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Thread: Is Teflon the best?

  1. #1
    zordani is offline Assistant Cook
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    Default Is Teflon the best?

    Are dishes and cookware that are made using the Teflon material the best when it comes to cooking? I mean, sure, they don't make the food stick, but what are the other advantages of using them?

  2. #2
    Netizen is offline Assistant Cook
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    Default Risks

    I don't know about advantages, other than the obvious one. But I have heard of risks - again the most talked about one is that of toxins being released when the pan is heated. Of course, this is said to be true of other nonstick materials as well.

  3. #3
    Amy
    Amy is offline Assistant Cook
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    I almost always use SOMETHING (butter, olive oil, etc.) to coat my pans anyway, teflon-coated or otherwise, and I am always irritated when I can't find my wooden or rubber utensils to use on the teflon surface (so you don't scrape the teflon off into your food). The pans I have were a gift, so I appreciate them, but if I could afford a new set I would go with non-coated.

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    onlinecook is offline Assistant Cook
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    It really depends on what kind of cooking you do and how important easy clean up is. If your cooking is typically more simple, fast and easy and you really don't want to have to scrub pots and pans, teflon or other non stick cookware is the way to go. If you make a lot of gravies and sauces from scratch, you're better off with stainless steel. The flavors come out better if you get a little carmelizing, which you won't get in non stick pans.

    Amy is right, with non stick you have to be careful what utensils you use. And I have heard about the toxin potential as well.

  5. #5
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    shes_got_a_knife is offline Assistant Cook
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    For saucepans, soup pots, etc., I like stainless, glass, or copper. For all of my skillets, personally, I'd recommend cast iron. I've gone on a crusade to remove ALL teflon from my kitchen due to the health risks as we are trying to live as naturally as possible around here. Cast iron is green, eco-friendly, lasts forever, and, if seasoned right, is nonstick. You can buy cast iron brand new, but honestly, I prefer the old, used skillets. I have 9 myself, all from flea markets, all different sizes, and they are all a joy to cook with. If you're unsure how to season or de-rust your cast iron there is a full tutorial on my blog.

    Forgot to add: from what I understand, teflon-coated pans are often made with cheaper metals that are poor conductors and often they don't heat evenly which, of course, can affect your cooking.

  6. #6
    TomatoMustard is offline Assistant Cook
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    I think you do need a good variety of cookware. Not just non-stick or cast iron or steel. Each material has it's place and use.

  7. #7
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    deepfryerdan is offline Assistant Cook
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Netizen View Post
    I don't know about advantages, other than the obvious one. But I have heard of risks - again the most talked about one is that of toxins being released when the pan is heated. Of course, this is said to be true of other nonstick materials as well.
    The toxins are only released when there is nothing in the pan and it is heated to very high temperatures. As a safeguard, you should always have something in the pan when starting to heat (butter, oil, etc).

  8. #8
    Rachel White is offline Assistant Cook
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    Teflon is used to line the cooking surfaces of many items of cookware. The application of Teflon to these surfaces makes the surface non-stick. But do you know that the utensils that are used to cook food often do more than just hold the food? Molecules of substances can leach from the utensil into the food that is being cooked. Similarly, Teflon is a product that is capable of withstanding temperatures up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit above which it begins to degrade and and this degradation leads to Teflon cancer risk. The risk of cancer is associated with a degradation caused to the vital organs of body. Similar information about aluminum, iron and lead utensils is mentioned in the following site.
    Cooking utensils and nutrition: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

    Hope this information would be helpful to you all.

  9. #9
    TomatoMustard is offline Assistant Cook
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    You can get cancer from anything these days. I can't wait til they tell us that using cast iron causes cancer because, as most anemics know, a small amount of iron is leached into your food when you use cast iron.

    There's nothing wrong with using teflon-coated pans, just follow the advice above: don't heat the pan unless you have something in the pan to absorb the heat. If you still don't believe us, check out the Good Eats episode that deals with teflon-coated cookware. He explains the effects and how to avoid overexposure. Until then, don't read that CDC (or whatever it is) BS posted above.

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