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How to Use Nonstick Cookware Safely


Today, nonstick cookware is a popular choice in most households from easier to cook and cleanup. Most nonstick cookware is made with fluoropolymer likes Teflon, PTFE and PFOA. As the chemicals in involved in the process of manufacturing nonstick cookware, it raises some concerns of possibly health hazards from food safety and toxin fumes, which cause the bird-flu like symptoms in human.

Should we quite from nonstick? Take it for the real world, Teflon has been using for over 40 years worldwide, while only there’re only few reports of severe abnormalities effected from the chemicals. Moreover, after scientific tests, the FDA and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission ensured the safety of uses under the appropriate conditions. Or, this means you can use it safely as long as you use it properly. These are some essential guidelines for any nonstick cooking surfaces:

  1. DO NOT cook on high heat, especially over 500°F. For nonstick lovers, the proper temperature is the key. This advice is hard for some cooks to follow. Dupont, which owns the trademark name Teflon, maintains that it’s not dangerous to heat Teflon pans on high, but that it can damage the cookware and that is the reason for the recommendation to use low and medium heat settings only. There has only been one reported case of a human being suffering flu-like symptoms after using a nonstick pan that was severely overheated. In all likelihood, for normal nonstick, over the medium temperature is possibly dangerous.

  2. DO NOT preheat an empty pan. This can cause the pan to heat up too quickly and it will ruin the surface. Moreover, if oils or fats begin smoking, it means the temperature exceeds the safe levels.

  3. DO NOT use metal utensils. Unless otherwise indicated, metal tools are disallowed. Metal can easily chip or scratch the nonstick surface, which may leave flakes of the coating in the pan or allow chemicals to be released. Always use plastic or silicone utensils in nonstick cookware. If a nonstick pan becomes damaged or scratched, stop using it and throw it away.

  4. Look for hefty pans. To tell the truth, this is a common rule for choosing any cookware. The more quality, the longer heat up which reduces the risk of overheating.

  5. Hand wash with mild detergent. Keeping away from harsh detergents and abrasive scrubber. Also, most nonstick is not for dishwasher.

  6. Ventilate your kitchen when cooking. Even if you don’t think you need to turn your exhaust fan on because of cooking smells, turn it on to clear the air.

  7. 5 years replacement. Expert recommends replacing your nonstick pan every 3-5 years after using. Remember, whether your nonstick cookware is cheap or expensive, it has exact lifetime, which comparatively shorter than metal cookware.

For the peace of mind, you might also consider choosing cookware that doesn’t contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), such as stainless steel or cast iron. If you really prefer nonstick, “green” nonstick pans are available. These are usually coated with ceramic and contain no PFOA. Learn more about safe materials.





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