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Non-stick pans toxic?? Options
Garden Lad
#1 Posted : Wednesday, December 27, 2006 12:19:07 PM
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Hey, Greg. Welcome to the list.

Some studies have indicated that teflon (the basic component of all non-stick pan coatings) gives off toxic fumes at 450 degrees. So it is dangerous to use at high heat, or in the oven.

There are other potential health problems using non-stick. Virtually all of it is used on aluminum cookware. If you scratch the coating you are then cooking on raw aluminum; which some studies have linked to several health hazards, including altheimers.

All in all, it''s better to use other materials: Stainless steel, carbon steel, anodized, or cast iron.
Cliff30acre
#2 Posted : Wednesday, December 27, 2006 1:08:14 PM
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Properly seasoned cast-iron cookware is pretty much non-stick. It does take some effort to get to that non-stick point. Just use common sense and keep the heat down a bit. I have eliminated all the aluminum and teflon from my kitchen.
Garden Lad
#3 Posted : Wednesday, December 27, 2006 9:12:54 PM
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That''s a point that cannot be stressed enough, Cliff. Cast iron and stainless cookware requires lower temps than most people are used to. For instance, other than when boiling water, it is rare, indeed, that you''d use more than medium with stainless. Medium high if you''re searing.

It''s important with both of them, too, to preheat the pan before adding the stuff you''re cooking. Especially stainless.

Not a big deal. Just a matter of learning how to use the cookware you have.

robnsn
#4 Posted : Thursday, January 11, 2007 4:38:40 PM
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What''s the purpose in heating Stainless first, before using?
robnsn
#5 Posted : Thursday, January 11, 2007 4:41:54 PM
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I recently discovered this Mother Earth Forum & think it is the best site on the whole Internet. Love reading all the questions & answers.
Chandler
#6 Posted : Thursday, January 11, 2007 4:54:17 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by robnsn

What''s the purpose in heating Stainless first, before using?



I think, from the multitude of cooking shows I watch, that you definitely have to preheat pans before you put food in them so the food doesn''t stick.

Also, if your pan isn''t hot before you put meat in it, I would think you wouldn''t get a good sear on it.

And, welcome to the forum from a fellow newbie :)
Garden Lad
#7 Posted : Thursday, January 11, 2007 5:55:53 PM
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That''s pretty much it, Chandler. Preheating stainless causes the pores to close up, making an almost non-stick surface. By "food" we even mean any oil you''re going to use. Preheat the pan, add the oil, let it heat (which, at that point, only takes a few seconds), add the food.

You preheat cast iron for a different reason. Cast iron acts like a heat sink, and you want the entire pan to be evenly heated before cooking in it. This takes awhile, which is why it should be done over low heat. Some folks actually preheat their cast iron in the oven, to assure even heating.
Cliff30acre
#8 Posted : Friday, January 12, 2007 11:41:51 AM
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To prove the theory of weather preheating makes the pan less likely to stick, try this: fry a couple of eggs, one in a preheated skillet and one with the skillet before it warms up. If the heat is right the egg in the hot skillet will slide around, flip like a pro, and slip right out onto the waiting plate when done. Right GL, I add the cooking oil after warm up too. The egg will be much more likely to stick and otherwise not fry properly in the skillet started cool.

Cast iron is my favorite for cookware. Anything but teflon or aluminum is good.
The Big Lebowski
#9 Posted : Saturday, January 13, 2007 4:22:11 PM
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Speaking of cast iron, does anyone have a favorite brand? I have been looking at them at a couple of different stores and forget the make of them. Up here the cost is around thirty to forty dollars.

Some time back Mother had an article on how to season them etc and was just wondering those who do have them how often do you cook in them ? and as far as care do you simply just wipe oil in yours? And what method did you use to season yours?
Garden Lad
#10 Posted : Saturday, January 13, 2007 8:29:05 PM
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BigL: For starters, go into the archieves and look for my article called "The Care & Feeding of Cast Iron." It ran in late 99 or early 2000. That should answer all your questions about curing and maintainance.

Don''t know what you have up there. In the U.S., the only remaining domestic producer is Lodge. So our choices are either Lodge or inexpensive Asian stuff.

If you look at porcelain coated cast iron, there are several makers. Le Crueset used to have a lock on that market, but now there are manufacturers in the U.S., Italy, Great Britain, and China as well as France. So we can purchase that stuff with no country of origin issues.

How often do I cook in my cast iron? All the time. It''s my basic, every-day cookware.
Cliff30acre
#11 Posted : Tuesday, January 16, 2007 12:47:58 PM
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Favorite brands are mostly a personal preference, Big L. If you don''t need a new one, look for the ones with the smoothest cooking surface, with minimal pitting and scratches in the cast iron. Stay away from the grainy and rough surfaces. If you can find an old "Griswold" in an antique store, flea market or yard sale, they are about the best. Plan on spending a bit more for a nice one though. Collectors (not cooks)have driven prices sky high for good brand name pieces. For a pretty good new brand, stick with American and buy Lodge. Check out Lehman''s Hardware website or buy directly from Lodge''s on-line store. Wal-Mart has pretty good prices too.

The secret to sucessful cooking in cast iron is to get it seasoned properly. Heat it up and use cooking oil or bacon fat to blacken, smooth, shine and season the cooking surface. Keep it well seasoned by using it frequently and store it in a dry place when not in use. Scrape with a wooden tool and rinse with very hot water to clean. Dry it and coat lightly with oil before storing. After it is seasoned, no dishwasher, metal scouring pads or cleanser, ever!
The Big Lebowski
#12 Posted : Tuesday, January 16, 2007 5:06:15 PM
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Thanks guys, I found that article GL and went to my collection and read it, very helpful. Now all I need to do is find a good used one or buy new.
Garden Lad
#13 Posted : Tuesday, January 16, 2007 5:27:58 PM
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Glad you found it useful, Big L.

As much as you''re on the road, finding used cast iron shouldn''t be difficult. Just stop in at the fea markets and antique malls along the way. That''s where I find most of my better stuff.

Also, check estate and farm auctions. That''s often where you really get the bargains; like a 10-inch Grizwold for sixteen bucks!
The Big Lebowski
#14 Posted : Wednesday, January 17, 2007 7:57:07 PM
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Well I was out and about today and stopped at some stores today looking for cast iron pans, no luck at the second hand stores but found the "Lodge" brand new at a hardware store. It said on the label "Seasoned, ready to use" America''s favorit since 1869.

So I assume I won''t have to go through the season process, that Lodge''s process is as good as if I was to do it. Do you folks know if the pre-season pans are any good?

Here is what they are charging for them here
12" 29.99

10" 19.99

10" 29.99 Grill pan
Garden Lad
#15 Posted : Wednesday, January 17, 2007 9:19:27 PM
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Big L, the pre-seasoned is sold under the tradename Lodge Logic.

I saw a film about how they do that, and it was very interesting. Wish I had a copy. Basically, they spray the oil on the ironware as it passes through an open-flame oven, which bakes it on.

Out of the box, Lodge Logic is about where''d you be if you bought raw cast iron and seasoned it according to Lodge''s instructions. In short, it''s really just a start towards a well-cured pan. I would, at least for the first few times of use, confine it to frying and sauteeing.

I don''t know what the current exchange rate is, but those prices sound fairly reasonable.
Cliff30acre
#16 Posted : Thursday, January 18, 2007 12:45:26 PM
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The pre-seasoned Lodge pan will work just fine, Big L. Just continue with the curing effort until it is well seasoned. Frying bacon in it will get you there as fast as anything. I''d get the 12" pan if I was going to purchase just one piece. You can do "Country Fried Steaks" or make a great "Cherry Cobbler" in that one. It should have two handles, one like an ordinary skillet and the other one on the opposite side, similar to the handles on a pot. Those big iron skillets are heavy, son! The prices at your local store look competitive too.

On the Lodge web site the larger pan lists for: #L10SK3 Skillet w/assist handle, 12" dia., Depth: 2" $26.95 (then add the shipping charges)
lytey
#17 Posted : Friday, January 19, 2007 12:54:45 PM
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Hey glad this came up, I have gotten rid of all my non-stick pans except cookie sheets and I''m having a hard time finding an alternative, that everything wont stick to. What have you found and perhaps where? I love using my castiron and am saving for a griddle! lyte
NorthCountryWood
#18 Posted : Friday, January 19, 2007 1:38:42 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by qmykcysry

Hey glad this came up, I have gotten rid of all my non-stick pans except cookie sheets and I''m having a hard time finding an alternative, that everything wont stick to. What have you found and perhaps where? I love using my castiron and am saving for a griddle! lyte



Wife uses aluminum cookie sheets with parchment paper or you could get the silicon pads, sil-pat I think.
sea_goin_dude
#19 Posted : Saturday, June 04, 2011 10:47:38 PM
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There is slight danger using teflon cookware but to me the biggest problem is that sooner or later that coating will start to come  off  of any of the nonstick stuff. I buy stainless non coated sautee pans and treat them like cast iron. Never wash them just rince and wipe them out. they will season and become nonstick after a while. Just use more oil to start and gradually cut back and they get better. Do buy good ones and stay away from the cheeeepies. After all these are the tools that you will use for maybe the rest of you life and you will be able to leave them to the next generation. (like cast iron stuff) lasts forever.if you take care of them. 

It's bad that all the coated cookware will sooner or later start to peel off. Maybe some of the newer special coated ones will do better. I just decided some years ago that they are just not worth buying because they will scratch  and peel eventually.

Here is a yahoo group with lots of info on cast iron and dutch oven cooking lots or recipes etc check it out.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dutchovencooking/ 

Ps some people want to do omlets like in your resturants but hesitate because they can't slide them around and flip em like those cooks do. Well just use more oil when you are learning and if you just practice with one egg and cook it well (hard) while learning how to flip it /WorkArea/threadeddisc/emoticons/biggrin.png as you get better cut back on the oil and you will be cooking like a regular fry cook.You can lay the cooked eggs on a slice of bread to remove the extra oil until you get good and are able to use much less oil. /WorkArea/threadeddisc/emoticons/happy.png For omlets get the oil HOT before you put the whipped eggs in this will help it blow up like they are supposed to.

good luck and good cooking /WorkArea/threadeddisc/emoticons/wink.png 

 Jerry

GregB
#20 Posted : Saturday, June 04, 2011 10:47:38 PM
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So, I was reading up on Parakeets the other day and it said to prepare one's home for them by removing non-stick pans. Why? Because apparently the fumes from non-stick pans can kill Parakeets.

[:0]

I'm thinking, "...If they kill Parakeets, what do they do to us humans?!?" and am thinking that maybe I should be trying to find an alternative, safer method of cooking.

Any thoughts?
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