Non-stick cookware is a regular feature in the kitchen of a modern household. Non-stick simply means the kind of vessel in which food doesn’t stick to the surface, making it possible to cook without oil, and makes cleaning a very easy task. If you happen to be an inexperienced cook, non-stick cookware is the way to go for you. To achieve that smooth non-stick surface, there are several ways. The very first non-stick pans and vessels used to be infamous for using toxic materials to achieve the non-stick surface, but the marvels of modern science have made it possible to now have non-stick cookware free of any toxins and harmful substances. Let’s take a look at the types of materials used to make non-stick vessels.
PTFE Non-Stick Cookware:
This is the classic type of non-stick cookware. Whenever someone mentions these types of utensils, the first mental image you probably get is of a PTFE non-stick pan which has been around for ages. These are made from Teflon, which is safe unless it is overheated. When heated at above 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the recommended temperature to cook under, a Teflon surface releases harmful fumes that are even more harmful to birds. So if you have any pet birds, do not use Teflon vessels and pans.
Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware:
Moving on from the risky Teflon and PTFE utensils, Ceramic is a rather newer and safer option when it comes to the best non-stick cookware. The cooking surface is coated with ceramic which is PTFE and PFOA free. It is also an environmentally friendly option to consider. There is a lot of speculation that says that ceramic cookware can have a short life, but when taken care of properly, it can last long too. One such tip to increase the life of your ceramic utensil is to carefully clean the cooking oil after use because when it is built up, it can damage the surface sooner than expected.
Hard anodized pans are made from aluminum which makes them way cheaper than other Teflon branded pans. Anodization is a process where the aluminum pan is oxidized intentionally and the hard layer of rust makes it more durable, and also non-stick. They are as hard as stainless steel pans, but with the added advantage of being smooth and non-stick. Compared to cast iron or stainless steel, the pans are cost-effective, but it is important to be careful of what you cook in it because aluminum can be highly reactive.
An oddball on this list, silicone bakeware is a kind of nonstick cookware set which is ideal for baking all kinds of goods. One thing that is a headache when baking is the sticking of the food from the surface. This is remedied by baking sprays, but with silicone cookware, you don’t need to add anything to the surface to make it less sticky.
Disadvantages of Non-Stick Cookware:
Non-stick cookware isn’t the best to use against high heat. When you have to cook something that requires high heat, non-stick cookware can be a fuss to handle, and the cooking surface can be vulnerable to damage. It is also not ideal to make a surface crunchy. For example, if you want to make pancakes, or dosas, for them to have a crispy surface, non-stick pans are not ideal. Most non-stick surfaces can release PFOA or C8 which are harmful chemicals for the human body. To avoid this, one must cook within the guidelines given by the manufacturer.