Frequently asked questions - COOKWARE
Questions about Cookware
Remember, high heat should not be used with nonstick cookware, other than for very short periods (when searing a steak). Regardless of manufacturers’ claims of “safe to use with metal utensils,” always use plastic or wooden cooking utensils for best nonstick durability.
Saucepans are a staple cookware item for any kitchen. But how many should you have? A minimum of two, in two different sizes is essential. Three are even better. Saucepans are stout and have one long handle. The larger sizes may have an additional loop or helper handle. Ranging in sizes from less than 1 quart (good for warming butter or small portions) to approximately 6 quarts. The larger pans can be used to prepare large-batch soups and sauces.
Cooking with stainless steel is not only effective and convenient (in terms of clean-up), but taste is never sacrificed. For example, Kitchen Aid Stainless cookware merges a highly polished stainless-steel interior and exterior with three layers of permanently bonded aluminium, which aids in delivering even heat distribution. Nonreactive stainless cooking surface won’t discolor or impact flavor. The stainless lids fit snugly to seal in nutrients and flavors. And of course the pans are dishwasher-safe and oven-safe at any temperature.
When it comes to storing your favorite new cookware, you need to decide if you want to hide it away or show it off! The newest cookware lines from all the best brands now look so stylish it’s almost a shame to stick them in a cabinet.
– Gorgeous colored cookware, like enamel on cast-iron Le Creuset in Caribbean blue, French blue and classic red, are so stylish and colorful they beg to be seen. Copper cookware by All-Clad, Ruffoni and Mauviel also add shine to your decor when brought out of the pantry. Try a black iron cookware stand meant for an open corner to keep surfaces safe from chipping and show off your cooking style.
– Whether your cookware collection is gleaming stainless steel, soft polish aluminum or stylish black hard-anodized aluminum, they all look modern when hanging from a fabulous pot rack because the newest cookware finishes match appliance finishes. Shapes are oval or square and fit perfectly over a kitchen island.
– If you really want to store your cookware out of sight, invest in a lid organizer to keep lids from getting scratched and chipped. Storage tip: Line each pot nested in a cabinet with a paper towel to avoid chipping or scratching of any surfaces.
– The newest cooking utensil sets usually come in a show-off canister to display counter top for easy access. Choose curved, white ceramic in a country kitchen, brushed aluminum or stainless to match your cookware and appliance finishes. Choose colorful if your cookware and kitchen is decorated that way!
You can extend the life of nonstick coatings by re-seasoning them once in awhile. Every few months, take the empty pan and put it on the stove over high heat. After about two to three minutes, put in one or two tablespoons of peanut oil and swirl it around so it coats the inside of the pan. Turn off the heat and let the pan cool to room temperature and then wipe away the excess oil with a paper towel. Repeat the process once more to recondition the coating on your pan.
Some manufacturers produce pans with impressions designed into the exterior base in order to spread heat more evenly through the pan and prevent warpage. Bottom stamping treatments can reduce warpage slightly and marginally improve heat distribution. However, these additions are minor improvements when compared to a flat base pan of similar thickness. The primary factor in even heat dispersion and preventing warpage is the pan’s thickness. Burning hot spots and warpage occur when a pan becomes overheated. Any pan, regardless of bottom impressions, will not distribute heat or reduce warpage as well as a pan with a heavier gauge.
Nonstick performance and durability are determined by the pan’s thickness and the quality of nonstick coating. Overheating and utensil abrasion are the two factors that most affect nonstick durability. A superior coating on a thin pan makes no sense as the pan will overheat easily. The resulting “hot spots” will damage even the best nonstick coating. Therefore, pan thickness is essential to nonstick longevity.
Non-reactive types of cookware include stainless steel, hard anodized, glass, ceramic, enamelware, clay/earthenware, and most nonstick surfaces. A “reactive” pan is one that is made from materials that react chemically with some types of foods. The most common reactive cookware is made of aluminium (not hard anodized), copper and cast iron.
We recommend that you use plastic, rubber or wood utensils on your cookware or bakeware with nonstick coatings. Metal utensils are not recommended and can scratch or damage your nonstick coatings. Scratches in your nonstick coating are not covered under your cookware or bakeware warranties.
Always follow the use and care included with your cookware for the recommended utensils to use.
Is Cookware made with DuPont Non-stick Coatings Safe?
Yes. DuPont non-stick coatings on cookware are safe for everyday use. Confidence in the safety and performance of DuPont non-stick coatings is based on more than 40 years of laboratory testing and use in home and commercial kitchens. Moreover, a stringent certification program ensures that non-stick coatings by DuPont are used only in suitable applications.
How Can I be Sure DuPont Non-stick Coatings Are Safe?
Prior to market introduction, DuPont non-stick coatings were subjected to exhaustive studies at the Haskell Laboratory for Health & Environmental Sciences. DuPont provided the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with full disclosure of materials used in its non-stick coatings, and the FDA found them acceptable for conventional kitchen use. In addition, health regulatory agencies throughout the world have approved the use of DuPont non-stick coatings on cookware and housewares.Cooks in more than 40 countries around the world have purchased billions of pots and pans with DuPont non-stick coatings. In all this experience, there has been no record of serious or chronic health effects, including cancer and birth defects.
Are There Steps I Can Take to Make Sure I Am Using Non-stick Cookware Safely?
Cookware should never be overheated. Low or medium heat is recommended for cookware with non-stick coatings. The coatings are completely safe for normal kitchen use, including baking or frying, and can be used at temperature up to approximately 500° F (260° C).
For example, meat is usually cooked at 204°C/400°F, poultry is generally roasted at 204°C/400°F and cookies and cakes are usually baked at around 190°C/375°F. On the stovetop, water boils at 100°C/212°F, scrambled eggs are cooked at 121°C/250°F while butter and cooking oil will begin to scorch and smoke at about 204°C/400°F. As is the case with most cookware products, non-stick cookware should not be left unattended or allowed to reach extreme temperatures. Additionally, cooking should not be conducted in poorly ventilated areas. Reading manufacturers’ instructions for proper usage before using any cookware is recommended.
Reading the manufacturers’ instructions before using cookware is very important.
What Is “Normal” Or “Conventional” Kitchen Use?
Cookware with DuPont non-stick coatings can be used at temperatures up to approximately 500° F (260° C) without damage to the coating. This is well above the temperatures required for boiling, frying and baking
Temperatures of 500º F to 550º F are typically used for broiling. DuPont does not recommend use of non-stick coated cookware at those temperatures.
What Happens If Non-stick Coated Cookware is Overheated?
At high temperatures, the quality of the coating may begin to deteriorate — it may dis-color or lose its non-stick quality. This can begin to occur at temperatures above 500º F.
If heated to an extremely high temperature, the coating may begin to decompose and give off fumes. Fats, butter, or cooking oil will begin to scorch and smoke at about 400° F (204° C). DuPont non-stick coatings will not begin to significantly decompose until temperatures exceed about 600° F (316° C) – more than 200º F above the smoke point for cooking oil, fats or butter. It is therefore unlikely that decomposition temperatures for non-stick cookware would be reached while cooking without burning food to an inedible state.
How can I prevent Non-stick Cookware from Overheating?
It is best if a coated pan is used on low or medium heat. Higher temperatures (above 500º F) can be reached while cooking, but the food will likely burn and smoke to unacceptable levels. Even higher temperatures (above 600º F) can be reached within minutes, if dry or empty cookware is left on a hot burner or in a hot oven. Non-stick cookware should not be left unattended or allowed to get very hot without food in the pan.
Are Fumes From Overheated Non-stick Coated Cookware Harmful To People?
All fumes can be irritating or even harmful. Butter, fats, and cooking oils will begin to smoke at 400° F (204° C), producing fumes that can irritate eyes, nose and throat and possibly cause respiratory distress.
DuPont non-stick coatings will not begin to deteriorate in appearance or performance until the temperature of the cookware reaches about 500° F (260° C). The coating will not show significant decomposition unless temperatures exceed about 600° F (316° ). Only at these extremely high temperatures (600º F and above) could non-stick coatings emit fumes that could produce a temporary flu-like condition called “polymer fume fever.
The use of high heat when cooking is not recommended with most brands and lines of our cookware. Because our cookware conducts heat extremely well at lower temperatures, high heat is not needed. We recommend cooking on low to medium heat. To brown or sear foods, preheat pan on medium heat for one minute. Continuous high heat may cause sticking and discoloration and will damage your pans that have a non-stick coating. Overheating pans will void your cookware warranty.