Today, you have too many options to choose from while buying a non-stick pan. Teflon has been the most popular coating for non-stick pans, but some people are concerned about its effect on their health. So, anodized pans have started to gain popularity too. But do anodized pans have Teflon?
Anodized pans don’t contain any Teflon. These pans are made using anodized aluminum. The anodized aluminum is made using an electrochemical process that anodizes the surface of the pan. This creates a much thicker barrier between the aluminum and the food. So these pans don’t need to have Teflon.
This process also makes anodized pans scratch-resistant. But…
Is Hard Anodized The Same As Teflon?
Hard anodized metal and Teflon aren’t the same. Teflon and hard anodized metal are used to make non-stick pans.
Non-stick pans are very convenient and great for cooking items that fall apart, like eggs and fish.
The core of every non-stick pan is made out of aluminum, stainless steel, or ceramic.
The added coating is what makes it non-stick. This is why non-stick pans are less durable than traditional ones.
Many manufacturers apply the coating like spray paint. They layer it with one to five coats.
Related Further Reading:
- Why Use A Wok Instead Of A Frying Pan? (5 Reasons)
- Do Cast Iron Skillets Need To Be Seasoned? (How To Figure Out?)
What Is Teflon?
Most non-stick cookware is coated in polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is also known as Teflon (for the last 50 years).
A Dupont scientist accidentally discovered it during the 1950s and named it Teflon.
Teflon is also found in common household products like plumber’s tape and dental floss.
Teflon is a long-chain organic molecule derived from hydrocarbons, which means that it is plastic.
Usually, PTFE is safe because it doesn’t react with the human body.
This is why PTFE pans are, contrary to popular belief, labeled “healthy” or “non-toxic.”
Teflon pans are very effective, but they do come with some health concerns.
If heated above 400°F, PTFE-based coating will release harmful fumes.
These fumes can be deadly to birds.
Heating your pan above 400°F is very easy to do, especially if you are heating an empty pan or cooking a small amount of food.
It is a good idea to preheat non-stick pans with oil in them rather than heating them when they are empty because the oil will undoubtedly begin to smoke well below 400°F.
If you overheat your Teflon-coated pan, you can experience the so-called “Teflon flu” or poisoning, and you might get symptoms such as fever, shivering, sore throat, and weakness.
Another health concern is PFOA, a substance used to make PTFE cookware. PFOA is a human-made synthetic compound used for making non-stick cookware, carpets, and stain-resistant fabrics.
It is toxic and believed to be carcinogenic to humans.
It doesn’t break down easily, which makes it an environmental hazard that causes a lot of ecological problems.
PFOA can also cause immune disorders, liver problems, osteoarthritis, delayed cholesterol changes, puberty thyroid dysfunctions, and increased levels of uric acid.
PFOA is present in soil because large manufacturers discharge significant amounts of it into the environment.
It can also contaminate the water, which can lead to greater health risks for the public.
These compounds can move from the soil to the surface water and into the ground.
Once there, the compounds could easily go to private and public water supplies.
What Is Anodized Aluminum?
Pans made out of anodized aluminum are gaining popularity, though they aren’t really non-stick pans.
Anodized aluminum has a dark and hard surface of aluminum oxide on it than what’s present on a regular aluminum pan.
This results in a tougher surface of the pan and makes it non-reactive.
If your aluminum pans were reactive, it would give your food a metallic taste.
Anodized pans are very durable and more difficult to dent than pans made out of other materials.
Because of their smooth surface, hard-anodized pans are much easier to clean.
You can remove the food that sticks to your pan with a sponge and water.
Aluminum is a good conductor of heat, which means it will cook your food faster and eliminate hot spots.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Is Discoloring of Stainless Steel Pans Typical?
- Do Chefs Use Pressure Cookers? (3 Reason Why They Don’t)
Is Anodized Cookware Safe?
Anodized aluminum cookware surface is sealed.
That means the metal cannot react with acidic foods or leach into the food.
The lightweight, traditional aluminum pans and pots are reactive with acidic food.
On the other hand, anodized aluminum cookware is safe.
There is certainly a lot of aluminum on Earth. It can be found in plants, soil, and water.
There is aluminum in the water we drink and the food we eat. Ingesting aluminum can harm our kidneys.
It will also deplete our body of calcium and phosphorus, thus resulting in weakened bones.
Since aluminum is so reactive, it is usually unhealthy for humans.
Most of the safety concerns regarding the use of anodized aluminum come from the connection between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease.
These concerns were spread years ago, which caused a lot of people to worry about their exposure to aluminum through beverage cans, food packaging, antacids, antiperspirants, cookware, and some other medications.
Some studies have found increased levels of aluminum in the brains of people who have dementia, but other studies haven’t.
No research has found an increased occurrence of dementia in people who have occupational exposure to aluminum.
Because of this fact, it is believed that aluminum is probably not a cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Cookware made from aluminum has a cooking surface of stainless steel (it can also be some other material).
These materials are used to make the outer surface because they have an extraordinary ability to conduct heat.