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5 Things You Didn't Know About Teflon Cookware [+1 Bonus!]

by Ann Ferguson

Cooking is a ton of work, but what's even more work is the food sticking to the bottom of the pan and cleaning up afterward — what a hassle! That's why we have Teflon cookware to make our lives easier with every meal we cook!

And since today is National Teflon Day (Apr. 6), we'll show the top five things you didn't know about Teflon cookware! Who knows, you might be surprised by what you find out!

1. What is Teflon?

Closeup of Teflon pot in use

Teflon is the branded name for Polytetrafluoroethylene (P.T.F.E.), an industrial coating that protects against chemicals, corrosion, grease, oil, and other staining agents. But did you know that the invention of P.T.F.E was an accident? Dr. Roy Plunkett discovered it in 1938 while trying to produce a refrigerant!

By 1960, Teflon was a staple of every household with non-stick cookware! This cookware revolutionized cooking everywhere because Teflon is not only non-stick but also incredibly heat and water-resistant!

Did You Know? Geckos can climb almost any surface — except Teflon-coated surfaces!

2. Healthier Cooking

Closeup of food being cooked with almost no oil

The most significant benefit of Teflon is that it's non-stick — but what does that really mean? It means using less oil while you cook! When you cook with lots of oils or fats, it can lead to calorie-heavy and greasy foods that taste good but aren't so good for your health.

But with Teflon cookware, you can minimize the amount of oil you use, or even use healthier cooking sprays, and eat healthier with every meal!

3. Easy to Wash

Naturally, if the food and grease don't stick to the pan, the cleanup is much easier! You don't have to spend extra time (or elbow grease) getting hard, stuck-on foods out. Nope, for most cookware, a good rinsing with hot, soapy water and a soft sponge is all you need.

And the best Teflon cookware is machine-washable, so you can let your dishwasher do all the heavy lifting!

Pro Tip: Avoid using abrasive cleaning materials since they could scratch the coating!

4. Heat & Cold Resistance

Closeup of Teflon pan on fire while cooking

Another thing you might not have known about Teflon is that it is extremely heat- and cold-resistant. Teflon can withstand temperatures ranging from -454 degrees F to 600 degrees F, which is ideal for cooking (or baking) a whole range of dishes!

Teflon's high-melting point makes it ideal for cookware, but it's also suitable for other uses! NASA uses Teflon in their aircraft and clothes — wow!

Pro Tip: Don't expose your Teflon cookware to temperatures 752 degrees F or higher, which can cause it to melt and cause health issues like polymer flu.

5. Durability

All cookware goes through a lot of wear and tear, especially if you cook hearty meals every day. Luckily, Teflon is super durable — like way more than you think. It's unaffected by UV rays, discoloration, oxidation (ew, rust), and embrittlement, so it never cracks!

So, if you've been wondering whether non-stick Teflon cookware is suitable for your new cooking appliances, think no more — these are well worth the investment!

Bonus: Are there any health concerns?

Closeup of cast iron cookware as non-stick alternatives

You might have heard about Teflon being dangerous to use because of the chemicals used in the coating. This was true of any Teflon cookware made before 2013, where the harmful chemical PFOA was used in its production. But any cookware made after 2013 is produced without PFOA, which makes them safe to use. Of course, you should always be careful and avoid scratching the surface with knives or other sharp or metal objects.

Even if you scratch the surface, small amounts of Teflon in your body are okay; however, you should always avoid it. So, if you don't want to worry about it, other non-stick cookware alternatives exist!

  • Ceramic is typically made from natural ingredients, affordable, and toxin-free!
  • Seasoned Cast Iron cookware is chemical free, gets more non-stick with additional seasoning, and is the best for high-heat cooking (anywhere from 500 degrees F and up!). However, note that it does need initial seasoning.
  • Enameled Cast Iron is eco-friendly, provides excellent heat distribution, and is very durable. However, the enamel can chip off, so beware!
  • Carbon Steel has excellent temperature retention, durability, and a lightweight frame, but it needs seasoning.

Get Cooking!

Now that you know all about Teflon cookware and its benefits, you know you've been missing out on all the cooking fun! But before you do anything, ask yourself one question: do your cooking appliances have all the features you want or need? If you have to think about it, don't hesitate — check out our appliance selection at Acceptance Appliance Centers! Trust us; with new cooking appliances, there's no stopping what you and your Teflon cookware can do!

And if you have any questions, give us a call or stop by! We know a thing or two about dream kitchens, and we'll happily help you create your own!