What are the best cookware materials that can be used in kitchen??Why to go for the best cookware materials?Are we using toxic cookwares in our kitchen? All these are answered in today’s post.
Now a days all are running after organic foods. But have you ever thought of utensils that we use in our kitchen and their impact on our health??? Yes its high time to invest on best cookware materials, because many of our health issues can be corrected by using the right utensils in kitchen.
I am sure many of your heads will be buzzing now just like mine when I started my research on safe cookwares. You have to select the best cookware materials which is safe for cooking.
Ideal cookware should be
- Non toxic
- PFOF (perflurooctanoic acid)free
- PTFE (polytetrafluroethylene)free
- Consume less oil
- Non Teflon
7 Best Cookware Materials for Good Health
Let’s see in detail the various cookware materials and its benefits.
Clay vessels are one of the best cookwares that we can have in our kitchen. Our ancestors used these vessels and to my knowledge they were far more fit compared to us.Usually traditional dishes prepared in clay vessels gives more flavor and taste.
- Safer option compared to any other cookware.
- It gives good flavor to the food cooked in it especially non vegetarian dishes.
- Acidic foods also can be cooked safely in this.
- Retain the temperature for long time hot or cold.
- Must be very careful while handling these as they are easily breakable.
- Conducts heat easily.
- Heavier compared to other materials.
- For pans spread some oil and keep it under the flame for some time or keep it under sun. Repeat the process several times before use.
- For other clay vessels fill it with water and boil it for some time.
- Pouring rice starch to it and keeping it for 24 hours also helps.
2.Iron or Cast iron
Cast iron is a good option if you are looking for a healthy cookware.Wrought iron is highly malleable allowing it to be heated reheated and worked into various shapes it contains less carbon.
It is formed by melting iron ore and mixing it with metals and other alloys. The liquid mixture is then poured into moulds and allowed to cool and solidify.The final result is strong and brittle iron.
- It is more durable than any other non stick pans.Caste iron gets better the more you use it.
- Cooking in caste iron pan can add significant amount of iron to your food and into your body. So those who are anemic and also for growing children who needs iron can go for caste iron utensils.
- It can be used with any heat source like Electric, induction ,gas etc.
- People with an inherited condition called haemochromatosis(iron over load disease) must not use caste iron vessels as it gives more iron.
- Iron is one of the few minerals that we cannot eliminate except through blood loss.So menopausal females must limit the use of caste iron vessels.
- Don’t cook acidic food in it like tomatoes, vinegar, wine as they react with metal and give your dish a metallic taste.
- Don’t wash these pans with soap more.
- Make sure that you dry your pan completely after use. Never soak it inside the sink as it may cause rusting of your pan.
- It is extremely heavy.
- Proper seasoning required before use, if not it will add a metallic taste to the dishes and also promote rusting.
- Pour some vegetable oil to the pan spread it all over. Keep it under flame for some time.Repeat this several times before use.
- Pour Rice starch to the pan keep it for 24 hours before using.
- Cooking egg in iron pan regularly will also make the pan non sticky.
- Each time after cleaning the pan wipe it with a cloth.Then spread a few drops of oil through out the pan and keep it aside.This will make your pan rust free.
- It is quite safe to use,its beauty and shining behavior for years makes it all time favorites.
- Cleaning is very easy.
- Best and cheap.
- Gets heated up quickly
- Food sticks to the pan
- If the stainless steel is of low quality,it might leach out chromium to the food at high temperature .
Pour few drops of vegetable oil to the pan,spread it over. Put the pan over moderate heat and remove when it begins to smoke.Clean it with a cloth and your pan is ready to use.
Ceramic is generally clay mixed with certain elements such as carbon or silicon in a particular temperature. They are hard, brittle and gets stronger in compression and weaker in tension.Wide range of ceramic pans are available in market now.It is just ceramic coating on a metallic pan and so have to buy good quality ceramic vessels.
- Ceramic cookware is safe when it is labeled as PFOA free .
- Ceramic dishes comes in many attractive shapes,size and colours.
- It heats up gradually so is ideal for dishes that need slow and even cooking .
- It is non reactive so can perfectly cook acidic and alkaline foods and also ideal for baking
- Dishwasher safe
- It is non sticky
- Easily cleanable.
- All the dishes looks pretty.
- Must go for high grade good ceramic pans.
- In low grade ceramic pans lead is used for glazing and so at high temperature it chips out.
- Pour few drops of oil in the pan,spread it with fingers all over the pan.
Stone cooking vessel is traditional cookware used by our ancestors is made of soap stones. They are good insulators and can retain heat for longer period of time compared to clay or other metal utensils. Anything that needed to be cooked slowly and for longer time can be cooked in this as the flavor is also retained slowly. It is hand made and in expensive. Stone frying pans now available in markets are a metal frying pan coated with a thin layer of oxide and baked in a kiln to produce a coating that is non stick and adheres to the metal underneath.Pros
- Adds good flavor to foods cooked in it.
- Easy to clean up
- Stone frying pans are non toxic,dish wash safe,PFOA and PTFE free
- Require less oil
- Stone ware is heavy.
- Can crack
- After cooking Must bring it to room temperature before storing or refrigeration.
- Pour little oil to the pan, heat it for some time .Repeat the process for few times before use.
- Pour few drops of oil and keep the pan in a pre heated oven for about 2o minutes.
Glass is made by melting together several minerals at very high temperatures silica in the form of sand is the main ingredient. Glass dishes are versatile. Acidic foods can also be stored safely in glass containers .Glass vessels are mainly used for baking purposes.
- It is non reactive and conducts heat very well
- Dish washer safe and easy to clean
- Great heat conductor
- Less expensive
- Safe for cooking in an oven
- High temperature may cause glass to shatter.
- Must be handled carefully.
No much of seasoning required for glass wares.You can wash it nicely and use.
7.Copper and its Alloys
Copper and its alloys brass and bronze were commonly used in ancient times.Copper is a good conductor of heat and a reactive metal too so, it is safe to be lined with other materials such as Stainless steel or Tin or used in alloy form. Its a known fact that Royal families used copper vessels in their kitchen .Copper utensils are mainly used for storing water, serving dishes and for all other purposes which doesn’t require high temperature cooking.’Uruli’ is a traditional cookware used in Kerala.It is commonly made of Brass and is used for making Payasam and also for decorative purposes.
- Steaming,sauteing or braising can be done effectively with copper vessels.
- Doesn’t require pre heating as it heats quickly.
- Can’t be used for induction cooking
- Requires regular polishing to maintain shine
- According to the latest researches Copper cookwares are not recommended for high heat cooking because of its reactive behavior .More amount of copper leaches out into food at high temperatures which is not good for our health.
- Proper seasoning required before use. if not it will add a metallic taste to the dishes and also promote rusting.
- Pour some vegetable oil to the pan,spread it all over. keep it under flame for some time.Repeat this several times before use.
Other cookware that can be used for healthy cooking is wood.
Bamboo can be used for steaming purpose which gives nice flavors to our food.
Spoons of plastics can be replaced by wooden spoon.
You can also read: Kitchen Gardening: Pesticide-free Vegetables Throughout the Year
Its a highly reactive metal, durable and light weight which conducts heat quickly. Aluminium leaches out into food and it is toxic to human body. Acidic foods cause more aluminium to leach from this cookware compared to effects of lower acid foods.Prolonged food contact with this metal such as longer cooking or storage time, increases the amount of toxin into the food. It is linked to Alzheimers,dementia and also causes hormonal imbalances. ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (USA) has registered Aluminium as a toxic element for human body.
Read about toxic effects of Aluminium :www.atsdr.cdc.gov
2.Teflon coated cookwares
Use of PFOA and PTFE for making Teflon is toxic to human body.Linked to cancer, organ failure, reproductive damage and other harmful health effects.Releases toxic fumes into air when over heated.This cookware gets scratches easily, some of the toxic substance of this non stick material can mix with your food.Food is exposed to the metal underneath which is likely to be aluminium which is again toxic. So it’s a big “NO” to aluminium as well as Teflon coated vessels from my side.
If you are stuck with regular non stick pan no worries here are few tips by which you can use your pan safely
- Never keep your non stick pan under high flame or at high temperature.
- Do not heat the pan empty as, it emits toxic fumes at high temperature.
- Prefer slow cooking.
Plastic used as cook wares are rare. BPA and Phthalates in plastics are believed to be endocrine disrupters which will leak to the foods stored in them.Microwave safe plastics can be used for oven. BPA free plastics are to be opted if you are going for plastic products.But according to me any kind of plastic substance should not be used if you are opting for a healthy living.
You can also read Kitchen Organization Ideas – An Illustrated Guide
Do you know the secret behind our ancestor’s longer life span.It is mainly because of chemical free food and pollution free environment.Our generation on other hand runs after everything that makes our work easier which ended up in buying toxic cookwares that are cheap and non sticky. Its high time to discard such toxic cookwares in kitchen and replace it with healthy cookwares which are ECO friendly too .It is always good to store salt, sugar and tamarind in glass or clay containers.
So when you choose something for your kitchen especially cookware or anything, make sure that its of good quality. Always see the specifications of the materials because all these are associated with our health. After all health of our family lies in our hand so its our responsibility to make sure that the food we feed them is healthier in all aspect.So always go for the best cookware materials for kitchen.
What do you think???
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