The holidays are upon us and a lot of us will be cooking, baking, and shopping away!
With all of the cooking and baking we’ll be doing, I thought it was time to look into new cookware and bake ware and see what’s out there! I was only hunting for new cookie sheets, but It worked out well since my Mom was shopping for new cookware also, so I tagged along and helped her pick out some great new stuff! But first I wanted to do some research and see what the best bang for her buck would be and what was out there! There’s a ton of info on cookware out there, but here’s a few important points when you’re shopping for new pots, pans, and bake ware!
Teflon- NO, NO, NO!!!! It wasn’t until recently that I learned about Teflon and it’s dangers. I’ve had quite a few sets of Teflon pots and pans in my life so far, and never knew anything bad! But I can proudly say that I’ve disposed of all Teflon in my house now.
My mom chose a new set of stainless steel pots and pans. There are tons of sales going on right now, so if you keep an eye out, you can find some great deals! We did look at few sets of cast iron, and if you don’t mind the weight behind them, they’re great! Just not very easy to handle being so heavy! But my grandmother has been cooking with cast iron for many years and swears by it!
Here’s some info I found on the dangers of Teflon. It’s definitely something to consider when buying a new set! I know that sometimes the price is hard to walk away from, but I’d rather pay a little more for a better, safer product!
Keep the following in mind-
-Non-stick surfaces are metal pans (aluminum pans) coated with a synthetic polymer called polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE), also known as Teflon.
-Toxic fumes from the Teflon chemical released from pots and pans at high temperatures can KILL pet birds and cause adults and children to develop flu-like symptoms (called “Teflon Flu” or, “Polymer fume fever”).
-Manufacturers’ labels warn consumers to avoid high heat when cooking with Teflon. Tests showed that in just two to five minutes on a conventional stove top, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces could exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases.
-Health dangers! –When you breathe air polluted with fumes from overheated Teflon, you’re at risk for developing flu-like symptoms (“Teflon flu”).
-For stove-top cooking, and oven-safe glass for baking. Stainless Steel is a terrific alternative to a non-stick cooking surface. Most chefs agree that stainless steel browns foods better than non-stick surfaces. I asked quite a few chefs that I know, and not ONE of them uses non stick cookware!
-Cast iron still remains a great alternative to non-stick products. Cast iron could be called, “natural non-stick.” It is extremely durable and can be pre-heated to temperatures that will brown meat and will withstand oven temperatures well above what is considered safe for non-stick pans.
Now, if you already have Teflon products, here are a few tips to help keep you healthy until you can purchase a new set!
-Never preheat nonstick cookware at high heat — empty pans can reach high temperatures fast! Heat at the lowest temperature possible to cook your food safely.
-Don’t put nonstick cookware in an oven hotter than 500 degrees.
-Use an exhaust fan over the stove.
-Keep pet birds out of the kitchen — the fumes from an overheated pan can kill a bird in seconds!
-Skip the self-cleaning function on your oven. It cleans by heating to high temperatures, which can release toxic fumes from non-stick interior oven parts. (The self cleaning function can also ruin parts in your oven, just stick to good old fashioned cleaning! It’s safer and will lengthen the life of your oven!)
-Choose a safer alternative when buying new cookware!
For baking, it would be ideal If I could just but an entire set of Le Creuset bakeware, but that’s wayyyy out of my price range! So I went on the hunt for a safe alternative. I did find that other brands of stoneware really bake stuff great and they have everything from muffin and cupcake pans, to cookie sheets now. But they’re still pretty pricy. Everything I’ve found so far that’s decently priced isn’t so great. So I’m still on the hunt! But I found a few stoneware sheets pretty decently priced that I’ll use for the holiday cookies in the meantime! They bake the cookies beautifully!
That’s all for now! Time to get in the kitchen and start baking! Enjoy your holiday cooking and baking!