debate about the harms of chemicals used in nonstick cookware. This group of industrial chemicals is called per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
This chemical is mainly found in the slick coating that is present over materials like Teflon. As per studies, an excessive level of exposure to these chemicals has proven to be the cause of certain cancers, reproductive issues, and hormone disruption. In this article, we will look at different materials that are used in the manufacturing of non-toxic cookware, such as ceramics, silicone, and stainless steel.
What Do We Mean By Non-Toxic?
While there is no legally binding definition for non-toxic cookware, we can use this term to refer to any tool used in the kitchen that is directly involved in cooking food. It may also refer to materials made without the chemical PFAS. You must know how the materials react with food. By doing so, you’ll be able to decide for yourself what you consider safe cookware and non-toxic bakeware. Many brands have started highlighting their products as “non-toxic cookware” for marketing purposes. This requires you to be extra vigilant about the material when buying cookware for your kitchen.
Best Materials For Non-Toxic Cookware
After the ban on polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) in Teflon products, the company started using perfluorinated substances (PFAS). This material is known to have lesser-known effects than its predecessor. Still, keeping yourself safe from products made with per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is wise.
Since these materials are directly involved in cooking food, they enter our bodies one way or another. If the nonstick material that you’re using in cooking is not made of ceramic, cast iron, or carbon steel, there is a big chance that the material is probably coated with PFAS or Teflon.
Glass is not chemically reactive, making it an inert material. Glass cookware is a good option for non-toxic cooking and baking. It is an oven-friendly material that can handle heat very well. One disadvantage of using glass cookware is that it requires extra care to handle. Plus, it doesn’t distribute heat very well.
Stainless Steel and Carbon Steel
Cookware made of stainless steel and carbon steel is nontoxic and is generally considered safe to cook food. Carbon steel is made from iron and carbon. Another best feature of using this material in cookware is the equal heat distribution while cooking. These materials are durable and can last for many years. Although using heavily salted and acidic foods can cause the leaching of metals in the food, it is in a quantity that is safe to consume.
Cast iron pans are well known for being naturally non-stick when properly seasoned. The material is an excellent conductor of heat and distributes heat very well. Using cast iron is ideal for sautéing, baking, browning, and frying. Some of the safest non-stick pans are manufactured using cast iron. Since cast iron is molded like a single piece of metal, no toxic substances or additives are involved in its manufacturing. This also makes it extremely durable. One of the downsides of using this material is that it may rust if not well-seasoned or well-cleaned for longer periods.
Ceramics are mostly used in the best non-toxic cookware. The cookware made of this material is finished with an inert ceramic coating making the material completely nontoxic. Since pure ceramic is non-toxic, inorganic, and nonreactive, you should look for 100% pure ceramic cookware, not only with ceramic coating. The material is safe to store, easy to clean, and safe to use in the oven and microwave. When buying ceramic cookware, make sure that they don’t have a nonstick coating of PTFE or PFAS.
Thanks to the availability of different materials, you have many of the best non-toxic cookware to choose from. These materials are cheap and easy to clean but you must research the material thoroughly to ensure you buy the best non-toxic cookware for a healthy kitchen.