What is wrong with Teflon?

Teflon is the trademarked name for Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This chemical, which makes things “non-stick.” Some experts consider this to be a “likely carcinogen” (cancer-causing substance) according to some advisers to the EPA. By 2015, DuPont the makers of Teflon and a handful of other companies will eliminate a harmful chemical in Teflon called PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid).

When Teflon gets above 300 degrees, the coating can break apart and emit toxic particles and gases. This has been linked to thousands of pet bird deaths and an unknown number of human illnesses each year. If your cupboard is filled with teflon, be mindful that it must be treated very carefully, or the non-stick coating can be marred or destroyed. Teflon pans should never be used with metal utensils. Never cut directly on the pan.

What is the best cookware on the market today?

Stainless steel is a great cooking surface but tends to be a bad heat conductor. Look for stainless steel with aluminum or a copper core to help distribute heat nicely. These pans are much more expensive than cast iron, but they require zero maintenance and, when used properly, they’re effectively non-stick.

Waterless Cookware is a uniquely-designed, surgical stainless steel made of several layers of metals which provide thorough conduction of the heat on the pan or pot. This high-grade, quality stainless steel is safe to use, for it doesn’t contain hazardous chemical components that could contaminate the food and because of its non-stick quality. Waterless cooking tends to preserve most of the nutrients of your food, and the natural flavor is not lost or diluted.

Cast iron pans are fantastic and inexpensive: $15-25 for a nice, heavy skillet. Cast iron requires some care and takes longer to warm up. You will need to season cast iron cookware, if you don’t want your food to stick.

Enameled cast iron is another option which is more expensive than cast iron, but it doesn’t need any seasoning. This fits somewhere in between cast iron and stainless steel. This will warm up slowly and hold heat for a long time. This is heavy cast iron, but its surface is smooth like stainless steel.