There are many pans out there. All offer different advantages and disadvantages. With that, it would not be surprising when one comes to ask: what are the healthiest pans to cook with? Good meals are good. Delicious and hearty meals? Better. Don’t you agree?
Well, you don’t need to look far and wide anymore. Allow us to help you with this concern!
The Healthy Pans
One of the best ways to healthier cooking is having an assortment of pans. That’s why we’re not only going to show you one or two pans. We’re presenting you with five pans! (Also, if you’re wondering why having an assortment is ideal, then stick around. We’ll be explaining that bit in more detail later on.)
This list is not in a particular order. Still, we’re pretty sure that if you’re looking for healthy pans, cast-iron pans would most probably rank high in any list.
Cast-iron is practically a molded piece of metal. Chemicals and toxins are usually not part of the equation with cast-iron pans, unlike with other pans.
Additionally, cast-iron pans allow you to use less oil. Another thing to watch out for, if you’re trying to cook healthier.
However, cast-irons can leach. It could be good if you need some extra iron, but it could also be unhealthy. As you might already know, too much of anything could be harmful.
Now, let’s talk about one of the staples in many kitchens –stainless-steel pans.
Many pans could become an unhealthy choice if you’re looking to partner them with a dish with acidic ingredients. In that instance, it’s good to have a stainless-steel pan in your arsenal. It’s one of the few pans that can handle acidic dishes.
Anodized Aluminum Pans
Here, we have the anodized aluminum pan. A pan that is slowly but surely finding its way to cooks and chef’s kitchens.
As we’ve said earlier, some pans don’t react well with acidic ingredients. Aluminum pans are one of those. These ingredients will cause leaching. However, once the aluminum pan undergoes a process, the leaching with be greatly reduced, and a little aluminum won’t hurt.
Okay, when we’re talking about ceramic pans, we’re talking about pure ceramic pans. We’re not talking about ceramic-coated cookware.
Pure ceramic pans might be hard to find. Still, they’re worth the trouble if you’re looking for healthy pans to use to build your kitchen arsenal. These pans are natural and nonreactive too. That means it will not have toxic chemicals, nor will it leach when used for acidic dishes.
Now, here is a pan you might not have heard before. When we talk about pans, we usually list stainless-steel pans, aluminum pans, and the like. Titanium is seldom mentioned. You might want to consider it, though!
Not only is it believed to be one of the most durable options, but the belief is it is one of the best non-stick options too. So, if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary but can do the job well, you might want to consider adding a titanium pan in your kitchen arsenal.
The Not-So-Healthy Pans
We’ve talked about the healthy pan options out there. Now, let’s take a look at the non-so-healthy pan options you have. There are only really three that we want to talk about.
First, we have aluminum pans. If you remember, we specifically mentioned anodized aluminum pans earlier. That’s because aluminum pans are known to be one of the pans that leach much. If you want an aluminum pan, after all, it is a great heat conductor, then try to opt for an anodized aluminum pan instead.
Next, we have copper pans.
Now, the problem with copper pans is leaching. Even the FDA caution against copper pans that don’t have any lining. If you want a copper pan in your kitchen arsenal, try to opt for one that has a lining.
Additionally, copper won’t work on an induction stove. With that, you might also want to look for one with a steel base that could work with an induction top. It won’t help much with keeping the food safe, but hey, having a flexible pan if you could doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Don’t you agree?
Still, you want to be careful with your copper pan as some lining could easily deteriorate when handled wrong.
Now, we go to the shocker. Some might have seen non-stick pans on this list and gasped. We understand, but hear us out.
We know non-stick pans are supposed to be a healthy option. After all, it is non-stick. It helps decrease the amount of fat you use to cook some dishes. In that sense, yes, non-stick pans are a healthy choice. However, they pose way too many risks, and it’s hard to overlook them. That’s why these pans didn’t make it to the cut of healthy pan choices.
First, PFOA, a harmful chemical, used to be used to make non-stick pans. They are now largely phased out. If you want a non-stick pan, avoid buying an old model to try and dodge getting one with this chemical. However, that might be a feat as it is believed that some products still use them. With that, only buy from a reputable brand.
Second, even if you dodge getting a non-stick pan that could have some PFOA, you can’t still use it with high temperatures, or it will become harmful as well. So, again, if you want a non-stick pan, try to use them sparingly or at least take some time to really know how to handle and maintain them. This way, you could avoid scratching, chipping, or peeling off the non-stick coating.
A Reminder: No Pan is Completely Safe
The last set of pans we discussed may have been called the not-so-healthy options, but that doesn’t mean you should completely tick them off your kitchen arsenal. These pans are still great options. You only want to be careful in how you handle them. As you might have noticed, the pans above became not-so-healthy options under certain conditions. With that, you might only want to avoid particular circumstances with these pans.
Now, let’s talk about the pans under the list of healthy pans. These are not 100% safe as well. They might be safer than those in the unhealthy pan option list due to several reasons, like the test of time itself, but you still want to have some caution when using them.
Overall, whatever pan you choose, you want to have some caution.
Not Everyone Will Agree
The topic of healthy and unhealthy pans is not that simple. It is somehow complicated, and as you might have already expected, not every chef and cook agrees on what’s safe and unsafe. Don’t be surprised if you decide to do a little survey among friends and family and find one’s healthy pan is in another’s unhealthy pan list.
Things to Consider
You now know your healthy and not-so-healthy pan choices. Here are some other things you might want to consider in trying to stick to the healthy practices in your kitchen.
Have a Variety
If you’ve been here before, you might already be aware of this suggestion.
When it comes to kitchenware, you want to have at least a couple of options. Not only because other pans will help you make some meals better than others, but because some pans are a healthier choice for some recipes.
For example, some pans can become dangerous with high heat. With that, you want to get a pan that can handle high temperatures. On the other hand, another example would be that some pans don’t do well with acidic dishes. Again, you’d want to grab a different pan for that task.
Get to Know Your Pans
In addition to expanding your choices, you also want to know each of your pans. Really get to know them!
Some pans could become dangerous if you use them wrong. Other pans could become harmful when you don’t clean and maintain them properly. So, take some time to know how you should handle your pans.
Don’t Disregard the Manual!
One way to know your pans is through their manual. Again, if you’ve been here before, you would know how much we emphasize checking the manual. You might think you already know how to handle your pan. However, one look at the manual and you might be surprised!
When checking the manual, one of the important things to note is the temperature limit, so don’t forget to check that!
What are the healthiest pans to cook with?
Today, we showed you some of the healthiest pan choices along with the not-so-healthy ones. We’ve also shown you some things you might want to consider with pans when trying to make healthier kitchen choices!
We hope we were able to help you with this concern. If we did, you might want to check out our other discussions then. We’ve tackled other questions like this one. Who knows? We might have what you’re looking for!