Coated pans are now part of the standard inventory in the kitchen. But to what extent can the scratched coating be harmful to health? We’ll tell you.
Coated pans are now part of basic kitchen equipment. Everyone agrees on the advantages of Teflon, ceramic and the like. At the latest when you want to scramble eggs and everything sticks to the bottom of the pan, you want a coated pan. But what’s important to keep in mind when it comes to care? And how bad is it if the pan is scratched and you pick up material from the bottom of the pan with your food? All this we will answer you in the following text.

As a rule, modern pans are coated with Teflon. Teflon is the brand name of the plastic polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE for short. In pans and pots, it ensures that ingredients do not burn so quickly and, above all, can be easily removed from the bottom of the pan. All in all, it is also intended to simplify the cleaning of utensils in the kitchen. However, the coating is very sensitive and even light scraping or scrubbing with the wrong utensils can damage the bottom of the pot or pan.

Can small particles from the pan be harmful to human health?

The pan is gradually scratching, and now you might wonder if the slowly loosening particles from the coating will affect our health when we eat. Fortunately, this concern is unfounded. Even if we swallow such particles, the body excretes them unchanged. Teflon cannot be absorbed or even digested by the body. Therefore, no health consequences are to be expected from this.

Coated pans are nevertheless not entirely harmless

Even if the absorption of Teflon is harmless to health, the pans and pots should be used with caution. In particular, heating the kitchen utensils without contents can be dangerous. This is because toxic substances can be released as steam above a certain temperature. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment currently assumes temperatures of 360 degrees and above. Pan manufacturers usually cite 260 degrees as the highest safe temperature. So you should never heat a coated pan to full without its contents. Incidentally, the release of toxic fumes is completely independent of whether it is scratched or not.

If the food to be cooked requires it, it is necessary to use an uncoated cast-iron pan, for example. Overheating with food itself is impossible, so to speak, because the corresponding food would burn and become inedible from this temperature.

What is the best way to clean your coated pan?

Basically, the coating of modern pans are very sensitive. You should therefore not clean them in the dishwasher. Ideally, you should wipe out the pan with some kitchen paper immediately after cooking. Then let it cool down and clean it carefully with some lukewarm water and a fine sponge. If you add water to the pan immediately after cooking, this can warp or even warp the bottom of the pan – which can also be counterproductive for the coating. In principle, however, the manufacturer also writes care and usage instructions in the product booklet. For example, it states whether the pan is dishwasher-safe, at what temperatures it can be heated without hesitation, or whether special cleaning is necessary before using it for the first time.