Most people are known to spend lots of time considering what they want to eat. It is clear that cooking meals provide us with control over healthfulness of ingredients found in our foods. What about the impact of cookware on the safety of what we eat? How healthy is the cookware we use?
It does not matter the amount of effort we put in choosing produce and other types of ingredients. There can be devastating effects when you fail to use your cookware properly or use a wrong cookware,
For you to choose safe cookware and use it properly, you need to properly educate yourself about all the available products. This can be a tiresome task considering the several varieties available in the market.
In this guide, we will answer your questions regarding the safest cookware.
How safe is Stainless Steel Cookware?
Stainless steel is a must have in any kitchen when it comes to baking, sautéing and boiling. It is the most popular choice for most professional chefs across the globe. Stainless steel is 100% non-toxic metal and retains heat which results in fast baking and cooking.
Stainless steel is capable of withstanding high heats making it an excellent cookware for crisping and browning. Provided the stainless steel pans and pots do not have plastic handles, they can move from stovetop to oven to help keep the dishes warm or brown the top of a dish with the broiler. One should keep in mind the stainless steel pans and pots are no nonstick element and one should use the right amount of butter, oil or lard to help keep food from sticking on the pan. Burning or overheating oil in the stainless steel will not damage your cookware but can be harmful to your health. Getting the right oil for your stainless steel cookware is imperative to your well being.
Cleanliness is another health consideration with stainless steel. When scrubbing the pans using steel wool, you will prevent oil layers from accumulating on the surface making it easier to burn oil and food on stainless steel cookware.
Is Aluminum Cookware safe?
Most people are known to prefer using aluminum cookware thanks to their aesthetic, lightweight and affordability features. Aluminum cookware resembles the stainless steel but is far less expensive and lighter in weight.
Unlike the stainless steel, aluminum can get leached onto food having adverse effects on human health when taken in higher amounts. Humans get exposed to aluminum from different sources. There are individuals who remove aluminum without experiencing any side effects. For instance, in the US, aluminum is considered to be a toxic substance which can have a detrimental effect on the immune, nervous and genetic systems.
Despite aluminum cookware not being banned by FDA, it does leach into very basic or acidic food products. It means cooking food containing substance like tomato sauce in an aluminum pan, pot or baking dish increasing levels aluminum you are consuming. Aluminum is a reactive metal while basic and acidic foods are corrosive.
How safe is Unprotected Copper Cookware?
Copper is an essential mineral like iron. With a healthy diet supplying plenty of copper, excess copper levels in the body can be toxic. Several types of foods can react with unprotected copper cookware leaching copper onto the food. Copper cookware protected with stainless steel coating is subjected to same issues as stainless steel cookware.
Is using Teflon Cookware safe?
There has been an ongoing debate on nonstick cookware for decades now. Despite several reports claiming Teflon cookware is harmless; studies have revealed Teflon to be toxic. EPA previously requested firms to phase out some of the chemicals in Teflon formation due to health concerns while there have been advise on avoiding Teflon cookware.
Nonstick cookware is aluminum coated with polytetrafluoroethylene also referred to as Teflon.
Is Cast Iron Cookware Safe?
Cast iron cookware has managed to withstand the test of time. It can last for a lifetime if well taken care of and is a naturally seasoned nonstick option when properly seasoned. However, there are a few controversies surrounding cast iron cookware healthfulness. With human bodies benefitting from smaller iron doses, nondigestible iron can be leached off into cooked in the cast iron pans.
Like their counterparts aluminum, cast iron is also a reactive metal. Basic and acidic foods should never be cooked in cast iron cookware on a regular basis since they can easily react and leach into food. Basic and acidic foods can also break down the hard-earned nonstick patina that anyone would wish to have in order to prevent iron from leaching.
Apart from the leaching issue, preparing food in cast iron cookware requires the use of butter, lard or oil to help develop and maintain patina in the cookware. Patina maintenance involves ensuring not too little or excess build up on the pan. Excess oil or lard build up can spoil cast iron cookware which results in exposure to bacteria. Low levels of patina can result in the cast iron being exposed to water and water vapor resulting in rust spots.
Rust spots or spoiled oil in the cast iron cookware should never be an end of your favorite pan or pot.
Is cooking in Ceramic Cookware safe?
Despite ceramic cookware being safe, it is advisable for one to do some research before buying. It is recommended that one goes for brands with zero lead content and avoid ceramics with their inside colored glaze since these colors contain toxic chemicals. There are ceramic glazes that contain lead and can wear down over time when used on a frequent basis. Always wash them by hand and never try using them to cook acidic foods which can easily damage the glaze.
Ceramic Cookware is right for anyone who is not ready to make the leap to cast iron and is prepared to handle the cookware with care to avoid chipping.
Read about the Best Multi Cooker Reviews.
How safe is Glass Cookware?
Most people prefer using glass cookware despite being a tough one to find. Glass will never leach any metals or chemicals into your food. However, it is very heavy and glass is glass, it can experience cracks, breaks or chips anytime. In extreme situations, glass cookware can explode.
Do you love watching things are you cook or you are afraid of high sensitive metals or potential chemicals? Glass cookware is the best choice for you. They are awesome of soups and teas. One has to be mindful of how they store the glass cookware to avoid cracking or chipping.
Is Porcelain Enamel safe?
Enamel refers to a form of glass. Enameled cookware refers to cast iron consisting of enamel coating. It is a wonderful type of cookware that is non-toxic and great to use for cooking. There are people who are worried by the presence of lead in the porcelain enamel cookware since the enamel coating is made from clay which is capable of leaching lead.
Induction Vs Non-Induction Cookware
Induction and non-induction cookware differ in the way they generate heat responsible for cooking your food. Induction cookware is cold to the touch even when they are on making them safer to use especially when you have kids at home.
However, the non-induction cookware is considered to be a major source of serious burns and not advisable for use in a home with kids or lots of precaution should be put in place when using them.
Non-induction cookware use stove top heating elements that comprise of nichrome heating element wire which is embedded in the porcelain insulation. The wire encased in the element is placed inside a hollow iron coil. The generated heat is thereafter transferred to the iron coil which heats up. The heat is then transferred by conduction to the pot.
Induction cookware uses an electromagnetic field. The electromagnet induces heat which generates eddy currents in ferromagnetic stainless steel pots, iron pots, and ferromagnetic pots. Eddy currents flowing beneath the pot generates heat that helps in cooking the food. The stove top made of non-ferromagnetic materials remains cool to the touch. Unlike non-induction cookware, induction cookware only works with stainless steel or iron pots. The non-ferromagnetic materials consist of materials that lack steel or iron in their composition such as bronze, aluminum or copper.