Everyone enjoys baking and baked products, but it’s absolutely crucial that we all take care of our health as much as we possibly can. There’s been a lot of stirrup about Teflon being used as a coating for cooking and baking pans. The medical community has found out that Teflon causes PFOA exposure, which can be very dangerous for your health. In fact, PFOA was used in Teflon production until 2013. So people wonder, do baking pans have Teflon?
Yes, baking pans do have Teflon. Almost all non-stick cookware is coated with Teflon nowadays. However, Teflon is now free from PFOA, making it completely safe to cook with Teflon coated cookware. The absence of PFOA also makes the baking pans safe to cook pancakes, eggs, and other sticky meals.
Teflon was a burning topic in the culinary community. The FDA (along with other organizations) created quite a justified commotion about Teflon and PFOA, as it presented a really palpable and real problem for everyday health. This is exactly what we’ll be delving into below. We’ll talk about why baking pans have Teflon, how to tell if your baking pan is covered with Teflon, and what are the alternatives to Teflon pans. Let’s get started.
Why Do Baking Pans Have Teflon?
Baking pans are still covered with Teflon.
This is because Teflon is by far the best solution for non-stick pans, and engineers still haven’t found a better alternative.
All around the world, people use non-stick pans daily for their everyday cooking.
As we’ve already said, it’s absolutely perfect for flipping pancakes, frying eggs, and bacon, etc.
However, a controversy had risen a little over a decade ago, with a lot of sources claiming that Teflon is actually bad for your health.
It was linked to dangerous conditions, most notably, cancer.
Non-stick cookware is usually coated with Teflon, professionally known as polytetrafluoroethylene.
This synthetic chemical is made up of carbon and fluorine atoms.
The Teflon cover makes cookware very easy to clean and convenient to use, and it’s also healthier than other cookware (we’re putting a pin in the whole PFOA story) since it requires less oil or butter than sticky pans do.
Teflon isn’t used exclusively in the culinary arts, as it’s found its applicability in wire coating, carpet protecting, and waterproofing fabrics.
Concerns have been raised because of a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
This was previously used to produce non-stick cookware, but it’s hardly ever used today.
However, these concerns aren’t realistic today.
All Teflon products are completely free from PFOA, but it was used until 2013.
Usually, most of the PFOA would burn off (due to the insanely high temperatures) during the manufacturing process.
Only a small amount usually remains on the finalized products.
However, research has proven that this amount of PFOA is far too little to present significant exposure.
PFOA is linked to a number of health problems, including testicular cancer, liver disease, thyroid disorders, chronic kidney disease, infertility, and low birth weight.
Teflon is mostly a stable compound, but after reaching temperatures over 572°F (300°C), the Teflon coating will start to break down and let out dangerous chemicals into the air.
Inhaling these fumes can lead to the Teflon flu, otherwise known as polymer fume fever.
This flu usually consists of short-term flu-like symptoms.
However, more serious and long-lasting symptoms have been reported, like long term lung damage.
It must be noted that in all of these examples, the individuals in question were exposed to extremely heated Teflon (734°F (390°C) or higher) for longer periods, a few hours at least.
If you apply basic common sense to this, you won’t be one of the sufferers of this problem.
To minimize the risks of this happening to you, don’t preheat an empty pan, avoid cooking on high heat for prolonged periods, vent your kitchen regularly, use wooden, silicone, and plastic utensils, replace old cookware, and regularly handwash your cookware.
Related Further Reading:
- What is the Impact of Putting Cookware Inside a Freezer?
- Are There Certain Kinds of Pans That Should Not Be Washed in a Dishwasher?
- Can You Use Pans On A Grill? (Which Pans Can You Use?)
- Curbing Smoking of Pans
How To Tell If Your Baking Pans Have Teflon?
Firstly, most manufacturers will make sure that you know that the baking pan you’re buying is made of Teflon.
There will usually be a big sign on the box saying ‘Coated with Teflon’ or ‘Non-stick thanks to Teflon’.
Whenever you’re buying anything that’s non-stick, you should suspect that it’s coated with Teflon.
If there isn’t an obvious sign to it, you should read the manufacturer’s description of the products, usually printed at the back of the packaging.
If there’s any Teflon coating on the pan, they’ll make sure to add that to the description of the features.
However, if you’re still skeptical about this and think that the manufacturers may try to trick you, you can always check for temperature warnings.
If there’s a temperature warning similar to ‘Don’t heat over the temperature of…’, then the pan may be coated with Teflon.
Also, whenever you see that the pan is non-stick, suspect that Teflon may be involved.
It’s still important to keep the recently-established safety in mind.
It isn’t that dangerous to use Teflon-coated products anymore.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Is the Surface of a Copper Pan Covered in Teflon?
- Is it Possible to Fix a Ceramic Pan That Has Scratches?
- How Long Does it Take to Prepare Food with Pans and a Griddle?
- Is it Possible to Use Pans on an Induction Hob?
What Are Teflon Replacements For Baking Pans?
If you’re looking for alternatives to Teflon, then you should definitely look into stainless steel.
It’s usually durable and stain-resistant, along with being dishwasher safe.
A stoneware is also a valid option, heating evenly and being non-stick when seasoned.
It can be heated to very high temperatures, and it’s usually scratch-resistant.
Ceramic cookware, although relatively new to the market, is a great alternative to Teflon.
It’s non-stick as well, but it’s very easy to scratch the surface of the pan.
Glass is another option. These pots are non-reactive. They don’t release any chemicals.
However, they may explode if overheated even though modern glass cookware was specifically designed not to explode.
Silicone cookware is even newer than ceramic cookware, but it’s perfect for baking.
It’s no good for cooking though, as it’s very reactive when presented with direct heat.