People all over the world like to use non-stick cookware for their daily cooking. The coating in non-stick pans is perfect for frying eggs, tossing sausages, and sauteing vegetables.
Any delicate meal can be prepared without any hassle of sticking to the pan. But there’s a controversy on the safety of using these pans. This blog will give you a thorough explanation of nonstick cookware, its components, risks, health effects, precautions, and answer to the main question: are non-stick pans safe?
What is Nonstick Cookware made of?
Nonstick cookware, such as pots, frying pans, Tawa, and saucepans, is coated with Teflon, also named polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). It’s a chemical made of fluorine and carbon atoms. Teflon has many other applications, like cable coatings, making wire, carpet protectors, waterproof raincoats, etc.
The nonstick surface makes the cookware easy to use and clean. So, it’s a healthy way of cooking food. However, over the last decade, there has been an investigation of the risk related to Teflon’s overheating in the nonstick pans, and are non-stick pans safe?
Risks associated with overheating of nonstick pans
- As per some sources, Teflon is harmful and associated with some serious health issues like cancer. At the same time, others state that cooking in nonstick cookware is safe.
- The other concern of nonstick coating is that it can be flaked off and be taken into the stomach. This can happen with poor-quality pans or those which haven’t been used properly. As harsh use of metal utensils on nonstick cookware will make scratch and damage it before the expiry period.
- But, taking in small flakes of this coating is not perilous. The material will just move through the body.
Tips to Minimize the Risk of Using Nonstick Cookware
Some basic safeties precautions can answer your query on are non-stick pans safe?
- Lubricate the pan with cooking oil or butter before starting to cook. Overheating on empty pans leads to high temperatures within seconds and causes the release of Teflon flu.
- Cooking on non-stick cookware needs low or medium heat and avoids direct exposure to heat. High heat can lead to damages to the coating.
- Always keep space for clearing up smoke and fumes while cooking in nonstick pans. Either turn on your exhaust fans, chimney or simply open the window.
- Metal utensils lead to scratches on the surface and decrease the lifespan of your kitchen utensils.
- Use a gentle dishwasher and sponge for cleaning pots and pans. Avoid scouring pads, which will likely scratch the base.
- Once Teflon coatings start to wear off for excessive peeling, scratching, or flaking, replace them immediately.
- Store your pans properly by hanging spaciously so that they don’t come to be in close contact with you.
- Abstain from cooking acidic foods, like lemon or tomato, in your non-stick cookware, as it may quickly peel off the coat.
- Never keep your food for a longer time in the non-stick pan. The food might grapple with the metallic taste for extended storage.
It can be said undoubtedly that modern non-stick cooking utensils are considered completely safe for everyday cooking purposes at home. But, keep in mind the temperature does not exceed 300°C (570°F).
In the end, Teflon or non-stick cookware is a completely healthy and fastest way of cooking your daily meals without any risks associated with it. There is much more alternative cookware available in the market. In case you feel concerned about any health issues, try them.
For extending the life of your non-stick pan, try to season it at a regular time interval and replace it every 3 to 4 years.