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The Best Cookware That Is Healthiest to Use at Home

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

When you moved out on your own, most likely, you got a little overwhelmed by all the options—and opinions—on what cookware to stock your kitchen with. Non-stick, green something or other, cast iron, ceramic, stainless steel, etc. Let's explore all of the different types of cookware material to use and avoid.


Best cookware
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Stainless Steel


The biggest downside to stainless steel is the difficulty to keep food from sticking to the bottom unless you use a lot of oil or season it. That being said, using stainless steel pots and pans for boiling water and cooking tomato products is best.



A big upside is that stainless steel can be used for cooking anything. For a novice cook, stainless steel may be the best option. It also doesn’t give your food any extra flavors.


Stainless steel pan
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How to Season Stainless Steel

  1. Thoroughly wash and dry your pan.

  2. Add oil with a high smoking point i.e. peanut oil.

  3. Spread oil thoroughly with a paper towel on bottom & sides.

  4. Allow the pan to cool down.

  5. Now the pores have closed and are ready for your food.

  6. Repeat as needed.



Cast Iron


Cast iron has quite a few benefits. It provides a little extra iron in your diet, lasts practically forever, is easy to clean, and is fairly inexpensive. It can take a little time to get used to the slightly metallic flavor, especially if you are already sensitive to metallic tastes.


You can also use cast iron over an open fire! If you like camping, make sure you take your cast iron pan with you. Cast iron is also safe to put in the oven. Cast iron has a few limitations like cooking tomato products. The acid in tomatoes will ruin some of the seasonings on your cast iron.


plated food

Taking Care of Your Cast Iron


How To Clean


Use hot water and a dishcloth. If necessary, a rubber scraper to get anything that is stuck. Then put on your stove on high until most of the water is boiled off. Apply oil immediately. This will help the pan stay seasoned longer. Avoid using a steel scratcher as that can take the seasoning right off.



How To Season


If your food is starting to stick to the pan or you bought it used and it isn’t slightly shiny, your pan needs to be seasoned. Apply an alkaline oil like flax seed oil or tallow/lard to the sides and bottom of the pan or skillet. It should be well-oiled. Then put it in an oven that is heated to 250F. Bake for 8-10 hours or overnight. It is best to do this when you can have your windows open, as it will get a bit stinky with the hot oil.


As with so many things in life, you need to take time to weigh your choices of cookware and do some research to find what will work best for you and your family.



Non-stick Cookware


On the surface, non-stick cookware seems like a great invention. It keeps things, especially eggs, from sticking to the pan, and that makes for easier cleaning. But there is one reason to buy non-stick pots and pans: most of them contain PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) which is a group of 5,000 synthetic compounds that can be linked to certain cancers, liver damage, and more.


Non stick pans
Icons8 Team x Unsplash

In addition, using metal utensils can cause the non-stick coating to chip off into your food which means you are ingesting the coating. Heating it up to over 350F can also cause the coating to decompose quicker and emit fumes that can be dangerous.


The Verdict:


Strive to stick with stainless steel or cast iron cookware as the healthiest options!




 

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