Still, silicone is a synthetic compound, so you may be wondering if it’s real safe enough to be used in cooking and baking. However, it is considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be safe for cooking and baking.
Silicone is inert so you don’t have to worry about toxic fumes and chemicals leaching into your food. People also often mistaken silicone as a kind of plastic due to its malleability, water resistance, and flexibility.
Unlike plastic which is made from petrochemicals, silicone comes from silica or sand quartz. Water is added to dimethyldichlorosilane to start the condensation process which will turn it into polydimethylsiloxane.
Despite the complex process of making rubber silicone, it can be done in large batches at a low cost. And, if you’ve used silicone utensils before, you might have noticed that it doesn’t retain odor from the foods you cook.
It isn’t hard like metal utensils which can scrape the coating of nonstick pans. Compared to other types of kitchenware that rust, warp and break, silicone is durable.
Not only is it found to be highly non-toxic, it has no effect on the immune system and does not cause skin irritation as well. If you’re buying silicone utensils and bakeware, you’ll want to find a product that is at least rated food-grade.
Pure silicone is inert and won’t leach toxic chemicals as you cook. It is found to have harmful effects on the human body since it can interfere with our hormones and cause brain and behavioral issues.
However, poorly made silicone bakeware and utensils that have fillers in them might contain BPA. Since the FDA has deemed silicone as safe for cooking, I have little reservations using or recommending silicone utensils and bakeware.
When buying bakeware, you’ll want to check the safe temperature range of the product. Do the twist test to check if the product you’re considering doesn’t contain fillers.
Buy silicone molds that don’t have tight spaces where food can get stuck, making it hard clean. Though food doesn’t easily stick to silicone bakeware, they aren’t completely nonstick.
Silicone muffin molds should be placed on a metal tray for stability before they are placed on the oven rack. Though silicone is naturally resistant to microbial growth, scratches and cuts can harbor bacteria.
To make it easier to clean the silicone cupcake liners and smaller muffin molds, soak them in water for a few minutes first before you wash them. Do not use abrasive chemicals and cleaning tools on your silicone kitchenware as they can cause surface damage.
Though silicone kitchenware are dishwasher- safe, washing them by hand with some mild soap can extend their lifespan. Before storing your silicone bakeware, make sure that they are completely dry to prevent dust from sticking to it.
To remove it, wash your silicone molds with some water and mild detergent. Then, with a wet dishcloth, scrub the areas gently until you can no longer feel any grease.
If you find your silicone utensils and bakeware giving off a soapy taste, try boiling them for a few minutes. If your silicone kitchenware has a stubborn white residue, soak it in a solution of vinegar and water for 15 to 30 minutes.
According to a manufacturer who tested what this white residue is on a returned product, it is calcium sulfate. The minerals from hard water calcify on the surface of silicone and form the white residue.
The only thing you shouldn’t do is to put your silicone molds over an open fire where it can melt. To help you get started here’s an easy steamed egg recipe which you can try for a healthy breakfast.
Plastic is harmful to humans as well since they contain BPA which is a chemical that can mimic our hormones, causing endocrine disruption. Silicone utensils and bakeware are safe to use for cooking and baking, provided that you don’t expose them to temperatures more than 572F.
Not only are they a huge trend in the current culture, but they are also touted as a green way of baking. Unfortunately, this simple question has quite an unsatisfying answer: It really depends on what we mean by silicone.
Second only to oxygen in terms of abundance, silicon bonds with oxygen to create minerals called silicates (like jadeite, quartz, mica, olivine, and reunite). According to recent research, it was found in the human body and it can be beneficial to health.
It can exist in various states (solid, liquid or gel) and we often use it for manufacturing medical devices like joint replacements, pacemakers, and implants. Generally considered safe for medical uses, silicone has gained new popularity in bakeware.
However, this doesn’t mean much, given that the FDA approves plenty of things that you wouldn’t want to eat. The claim that this substance is “nonreactive” is based solely on the fact that silicon (the chemical element) is “inert.” And if we are honest with ourselves, we admit that just because something is fairly stable in nature doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily cook in or eat on it.
Lower quality silicone coatings contain a type of filler that may be hazardous. Here is a good test for your silicone cookware: If any white shows through when you twist it, it probably contains fillers.
You probably noticed an odor or slight smoking occasionally (especially when oil hits the surface). Just because we do not have enough scientific studies to prove the food safety of silicone does not mean it is safe to use.
Check with your manufacturer for other materials that could contaminate your silicone bakeware. If you want to be really sure, you can skip silicone altogether and stick with cast iron, glass, or stainless steel for cooking and baking.
In addition, creating silicone cookware doesn’t take more energy than glass or mining metal for pots and pans. Similarly, the silicone “spoonful” has more than proved its worth in stove top cooking.
Therefore, you should only invest in silicone cookware if it helps you in making food easily. For now, make sure you take good care of your silicone baking mats to keep on the safe side of things.
William E. Embanks I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.
This is a question on many consumer's minds, ranging from professional bakers to the occasional home cook. You will also find silicone ice cube trays, rolling pins and all sorts of baking pans.
Silicone bakeware is tolerant of both heat and cold, and can be used in the oven at temperatures up to 428 degrees Fahrenheit. It can go directly from the oven to the freezer, is microwave safe, and easy to clean.
It does not emit fumes of any sort, leach into food, or pose any health risks according to the FDA. If you are concerned about the possibilities of long term use of silicone bakeware, consider confining your use to spatulas, trivets and other items that are not exposed to heat on a consistent basis.
If you do use silicone pans, you should also keep in mind that they should be placed on a firm surface, like a cookie sheet, when baking. Lifting a flexible pan from the oven can leave you with burns and a cake on the floor rather than your table.
It appears that these odors are connected to fillers in the final product, rather than the silicone itself. Keep in mind that silicone cookware has become quite popular and low quality items are available.
While there is no evidence that risks are posed by poor quality silicone cookware, offensive burning smells when baking is enough to make any baker want to avoid these items.