Most people are concerned about safe use of cookware in their kitchen. This is evident nowadays because certain cookware sets are not safe to use and contain hazardous chemicals that release toxins in the food during cooking.
Granite cookware is popular because of this attractive design and finish. It is a durable and long-lasting material crafted to be a premium option available for cooking.
However, before purchasing a graniteware, you should thoroughly know its material, benefits, and drawbacks, and most importantly, is granite cookware safe to use?
This article covers all these aspects in detail, which will help you to make a well-informed decision. Let’s explore!
What is Granite Cookware?
Despite its name, granite cookware does not contain any granite stone or earthy materials and is given that name due to its resemblance in look. If you want to prepare delicious and nutritious meals in a healthy way without any influence of Teflon, then vitreous enamel granite cookware is your safest choice.
For a smooth, flawless, non-stick finish, granite cookware is made by coating carbon steel/ stainless steel/ aluminum in porcelain enamel or teflon. It is a better alternative to other types of cookware because of its increased durability and aesthetic advantages. Because of its decorative qualities and durability, granite cookware can be a good alternative to ceramic cookware.
This cookware’s metallic core has resistance to high temperatures and, hence, provides excellent heat distribution and retention. The non-stick coating on the cookware ensures that your food is cooked to perfection. You can use granite cookware to fry eggs, fish, and other foods without let them stick to the frying pan surface.
Different Types of Granite Cookware
Teflon (PTFE) coated Graniteware
Teflon is a material to make non-stick coating on granite cookware. The most common type of Teflon used in cookware is called Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and it is the same material used in non-stick pots and pans.
However, two problems arise when it comes to Teflon. The first one is related to toxic fumes that evolve when Teflon cookware is heated usually above 350°C.
This happens because the PTFE used to make non-stick cookware wears off over time.
The best way to avoid these unwanted hazard is to not cook with Teflon cookware for a long time or never heating it beyond 350°C.
The second potential issue with Teflon is related to ingesting small pieces of PTFE coating from your food. PTFE coating gets chipped over time, so you start to ingest a part of the coating in your food.
As PTFE is a synthetic material, it is also carcinogenic. The best way to reduce the amount of PTFE you ingest is to avoid using PTFE-coated cookware and only use the amount of cookware you need.
Teflon graniteware with a ferromagnetic bottom is safe for use in induction cooktops and conventional ovens. In regular cooking, you can obtain roughly a temperature from 150°C to 250°C. But, you should avoid preheating the pan in the case of Teflon coating.
Nevertheless, there are numerous ways to make Teflon-coated cookware without hazardous chemicals which are safe for health. When cooking with Teflon Graniteware, you should be very careful about the cooking temperature.
Vitreous Enamel Graniteware
Another form of granite cookware available in the market is vitreous enamel or porcelain enameled graniteware made of synthetic material. Cookware that says “PFOA and PTFE free” refers to vitreous enamel cookware. This type of surface has a gleaming surface with a glossy shine.
Porcelain enamel granite cookware is fused at 1093°C, which creates a non-porous and inert coating free of hazardous chemicals. It is safe for cooking and storing any food regardless of acidity, and the coating does not affect the taste or color of the food.
This type of graniteware is much safer to use than the Teflon-coated ones. Unlike the PTFE counterpart, vitreous Enamel graniteware does not release toxic fumes at high temperatures.
So, there is no reason to worry about the enamel chipping off your pots and pans.
Vitreous enamel graniteware is less sensitive to high heat when compared to Teflon graniteware.
Therefore, they are the safest option for cookware to use on stovetops or ovens. It is also much more resistant to damage and thus can be used for a long period of time.
However, sometimes the coating of vitreous enamel also contains lead. Such a coating looks like a glass, and some manufacturers employ lead to obtaining the required quality of the coating layer. Therefore, one should be cautious while buying vitreous enamel graniteware and always opt for a lead-free one.
Is it Safe to Use Granite Cookware?
Before purchasing granite cookware, a common question strikes our mind- can we use granite cookware safely for cooking?
Well, the answer is Yes. Vitreous enamel granite cookware is both safe and healthy for home use. The graniteware made of a heavy-gauge aluminum or carbon steel core with a non-hazardous vitreous porcelain coating is the safest option for cooking. However, you should avoid Teflon (PTFE) coated graniteware as they are unsafe for high-temperature cooking.
The manufacturing process of high-quality vitreous enamel granite cookware does not involve PFOA, APEO, PTFE, perfluorooctanoic corrosive, Lead and Cadmium, or other potentially toxic chemicals, making it one of the safest options available in the market.
PTFE coating is sometimes done over granite cookware to make it non-stick. It is only hazardous to human health under high temperature conditions that can be avoided. The condition is very similar to the safety of non-stick cookware during cooking.
According to health experts, PTFE graniteware should never be used above 350°C to avoid polymer fumes that are harmful to us. Heating the cookware at such a temperature will split the PTFE covering away from the core and mix it into the food. Therefore, you should not prepare foods that require a high temperature in PTFE granite cookware.
While cooking in porcelain-coated granite cookware, always make sure that the polish on a surface level isn’t cracked/ chipped. Because if it is, the tiny particles may get mixed in your food sources impacting your health. Overall, granite-coated cookware is a lot safer to use than other materials if used with proper precautions.
Advantages of Granite Cookware
1. Safe Non-Stick And Non-Reactive Performance
The porcelain enamel used on granite cookware sets is free of PTFE, PFOA, APEO, Lead, and Cadmium and hence is safe for cooking. This non-stick coating allows food to slide off easily, making it a perfect choice for everyday cooking. The enamel coating makes the granite cookware impervious to acidic foods, so that you can use them for braising, stewing, and marinating.
2. Lightweight and Can be Easily Carried
Granite cookware is manufactured by the application of heat and pressure to shape the material, resulting in a lightweight and compact product. Such a quality makes it easier to use for cooking and to carry around.
3. Efficient Heat Distribution and Retention
Therefore, they are the safest option for cookware to use on stovetops or ovens. It is also much more resistant to damage and thus can be used for a long period of time. Granite cookware excels in even heat distribution and ensures a speedy and seamless cooking experience. The inner-core of the granite-coated cookware heats up rapidly offering uniform heat distribution.
Since bare aluminum or carbon steel cores alone cannot retain heat for long, the porcelain coating with uniform thickness ensures that the food receives the same level of heating. Hence, it provides excellent heat retention.
4. Easy to Clean
Because of the non-stick coating of the granite cookware, clean-up is hassle-free. The smooth and glossy surface of the granite makes it easier to clean, and it looks pristine all the time.
All you need to do is applying a few drops of dishwashing detergent into warm water. A simple wipe with a soft sponge is enough to remove any leftover stuck to the fry pan.
5. Pocket-friendly cookware
The utensils made of granite are one of the most budget-friendly options available in the market. You can easily get a good quality granite cookware set in the range of ₹1000 to ₹3000.
6. Improves the Aesthetics of your Kitchen
The colors and patterns of granite-made cookware sets will allow you to personalize your kitchen. If you are looking for a cookware set that will blend in with your other kitchen appliances and interior design, granite cookware is the right choice for you. It features gleaming surfaces and sophisticated colors to complement any modular kitchens.
Disadvantages of Granite Cookware
1. Metal Spoons Cannot be Used
The enamel or PTFE coating on the granite cookware is good but not very long-lasting as stainless steel. So, when you use metal spoons on the surface, they will damage the relatively soft enamel layer. So, you must use a wooden, plastic, or silicone spatula/spoon granite cookware.
2. Deterioration of Non-stick Surface
Granite is a popular material for cookware sets because of its safe non-stick cooking surface. After using frequently at high temperatures, cheap quality products tend to chip and crack if not cared well. For the best experience, use medium to low heat when preparing food in granite cookware. Also, avoid cooking food that require high temperatures, such as searing meat.
3. Granite cookware is not Oven-Safe
As most granite pots and pans are not oven-safe, their utility in the kitchen is limited. You cannot use them in a microwave oven, built-in oven, or OTG oven. As alternatives to granite cookware, you may also like stainless steel, ceramic, or non-stick cookware.
4. Less durability
When granite utensils heats up at a very high temperate over 350°C, they tend to break and chip off. Less durability than stainless steel, cast iron, hard anodized cookware is a notable drawback of granite cookware.
So, is a granite cookware worthy for cooking?
Granite cookware cooks easily and makes cleaning much easier, but it isn’t always the best option for cooking. The non-stick PTFE coating of low-quality graniteware may release toxic chemicals into your food which compromises safety.
Fortunately, now we have superior enamel-coated granite cookware that doesn’t release toxic gases and chemicals like the PTFE ones. Such a graniteware is food-safe and highly recommended.
To extend the life of your cookware, use safe cooking tools, soft sponges, avoid harsh detergents, and follow certain precautions as mentioned in the article. Granite cookware is worthy, safe, economical, and dependable if you choose from a reputable brand, keeping the type of material in mind.