A few weeks back I shared how to make the best choice of safe cookware for your family, and today I would like to share on the options for safe bakeware. Why should you evaluate your bakeware options? Consider that most bakeware available on the market is attractive because of the “non-stick” claims! Could this harmful in some way? Non-stick coatings are being proven hazardous for both humans and the environment.
According to Renee Loux’s research in Easy Green Living, “Teflon is widely believed to be carcinogenic, bioaccumulate in tissues over time, and persist in perpetuity in the environment because there is no known mechanism to break them down. Nonstick chemicals have consistenly been linked with developmental disorders, birth defects, and cancer, and have been shown to be highly toxic to the liver, kidneys, and blood.”
What are the alternatives?
Glass is both nonreactive and conducts and retains heat effectively. Pyrex glassware is very reasonably priced and works especially well for casseroles, quick breads, and the like. Clear glass can be recycled in case of breakage. I have several pyrex pans, including a 13×9 casserole, 8×8 casserole, pie pans, and currently have a loaf pan on my to buy list (for quick breads, meatloaf, etc).
Stainless steel is another excellent choice. It is durable, resistant to scratches and dings, does not corrode, and can last a lifetime. Norpro Stainless Steel Baking Sheet is my favorite for cookies, pastries, and other similar items. I also utilize stainless steel for pizza pans.
Silicone bakeware is an interesting new addition to bakeware. It is one I have not used yet, but am definitely intrigued. It is strangely rubbery and contains no chemical coating to make it non-stick. So far the verdict is that it is perfectly safe. It is made basically from sand, and is nonstick, nonreactive, it retains no odors or flavors (although some have said the first use can add a strange flavor to the finished product), it’s stain resistant, it distributes heat evenly, and it’s dishwasher safe. It would be a good choice for muffin tins, and bundt pans. Not recommended for bread baking as it does not provide proper support. Recommended brands include: Calphalon, KitchenAid & Lekue Silicone. Another good choice is to use Silicone Spatulas!
Stoneware / Ceramic
Stoneware and ceramic are excellent but a more expensive choice for bakeware. Just like glass, they are nonreactive, and conduct and retain heat well. Stoneware is made primarily from fired clay. Make sure you choose a stoneware that is free of a lead based glaze. I understand that Pampered Chef products are unglazed. Good uses for stoneware include Pizza Stone, muffin tins, and bread pans. Best brands being Pampered Chef (they have reasonable outlet specials) & Le Creuset Stoneware.
Hope that helps you make wise bakeware choices for your family!
Have you used any of these choices? What do you recommend?