Is it true that nonstick coating is harmful to human health? How to use a nonstick pan correctly?



If you can only keep one pot at home, then many people will keep a non-stick pan. After all, non-stick pans do not stick when cooking food, easy to clean, and are a relatively easy cooking tool for beginners in the kitchen.

But when I was organizing data, I found an interesting answer:

Do you have the same experience?

Every time you buy a new nonstick pan and use it carefully, you still find it becomes sticky later, or you always find some new nonstick pan taboo on the Internet.

In fact, once you have a general understanding of the principle of non-stick coating, you will understand how to use non-stick pan correctly without being misled by other people’s comments.

So what exactly is the principle of a non-stick pan?

There are many kinds of non-stick pots on the market. Some are made by special processes, such as the Zhangqiu iron pot from China. Some are materials that prevent adhesion, such as ceramics. And the most common is the surface of the pot coated with a layer of non-stick pans. Now the more common coating is Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), it is also known as the king of plastic. The main advantage of PTFE is acid and alkali resistance. It with good flame retardancy, almost insoluble in any solvent, the physical and chemical properties are very stable. PTFE, with a coefficient of friction of less than or equal to 0.1, is the smallest known solid material with friction, and because of this, it is used in the coating of pots.

Is PTFE safe?

TFE has a melting point of 327 ° C (620.6°F), but becomes unstable at temperatures above 260 ° C (500°F) for extended periods. Under normal circumstances, ordinary stir-frying temperature below 180° C (356°F), oil temperature 70 to 80° C(158-176°F) of the heat of frying temperature between 180° C (356°F) -240° C ( 464°F), oil temperature to 10 ° C (50°F) of heat may appear temperature more than 260° C (500°F), PTFE coating will become unstable. By the way, some people like to preheat the pan, which means to dry the pan for nothing, and if preheated for too long, the temperature can exceed 260° C (500°F) and the coating can become unstable. At temperatures above 350° C (662°F), PTFE breaks down the harmful gas Fluorine phosgene. The absorbance of Fluorine phosgene in small amounts does not pose a threat to humans, and only in doses above a certain level can it irritate skin and respiratory tract.

In the years nonstick pans have been on the market, there have been very few cases of poisoning. And almost all of these cases are not proper use of pots, such as forgetting to turn off the fire cause for up to three hours of dry nonstick poisoning. Thus, normally use nonstick pots will not release toxic gas, so don’t worry about it. Even if you’re using the most traditional iron pot, there’s still a danger when you don’t use it properly. More importantly, non-stick pan into the market for so many years, the related technology has been updated many times, now the non-stick pan coating has achieved a relatively safe level.

In addition, people are more likely to avoid non-stick pans after watching the movie Dark Waters. To be clear, the carcinogenic substance in this movie is Perfluorooctane (PFOA), not Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PFOA is not found in the finished product of PTFE. But is emitted during the manufacturing process, which is why the workers in the movie got cancer. But as the technology matures, it can be completely eliminated in today’s manufacturing process. Besides, as early as a few years ago, many countries have explicitly banned the production of products containing PFOA ingredients, if you buy products from formal channels, you can safely use them.


What if the coating falls off and melts into the food?

In addition to high temperatures that can destroy nonstick coatings, prolonged physical friction can also cause coatings to peel off. Some of the coatings will be peeled off when we cook, so these peeled coatings are eaten by the human.

In fact, the non-stick coating is not abiding by the body and is excreted by the digestive tract when we eat it, so it is also used in artificial blood vessels and joints.

If you are concerned about the safety of young children and pregnant women, you can also choose a non-stick pan with no coating.


The biggest inconvenience of non-stick pan coating falling off is that the anti-stick effect becomes worse. It is necessary to clean the non-stick pan vigorously, and forced cleaning will lead to non-stick pan coating falling off, so that the area of non-stick pan falling off becomes larger. The method of preventing non-stick pan coating from falling off is actually some details, the following is some correct use of non-stick pans method.

1. Avoid prolonged high temperatures

This is the most important point. Do not allow a non-stick pan to stay above 260 °C (500°F) for long periods of time (it will briefly tolerate temperatures of 300°C (572°F)). But the normal stir-frying, stewing and so on will not destroy the stability of the non-stick pan, only a long time of empty burning will lead to the destruction of the non-stick coating. For example, heat a wok to evaporate water off the surface before cooking, The right way is wiping it off with kitchen paper.

2. Never use aerosol cooking spray

It is best to use regular bottled oil or butter. The residue buildup from the cooking spray is a total bummer.

3. Avoid the use of metal utensils

Avoid metal nonstick pans at all costs. They’ll destroy the nonstick coating. Instead, use a wooden spoon or silicone utensil.

4. Avoid major water temperature changes

Prevent coating from falling off due to thermal expansion and cold contraction. You can clean the pots and pans after you have had meals.

5. Washed by hand

It’s best to hand wash your nonstick cookware with soft scouring pads. Dishwashers can slowly but surely destroy the coating as well.

6.Store your pans properly.

The material on the bottom of the pot is also metal, so it is necessary to avoid friction between the surface and the bottom of the pots. You can place a cloth in the middle or place it on its own.

Nonstick pan has a life span, and your correct operations can maintain its life span. But if you find a non-stick pan with a lot of scratches or showing different colors of interior material, please replace it immediately. If you get a very cheap pot, be aware that the manufacturer is using a cheap nonstick coating. Please be sure to buy kitchen supplies from regular channels!

Conclusion: If you purchase nonstick pans from regular channels, and use it correctly, it will not cause harm to the body, and will bring great help to our cooking process.

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