is 'Anodized coating' on frying pans teflon??

linnea56October 31, 2006

We have given up using Teflon pans for health reasons due to concerns about the carcinogenic potential of the coatings. But I really miss the non-stick surface for frying pans. I've seen some frying pans recently that were labelled "Hard anodized coating". Now I know what anodizing is, but the surface looks just like regular old Teflon Silverstone.

Is this really different, or just a gimmic to camoflage Teflon?

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suzyq3

If you do a search of this forum, you will see that this topic has been discussed fairly recently.

The answer is no. Anodized cookware is not coated cookware. Calphalon One infused hard anodized (not nonstick) touts its stick-resistant quality, but it has no coating and no teflon. Calphalon One Nonstick, however, does have some type of coating applied.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 10:57AM
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deepwater

Hard anodizing is not teflon. And it is not a coating. The outer surface of the aluminum is oxidized via an electro-chemical process, creating a surface harder than stainless steel.

But most hard anodized cookware has a non-stick coating (Teflon or similar PTFE) on the cooking surface. Exceptions are Calphalon One (not the nonstick version) that has some kind of release polymer infused into the material rather than a coating, and All-Clad LTD that has anodized exterior and stainless steel cooking surface (which may also be nonstick coated).

Gee, all this stuff can get confusing.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 6:09PM
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bluesbarby

But would you want to cook with an aluminum surface? I thought there were health issues there?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 10:58AM
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suzyq3

bluesbarby, there are no health issues that I'm aware of with anodized aluminum. The anodizing process seals the aluminum and prevents any leaching of aluminum into the food, which was the problem with uncoated aluminum. Calphalon One (not the nonstick line) touts their infused anodized as being the most advanced in that it creates a stick-resistant interior. I have a couple skillets and like them, although I don't know that I would rank them any higher than good-quality SS.

Here is a link that might be useful: cookware safety

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 11:58AM
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bluesbarby

In the site you posted it clearly states that the "manufacturer's claim" it seals the aluminum. No independent studies are mentioned. And I would need more reliable info than what's found on the internet. Just because it says so on the internet does not make it true. It's why most university professors don't allow students to reference articles from internet sites unless the sites are approved in advance.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 5:00PM
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suzyq3

"And I would need more reliable info than what's found on the internet"

What I'm sure you meant to say was that one should be discerning when looking at information on the Internet.

So why don't you do some research? You will find that the aluminum/Alzheimer's link was dismissed by most reputable scientists a few years ago. Of course, some people will never let facts get in the way of their "theories."

The anodization process hardens the aluminum and makes it much easier to clean, as well as allowing you to cook acidic foods without any chemical reaction.

But if you're going to worry needlessly about such cookware, why bother? Just buy SS.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 12:04PM
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boba

A copy of my post elsewhere in this forum:

Dishwashers are not good for non-stick pans, they tend to remove a thin layer of Teflon. Chefs use Teflon pans if they do not have to carmelize meat etc., It's very difficult to carmelize anything in a Teflon pan. Chefs of old never used microwaves, today they are readily used both in restaurants and especially at home with no ill effects. There's too much paranoia, remember "No one leaves this Earth alive". Also, we are living longer with all the pollution, ozone layer depletion, mercury in fish, toxic water, blah, blah, blah

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 12:54PM
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arosania

As far as I know there is no solid, reputable evidence linking aluminum to any health problems. There are some concerns with Teflon however, in particular out-gasing that can occur at high temperatures. Keep in mind that alumninum has been used for many many years in cooking, thus giving years of data. Teflon, relatively speaking, is much newer and therefore less easy to study/understand.

What I find interesting is that some of the same people who are up in arms over teflon are not concerned as to what the non-stick part of calphalon one is. As per calphalon it is an "advanced polymer", that sounds a lot like teflon to me and some other sites even claim it is.

Anyone who can cofirm this?

Anthony

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 9:15AM
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marys1000

On the one hand I think it pays to be suspicious about all claims, because those claims are always changing. Eggs are bad, oh no, guess their not, well maybe sometimes. Same for aluminum, we thought its was fine, then we thought it wasn't, now we think its fine again - who knows what they'll find out next? I feel this way about silicon - is it really "inert"? Who knows what they'll find out in 5 years.
But - you gotta eat which means that unless you want to do the all raw thing.
Which means doing some research, making an informed decision and hoping for the best.
I like my Analon Titanium. I bought it years ago when I knew zip about cookware. I've never researched it and don't know if I want to follow my own advice:)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 8:55AM
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arley_gw

Re: Aluminum

I avoid uncoated or untreated aluminum simply because it's reactive, not from any health fear. It will react with acidic substances and can change the flavor.

If you've ever taken a dose of Maalox or many other antacids, you have already ingested far more aluminum than a lifetime of aluminum pot cookery could cause. (The name Maalox comes from MAgnesium and ALuminum oxides, its two major ingredients.)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 11:50AM
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danab_z9_la

Chemists and Engineers can change the molecular weight of polymers by changing key steps in the manufacturing process. Change the molecular weight of a polymer and you will change the chemical and physical properties of that polymer. Accordingly, a higher molecular weight Teflon-like polymer product can be produced which has a higher decomposition temperature than the old non-stick Teflon polymer we all grew up with. When the decomposition point of these proprietary non-stick polymers is increased above maximum normal cooking temperature, it is no longer a concern under any cooking situation.

When regular Teflon cookware is used according to the manufacturer's instructions, it poses absolutely no threat to humans. Even if you inadvertently ate Teflon chips or flakes it is impossible for it to harm you. Teflon simply cannot be digested and will travel through the digestive system completely intact and unchanged in any way. Also, you would really have to thermally abuse your cookware for a Teflon non-stick coating to even begin to decompose. Your food would likely burn before you reached the decomposition point. Manufactures who have developed proprietary non-stick cookware designed for cooking at the higher temperatures will say so in their instructions. Likewise, their cookware will pose no threat to humans.

Anyone who seasons cast iron is creating polymers of differing molecular weights......depending on the temperature that is used to season cast iron. Low temperature seasoning gives you one molecular weight product that often is sticky. High temperature seasoning gives you a different seasoning that is hard, black, and slick.....because the polymer's molecular weight formed at the higher temperature is higher.

Dan

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 12:52AM
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bean_counter_z4

If you are concerned about the chemicals in your cookware but really want a no stick pan, check out green pans. A lot of hype about them now because they are new in the US. Free of toxic chemicals like PTFEs or PFOAs they are safe at temps to 850-degrees. Probably not in stores in the US yet, more easily found in Europe. Somebody said you could get them on one of the Shopping Networks or online. Not lifetime quality but not very expensive either.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 9:28AM
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alwaysfixin

Bean Counter - not such a positive review of Green Pans on the ChefTalk Forum (linked below). Oh well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread Discussing Green Pans

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 10:21AM
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cpovey

Chefs use Teflon pans if they do not have to carmelize meat etc.

As a chef, I can tell you that you almost never see Teflon pans used in restaurants, except for omelets and other egg cookery. It does not last well in restaurants.

Anodizing is a chemical process that increases the thickness of a coating. If you look at an aluminum pan, you are NOT looking at aluminum, but aluminum oxide. Aluminum oxidizes readily in nature to form aluminum oxide. Aluminum is very soft, whereas aluminum oxide is very, very hard (9 on the Moh's scale)-various forms go by the names corundum (the grinding agent in many sandpapers), ruby, and sapphire. Yes, ruby's and sapphires are just impure forms of aluminum oxide-the color is caused by the impurity.

In my experience, anodized pots have a short life span. They seem to form a sticky coating after a while that is nigh-on impossible to remove. I prefer stainless steel and cast iron for 98% of my cooking. I only use teflon for eggs and oat meal.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 10:39AM
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danab_z9_la

Not all aluminum oxide particles have the same physical properties.....some are hard and some not so hard. So caution should be used in making inferences about hardness. The hard form of aluminum oxide exists as "crystals". It is the crystalline structure that gives it a high degree of hardness. Ruby's and sapphires are nothing more than "crystallized" aluminum oxide....and yes the color is dependant on the impurities that exist in those crystals. I'm not sure whether or not the hard anodizing process creates those crystals. I do know that the aluminum oxide coating that forms on everyday aluminum pans through normal oxidation is not in the crystalline form and is not as hard.

Diamonds are one of the hardest substances known and they are composed of nothing more than crystallized carbon. The color of a diamond too is influenced by trace impurities in those crystals. The carbon seasoning layers on my cast iron pans that comes from the carbon atoms in my seasoning oil is very hard too..... but not nearly as hard as diamond. I am 100% sure there are no carbon diamond crystals on the surface of my cast iron pans....even though I paid considerably for some of those pieces.

The times that I have been in a restaurant kitchen, I observed that the vast majority of the cookware was heavy aluminum cookware and some stainless. Chef John Folse (a local guy) prefers to use cast iron wherever possible. I find myself in that camp even though I own quite a bit of the other types of cookware.

Dan

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 12:12PM
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