What is the best material for pots and pans?

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by lasagnaburrito, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Hello all,

    We have a decent array of pots and pans. A lot of Stainless Steel pots and pans, and a few non-stick pans (not sure if teflon but probably), and today my mom brought home a "green-life" ceramic pan.

    I read on this one site "rebeccawood.com" That Teflon is very toxic, and I'm not a big fan of that, especuially since I would turn up the heat to "hi" to get it to heat fast, which is a bad idea and it would smell a lot. It's my fault I guess for not understanding that they put toxic materials in our cookware....

    But the site also mentioned that "Ceramic" cookware is just metal dipped in some plastic non-stick solution, and isn't even ceramic? the set my mom got was a 30$ set from Walmart (2 pans) from "Green-Life."

    Sounds too cheap to me.

    I personally only want to use Stainless Steel pots and pans. I know it requires more cleaning, but it seems to have a much higher safety factor, unless it starts pitting, which i'm not 100% sure when that starts happening?

    Thoughts and advice on this all? My dad just cooked some food for us on this new pan, and from the reviews it just doesn't sound appetizing to me to eat off of that, granted we've eaten lots of food off of other "non-stick stuff."


    All the stuff we eat, eat off of, cook with, etc is all scary... :(
     
  2. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    If you look around the internet enough, anything can be made to sound dangerous or scary.

    Stainless steel cookware is not going to poison you. If you care for it properly it will not pit and, if you buy good quality stainless it will outlive you.

    Cast iron is not going to hurt you either, though a quick google search does turn up dire warnings about cast iron--as well as about stainless.

    It's craziness.

    Enameled cast iron is also safe.

    I do keep two ceramic pans in my kitchen which are used exclusively for eggs. I am not afraid of them.
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Teflon coatings above about 700 degrees (from memory, could be wrong on temp) start to outgas somewhat dangerous chemicals. No regular metal pan should be heated that hot, you'll have problems with all of them at that temp from warping, delaminating and such.  This is really only a problem if you tend to forget about pans on high heat or let pans cook dry. With induction systems, they have temperature limits built into them, usually in the range of 450-550 degrees for safety of the cookware, the home and the people. 

     Teflon itself is foodsafe. Imho, the bigger concern about teflon rather than outgassing is consumption. As your teflon coating wears, you'll get fragments of teflon in the food. This happens more with worn pans, over high heat and with metal utensils. As far as we know, teflon is inert in regards to our digestive system and passes through. I'm not too concerned about this. I don't use teflon for high heat, don't use metal utensils in them and don't keep them once the coating is worn. 

    Ceramics are also inert, but could similarly detach from the pan at high heat (uneven expansion rates) and could be ingested. Ceramics are rigid and could pose cut/tear hazards to the digestion surfaces. I know of no case where this has happened though.

    Look at a table of oil smoke points. http://jonbarron.org/diet-and-nutrition/healthiest-cooking-oil-chart-smoke-points#.VlNreXyrRhE is the first one that came up in a google search for me. You don't really want your oil to smoke for cooking food. So you don't really want your pans to get that hot as the oil will break down anyway before the temps we're talking about as risky. 

    Overheating a pan is a rare problem that is overblown by the fearmongers who aren't giving you the complete story. They're usually selling something, even if it's only confidence in their outlandish claims so you'll believe other claims they make. 

    Use your teflon with confidence. 
     
  4. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Thank you both.

    @ChicagoTerry what kinds of Ceramic pans do you have?

    @Phatch, that's the thing, I would always throw my pans onto the stove, and turn it on "hi" and get it ready, and I just felt that was a stupid idea, granted I probably have only used a teflon/non-stick pan probably less than 50 times....

    I now also tend to go low and work my way up. It was stupid of me to have put it on full heat, but I didn't know any better.... You don't think your cookware is going to kill you... :(....


    So you think all these non-stick pans and such are okay?

    One thing I read was saying that the smell is toxic, and there were claims of it killing birds, with articles linked.

    One site I found is this http://www.rebeccawood.com/health/toxic-cookware-and-cutlery/

    Talking about "toxic cookware."

    You also talk about scratching off the teflon/non-stick stuff, and that happened to me when a sandwich maker I had. I would use a metal fork to grab my sandwhiches that were hot... Stupid idea also, should have threw it away...

    From what you're saying is that it passes through the body and is safe, but Idk, this other stuff claims it's really bad. One site was claiming it was worse than some gas used in WW1 or something lol...

    There also was a claim that if you put brown sugar or something onto teflon, cook it, then taste it, it will taste nasty from the teflon leeching or what not...

    I figured I would share this link and stuff, but it's good to know what the pros think.

    I also like the comment about the oils. I'll make sure my oils don't smoke, which I think has happened in the past. I'm going to do the "low and slow" approach, as well as ramp up heat and not full blast it at first.


    I've also heard some negatives about aluminum foil, and such, but I've heard on this forum that there isn't any "Definitive proof" that aluminum cookware is bad for you. According to the site about it's no bueno and "can even kill you." I've heard that certain foods, such as tomatoes, can leech at the aluminum foil while cooking or whatnot.


    You also talk about temps, and them being "max 500f" I see my coils getting red on my stove top, and I heard red coils are 900f or something...

    My stove top is older, it's some GE model, but I think it was a higher end model. I'll have to get the model. It's electric, not gas.

    I'm not sure how hot I was getting :(

    Lately I've been getting very paranoid about what I'm eating, how I'm cooking it, and making sure all the pots and pans and utensils are clean... (or not too clean, since I sometimes see soap spots from the dishwasher on pans and such and you can smell it when you cook on them)....

    Then there's the food....

    Yesterday I accidentally microwaved one of the wax-paper separators that they put in cheese packages not, and wasn't happy to find that. Day before that I was putting burgers into my SS frying pan, and I accidentally touched the styrofoam to the pan and it melted, and then the burger fell in... sadness... bad luck ;'(......

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  5. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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  6. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    For eggs I use aluminum fry pans exclusively that I never wash.  I simply use a plastic scrubber with hot water to clean, thus leaving behind a tiny amount of butterfat to "coat" the pan as it were.  And my nose hasn't detected an rancidity from the oxidized fat residue either.

    For frying and sauteeing I use carbon steel pans by deBuyer.  For all the rest I use curved sauce pans made by either All Clad or Vollrath their Tribute (thicker) line of pans.
     
  7. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Thanks for the info, we have some cuisinart SS pans, I guess "Cuisinart" is a good company then? This is the ceramic pan we got (well 2 of them for 30$).


    http://www.walmart.com/ip/GreenLife...fault&beacon_version=1.0.1&findingMethod=p13n

     
    Interestging wow...  So you don't think there's any issues with aluminum then?  How often do you use the pans?

    Sometimes I feel like I see mold on my SS cuisinart pans, is there a special way to get the mold off?  Maybe it's just dirt and calcium spots, but it sometimes looks gross in this nasty cabinet we have....


    Carbon steel ?  Wouldn't it react with certain foods?

    Interesting info, thanks.

    This is the pan we just got




    http://www.walmart.com/ip/GreenLife...fault&beacon_version=1.0.1&findingMethod=p13n





    Sektchy.....
     
  8. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I use them as often as I want.  Have you ever eaten in a restaurant?  Well, many of them use aluminum cookware and if the aluminum cookware were an issue with Alzheimer's then the entire military would be zombied out.  The topic is not open to discussion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  9. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Thanks for the info.  I've always been curious what food establishments use for their cooking (cultures will vary too I would assume).

    I don't know if it's just alzheimers, or just aluminum dangers in general, but I'm always open to comments.


    That's why I ask here, because people here are professionals/above-average cooks that use these sorts of things.  People here might not be experts in chemistry and such, but I figure how ample knowledge of what we are using (or hope they do).

     
     
  10. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Aluminum flavor therefore atoms leach out of the vessel in a high acid environment, that is, tomatos, cirtrus and other high acid foods.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  11. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Aluminum cookware and cans as contributory to Alzheimers is more scare-mongering. It's been thoroughly discussed here in the past. Here is one such topic.

    http://www.cheftalk.com/t/593/aluminum-cookware-causes-alzheimers

    You can believe what you want to believe. The science doesn't support the fear of teflon, aluminum and such. The psuedo- and junk- science people are busy with the chicken little routines. 

     
  12. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Thanks for the info.  I'm not sure why people would get uppidy over what we use to cook food, compared to things like PETA as anti-meat and such...  What interest groups would these people even be a part of?

    I also heard stuff about storing things in plastic wrap and it leeching into foods like cheese (just heard about this the other day), but notice most cheese is packaged in plastics....??????


    Thanks for the info on acidic foods and foil., that's what I thought, because Ihad heard about tomatoes.


    Is there danger in that?
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  13. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Plastic wrap is about plasticizers leaching. Plasticizers ares what makes plastic wrap stretchy, flexible and clingy. This leaching happens around 300 degrees, usually in the microwave in reaction to grease getting hot.. Refrigeration is fine. Low temp cooking is fine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  14. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    Cheese in plastic does occasionally get an off/plastic-y taste. Not mass-produced cheeses in vacuum sealed plastic. It does sometimes happen with cheeses cut from a larger wheel then wrapped in Saran-wrap type plastic wrap by the shop. Sometimes if you just unwrap it and let it breathe a little it turns out to be OK.

    I never keep cheese in Saran wrap. As soon as I get it home, I take it out of the plastic, wrap it in waxed paper, then wrap the wax- papered hunk tightly in foil.It keeps very well that way. I always wash my hands carefully first. Too often have seen cheese mold growing in a fingerprint pattern. There is also special, (expensive) cheese-wrapping paper.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  15. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    +++ 1 1 1 ^ ^ ^

    damn I'd like to hear more about this in another dedicated thread. 8)
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  16. grande

    grande

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    @LasagnaBurrito the website you linked to is exremely paranoid. It's not neccasarily wrong aboutcertain things, but they are clearly upselling their POV. Their obsession with ceramic cookware puzzles me since it's porous & will theoretically absorb food every time you use it. But they aren't concerned about that.
    I don't use my non stick cookware on high heat either- but my reasoning is that it wrecks it's nonstick properties.
    I use carbon and cast iron for sauteeing, nothing performs better and they've been used by people for hundreds of years with good results. I do have one stainless saute pan & my sauce pots are stainless if I'm worried about reactive food. But really, once your cookware is seasoned, no problem.
    Aluminum won't hurt you, I just don't like the way it performs.
     
  17. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Thanks for the info.  So this isn't a concern unless heated to decently high temps?

    Also, in response to your last message.... I'm just here to get info, so I am wanting to believe the stuff we cook with is "safe" but all these posts about good and bad is just scary, and I want to be educated, and not ignorant on the matter, whcih is why I ask you pros :)
    So you'll only experience this with big cheese that is constantly convered?


    I wanted to get a foodsaver or another vac sealer and use that, but the sound of some fancy cheese wrap might be in order.. Thanks :)
    Yeah, the website seems to promote a book and such.

    It's interesting with their comments on the ceramic, but they claim it's not even ceramic.  Sad thing is that there is so many scams with food, for instance the whole "kobe beef" scam, I can only imagine what other "scams" are about...

    Thanks for the info on pans and such.  I guess I'm not experienced enough to know what will and wont react, so maybe my best bet is to stick to an SS pan if it does the job....






     
     
  18. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    I wouldn't go with a foodsaver just for cheese, nor would I spend a fortune on expensive cheese wrapping paper. Cheese is a living food. You don't want it to dry out nor do you want to suffocate it. Here is advice from a fancy cheese shop here in Chicago. They sell that expensive cheese-wrapping paper but they aren't fanatical about it:

    http://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/how-to-keep-cheese-fresh-article
     
  19. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Thanks for the information on this once again.

    So is this just about plastic wraps, or plastics in general.


    I actually put the cheese which came in it's own plastic wrap, inside a glad food bag (sandwhich bag type) with ziplock.  It was from the company "Great Value" (not the one who shops), but figure it's similar to the glad bags.  I checked the back of the bags curiously, and found that apparently they are microwave safe?

    I figured it would be similar to plastic wrap for storage, but wasn't sure.  i figured this would have less air in it as a "Ziplock" bag so I used this.


    I did a quick Google search before coming back to this thread and one site description was talking about plastics leeching into foods during transport/storage, specifically meats/cheese and other "fatty foods."


    I just feel it was stupid since we normally wrap in foil, but since I was starting to get wary of the aluminum foil, I went to the plastic, but now there are negatives to look at with the plastics >(.  I guess it's like the post above saying there could be negatives about ANYTHING on the internet.... I just don't like doing something to avoid something else, and then finding out what I did, I shouldn't have done :(.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
    Thanks for the info, much appreciated!  I'lll take a look at the link and see.
     
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  20. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    I'm interested in hearing more about the "Kobe Beef Scam"