Guide to Kitchen Utensils, Pots, Pans and Accessories: Nonstick Coating

About the uses, care, cost, and controvery surrounding nonstick coating kitchen utensils, pots, pans, and accessories.

NONSTICK COATING

Properties: A fluorocarbon resin bonded to aluminum and cast iron. The natural material is white, but colors are added to minimize the unsightliness of staining. This coating does not change the utensil's heating properties; it just prevents food from sticking.

Cost: Moderately priced to expensive.

Use: Teflon II, one of the most familiar trade names, is one of the more durable and scratch-resistant coatings.

Care: To clean, use soapy water and a plastic mesh pad for stuck-on food. Rinse and dry. A coat of oil is recommended before using Teflon II, or any other utensil with a nonstick coating for the first time. Use only wooden implements because it scratches easily. Discoloration is caused by overheating, which allows food and grease to penetrate the coating. Overheating also gives off sodium fluoride gas, which is potentially toxic. To remove stains boil 1 cup water, 2 Tbs. baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid household bleach for 5 to 10 mins. or until stain disappears. Wash thoroughly. Relining can be considered, but it could cost as much as a new pan.

Controversy: According to Adelle Davis, there are excellent preparations of lecithin available which can be sprayed or rubbed on utensils to prevent sticking; they are completely harmless and preferable to the use of Teflon.

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