Is Nonstick Cookware Safe To Use? (Everything You Need To Know)

Whether you are a professional chef or not, you probably know the value of nonstick cookware. Many people like this type of cookware because of its coating that makes cleaning them super easy. Nonstick cookware allows you to cook food with just a little bit of oil. To your surprise, the food will not stick even if you use less oil.

However, the debate comes on the safety of using nonstick cookware. This brings us to the question, is nonstick cookware safe to use? There are a lot of misconceptions about the safety of using nonstick cookware. We are here to give you the facts.

What Is Nonstick Cookware

You will get nonstick pans, pots, and saucepans. We can call all these nonstick cookware. This type of cookware is made with a coating that prevents food from sticking when cooking. The coating of the nonstick cookware today is a product of Teflon chemical. This chemical comprises fluorine and carbon.

The Teflon coating in this cookware is made in such a way it gives out a nonstick and also a non-reactive feature. The non-reactive feature gives you one reason to say that the nonstick cookware is safe to use. However, we will get into details about the safety of the nonstick cookware.

Have you ever seen cookware that's very easy to clean? Well, it was most likely nonstick cookware. The coating on the nonstick cookware makes washing cleaning very easy. The fact that the cookware prevents food from sticking on the surface, it implies that there will be no stubborn stains and a sticky mess to deal with.

Nonstick cookware also needs less oil when cooking. This means that cooking with nonstick cookware is healthier. However, the debate about whether the Teflon coating is safe has dominated the nonstick cookware world for a long time. You need to know more about the Teflon chemical to clear these doubts.

Teflon And PFOA:

In the past years, manufacturers used PFOA chemicals to make the nonstick cookware coating. After a lot of research, it was proven that PFOA causes some health issues. Some of the issues that were found associated with this chemical include testicular cancer, infertility, liver disease, and kidney disease.

In the year 2013, all manufacturers seized using PFOA in the production of nonstick cookware. That led to the introduction of Teflon chemical that's free from PFOA in making nonstick cookware. The Teflon coating of the cookware gives a non-reactive response when used for cooking.
This cleared the doubt about the safety of using nonstick cookware a little bit. However, there are still people who believe that nonstick cookware is not safe.

Pros Of Nonstick Cookware:

  • Cleaning: One advantage that nonstick cookware has over all the other cookware kinds is the ease to clean. The coating allows you to clean the cookware easily. This saves the user a lot of energy and time. 
  • Oil: The Teflon coating of the nonstick cookware allows the user to use very little oil when cooking.
  • Easy Cooking: Cooking is made easier by using nonstick cookware. Food like eggs can stick on the pan when cooking. However, if you use a nonstick pan, you can be sure that the eggs will not stick.
  • Lightweight: The coating on the nonstick cookware makes them lightweight. You will not have to deal with very heavy cookware when cooking.

Cons Of Nonstick Cookware:

  • Chipping: When they are new, nonstick cookware is perfect. However, as time goes by, they can start flaking and chipping. The coating can get into the food when this happens.
  • Unsuitable For Very High Temperature: Nonstick cookware is ideal for temperatures up to 350 degrees Celsius. For any temperature above that, it becomes a problem for this cookware. They decompose quickly when exposed to very high temperatures.
  • Less ideal to use with metal utensils.
  • If you use metal utensils with nonstick cookware, it can scratch the coating.

Is Nonstick Cookware Really Safe To Use?

Most people think about the safety of nonstick cookware because of the coating. The Teflon coating can flake or chip with time. What if it gets into my food? What will happen if I swallow flakes from the coating? These are most nonstick users' worries. You should know that nonstick cookware in recent years is manufactured carefully.

The Teflon coating is bond firmly on the cookware to prevent flaking. However, as opposed to the PFOA chemical, the Teflon coating is very safe. This implies that there will be no negative effect or health issues even when an individual swallows it. However, there is an issue in overheating nonstick cookware with a Teflon coating.

At a temperature of 600 degrees, the coating release harmful fumes. However, there is no need to worry. At no point will you cook at a heat level of 600 degrees. No type of food requires such an amount of heat. This implies that you will be on the safe side.

Heat the nonstick cookware at 400 degrees and below, which is ideal for most food types. To ensure that using nonstick cookware is always safe, avoid leaving the cookware on heat without attending to it. If you need to add oil, just to it at the right temperature.

Alternative To Nonstick Cookware

  • Ceramic cookware: This is the newest cookware in the market. It is also nonstick cookware. However, its coating is not a Teflon kind. Its coating chips easily than the Teflon kind.
  • Stainless Steel Cookware: This is an alternative in case you need durable cookware. Stainless steel cookware is scratch-resistant. However, they are not perfect conductors of heat.
  • Stoneware: This cookware works well when seasoned. You are likely not to experience sticky food when you season it. It can sustain very high temperatures.
  • Silicone cookware: This is not direct heat cookware. This is because it is a synthetic rubber product. It is specifically designed for baking.

Frequently Asked Question - FAQs

Q: Do nonstick pots and pans give you cancer?

A: This could be the case in the past years, where the nonstick cookware had PFOA coating. Nowadays, they have a Teflon coating, which is very safe even when swallowed. Therefore, you don't have to worry about cancer when using them now.

Q: What temperature is safe to use with nonstick cookware? 

A: The most dangerous temperature level to use with nonstick cookware is 600 degrees Celsius. However, you will never find food that requires such a heat level. Therefore, the temperature level of 350 degrees and below is the best. With that, you can cook everything you need.

Q: What measures should I take to ensure that using nonstick cookware is always safe?

A: Avoid leaving nonstick cookware on heat without attending to it. Remember that when the temperature reaches 600 degrees, the coating release harmful fumes. In case your nonstick cookware flakes, discard the flakes and chips to prevent it from getting into the food.

References: Today, Healthline

  • Updated October 28, 2020
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