Teflon is a substance that was originally designed for industrial use.
PFOA or Perfluorooctanoic acid has been linked to cancer, infertility, liver damage, asthma, and other health problems. The EPA classifies this chemical as “likely carcinogenic”.
In this article, we'll learn what replaced Teflon and what this means when it comes to buying cookware for your kitchen – let's get right into it.
The problems with Teflon
PFOA can be found in papers and textiles because it's used to make things more stain-resistant. It's also used to make carpets resist mold and mildew, and that means less cleaning for you.
The same substance is present in non-stick cookware, although they tend to have different names: DuPont Teflon contains GenX or C8H4F3O2P or even fluorobutanoic acid. In other words, it's just a long string of letters and numbers.
PFOA is also known for causing fertility issues in women. Studies have shown that a woman's ovulation could be delayed by half a year if she was exposed to PFOA. If you're pregnant, this chemical could delay the delivery of your baby which can be bad news if you end up in a complicated birth or an emergency C-section.
You could also have an increased risk of uterine cancer, breast cancer, and preeclampsia. That's right – it can cause serious health problems in women.
The best alternative to Teflon
If you're looking for a substitute for Teflon coating, your best bet is ceramic cookware. It might not be as stain-resistant but at least it won't make you sick. If you have PFOA-coated cookware, just ditch it.
Here is one more reason why ceramic is better than Teflon – scratch resistance. Ceramic is practically invincible compared to Teflon. You'll never end up with scratched pots and pans if you choose this alternative. The only way you'll manage to damage a ceramic surface is by using a knife or some other sharp object as it's being heated.
Selecting the right materials is important for ceramics – both in terms of quality and price. You do not want to buy cheap stuff since this will affect the quality significantly (and price tag too). Also, do not make these mistakes when it comes to nonstick pans if you want them to have a long shelf life.
How does ceramic work?
Ceramic cookware can give you all the performance you need without exposing yourself to harmful chemicals. This material has been used for centuries due to its durability and unique properties that allow food to be prepared easily. Unfortunately, it wears down over time, especially if you put it in water on heat regularly. Ceramic cookware comes in two main types: stoneware and porcelain.
Stoneware has the same properties as porcelain but it's made of a different material – clay. Stoneware is also usually much thicker than porcelain pots, especially when talking about frying pans and Dutch ovens. So if you're looking for something that will last you a lifetime, stoneware is probably your best bet. Heating stoneware takes longer than other materials since it retains heat well (similar to cast iron). And finally, it tends to crack easier compared to its counterpart – porcelain.
If you want more precise control over your cooking process and you like the idea of heavy-duty cookware without worrying about scratching or damage to the pots and pans, stoneware is your best bet.
Porcelain, on the other hand, is a mix of clay and minerals like feldspar that essentially makes it more durable than stoneware (versus cracking). Because it's lighter – this means you can use less energy to heat the material. It also heats faster than cast iron or stone pots, for instance.
The downside is that since porcelain is made of lighter materials, they tend to scratch easily compared to stoneware by frying eggs.
Keep in mind that when cleaning ceramic, the process isn't as easy as glass or stainless steel. You should avoid using soap as much as possible due to its chemical nature which can affect the surface of the cookware.
Other Possible alternatives: What else can I use besides Teflon?
Of course, there's always silicone due to its non-stick (and heat resistant) properties. Just be careful when using it since silicone is easily scratched and can melt at lower temperatures compared to Teflon or ceramic. If you're really in a pinch, there's always cast iron – which isn't non-stick but can withstand intense heat.
The downside is that it's heavy and takes longer to cook food compared to stainless steel or Teflon. And finally, you could try stainless steel – this material is cheaper than the other two options above and heats up quickly. It has also been shown to be the best ceramic with regards to cooking bacon.
Just make sure you pick the best type of stainless steel (like anodized ) if you want something that won't react with your food in the long run. Anodized steel is more resistant to scratches compared to chrome (which can get nasty sometimes).
Final thoughts on what replaced Teflon
In conclusion, we hope you learned a lot about the different types of materials and what to look for when shopping for cookware. If you're in the market for new pots and pans – just be sure to stay away from Teflon-covered products. It looks like this substance is not safe in many situations.
Finally, remember that the best option overall is ceramic or cast iron pots and pans. They won't give off toxic fumes and they heat up even while being affordable at the same time (unlike non-stick metals). In fact, you can check out our selection of best options when it comes to non-stick pans without teflon if you want to learn more.