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Old 03-07-2010, 12:48 PM   #1
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Teflon-coated pans - no good?

my brother is a health nut and he always tells me that teflon pans are bad for your health. i think he says that the stuff comes off and into the food, once in your system it never gets out. can anyone comment?

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Old 03-07-2010, 01:04 PM   #2
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Baloney!

If Teflon (or other brand of non-stik coating) flakes off an old or damaged pan, it passes right through your system (just like everything else that goes in your mouth). It is, after all, the slipperiest thing on the planet. Besides, Teflon is inert and therefore harmless.

On the other side of the coin, if teflon is over heated, it give off fumes that can cause flu-like symptoms in humans or could kill small birds. The degree of overheating necessary is much more than is used in normal cooking. Essentially, if you left an empty pan on a burner for 10 minutes, you could have a problem.

There is a potentially carcinogenic chemical used in the manufacture of teflon that can impact workers in the factory. That chemical is not present in the finished product.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:44 PM   #3
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Hi 97guns,

Like your brother, I am also a health-nut.

I did tons of research on the matter and decided that I'll always have one nonstick skillet around for eggs, pan potatoes, etc..., but will use stainless for other things -- like browning beef, searing chicken breasts, making risotto, etc... I use my nonstick skillet on nothing higher than medium heat, too.

However, you probably should replace nonstick pans when they start to flake and get badly scratched. Although the material is slippery, there are no long-term studies that explore the effects of consuming nonstick coating. I haven't found any evidence to say it's bad or good, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Hope this helps. Short answer? Teflon pans are fine! Just don't abuse them (read: metal utensils and high heat) and replace them when necessary.

Tim
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:15 PM   #4
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I don't know what consuming the Teflon will do, I have never made Teflon loaf.

The only time I worried about it was making an omelet and on the turn it was Teflon coated. Came off in one sheet (one big flake I suppose) and I just pitched it, pan and all.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:54 PM   #5
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The quality of course makes a difference. Never put a coated pan on high heat. That is what is not good for you. Always start on med high, braise or saute then turn the heat down or finish in the oven in the same fry pan.
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