Nickel plated cast iron

Discussion in 'Open Forum With Harold McGee' started by castironchef, Dec 12, 2005.

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  1. castironchef

    castironchef

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    I recently saw that at least one manufacturer is selling nickel plated cast iron skillets. Asides from the poor aesthetics (I think that they look horrible, but I'm old-fashioned when it comes to cast iron), I am concerned about potentially harmful health issues.

    Doesn't a significant portion of the population have nickel allergies, or the potential for developing them? Is this a valid concern?

    Also, are there any benefits from the nickel plating, other than eliminating the need for seasoning, that could out-weight the above risk?

    Thanks again.

    Here's a link to one of these skillets. http://www.chefsresource.com/nickel-...n-skillet.html
     
  2. harold mcgee

    harold mcgee

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    It’s true that nickel is a very common cause of dermatitis, and its effects seem to be increased if nickel is also ingested in food. There have been studies of stainless steel pans and appliances, since stainless is an alloy of iron, chromium, and nickel. The general conclusion has been that the nickel released into food is negligible compared to the natural nickel content of the foods themselves. However, I can’t find any comparable study of this nickel-plated pan, which according to the link is plated with “nickel compound,” not pure nickel, and is “FDA approved.” I would want to know more about the exact nature of the alloy and its stability before I used such a pan.

    Harold
     
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