Monday, December 20, 2010

Best Cookwares

Best cookware #1

Farberware 10-pc. Millenium Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Best cookware- stainless steel set

A cookware set gives you a good value by including the basic pans needed to equip your kitchen. It includes saucepans for whisking a homemade sauce or cooking your morning oatmeal, a big stockpot for soups, stews or pasta, and skillets (probably the most used pan in any kitchen) for everything from seared tuna to vegetable saute. This set also includes two Prestige® kitchen tools to let you get started on your next culinary creation. Most important, they are safe cookwares.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Titanium Cookware - Name Games

Titanium cookware seems very hot now and is easily seen online. Acctually there is some confusion about the name. Most "titanium cookware" on the market are not made of titanium, atleast not pure titanium.

Titanium is a silver colored metallic material that has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all metals. In other words, it is lightweight but has incredible strength and durability.  Pure titanium cookwares are  silver-colored. It is a big mistake that pure titanium cookware is nonstick. In fact, they are stick and thermally nonuniform, which means titanium is not a good material for cooking good quality foods. Titanium cookwares are goood for travellers because they extremely light.

Most "titanium cookwares" for everyday use are not made of pure titanium material. There are two kind of "titanium cookwares" in term of manufacturing process and materials. One "titanium cookware" has a covering layer of titanium oxide which is formed between 4000 to 10000 degrees C. The other "titanium cookware" is covered with nonstick layer with or without nonstick material similar to Teflon. All these "titanium" or "titanium reinforced" cookwares are scratch-resistant, very hard and durable. But they are obvious different from pure titanium cookwares. They are utilizing titanium name to promote market.

So if one is really concerned with Teflon problem, attention should be paid when considering titanium cookwares.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Which nonstick cookware is safe for cooking ? - your opinion helps

It is well known that some cookwares are safe when cooking. But none of these safe cookwares has good nonstick performance as nonstick cookware does. I have been looking for a good and safe nonstcik cookware for a while. But I am dispointed and reluctant to do it now because many of the nonstick cookwares on the market  are not really safe.

Many people know that traditional Teflon nonstick cookware is not safe because Teflon contains some dnagerous chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)—also known as C-8, which has been shown to cause cancer, low birth weight and a suppressed immune system in laboratory animals exposed to high doses of PFOA.  Teflon also releases toxic fumes at high temperatures and leads to many birth death each yaer. Although the effects of PFOA at lower doses in humans are disputed, there does seem to be a link between PFOA and raised levels of cholesterol.

Some cookware manufacturers  try to avoid the bad reputation of Teflon and claim that they don't use Teflon for their nonstick cookware coating. And thus their nonstick cookwares are safe because they use different materials or improved manufacturing processes. It is kind of true that they don't use Teflon because Teflon is a TM of DuPont. There might be some difference between these chemicals and Teflon. Some chemicals might contain less PFOA or other toxic substance. But the chemicals they used are basically similar to Teflon. It seems to be impossible to eliminate all toxic particle by improving manufacture process either.  So safety is still a concern even though new generations of nonstick chemicals make nonstick cookware coating harder and more scratch-resistant. These cookwares include nonstick titanium cookwares, titanium ceramic cookwares and Swiss diamond cookwares etc. Don't be fulled by the names of these nonstick cookwares because none of these nonstick cookware  coatingsare nade of titanium or diamond. It is probablye that they are made of the same or similar chemical as Teflon.

There are some other nonstick cookwares on the market like Greenpan Cookware, ManPans Green Cookware, Dr. Mercola's Ceramic Cookware etc.  I don't know if their are really safe and I can't find out by myself. I wish experts and people with insight or experience can put their comments or suggestion here. You can comment or suggest any nonstcik cookware here freely because this blog is all about cookware safety and is not related to any commercials. Your opinion will help consumers like me to find and identify a real safe nonstick cookware for cooking. Thanks in advance.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What Are Safe Cookwares?

A safe cookware is a one that doesn't produce any toxic substance during cooking. The manufacturing material and coating determine if it is safe. The interior surface material which could be either a coating layer or base material is vital to the safety because it contacts with food directly.

Teflon coated nonstick fry pans are not safe because they release toxic fumes when heated above certain temperature. There are many concerns about Teflon nonstick fry pans. Many lawsuits have been filed over the nonstick surface both as a cookware and in its manufacturing.

Pure aluminum fry pans are not safe too. Colic, rickets, gastrointestinal problems, interference with the metabolism of calcium, extreme nervousness, anemia, headaches, decreased liver and kidney function, memory loss, speech problems, softening of the bones, and aching muscles can all be caused by aluminum toxicity.

There is no doubt that nonstick provides a great convenience for cooking and cleaning. But safety is always the first concern. More and more people are seeking substitute for a good and safe cookware. How to find a one that work as good as a nonstick and is safe as well? Following are some recommended safe cookwares:

Teflon-free titanium
Pros: Teflon-free, scratch resistant, long lasting, healthy, light weight, easy cleaning
Cons: not many products
The best choice is obviously Teflon-free nonstick. Such a cookware keeps the advantages of a Teflon coated one. It also overcomes the disadvantages of a nonstick. Is there such a good and safe cookware existing? The answer is yes. But only one kind of such cookware is available on market. That is titanium.

Titanium has many advantages due to titanium metal properties. They are healthier, lighter, lasts longer, heats quickly, easy to clean. But don't be confused with nonstick titanium or titanium reinforced cookwares. Here titanium means pure titanium material without any coating while nonstick titanium or titanium reinforced ones have coatings made of material similar to Teflon. There is an easy way to tell the difference. Titanium cookwares have a silver metal color while others in dark colors.

Stainless steel
Pros: Teflon-free, non-toxic, good heat conduction, low price
Cons: not nonstick
Stainless steel cookwares eliminates toxic Teflon coating and aluminum surface. Instead it use safe materials like chromium, nickel and steel as interior surface layer, which makes all clad cookware a safe and healthy one.

Cast iron
Pros: nonstick, Teflon-free, uniform heat distribution, long lasting
Cons: need careful seasoning
Cast iron is used for cookwares because it has excellent heat retention and diffusion properties and can be produced and formed with a relatively low level of technology. Seasoning is used to protect bare cast iron from rust and to create a non-stick surface. Only a proper seasoned cast iron cookware is a safe one.

Pros: excellent heat conductivity and distribution, Teflon free, long lasting
Cons: not nonstick, need special care
Copper cookwares are classically used by chefs because of their quick heat conduction. Copper is a safe material for cooking. Copper cookware usually is coated with a thin layer of tin to prevent the copper from reacting with acidic foods.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Are Nonstick Titanium Fry Pans or Titanium Reinforced Fry Pans Teflon Free?

Every kind of fry pan on market seems to have its own disadvantage except nonstick titanium fry pan:

Teflon-coated non-stick fry pans are easily weared off, scratched and isn’t durable in the long run. And there are some controversy if teflon-coated fry pans are safe with issues associated with scratched coating and high heat (over 500 degrees Fahrenheit).
Hard-Anodized aluminum fry pans are not really non-stick and stains easily, and they are not dishwasher-safe. Nonstick Hard-Anodized aluminum fry pans use Teflon for interior coating too.
Copper fry pans tend to heat and cool quickly and efficiently. They are also heavier, more durable, and generally more expensive. But copper pans usually react with the acidity of certain foods.
Cast iron fry pans are the all-time classic. Rust can be a problem so the inside should be coated frequently with unsalted cooking oil. User have to pay more attention to safe problem.
Stainless steel fry pans – durable and long lasting. Can go in the dishwasher, but they don’t conduct heat very well, and are therefore less energy-efficient. Stainless steel fry pans are not nonstick too.

Titanium fry pan seems to be an ideal choice. It has many advantages but overcomes all disadvantages of other fry pans according to some reviews.
Are these nonstick titanium fry pans or titanium reinforced fry pans Teflon free? I can hardly find a solution from a product description.
Look at this from some nonstick titanium fry pans description:
"Breakthrough scratch resistant, non-stick technology is now available to you at an affordable price for everyday use." "The ultimate long lasting pan is created when titanium oxide is fired on to the pan surface at 4000’C at 700mph. This process creates the Titanium Alpha 2000 coating, which is scale 9 on the hardness scale (only exceeded by diamonds, which is scale 10)." -  This description makes me to guess that the new technology is different from old Teflon nonstick technology  and is Teflon-free because Teflon coating is scratchable.
Look at the following product desription from another titanium fry pan manufacturer:
"Scanpan cookware has always been PFOA free, but the negative publicity that PFOA and, by extension, PTFE had received over the last few years, had caused Scanpan to work closely with their suppliers to find a substitute for PFOA that is environmentally friendly and biodegradable. Scanpan received patents on PFOA-free technology in 2007 and has been producing Scanpan Classic and Scanpan Professional with this new process since spring 2007. With their new Green Tek technology, there is no PFOA used at any stage of the entire process, resulting in a 'clean and green' nonstick PTFE compound, the production of which no longer uses chemicals that could have a negative impact on the environment." - Atleast it admits that  some material similar to Teflon is used for nonstick titanium fry pan coating. But this coating is PFOA free while old Teflon coating technology contains PFOA.

Now it seems to me that these nonstick titanium fry pans or titanium reinforced fry pans are not Teflon-free even though the new fry pan coating is harder and long lasting.  Are these nonstcik titanium fry pans or titanium reinforced cookware safe? All manufacturers claim they are safe. But there is some different voice.

I do find some Teflon-free titanium cookware on market. These titanium fry pans look totally different from those nonstick titanium fry pans or titanium reinforced fry pans. One can simply tell that these fry pans are pure titanium cookwares because titanium metal has a silver color.