For quite a few years, a new type of cookware called granite cookware has surfaced in the market. As with everything, new speculations about its pros and cons and safety also started circulating. If you are interested in this trendy cookware, you might have seen people asking, is granite cookware safe?
The granite cookware is pretty is safe to use unless the cookware has PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PTFE (Teflon) on it. The cookware that includes PTFE polytetrafluoroethylene should be cooked at a lower temperature. At a temperature of more than 260°C, the coating will split away from the surface and radiate into the air.
Now let’s get deep into the issue of the safety of granite cookware. But before moving forward, let me tell you a little about granite cookware in general. You might be using them for some time because they look great in the kitchen and make an excellent addition to your cooking tool kit. But it is time to know if they are really safe for use.
What is granite cookware?
Let us first accept the fact that the word Granite does not imply that the cookware is actually made with granite rock material.
Granite cookware is enamelware that looks like granite because of its granite rock-like pattern creating the illusion. So, let’s reconcile with the fact that the word granite is only used as a marketing gimmick.
The cookware is made with stainless steel and has a glass coating. The glass coating comprises porcelain fused at an extremely high temperature to create the non-stick effect. Apart from stainless steel, the core of the cookware may be made with aluminum alloy or carbon steel.
Is Granite Cookware Safe for cooking?
The answer to this depends on the type of coating on the core of the cookware. Typically, granite cookware comes coated with one of two types of layers: Vitreous Enamel, also referred to as porcelain enameled cookware, and Teflon (PTFE). Below we will look at both of them to get the answer to our query today.
Teflon (PTFE) graniteware
Some granite cookware comes with a maximum temperature rating marked on them. These types of cookware are most probably coated with Teflon (PTFE). They have a maximum temperature range of not more than 260C.
This coating releases toxic fumes into the atmosphere as you cook at a temperature of more than 250C, a health hazard. Some studies have even pointed out that these fumes emit from the layer at temperatures as low as 200C.
Some companies evade the consumers by not mentioning Teflon (PTFE) in the specification sections. If you see the coating type is not mentioned while you buy this cookware, it is most probably Teflon. On the contrary, other sellers often make an effort to mark their cookware when it is PTFE-free.
Though, studies have shown that ingesting PTFE does not have an impact on your health. However, removing the coating exposes the core metals, and they will leach into your food. The effect of leaching on health depends on the acidity of the food, the size of the pan, and the area in contact with the food.
Vitreous Enamel graniteware
the second type of graniteware coating is the Vitreous Enamel coating. You might see it clearly written on some granite cookware found in the market. Some of them also market it as porcelain enamel, though it has nothing to do with porcelain.
The positive aspect of this coating is that it does not change into fumes at high temperatures. However, chipping off of coating can occur. Therefore, it is always advised to avoid the use of metal utensils.
Overall, the granite cookware coated with enamel is more resistant to damage than the former one. The only hazard associated with this coating is the potential use of Lead. As the manufacturers use glass in the layer, they may add Lead to achieve a suitable composition for a coating material. So, caution is needed when choosing the utensils with this coating and making sure they don’t contain Lead.
How to use granite cookware to enhance their safety and longevity?
It is one of the foremost requirements to enhance the safety of your granite cookware. Below are some of the aspects that need your consideration for proper maintenance.
- Do not use a metal spatula in the pans and cookware. The metal can cause chipping away of the top layer. Instead, use wooden utensils or ones made with silicon.
- If you have bought a pan with Teflon coating, make sure you do not preheat the empty pan or cook at a high temperature. It is better to avoid using Teflon coated pan in the oven as the temperature can go above the accepted limits.
- Instead of cleaning them in a dishwasher, hand-wash them. It is also a common observation that handwashing increases the life of the cookware.
One of the prevalent practices is putting the hot pan underwater after cooking. Try avoiding that with granite cookware. Let them cool to attain room temperature.
A sudden temperature change is among the common reasons that damage the surface coating of both enameled and Teflon coating.
Pros and cons of using granite cookware
- The porcelain coating does not attract rust as happens with cast iron pots with no coating
- The cookware is safe to use for all kinds of foods, including salty and acidic
- The enameled coating is safe to use even at a high temperature
- Various varieties of this cookware are found in the market. You can search for chemical-free options that do not contain coatings like cadmium, PTFE, Lead, etc.
- You can choose cookware with different core materials. For quick-cooking, we recommend going with an aluminum or carbon steel core.
- The smoothness of its outer surface makes it extremely easy to clean. Therefore, you can easily handwash the pans.
- Modern granite cookware does not retain heat for a prolonged time. As soon as you separate them from the heat source, they start losing heat.
- Scrapping against the surface can result in chipping away of the material
- The Teflon coated material cannot withstand high heat
Though granite cookware is an excellent and attractive addition in your kitchen, care is needed during its selection.
When buying, ensure its specifications, such as the material of the core and the composition of the outer coating.
Furthermore, make sure you pay attention to its safe use and maintenance by avoiding the use of metal spatulas and cleaning it in a dishwasher.