As many of you know, pots and pans with teflon in them are BAD for birds.
Teflon is technically polytetra-flouro ethylene (PTFE).
ANY and ALL pans labeled "non-stick" can be assumed to have PTFE in them. They can give off toxic amounts of gas at lower temps than we once thought. Some studies have shown gas release at temps lower than 275 degree F.
Under a broiler, or on a burner, temps can EASILY exceed 600 degrees!!
When heated, they give off a whole multitude of bad things. These include the following gasses: TFE (tetrafluoroethylene), HFP (hexafluoropropene), OFCB (octafluorocyclobutane), PFIB (perfluoroisobutane), carbonyl fluoride, CF4 (carbon tetrafluoride), TFA (trifluoroacetic acid), trifluoroacetic acid fluoride, perfluorobutane, SiF4 (silicon tetrafluoride), HF (hydrofluoric acid). Other gasses are similar, or the equivalent, of the toxic agents used in chemical warfare.
In addition, they give off a variety of particulates that are almost as toxic.
For those of us who love to cook, this can be challenging under some circumstances, and a royal PITA in others.
There are a few alternatives for the die-hard chefs among us. Aluminum, Iron, Stainless steel and Copper in various combinations and alloys are all we have to work with.
Of these, I have come to love some Stainless steel, and a whole lot of Aluminum ...Hard Anodized Aluminum, that is ...namely Calphalon Hard Anodized.
I have a couple of skillets and a sauce pan or two made of this stuff, and I LOVE it. It is chemically inert under most circumstances, so acidic foods have no effect on it. It is very hard to damage (not that you'll try..) and is considered "stick-resistant".
While not exactly non-stick, it's pretty darn close. I can fry an egg ..cook it on one side, and with a practiced flip, cook the other side without the use of a spatula ...(any eggs on the floor are the fault of the cook, NOT the cookware ..despite my protestations at the time!)
There is no "seasoning" like an iron skillet (I have one of these I love too), and it seems to get better with age.
You clean it with a green scrubber. (No dishwasher ...it'll damage the surface and void the warranty.)
You can buy this type of Calphalon pretty cheap in some places, just look around on the internet. In the mall stores it's pretty high priced.
Calphalon's newest entry in the "stick resistant" market is called Calphalon One Infused Anodized. I have not tried this, although I have seen it, and it looks slicker than the original hard anodized.
In an email from their customer service, I was informed this:
Calphalon One Infused Anodized is not non-stick and does not contain polytetra-flouro ethylene.
That's great news for those of us who cook. ..and have avians in our immediate family!
Now I will admit that cooking with "stick resistant" takes some getting used to. Food can and does stick under certain circumstances. However, I've never had problems cleaning my pans after a little soak in the sink.
They will last longer than non-stick, and you can use metal utensils with them. Hard Anodized is about 20% harder than stainless steel. So you will damage the steel tools before damaging the surface of your pan!
All in all, I love Calphalon. If you are a chef at heart like me, you'll like what you can do with it. I also use some of the Calphalon Stainless steel cookware. It is heavy, heats evenly, and looks pretty darn sharp up there on the stove!
If you'd like more discussion on this, please ..."egg" me on! I'd be glad to talk on it as much as you'd like!