By now, most of us are aware of the harm that can be caused by certain types of cookware. Many non-stick varieties contain toxic chemicals that have been chipping off into our food and making its way into our bodies. If you are looking for a non-toxic, chemical-free alternative to your non-stick pans, here are three types of cookware that you should try out this year.
Ceramic coated cookware is a fantastic alternative to the typical non-stick varieties. Ceramic is more non-stick than stainless steel and it won’t chip off into your food. Under the ceramic coating is usually a metal like aluminum or stainless steel. The surface is made up of a few layers of the non-stick coating. You can have a set of ceramic coated cookware for years if you treat it right.
While most cookware that is advertised as ceramic is actually the ceramic coated variety, there are cookware sets that are made of pure ceramic with zero chemicals included. They are made of natural clay that has been kiln baked. Pure ceramic cookware will hold up its quality for around three to five years before it starts its natural degradation.
Cooks praise ceramic cookware for its efficient and quick heat transfer abilities. This essentially makes it easier to heat a larger volume of food for less energy. Pure ceramic also retains heat in its walls, allowing the food to keep warm long after the heat has been turned off.
Ceramic cookware is also non-reactive. Metals like aluminum and copper are known to be reactive. This means that there is a risk of your food tasting metallic or becoming discolored due to the reaction. Non-reactive cookware gives your food a cleaner and healthier taste and smell due to the lack of metal interference. Moreover, the non-reactivity is maintained at both high and low temperatures.
Additionally, ceramic sets are easy to clean. Because they are non-stick, food particles tend to release easily when washed. Use warm soap and water to handwash your ceramic pots and pans. Avoid using steel wool on the ceramic coated variety for best results.
Stainless steel pans are a popular choice for chemical free cookware due to their durability. They share similar non-reactive qualities to their ceramic counterparts, but with the added benefit of being sturdier. Stainless steel is an iron alloy that contains minimal quantities of chromium and nickel which helps make steel pans durable. Stainless steel pans are resistant to corrosion, scratches and dents and can withstand high temperatures.
One thing to consider when purchasing stainless steel pans is your cooking ability. Stainless steel pans can be difficult to master if you are a novice at cooking. This is due to stainless steel being a poor conductor of heat. This, however, is combated by the addition of copper or aluminum bottoms. This inclusion greatly improves the heat transfer properties of the pan and helps your food to cook more evenly. You also have to be careful about greasing your pan and keeping the heat off high to ensure that your food doesn’t stick or burn. If you are set on something more non-stick, try ceramic coated instead.
A major pro to getting stainless steel pans is the cost. These pans come in a range of price points for any budget. If you are working with a tight budget, you can rest assured that even some of the lower priced steel pan sets are going to function well and be highly durable.
Cast iron pans may not be the most cost-effective option on this list, but if you decide to invest in one, it could last you a lifetime. This type of cookware is made from primarily iron with a small amount of carbon. They are naturally nonstick when seasoned properly and are great conductors of heat. Unlike stainless steel pans, a cast iron pan will evenly distribute the heat and can tolerate a much higher temperature.
The one major con other then the price is that they do require a certain level of maintenance. You must take extra care during the washing process to ensure the outer coating is protected. You have to avoid harsh scrubbing and opt instead for a coarse salt to help loosen stains. Then when it comes to drying your pan, you cannot do a standard air dry. You pan needs to be placed in a 350-degree oven for a few minutes until it is completely dry. You do not want to towel or air dry due to the risk of the pan rusting.
If you are concerned about your non-stick cookware, now is the time to swap it out for a safer option. The risk to your health isn’t worth it when there are so many fantastic alternatives on the market. Try out one of these three cookware options in 2022.