Is Your Cookware Safe? Avoid Using These Types

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Since I’ve been cooking a lot at home, I feel it’s time to upgrade my cookware. However, I’ve also recently become aware of cookware safety, and it freaked me out to know that the daily cookware I have at home are not considered safe. Unsafe cookware could potentially be harmful one day and lead to all sorts of problems in the future. Therefore, I’m planning to change all my cooking appliances to non-toxic ones since I’ve begun to practise a healthy lifestyle these past few months.

If you are still unaware, non-stick cookware is actually best to be avoided as its coating contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA or C8) or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PFOA & PTFE could leak and get mixed in your cooking, potentially harming you in the future. Among brands that use these substances is Teflon, a trendy brand with non-stick cookware, and I bet that many of you already have at least one in your kitchen, right?

Cookware To Avoid

  • Copper
  • Plastic
  • Non-Stick

Safest Cookware

  • Cast Iron
  • Stainless Steel
  • Ceramic
  • Enamelware
  • Stonewear

1. Cast Iron

Photo by Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

Cast Iron is an alloy of carbon and iron that is moulded like a single piece of metal and is among the safest solutions for cookware. It generally uses no other additives or toxic substances. It surprises me why cast iron isn’t a popular option for cookware in social media as cast iron is very durable and inexpensive. It’s also claimed to be versatile and naturally non-stick. However, it is still possible to leach iron, but a small amount of iron shouldn’t be worrying as iron is naturally found in food.

2. Stainless Steel

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Stainless Steel is one of the most popular cookware we use, but its coating has health concerns. Steel itself is completely non-toxic but what you should worry about is the substance coating it. The usual coats will be either chromium or nickel; however, we can take chromium in small amounts, but nickel is considered harmful to the human body. So, you’ll want to select pots with 18/0 grade on your label, which means it uses chromium coating without nickel. However, it might be rather expensive.

3. Ceramic

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There are 2 types of ceramic cookware actually which are:

  • Ceramic-only cookware
  • Ceramic-coated cookware (normally metal utensil with ceramic coating)

The ceramic-only cookware should be the best option among the two as it’s eco-friendly, entirely non-toxic, and non-reactive. However, there are problems where some may not work on a stovetop, especially an induction one.

On the other hand, ceramic-coated cookware can work on everything since it’s basically a metal utensil covered with a thin layer of ceramic. However, coated cookware often includes synthetic bonding substances, which are not good for health either. In addition, glaze and paint on the ceramic tools which are highly popular now, can also potentially include lead, a highly toxic substance. Hence, ceramic tools are genuinely good as they’re natural and completely non-toxic, but there’s still a risk that they can also do you harm.

4. Enamelware

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Enamel seems to have a huge family; there are so many types with different kinds of names. I came across Porcelain Enamel, Graniteware, and a few others that use the name enamel coating, which is basically the same thing. The difference is the heat conductor, which could be cast iron or a regular metal, is coated with an enamelled ceramic coating or some other similar kind. Modern enamel cookware is both oven and stove ready; it does not contain any widely-known harmful substances but may not be the best cookware. The enamel coating is prone to chipping and not really non-stick and does not hold heat as well enough, so it’s not suited to all kinds of cooking.

5. Stonewear

Photo by Krzysztof Hepner on Unsplash

Stoneware is completely non-toxic and safe to use if it’s of high quality. It heats very evenly, and after several uses, it may create a non-stick finish. A good quality stoneware piece does not absorb odours and can last forever if cared for. However, stoneware can be a little heavy and potentially break or crack. It also may be a bit expensive and might look a little ugly after frequently being used; it will turn dark brown or even splotchy.

I referred to several articles as listed below; however, it seems that all these articles have differing thoughts on which cookware is safest. So, my list above is a combination of cookware that is mentioned to be safe in almost all articles, which is why my list is short. But still, do note that there isn’t any cookware that is 100% safe and perfect.

I can conclude from all the articles that I referred to that the safest way to cook is by constantly changing your type of cookware for your daily cooking. It doesn’t mean you have to keep buying pots and pans frequently; what you have to do is own several types of cookware at once. Do not purchase a whole set of the same cookware; instead, buy different pots of different types like a cast iron frying pan and a ceramic pot, then switch to using these pots in your daily cooking.

Surimoden is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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Author: Surimoden

Sharings of a modern housewife