How To Choose Safer Cookware for Your Kitchen

By Subodh / September 23, 2014

Harmful chemicals and metals can come into contact from the cookware you have in your kitchen. There is no point in being careful about picking only organic foods, etc. if your cookware is contaminating your food with harmful substances. What you cook in plays a huge role in the quality of food that you and your family eat so it is wise to be extremely careful about the type of cookware you choose for your kitchen.

Information On Safe and Unsafe Cookware

One of the best ways to find out which type of cookware is best and safest for your kitchen is to gather all the information you can. Take a little time to find out about the materials used for different types of pots, pans and other utensils used for cooking so that you can make the best choice for you and your family and keep everyone safe.

safe cookware

Here are some of the things you should know about the various materials used to make cookware which can help you make an informed decision on which ones to use at home:

  • Aluminum: This is one of the most common types of cookware used due to its affordability and the fact that it is a fantastic heat conductor and very easy to clean. Did you know that some aluminum can get dissolved into your food when you cook foods that contain vinegar or acidic foods? Aluminum cookware can also be pitted by salty food or water. This is risky as it may make your older utensils a source of harmful substances like fluorides and arsenic in trace amounts. If you are going to buy aluminum cookware, you should opt for the anodized variety as process of electro-chemical anodizing locks in the metal, preventing it from getting into your food.
  • Ironware: Although this type of cookware does release some metal into food, it is not totally unsafe. Ironware is made of cast iron so it can be heavy and prone to rust, making it high-maintenance. But it is a great choice if you want metal cookware. To clean ironware, you can use table salt as a scrub as it is abrasive and also provides high grease-absorption. You can also save energy when you use ironware as it retains heat longer than other types of cookware after you turn off your stove. Enameled ironware is a great option as there is no rusting and you do not need to use salt to clean grease off because of its enamel coating.
  • Stainless steel: You may have heard a lot of people talking about stainless steel cookware as being the best. However, studies have shown that metal leaching can be high in this type of cookware. Metals including carbon steel, titanium, aluminum, molybdenum and nickel can be released slowly in small quantities into the food you cook. One study showed that E. coli0157 survived for 34 days at room temperature in stainless whereas in copper, it only survived for 4 hours. Experts have differing opinions on the health hazards of stainless steel cookware but if you have sensitivities, it may be best to keep them out of your kitchen.
  • Copper: According to recent studies, copper may be a better choice than stainless steel when it comes to cookware. This is because it may be able to minimize the risk of infection from potentially dangerous bacteria like E. coli0157. But there are also others who say that metal leaching in copper utensils can cause illness and chemical toxicity. If you like copper cookware because they conduct heat well, you should choose the variety that has stainless steel or tin linings on the cooking surface.

Good Cookware Choices

Enameled ironware is definitely a smart choice for your kitchen. It is safer than the other options and it also has great heat and weight distribution. Enameled cast iron is better than traditional cast iron as there is no need to worry about rusting or having to vigorously scrub the utensils with the salt.

Cookware made of ceramic is your next best choice. These are easy to clean and glazed to ensure durability. You can also use them to cook in pretty high temperatures. Just make sure that you buy the cookware from a reputed manufacturer as this ensures the purchase of high-quality products. Cheap ceramic cookware can contain lead in the glaze that is used, which is very harmful.

Before you buy any cookware, make sure that you know the pros and cons so that you can make an informed and safe purchase. This will allow you to cook food that is healthy and free of harmful toxins.