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Take a peek inside your kitchen cabinets and you might be surprised to find that you have some toxic bakeware in there.
Perhaps you aren’t surprised, maybe you know you should replace that non-stick cookie sheet but you just have no clue as to what you should replace it with.
Thankfully, we will be covering both of these topics. Why we should replace our bakeware and what the non-toxic bakeware options are!
Ask anyone what they use for bakeware and most will answer that they use non-stick.
Unfortunately non-stick bakeware is not all that great. Sure it might keep your food from sticking but those same chemicals that save your arms a bit of scrubbing also leach toxins into your food and home.
Most are made out of aluminum and then coated in Teflon. These two things alone are linked with birth defects, cancer, and developmental disorders.
So there is your “why”.
We shouldn’t use non-stick bakeware because the chemicals and materials in them are toxic to use and it’s preferred to limit our exposure as much as possible.
What should we replace our bakeware with? There are actually a few options.
Non-Toxic Bakeware Options
The wonderful thing about glass is that it obviously contains no yucky stuff. Also depending on the type of glass you chose, it can also double as food storage.
Many glass storage options such as Pyrex and Anchor Hocking can be used not only in the oven but in the fridge and freezer as well.
This is especially handy for that leftover lasagna; you can cook it in the glass and once it’s cool you just pop on a lid and store it in the fridge.
This is what most closely resembles non-stick bakeware. It’s essentially the same except that it’s made out of stainless steel and of course, it’s not coated in Teflon.
Stainless Steel is also a bit more durable than aluminum bakeware. Great stainless steel brands: Norpro and 360 Cookware.
First off, as far as I can tell ceramic is always stoneware that has been coated with ceramic. Ceramic bakeware is smooth to the touch and you can use soap on it.
Stoneware is the cast iron of the bakeware world. There is no need to spray or grease stoneware.
Much like cast iron, you do not wash unglazed stoneware (as opposed to ceramic) with soap. Simply scrub with water until if feels smooth. Both stoneware and ceramic can be used in the oven, fridge, and freezer.
Most ceramic bakeware come with either glass or plastic lids so it also makes a good food storage solution. One thing to note with ceramic bakeware is that you want to choose ceramic that uses a glaze that is not lead based.
Also stoneware has come a long way from just pizza stones, there are now stoneware muffin pans, loaf pans, pie pans and so on. My favorite stoneware is Pampered Chef.
Many of us are familiar with cast iron cookware but most have never even heard of cast iron bakeware. Just like that cast iron pan that grandma use to use, cast iron bakeware is built to last. This stuff will last forever.
As like stoneware, you do not wash with soap but simply hot water. Lodge seems to be almost the only brand who makes cast iron bakeware.
Silicone is the new bakeware. It’s pretty much sand that is transformed into this rubber like material which is non-stick. Currently it is considered safe although I personally refuse to use it for bakeware.
If I can cook something and it has a strange smell to it (the product not the food) then I don’t think it’s all that safe. However, as I said so far it is considered to be safe. Only time will tell if it truly is.
I know it can be daunting trying to find safe alternatives to our kitchen tools. Hopefully this post has helped explain the safer options.
I love our glass! We have square baking dishes with lids (*love*) and bread pans that make the best bread. I really want stone cookie sheets.
I wanted to mention, though, I was gifted some silicone muffin pans. I'm SO glad I didn't throw out my non stick…I *hate* the silicone. It gave my cornbread an almost plastic-y texture everywhere it touched (so the tops and inside were fine) and even made my husband's blueberry muffins taste funny. Yeah, that went to Goodwill pretty quick, still looking to replace the old muffin pans. I had no idea there was such thing as cast iron bakeware…time to update the wish list!
Bess – Glad to know I'm not the only one who hates silicone. Yeah, I can't get over the plastic-y smell/taste. I love my stoneware muffin pan. I've almost got it seasoned to the point where I don't even need to grease it!
I've had silicone ice trays I hated.
I want a quality pizza stone. It's a NEED! OK, its a *desperately* wanted item.
be careful with the glass as it is no longer the original pyrex recipe it was bought out over 20 years ago and can explode in your face or oven…
i love my cast iron and stoneware as well as my silicone… it is one of the only things the Gluten free food works with without destroying it. and i have never had a problem with a plastic taste…
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I'm glad you mentioned the stoneware muffin pan. I'm actually putting a Pampered Chef order in soon after a party I had this weekend, and I've been wondering how well the muffin pans work. I make muffins a lot, so I want to make sure things won't stick too much. Also, do you have a problem taking one batch out and immediately putting more muffin batter in to cook another 12? Or do you need to wait? I know I usually wait for the pan to cool for the second round… Just curious, esp since I know you're supposed to heat the pans first (right?). Which PC pans would you recommend most to someone just starting to stock up on those? With the cost, it's not like one can just buy a ton at a time. 😉 I mostly use glass or stainless, with some cast iron, but I'm wanting to use some more stoneware, as well. (So, it's not like I'm starting over b/c I have unsafe cookware – just wanting to figure out what others like most, I guess. I really wish they had an even bigger sheet pan!!) Thanks for this post! 🙂 Great topic!!
I normally let any muffin/cupcake cool a bit (otherwise they can fall apart) usually 5 minutes. Then I add in more batter if needed and cook. So no, I don't let the pan cool all the way before more baking. You will probably cook the second batch faster though so you'll need to check on them sooner.
You aren't supposed to heat the pans first actually. Some stoneware tells you to pre-heat them but Pampered Chef tells you not to.
I have practically every PC stoneware (used to be a consultant till I realized that I hate sales. lol) The ones I use the most are the Round stone (aka pizza stone) I use that one all the time. The large Rectangular bar pan (for things with grease, and the muffin pan. Oh and the casserole one (not too often though) I have the rest but I rarely use them..like the pie plate or the loaf pan (I hardly ever make loafs of bread). You can also get pretty versatile with them. So the rectangular bar pan you could use for pizza, it would just be a rectangle (I do this when I need to make two pizzas) and it cooks cookies just fine so I'd never bother buying the rectangular stone (the one without a lip)
Hope that helps!
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I also hate silicone and refuse to use it. Hate it. Really. I have used it both privately and in commercial kitchens and would get out of it any way I could. It does smell, and frankly, theres no way its not in some way toxic. Uck.
Just wanted to say thanks for the feedback about what you like and the tips you gave! 🙂 (Good to know not to heat it first! I've had other brands that did call to have the dish in the oven while preheating, which sometimes I didn't prefer. Thanks for telling me, though!) I've been out of town and haven't been checking much online, so I'm just now getting to respond. Wanted to say thanks! I really appreciate it! I got a couple pieces myself and am getting even more for Christmas from in-laws that bought from my party, so I'll have a good collection soon. 🙂 I'm excited to use some of it! Thanks again!
lol at the Silicone. I don't bake with it either, we use glass or ceramic
Hi Brittany! what is the consensus on Silpat's?? THANKS!!!
Silpat's are made out of silicone and fiberglass. As far as I know the consensus for Silpat's would be the same as any food-grade silicone product. Current standing is that silicone is safe but that is under the "safe till proven otherwise" belief. I personally stay away from silicone however, that is only my stance.
Hi. Loved this post. I have an addiction to cast iron: I have almost 40 items. Yes, Lodge is the most known now, but if you can find the VERY BEST cast iron form years ago, two brands are W.A.Y. better than Lodge: Griswold and Wagner Ware. I find them at antique or thrift stores, and they are hard to find, but you can find them. The three that I have are smooth as glass. I do have some silicon, but only for soapmaking and for cold items, never to bake in. I do stainless steel, and love glass. Have a set of glass containers with plastic lids that I absolutely can’t do without. I have heard of ceramic and stoneware, but don’t have any.
Thank you for all the info. Trying to keep our family healthy.