HEALTHY COOKWARE FOR SAFE COOKING

 In Home Chefs Club, How Tos

If you care about the quality and kind of food you put inside your body, you should also carefully consider how and what you use to you cook it. Cooking our food is something we do with enough regularity that it can have a significant effect on our health and wellbeing. Non-stick cookware has come under fire for potentially harmful effects that the convenient and easy-to-clean coating could pose to our health. We explore the facts and offer alternatives for a healthier, happier kitchen. 

Is non-stick cookware bad? 

Non-stick cookware has made cooking and clean-up faster and easier than ever, all thanks to a coating called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) also known as Teflon. Food slides off its surface with little or no oil or fat and slides off just as easily when it comes to washing. 

So what’s the fuss all about? Prior to 2013, non-stick or Teflon coatings when exposed to heat, became a source of PFOA. PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid, is a long-chain chemical compound linked to a range of pretty serious health problems. Read more about that here

Health agencies raised concerns about the compound PFOA, which was previously used to make Teflon. However, Teflon has been PFOA-free since 2013. Today’s nonstick and Teflon cookware is considered safe for everyday home cooking, as long as temperatures do not exceed 260°C

Should you stop using your non-stick cookware? 

The short answer is no, but you could consider changing your cooking habits. It can be tempting to cook with non-stick every day as there is no question it is easy to cook and even easier to clean. Try your best to minimise their use and reduce possible exposure to potentially harmful chemicals by using them sparingly for specific ‘sticky’ cooking jobs like eggs, or pancakes and make use of other safe cookware options for the rest. Be careful not to overheat non-stick pots and pans above 260°C as that is when PFOA can be released.

Here’s how to use non-stick safely and responsibly: 

  • Check that the brands you are buying are confirmed PFOA-free (AMT Gastroguss & SMEG are certified PFOA-free up to 240°C)
  • Use non-scratch utensils
  • Do not allow your pots & pans to overheat (over 260°)
  • Get rid of any items where the coating is scratched, chipped or peeling

What are safe cookware materials? 

Ceramic

After Teflon, the most nonstick option is ceramic cookware. Greenpan offers an extremely durable non-stick ceramic coating that is completely PTFE-free, paired with an extra thick forged base for even heat distribution and stability on the hob. 

Shop the Greenpan range> 

Cast Iron

Cast iron is another cookware material that develops a natural nonstick coating over time, especially if you season it well and care for it properly. If bare cast iron feels too intimidating for you, the Le Creuset enamel-coated cast iron cookware range is iconic for its enduring style, durable nature and reliable cooking abilities. Its durable, nonreactive interior enamel does not produce any harmful chemicals and its cast iron core offers even heat distribution and superior heat retention, making it versatile for both stove top and oven use. If properly cared for, cast iron cookware can last a lifetime. 

Shop the Le Creuset range> 

On a budget? Discover the @home cast iron range> 

Stainless Steel 

One of the most popular cookware materials that has been used without issues for decades, stainless steel is durable and reliable. Its classic look is also a kitchen staple that transcends cookware fads and trends.

The Zwilling stainless steel range has a lifetime guarantee and is made from high-quality 18/10 stainless steel. 

The Baccarat Iconix range is made from quality 18/10 stainless steel and each piece includes an easy-view tempered glass lid. Find out more about the Baccarat cookware range here.

The @home range offers affordable and high-quality stainless steel pieces to build your cooking collection.

Glass & Ceramic Bakeware

Sure it takes a little more time to clean, but glass and ceramic bakeware is the perfect choice for pies and tarts as well as roasting veggies and meats. A warm water soapy soak is all it takes to melt away the mess. 

Glass baking dishes are a wonderful, safe cooking option. Pyrex dishes are made from borosilicate glass which is oven resistant up to 300°C. The options with lids are also easy and convenient as your dish can go from oven to freezer (once cooled) for convenient storage. 

This Le Creuset baking dish is the perfect choice for sheet bakes and one-tray meals.

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