Alternatives for Teflon pans
The use of Teflon has been debated for years. While initially it was 'normal' to use Teflon in pans, more and more people start to question what Teflon is and if it is harmful to use. Recent research proved that when Teflon pans become too hot due to incorrect use, substances such as PFOA and PFAS are released. That is why more and more people say goodbye to their Teflon pans, but what is a suitable alternative? We made an overview.
Sheet steel pans
A sheet steel pan is basically a very simple product. It is made from 100% iron. At first this pan is nice and natural, but in time it will turn black. In fact, it needs to be treated before use. This is also called 'seasoning'. This isn't difficult at all, but it takes some time. The black layer, or the patina, you create functions as a non-stick coating. This natural layer will always work. Even if you 'mess up' you can repair the 'damage'. Simply clean the pan and season it again! This does mean you need to start over, but it is possible. A Teflon pan can only be thrown out after a disaster in the kitchen!
The main advantage of sheet steel pans is also that they can handle very high temperatures. Also, you can use steel cookware without worrying about damaging the non-stick coating. But that is not all! They are also favourably priced.
It is important to clean the pan after use with clean water, so without detergent. After cleaning it you need to dry it immediately, and, if necessary, grease it! Steel namely start to rust. Will you go with a top-quality sheet steel pan? Why not check out the De Buyer pans. Extremely affordable, sustainable in use.
Cast iron pans
A cast iron pan is made to last a lifetime. The only thing that could go wrong is when you drop it. Cast iron heats up slowly, but does retain its heat for a long time. The heat is also evenly distributed. Another advantage is that cast iron can handle very high temperatures. Heavy cast iron lids properly seal off the pan. As such you will never lose moisture or flavour.
Take good care of your cast iron pan. Like sheet steel pans, cast iron pans need to be seasoned. The cleaning process is the same. Allow it to cool before placing it under the tap. It is best to wash it by hand, without using detergent.
Do you want to benefit from the advantages of a cast iron pan, but are you not looking forward to the maintenance? If so, enamel cast iron pans are the best choice.
Enamel cast iron pans
Because you need to maintain bare cast iron it is often enhanced with enamel. Simply put enamel is a thin layer of glass. As such it works the same as a Teflon non-stick coating, but without the toxins. Cleaning the pan is easy and the fresh colours of the enamel look amazing.
Copper pans are incredibly popular amongst professional chef's who often use them to prepare sauces. Copper pans are amazing to use and look very fancy. In addition, copper is one of the best conductors of heat. Many copper pans are enhanced with a layer of, for instance, stainless steel on the inside. As such the pan is a little less sensitive to both mechanical damage and, for instance, chemical reactions between copper and elements from the food that is cooked inside. In all cases properly taking care of your pans is key.
Considering the price of copper pans you want to enjoy them for years to come. That is why we advise you not to use sharp objects in a copper pan. You can clean the pan with hot water and detergent. If food residue is difficult to remove you can leave the water inside the pan to loosen the residue. You can treat the outside with copper polish to make sure it stays in great shape. This is mostly cosmetic maintenance. But it is worth it for such an amazing pan.
Check out all copper Prima Matera pans.
We discussed a number of options based on sustainability and maintenance. Which will suit you best depends on your budget and if you want to spend time on maintenance. But don't let it stop you. You put in a little effort and get a whole lot in return.