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Quality Cookware and Ones to Avoid

By admin | In Nutrition | on July 6, 2012

Happy Birthday, Aaron!

With all the foodies in our gym who also love to cook, I figured this article by Chris Kresser about the best and worst types of cookware would come in handy.  When you go into all the trouble to cook up a paleo meal with quality organic grassfed ingredients, it would be quite a shame if the cookware you use has toxic properties or if its metals alter the taste of your food.

Kresser’s top three picks were:

Enamel: Its non-reactive, almost non-stick surface takes time to heat up, but is evenly distributed for balanced cooking.  It can also go from stove top to oven easily.

Cast Iron: Though seasoning it can be a pain, cast irons are one of my personal favorites for cooking.  It heats up quickly, distributes the heat evenly, and is much less expensive than enameled cookware.   Pass on this option if you have iron overload though, as some iron can leach into your food.

Stainless Steel:  Quick to heat up, stainless steel is great for browning meat and making sauces.  It’s also the most hardy when it comes to cleaning.  The downside is things tend to stick to the pan if not adequately oiled up and heated.

The three worst ones were:

Teflon:  Made of a chemical called PFOA which is found in the blood of everyone tested who uses this type of cookware.  The EPA says PFOA is a likely carcinogen.  What’s terrifying is teflon pans, when heated to a certain temperature (around 400F) releases a toxic fume that kills birds.

Aluminum:  Can lead to significant amounts of aluminum leaching into the food.  Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s, as well as other issues with the nervous system.  Since leafy veggies and acidic foods retain the most aluminum, avoid cooking these foods in aluminum pans if you use them.

Copper:  Also a leaching problem, which can lead to a copper-zinc imbalance.  This imbalance can lead to ” behavior disorders, depression, acne, eczema, headaches, and poor immune function.”  Also, be wary of cooking acidic foods in stainless steel coated aluminum pans.

Check out the original article here for more details on each of these types of cookware.

WOD 07.06.12

Press 3×5 or Wendler
Deadlift 1×5 or Wendler

11 Comments to "Quality Cookware and Ones to Avoid"

  • Xuan says:

    July 6, 2012 at 7:26 AM -

    Happy Birthday Aaron! I can still remember the smell of fresh pine off the alley prowler runs.

  • Amy says:

    July 6, 2012 at 7:57 AM -

    Happy Birthday Aaron!!!

    I recently got a cast iron skillet and followed these instructions to season it:


    It really couldn’t have been easier and I haven’t had any trouble with food sticking to my skillet!

    Great post, Ruth!

  • troy says:

    July 6, 2012 at 7:57 AM -

    Happy Birthday AARON!

  • Tom R says:

    July 6, 2012 at 8:08 AM -

    Happy Birthday Aaron. You are so lucky to have access to a prowler, I miss it so much.


  • Amanda says:

    July 6, 2012 at 8:21 AM -

    Happy birthday, Aaron!

    Does anyone have recommendations for cooking eggs successfully on stainless steel? Is there such a thing as “enough” bacon grease to make the clean up easy (or easier)?

    1. ruth says:

      July 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM -

      Amanda, I agree with Duy on the cast iron but you can use ghee or coconut oil on a stainless pan and heat well to get the surface as non stick as possible for eggs.

  • Datenite says:

    July 6, 2012 at 10:10 AM -

    Happy birthday Aaron!

  • Aaron says:

    July 6, 2012 at 11:03 AM -

    Thank you all for the birthday wishes! Luckily, that picture was taken at the old location about a year ago. I do not miss doing the prowler in the alley.

    That reminds me I need to be in newer pictures and come around more!

  • Mike K says:

    July 6, 2012 at 2:07 PM -

    Happy birthday Aaron!

  • Dewey says:

    July 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM -

    Amanda, a well seasoned cast iron pan works almost as well as non-stick w/o the health concerns. Additionally, by using cast iron, you’d be getting a serious forearm workout. Cheers

  • Michelle says:

    July 6, 2012 at 6:34 PM -

    Happy birthday Aaron!

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