This brief article is designed to provide a basic primer on toxic cookware appliances. The first section will cover toxic cookware that should be avoided. The second section will cover nontoxic cookware alternatives.
Many decades ago, scientists developed synthetic chemicals that could be applied to cooking appliances and make them non-stick. The issue was that these chemicals were linked to serious health problems. PFAS and similar PFOA chemicals are toxic and many health advocates suggest you steer clear of any non-stick appliances that have these chemicals.
The popularity of these non-stick surfaces was that food such as eggs were incredibly easy to make. The downside was the aforementioned health concerns.
Nontoxic Cookware Choices
Cast Iron and Stainless Steel Is Acceptable
Two types of appliances that are not toxic are cast iron and stainless steel. The reason that non-stick became more popular than these tried and true materials is that non-stick is much easier to cook with.
Stainless steel is great for making soups or boiling water for pasta or rice, but it is very difficult to use when frying. Copious amounts of oil or butter need to be added to the pans to make them non-stick.
Cast iron is a great material but it does require a significant amount of maintenance. Cast iron requires something called seasoning. The seasoning process is in and of itself a complicated and time-consuming ordeal that many modern cooks wish to avoid.
Seasoning involves heating the pan with a light coating of oil until the oil has chemically bonded to the surface of the pan. It's done to give the pan a non-stick like coating and prevent the iron from rusting.
There are cast iron pans that come pre-seasoned. These models have been pre-seasoned and are ready to use right away.
Heat Proof Glass
Another great choice for healthy non-toxic cooking materials is heatproof glass. These are not only safe but visually interesting. They are made from strong, heat resistant glass that can withstand high temperatures. Like stainless steel, these are not naturally non-stick and they require the use of oil or butter when frying food.
Non-Stick and Nontoxic Coated Ceramic
A final option to consider is non-stick coated ceramic appliances. These have a coating that is both non-stick and also nontoxic. They have been developed to be made with chemicals that are not linked to the hazardous health hazards of the earlier generation non-stick pans.
For more information, contact a nontoxic cookware provider.