For this article Teflon cookware is any cookware made with PTFE, PFOA, PFOE coating.
Today everyone wants to cook healthy and nonstick cookware allows you to cook many foods like fish eggs chicken and pork without using large amounts of oil and butter. The non stick surface keeps food from sticking without using
unhealthy oils and other fats. All non stick cookware is coated with either ceramic or Teflon but many manufactures use their own unique manufacturing process to produce what they say is the best most durable coating. But they are all variations of ceramic or Teflon.
The Teflon brand was the first non stick cookware introduced to the public. It was made using polytetrafluoroethylene PTFE which was discovered in 1938. One issue with all non ceramic coated cookware is it may release toxins that could be harmful. The main concern cooking with Teflon is overheating and using the wrong utensils, cooking at a temperature greater than 500 degrees F releases toxins some of which are considered to cause cancer. Always use wood or silicone utensils when using Teflon coated cookware to help prevent chipping and scratching the cooking surface. Teflon cookware is safe for use in ovens as long as you bake, roast and broil at temperatures no greater than 350 degrees F.
Ceramic coating cookware was born out of the health concerns associated with PTFE, PFOA, PFOE coated cookware. So what is the meaning of Ceramic? The technical meaning of Ceramic is ‘clay that has been fire hardened’. To make a pot or pan the typical manufacturing process starts with a base metal like hard anodized aluminum that is sprayed or dipped in a mineral gel that coats the product and then is cured. This process applies an inorganic coating on the product. The fact that the coating is inorganic is what makes the cookware safe for the environment. The Ceramic coating is completely free of PTFE, PFOA and PFOE and the FDA has strict requirements for the manufacturing of Ceramic products.
Another environmental reason for choosing ceramic is the manufacturing process is easier and usually only one coat is applied. Teflon requires several coatings, takes longer to cure and uses more energy. Also Ceramic coating can be heated to temperatures approaching 800 degrees F.
When it comes to the decision which to choose ask yourself theses questions.
- When you cook on the stove do you mostly use medium heat?
- Will you use wood or silicone utensils?
- Will most of the food you cook in the oven be around 350 degrees F?
- Will you mostly cook recipes that don’t require high heat?
If you answer yes to all questions Teflon is a good and safe choice.
If you’re concerned about cooking in a chemical free environment, normally use high heat want easy clean up, durability and the ability to color coordinate your cookware. Ceramic cookware would be a better choice.