6 Tips to Cooking Safely with Nonstick Cookware
Nonstick cookware is safe if it is used properly. Generally, any food that cooks quickly on medium heat and covers most of the pan's surface is unlikely to cause problems.
- Never preheat an empty nonstick pan. Cover a majority of the pan’s surface with whatever you are cooking to keep the pan’s temperature down. When the pan reaches very high temperatures, it can begin to degrade and release toxic vapors into the air that can temporary cause flu-like marked by chills, headache and fever in humans or kill pet birds.
- Don't cook on high heat.While cooking, do not let temperatures go over 450 degrees. Stick to low to medium heat. This means, you should not broil or sear foods. Higher heat can cause the cooking surface to break down and release toxic vapors.
- Ventilate your kitchen.When cooking, turn on the exhaust fan to clear out any fumes.
- Choose a heavier nonstick pan. Choose a heavier-bottomed nonstick pan. Lightweight pans tend to heat up faster and are more likely to overheat so invest in a good quality, heavier-bottomed pan.
- Avoid scratching or damaging your nonstick pan. Use wooden, plastic, or silicone utensils. Avoid metal utensils or cleaning pans with steel wool. Store pans carefully. If you stack pans, place a paper towel liner between them.
- Replace moderately used nonstick cookware every three to five years. If your pan becomes damaged for any reason before this, don’t keep using it. Replace it.