After reading about the pans in detail, you will be in a better position to compare the two to know which one is a safer bet for your kitchen. We understand the urge you feel to buy a non-stick pan because of the utmost convenience they offer.
The higher temperatures cause expansion of the metal on the surface and, as a result, its pores become enlarged. The enlarged pores then provide space for food to seep into and this causes stickiness.
On the other hand, non-stick pans have a coating of Teflon on their metal surfaces to prevent food from sticking to them. The safety concerns were mainly due to the use of Perfluorooctanoic acid (FOA) in the production of Teflon for non-stick pans.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (FOA) is a dangerous chemical that was linked to various health problems such as kidney and liver disease. As a result, all the Teflon coated non-stick pans today are completely free of FOA and therefore safe to cook in.
This means you can cook your food more easily and don’t have to spend too much time stirring it to ensure it doesn’t get burned. The inexperienced cooks can conveniently make dishes on non-stick pans without worrying about burning it.
Since the surface is already smooth and non-stick, you don’t have to fill the entire pan with cooking oil to prevent the sticking of food. This is why non-stick pans are the perfect choice for healthy-eaters around the world who are conscious of their calorie intake and don’t want to use too much oil.
We are sure you are fully convinced to buy a non-stick pan after reading the advantages above but let us paint you a complete picture by discussing its disadvantages as well. This means you should never use a non-stick pan to cook food at extremely high temperatures as they are not designed for this.
The Teflon coating on a non-stick pan can easily start to scrape off if you use metal utensils or scouring pads on it. Even when you take all precautionary measures, the non-stick coating will start to peel off after a few years of usage.
This means buying a non-stick pan is not a long term investment as you will have to replace it every couple of years. Everyone’s kitchen is usually equipped with a cast iron pan and there are plenty of reasons why it remains to be a highly recommended type of cookware.
Even if you use metal utensils to stir on it or drop it accidentally, this pan will remain unharmed. The second most appealing quality of cast iron pans is their ability to withstand very high temperatures.
You can easily find a durable cast iron pan at a very low price from a yard sale. In this section, we are going to discuss the disadvantages of a cast iron pan to help you form an unbiased view about them.
So if you decide to proceed with buying a cast iron pan, remember to lift it to get an idea of the weight before you purchase it. There are plenty of websites where you can find a detailed guideline on how to season your cast iron pan properly.
Otherwise, the benefits of high heat capacity, versatility, affordability, and durability surely make cast iron pans much more appealing for the majority of cooks. At very high temperatures (500 to 600 degrees), the chemicals used in nonstick coatings can begin to degrade and be released.
The good news is that cooking at the recommended heat with food in the skillet won’t let you get even close to that level. Check out these pieces from Consumer Reports and Good Housekeeping for more of the science behind why modern nonstick skillets are generally deemed safe.
Many nonstick skillets today are oven-safe as well, though not all of them, especially if they include elements such as a silicone handle that further limit how hot the oven can be. Corn bread, pies and skillet cookies will all sport a deeply colored, crisp crust after baking in cast iron.
I even ruined a cast iron frying pan by attempting to cure it with a hearty coat of olive oil. However, when I finally did my research, I realized I was approaching cast iron just like I would a “normal” frying pan.
Years ago, I had to learn to prepare food in Teflon-coated cookware. Here’s the first thing I learned that made a difference in how I approached the black beasts.
Over time, these oils wear down and eventually, the pan begins to lose it’s non-stick qualities. As a home cook, your job is to re-season and cure your castironcookware every 6-12 months to maintain that finish.
I recommend that you keep your hood range vent on throughout the entire curing process. There are varying opinions on just how hot your oven should be for the seasoning process.
Some cast iron uses claim that lower temperatures are better, while some people (like myself) insist that 400F has been the sweet spot for them! Generously apply your fats/oils to the cookware with your hand, being sure to cover the entire surface and rim.
I don’t know why, but upside down pans always result in a smoother, more even finish! Because your pan may drip, you can put a cookie sheet below to catch any oils.
If you leave your cast iron in the oven for tooling, you may end up burning the finish off. If your cast iron has been properly cared for, you shouldn’t need more than 2, maybe 3 coats.
However, when working with very old, worn down pans, I like to season my cast iron until it has a glossy, black finish.