Non-stick cookware has become really popular since its introduction to the masses. It’s very likely that we are using this cookware in our homes for daily cooking. Women love to use non-stick cookware because it’s easy to clean and food doesn’t stick to the pans or pots, which makes cooking a lot easier. But despite of all its advantages, people are skeptical about the safety of using non-stick cookware and they have got all the rights to be, since the cookware is made of substances that may become toxic!
You shouldn’t worry though; non-stick cookware is safe when it’s used within a certain limit. Keep reading to find out more.
What is Non-Stick Cookware Made of?
There is a special coating on the non-stick cookware which makes it different from normal cookware and it’s also the reason why food doesn’t stick to it. There are different formulas that can be used to make the coating but Teflon is most commonly used. The chemical name of this compound is Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), accidentally discovered in 1938 and it has been in use since the 1940s. When Teflon is heated at a temperature that makes it decompose, it will release different compounds that contain fluorine. These compounds are generally toxic and aren’t good for our health.
Temperature is the Key to Safety
If you want to be on the safer side, you just have to make sure that you don’t use non-stick cookware if you’re cooking at high temperatures. The maximum recommended temperature that shouldn’t be exceeded while using non-stick cookware is 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything higher than this temperature will make Teflon decompose. Therefore, it’s recommended that you stay on the safer side and keep the temperature well within this range.
You might unknowingly swallow a small piece of the coating if your cookware is flaking. However, it’s not anything dangerous. A small particle of the coating will pass through your body without being absorbed and it won’t inflict any adverse effect on your health. If your cookware is damaged or flaking, you should better not use it just to be cautious. Non-stick cookware generally last 3 to 5 years but you should throw it out whenever you feel it’s damaged.
Another concern that people may have is the exposure to PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) due to non-stick cookware. It’s an outdated concern and it has been found that during manufacturing, the PFOA is driven off.
All in all, using non-stick cookware is safe if you’re using it properly. Just make sure that you don’t exceed the temperatures that decompose Teflon and you’re all good. Preheating the cookware raises the temperature very quickly and it can reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit within 2 to 5 minutes, so beware of that.