Table of contents:
- 1. Aluminum
- 2. Stainless
- 3. Non-stick Teflon
- 4. Copper
- 5. Cast iron
- 6. Ceramic, clay or tempered glass
- 7. Soapstone
Any kitchen in the world has several types of pans and utensils that are usually constructed from different materials, the most common of which include aluminum, stainless steel and Teflon.
With the advancement of science and technology, every year, different brands of kitchen utensils release new products, produced with the most up-to-date versions of each material, which try to combine ease of use, durability and he alth safety.
So, as long as they are used undamaged, according to the manufacturer's guidelines and are properly cared for, most pans are safe for your he alth. See below the main types of pans, what are their advantages and how to properly care for them to keep them safe:
Aluminium is possibly the most used material for making pots and pans, as it is cheap, light and an excellent conductor of heat, which makes food cook faster and also distributes the temperature better, avoiding burnt pieces, which end up producing potentially carcinogenic substances.
However, there is a slight risk of aluminum being released into the food, but studies indicate that the amounts released are very low and that for this to happen, the food needs to be stored in an aluminum container or pan for several hours and at room temperature. Thus, the ideal is that, after cooking, the food is removed from the pan and stored in glass containers, if necessary.
How to care: this type of pan is easy to wash, using only warm water and a little neutral detergent, rubbing with a soft sponge.
Stainless pans, which can also be called stainless steel pans, are made from a mixture of chromium and nickel, which is represented in the pan information through an equation that is usually "18/8", which means that the pan contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel.
This type of material is very resistant and durable and, therefore, it is also widely used in various utensils, but it has worse heat conductivity and, therefore, it is easier for the food to come out with some more burnt places. To counter this trend, many stainless steel pans contain aluminum bottoms, which end up distributing heat better. Stainless steel pans are best suited for cooking food in water, as the water also helps to distribute the heat better.
How to care: for this type of pan to last longer, wash it with the soft part of the sponge and use a pump to wash it down, so that it doesn't get scratched.In addition, it is also not recommended to cook acidic foods in this type of pan and you should replace the pan if it is dented or scratched.
3. Non-stick Teflon
Non-stick Teflon is a type of material that is often used to coat aluminum pans, in order to prevent food from sticking to the pan, especially when grilling without fat, for example.
While these types of cookware are known to cause he alth problems, if damaged, the FDA claims they do not cause any he alth problems, even if Teflon is accidentally ingested. This is because Teflon is chemically inert, which means that it is not transformed in the body, entering the mouth and being eliminated in the faeces.
However, what can cause he alth hazards are non-stick pans or utensils that, in addition to Teflon, use perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Therefore, the ideal is to always read the label when buying non-stick pans.
How to care: cook in this pan using only utensils that cannot scratch the non-stick coating, such as a wooden spoon or silicone utensils. In addition, to wash it is very important to use the soft part of the sponge and not pass the hose. Finally, to ensure a good functioning of the Teflon layer, the temperature must not exceed 260ºC.
Copper is the second best heat conductor metal, after silver. In this way, it is an excellent material for cooking, as it guarantees a more regular preparation of the food, with less risk of burning. However, it is an expensive metal, in addition to being heavier, ending up being used more frequently in professional cookware and utensils.
Although it is good to ensure a more even temperature across its surface, copper should not come into direct contact with food, to avoid contamination. Thus, pans made from this material usually contain a thin layer of aluminum or brass.
How to care for: this type of pan is easy to care for, and can be washed with soap and water, just like the bombril. However, as it is a material that stains very easily, it can also be washed with lemon and a little s alt, to remove the stains.
5. Cast iron
The cast iron pan is a great option because it does not pose any he alth risk, is quite resistant and can cook at very high temperatures, being suitable for preparing meat or fried foods. In addition, when cooking, some iron particles are released into the food, serving as an excellent natural iron supplement that helps prevent iron deficiency anemia.
Although it is very good for your he alth, this type of pan is not very versatile, as it is heavy, takes longer to reach the desired temperature and can accumulate rust.
How to care: this type of material should only be cleaned with water and a soft cloth or sponge. It should be avoided putting it in the dishwasher and it should always be dry well after washing, to avoid the accumulation of rust.
6. Ceramic, clay or tempered glass
Ceramic, clay or tempered glass pans and utensils can generally only be used in the oven to prepare roasts or soups, as they are materials that cannot distribute heat correctly and, therefore, can end up breaking if used directly over fire. Unlike most materials, they are harmless and do not release any type of chemical when used frequently.
This way, these types of utensils are less versatile than other pans, and can be used only for cooking in the oven or serving food, for example. In addition, they are fragile materials, which can end up breaking very easily.
How to care: Ceramic and glass are very easy to care for, and should only be washed with soap, water and a soft sponge.
Soapstone is a type of material that is ideal for cooking food for a long time, as it gradually builds up heat. Thus, this type of material is often used to prepare grilling dishes on barbecue grills or on any type of heat source.
Although it is also a safe material for cooking, it takes a long time to heat up and consequently cool down, which can cause burns when misused. In addition, it is heavy and can be more expensive than other types of cooking utensils.
How to care: for the first use, the soapstone must be washed with s alted water and dried very well. In the following uses, it is recommended to clean only with water and not to use soap, applying a layer of oil at the end, before drying.