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How Safe of Nonstick Cookware


Home chefs love the convenience of preparing meals using nonstick cookware. Not only do nonstick pans require less use of butter, oil and fat in order for foods to be sautéed or grilled, they also make easy work of clean up afterward. But many consumers have expressed concern about continuing to use nonstick cookware after highly publicized information surfaced that they get low marks when it comes to food safety because they can emit certain toxic chemical substances during the heating process.

It's important to separate fact from fiction when considering the safety of using nonstick cookware in the kitchen. Most experts agree that nonstick pans are perfectly safe to use under certain conditions. Research has shown that the special coating that gives nonstick cookware its wonderful advantages only presents a safety issue if the pan becomes overheated. The compounds contained in the nonstick coating applied to this type of cookware quickly break down and emits fumes when heated past 500°F. Under test circumstances, cheaper quality nonstick cookware tended to reach the point of overheating much more quickly and the coating began to disintegrate much faster than it did in more solidly constructed pans.

Test results revealed important ways that consumers can continue to enjoy the benefits of nonstick cookware without subjecting themselves, family members and pets to toxic fumes. It's not wise to preheat nonstick cookware and the best temperature to keep the pan safe is around the medium range. Only use nonstick cookware in a kitchen with proper ventilation. Nonstick pans are not designed for searing or broiling cuts of meat. Invest in the heaviest quality nonstick cookware you can afford.

It's also important to use the proper utensils when cooking with nonstick cookware. This means no metal forks or spatulas which can scratch the surface of the coating compound, damaging its integrity and leading to chipping and flaking. Wooden utensils are great for nonstick pans. When storing cookware with nonstick surfaces when not in use, avoid stacking them one on top of another to prevent scratching and use a buffer between each such as a clean paper towel. Most pans featuring nonstick coatings can last up to 3 years, but consumers should not hesitate to throw away scratched or old pans and purchase new cookware in order to be reassured that they can cook safely using nonstick pans.





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