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Old 10-26-2007, 01:52 PM   #1
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In search of the healthiest cookware

Greetings,

I have a simple question which I have a feeling will bring about a not-so-simple answer, or a bunch of contrasting opinions.

I am looking for recommendations on the healthiest type of cookware. For example, "stainless steel is the healthiest cookware because...".

That was just an example, I'm not promoting stainless steel as the healthiest cookware but I would appreciate your thoughts/constructive critism/research you've come across. By healthy I mean the food is not contaminated by the cookware and toxic gases are not released into the air while the cookware is heated.

As for the cooking style this cookware will be used with, assume nothing fancy.

Thank you for your time,

Nick

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Old 10-26-2007, 01:57 PM   #2
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Hi, Nick. Welcome to DC.

Among all the most common types of cookware, There is no one type that is healthier than another. Stainless, non-stick, anodized aluminum, seasoned cast iron, enameled cast iron, glass, all are not a factor in the healthfulness of a dish.

How you cook in the cookware is a different story...
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:41 PM   #3
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Well, For stove top cooking, i think that Non-Stick Cookware is the best kind coz the amount of oil to be used in the food when using a non stick cookware is very very less, and so its healthy.
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:30 PM   #4
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healthy cookware

If you want to be able to cook a wide variety of things at a variety of heats, stainless steel is probably one of your better choices. Virtually all non stick type pans outgas at certain temperatures, even the newest types. If used according to the manufacturer's directions, they are fairly safe when they are new. All of them degrade with time and use.
Stainless is easy to use, cleans up well, and stands up to some pretty rough treatment indoors or out.
Every cook has their favorite. Use whatever you find functional and makes your kitchen time enjoyable.
Happy kitchen
realistic cook
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Old 10-26-2007, 04:22 PM   #5
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I am not sure what healthiest cookware is supposed to mean. Each has it's pros and cons but here is what I prefer:

Thick bottomed stainless (double layer) with an aluminum core : Example Allclad. It helps maintain even temperature during cooking. It's pricey but a couple of peices is all you need.

Good quality Non-stick: I like calphalon. You can cook with less oil since you don't have to worry about things sticking so the end product is healthier.
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Old 10-26-2007, 04:30 PM   #6
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My Lodge cast iron fry pan is over 100 years old and it's never even had a sniffle. Now, THAT'S healthy!
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Old 10-26-2007, 06:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maria View Post
Well, For stove top cooking, i think that Non-Stick Cookware is the best kind coz the amount of oil to be used in the food when using a non stick cookware is very very less, and so its healthy.
My cast iron is very well seasoned. I get it hot and add 1 tbs. of cooking oil to the pan, then use a paper towel to rub it all over the pan's inner- surface. After that, I can fry eggs on it without them sticking, or ham, or anything I want. And, I don't have to worry about damaging the pan due to high heat. I can't say the same of non-stick cookware. Virtually nothing sticks to my cast iron.

And for stainless, very little sticks, if you add the oil after heating the pan. Then, as with cast iron, just use a paper towel to rub the hot oil around the cooking surface. Teh amount of fat added to the food is negligible. But even when oiled properly, some things will stick to SS.

Enamel and glass are absolutely inert, and so are very heathy. But again, they aren't as stick-free as the SS or the Cast iron. But for slow-cooked meals, they are as good as anything else.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 10-26-2007, 06:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
My cast iron is very well seasoned. I get it hot and add 1 tbs. of cooking oil to the pan, then use a paper towel to rub it all over the pan's inner- surface. After that, I can fry eggs on it without them sticking, or ham, or anything I want. And, I don't have to worry about damaging the pan due to high heat. I can't say the same of non-stick cookware. Virtually nothing sticks to my cast iron.

And for stainless, very little sticks, if you add the oil after heating the pan. Then, as with cast iron, just use a paper towel to rub the hot oil around the cooking surface. Teh amount of fat added to the food is negligible. But even when oiled properly, some things will stick to SS.

Enamel and glass are absolutely inert, and so are very heathy. But again, they aren't as stick-free as the SS or the Cast iron. But for slow-cooked meals, they are as good as anything else.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Hey, just wondering what you do to not burn your hand? Seems like rubbing hot oil with a paper towel can get dangerous, are you wearing a glove when you do this?

I am new to the cast iron world, and so far like it. But I only season the pan AFTER using it, when the pan is just warm...
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Quicker Thinker Upper
Hey, just wondering what you do to not burn your hand? Seems like rubbing hot oil with a paper towel can get dangerous, are you wearing a glove when you do this?
Take a sheet of paper towel and fold it in half 3 times {in one direction} ... turn it 90-degrees and fold it in half 2 times. Now, hold onto the free ends and use the other half (the bottom of the "U") to rub the oil into the pan. It only takes a couple of seconds.

If you are worried still - use a pair of tongs to hold the paper towel.
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
Take a sheet of paper towel and fold it in half 3 times {in one direction} ... turn it 90-degrees and fold it in half 2 times. Now, hold onto the free ends and use the other half (the bottom of the "U") to rub the oil into the pan. It only takes a couple of seconds.

If you are worried still - use a pair of tongs to hold the paper towel.
That's exactly what I do. And if I find that I'm taking too long, then I know when to remove the paper towel as it slowly begins to feel warmer. But as you said, it takes a mere couple of seconds, not enough time for the scant amount of oil to soak through and distribute the heat.

The key to this is to use only a tsp. or so of cooking oil, shortning, lard, or butter. This is plenty to cover the surface.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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