Teflon non-stick pots and pans are one of a kind but the question is, how to use Teflon nonstick safely? Most people prefer to get cookware these days that are non-stick as this type of cookware brings a lot of ease in cooking and is easy to clean as well, but some people fail to take care of such utensils as required which results in a great decrease in their durability.
Related: Ceramic vs Teflon Cookware
What is Teflon non-stick?
Teflon is DuPont Company’s registered trademark for a material, sold as Teflon, used to make cookware coatings, and can be found on many pots and pans today.
The chemical name for the commonly known Teflon is polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). DuPont developed the material in 1938.
In 1954 Teflon was introduced to the market in a heat-resistant nonstick coating that allowed it to be used for cooking and baking. It was registered as a trademark in the US that same year.
Since its invention, Teflon has been applied to other products such as hairdryers and ironing board covers, but it’s most known for use on cookware like frying pans, oven-safe dishes, and bakeware.
Unlike PFOA and PTFO, the chemical PTFE is inert, so it’s considered safe. In fact, the FDA has approved its use on cookware in 1959 and allows food to be cooked on Teflon up to temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
What to avoid using Teflon coated cookware?
Teflon is a synthetic compound, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is used to make the non-stick coating on cookware.
Cookware manufacturers add PTFE to cookware items in order to reduce the amount of time and effort required for cleaning. Food usually doesn’t stick so after cooking you just need to wipe it away for most dishes.
The problem with PTFE Teflon is that it can release dangerous chemicals if the pan gets too hot (over 550F) or if some of the non-stick coatings are chipped off.
If the coating is damaged, polymer fume fever may occur in people who are using non-stick pans for cooking or heating food.
The fumes released can be inhaled which may cause flu-like symptoms (headache, nausea, etc.) within 1 to 5 hours of exposure.
- To avoid any health issues caused by overheating the pans, you should use metal utensils like wooden spoons in order to reduce the risk of dipping or chipping off any part of the non-stick coating.
- Another alternative is to use anodized aluminum cookware which evenly distributes heat and does not release toxic fumes when overheated.
- You should also avoid using Teflon-coated cookware for deep frying as it increases the chances of the non-stick coating getting damaged.
- If you must use it, make sure you don’t heat the oil above 550 degrees F (for that matter, use an infrared thermometer gun to keep track of the temperature).
- Also, avoid using Teflon-coated cookware in an oven as it can release toxic gases at high temperatures.
How to use Teflon nonstick safely?
To use a Teflon non-stick utensil safely, you need to do the following:
- Use the soft side of a sponge when cleaning a Teflon non-stick utensil.
- Use a cooking spray before cooking instead of oil or butter.
- Do not use steel spoons to cook in your non-stick utensils. If you use wooden or silicon spoon and spatulas your Teflon non-stick utensils will become scratch resistant.
- Do not cook food on a Teflon non-stick utensil on high heat.
- Keep a gentle hand when cooking or cleaning.
Is Teflon dangerous for health?
Many people assume that Teflon is dangerous for health because it is a synthetic chemical called PTFE. Previously Teflon was made using a product called PFOA which causes serious health issues, but Teflon is now free from PFOA since 2013.
If the cooking temperature does not exceed 570-degree Fahrenheit then Teflon is not at all dangerous to anyone’s health. Teflon brings nothing but convenience into your everyday life so investing on a Teflon cookware would be a nice option. However, if the temperature exceeds 570-degree Fahrenheit then the Teflon non-stick coating starts to wear out with also releasing toxic substances which when consumed or mixed with the food can cause some serious health issues.
How to care for Teflon nonstick?
To take care for your Teflon non-stick cookware, follow the below mentioned points:
- Wash your Teflon non-stick utensils with hot water before every use. This will eliminate any residue and dirt or dirt and make sure to hand wash them.
- Do not fill your Teflon non-stick utensils with oil or butter, a little goes a very long way.
- Do not store any leftover food in your Teflon non-stick cookware utensils as it can cause damage to the coating.
- Make a separate space for you Teflon non-stick utensils and make sure to not stack them on top of each other. Stacking up to store space can also cause damage to the non-stick coating and makes scratches appear.
- Do not cook with your Teflon non-stick utensils at extreme temperatures and carefully follow the instructions given with each Teflon non-stick utensil.