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How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/19/2007 7:27 AM

Like most of west countries, there are more and more stainless steel tablewares go into chinese kitchen room as well as my family.
These material has chromium element and this element has nothing good to human body, as point out by doctor. So I still prefer to use iron ware in my kitchenroom. Do you agree with me on this side?

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#1

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/19/2007 7:45 AM

While the choice of materials to use around the home is always a personal one, it must be pointed out that all stainless steels contain a percentage of chromium, for it is the presence of chromium that makes the steel 'stainless'.

Some varieties of cast iron, a material that is also used in cooking utensils, also contain chromium, principally for corrosion resistance in contact with foodstuff.

Stainless steel is used globally where a metal is to be in contact with potable water or with foodstuff. The chromium content of stainless steel is considered to be harmless, as very few everyday substances are able to dissolve the chromium from it, and even fewer of these substances would be deemed appropriate to eat or drink.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stainless_steel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cast_iron

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#2

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/19/2007 8:50 AM

I generally use stainless steel... but I have a proper thin mild steel wok which rusts in a about a pico second if you don't give it a wipe of oil after washing it.

Can't beat a good stir fry... I can throw one together during half time of a footie match (that's the brief interlude where England are still winning )

I avoid Alluminium after the scare storys a while back (I can't spell Alzheimers).

Del

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/19/2007 9:27 AM

"I generally use stainless steel... but I have a proper thin mild steel wok which rusts in a about a pico second if you don't give it a wipe of oil after washing it."

Good source of iron also, along with cast iron frying pans.

"Can't beat a good stir fry... I can throw one together during half time of a footie match "

When I was in college, that was one of my meals that had any substance, when there was anything int the fridge, it was good way to clean it out with a tasty meal.

which fell under all of my requirements of the time, which was; cheap, quick, easy, and good.

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#4

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/19/2007 1:33 PM

cnpower,

You say that chromium "has nothing good to human body". In actuality, chromium is an essential nutrient/mineral. Chromium is essential for the normal activity of insulin, the key hormone involved in burning food for energy (glucose metabolism). Symptoms of chromium deficiency including elevated blood glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, and triglyceride.

The two most common forms of chromium are trivalent chromium (III) and hexavalent chromium (VI). Trivalent chromium (III) is the principal form utilized by the body. Chromium (VI) is derived from chromium (III) by heating at an alkaline pH, and is used as a source of chromium for industrial purposes.

Chromium (VI) is a strong irritant and is recognized as a human carcinogen (there was even a movie about it - Erin Brockovich).

At low concentrations, chromium (VI) is readily reduced to chromium (III) by reducing substances in foods and the acidic environment of the stomach, which serve to prevent the ingestion of chromium (VI).

I do not think that there would be an appreciable amount of chromium leaching out of stainless steel cookware under normal use conditions (i.e., cooking food). Actually, I think that the nickel would be more of a problem.

This of course wouldn't necessarily hold true if you decided to boil up a nice pot of H2SO4 or HNO3 in your new stainless steel wok.

(By the way, the wok I use is about 20 years old, and made of high carbon steel - definitely not stainless!)

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/19/2007 8:45 PM

learning too much,

this ware goes into many parts of our life, medicine, food, instrument etc. act as popular as glass.

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#20
In reply to #6

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/23/2007 4:27 AM

Toughened glass cooking utensils are widely available.

Stainless steel is still used widely for food preparation tools.

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#24
In reply to #4

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

11/09/2007 4:16 PM

>>Chromium (VI) is a strong irritant and is recognized as a human carcinogen (there was even a movie about it - Erin Brockovich).<<

Unfortunately, that movie was about as close to scientific truth as Star Wars - the Cr(VI) that PG&E was accused of dumping in to the water has never been proven carcinogenic, or even mildly irritating - only AIRBORNE Cr(VI), which was not present anywhere. Brockovich and her lawyer pals took both the people of Hinkley, and PGE to the cleaners - she alone received 10 times more in award money (as a member of the firm) than any citizen of Hinkley did - she got $2 million, the average Hinkley resident got $50,000. PG&E was allowed to recoup the damages via rate hike, so the only people who REALLY paid for the suit were the ratepayers, and the only people who profited were the lawyers.

Sorry about the rant but Brockovich and her crusading crook friends are a sore point.

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#5

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/19/2007 5:23 PM

Considering the fact that stainless steel is used for medical items such as artificial joints, stints, etc., that are left in the body for years, I don't have much concern about eating utensils.

But if I did, I'd eat with silverware.

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#7

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/20/2007 4:03 AM

As far as aluminium goes, they now produce hard anodised aly pans that have not got the risks or dangers attached to them any more. Alunimium is better for cooking as it beats the shit out of anything else with regards to heat transfer.

That brings me on the next point, silver! You could not hold a totally siver spoon to eat your HOT soup. Silver is probably better even still than aly in heat transfer. That is why the old expensive silver ware always had hollow handles from different alloys.

Or the soup does not get eaten as hot as it is served

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/20/2007 3:02 PM

"Alunimium is better for cooking as it beats the shit out of anything else with regards to heat transfer."

What about the aluminium that's coated with teflon and teflon hybrids?

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/20/2007 3:13 PM

So? you are just adding plus points to my already big plus point!

Yes aluminium is always better for heat transfer, even with teflon on it.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/20/2007 3:19 PM

So, you don't think there are any adverse health effects from teflon?

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/20/2007 3:48 PM

Maybe there was on the earlier ones but all the modern ones are hard, very hard. As long as you are not digging into them with a chisel like spatula made from reinforced high speed steel, you will be alright.

There are now even newer ones with metal spatula safe coatings.

Personally I never pay much attention to these scares, That is why I am still alive and free of any bother. Get on with life instead of wondering whatever next might kill you.

LIFE KILLS 100%.

So do buses if you don't look out when crossing the road.

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#12
In reply to #7

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/22/2007 10:23 AM

case491,

You state "Alunimium is better for cooking as it beats the shit out of anything else with regards to heat transfer."

I guess you are not familiar with copper and/or copper clad cookware. Copper is about twice as effective at heat transfer as aluminum.

Thermal conductivity for:

Aluminum = 0.5 (cal/sec)/(cm2 C/cm)

Copper = 0.99 (cal/sec)/(cm2 C/cm)

------------------------------------------------

Now with respect to your statement that "Teflon" has no health concerns, I would suggest you look into polymer decomposition, and perfluorooctanoic acid. "Teflon" aka Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) can decompose at temperatures exceeding 500 degrees.

When it does thermally decompose, it gives off vapors as well as fumes, including Carbonyl fluoride, Difluorophosgene, Perfluoroisobutylene, and Hydrogen fluoride.Airborne exposure to these vapors & fumes are often fatal to birds, and can cause "polymer fume fever" in humans

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/22/2007 1:23 PM

Found the following excerpt from an American National Newspaper recently. So conclusion is Yes you are right but in practise it hardly happens unless you leave you pan to overheat beyond unuseable temeratures.

""Teflon is microscopically smooth and nonporous (one of the reasons nothing sticks to it). Even if it does harbor trace amounts of PFOA, which is all anyone has suggested, the PFOA is unlikely to seep into food or escape into the air in kitchens -- unless, of course, an empty nonstick pan were abandoned on a hot burner, because above 600 degrees or so (a temperature rarely reached in cooking), the Teflon would begin to decompose into toxic fumes.

Before we even see a nonstick pan in the store, its coating already has been heated to high temperatures during manufacturing, partly to get rid of any residual PFOA. In my opinion, PFOA in the environment probably came from factory emissions, perhaps during the high-temperature phases of manufacturing. That's certainly more plausible than blaming me for frying an egg in my nonstick pan.""

With regards to the Copper again you are right but copper is totally useless as a metal without any other contents to make it into an alloy. It is weak and barely has the strength to keep together so way too soft to make a pan out of. Alone it is already very very very expensive and as an alloy I doubt you would want to fork out the price. I probably left some other contenders out as well such as silver and gold, which are also much better at heat transfer but again totally unpractical for cooking ware.

Easy to pick holes in somebodies arguments when you loose sight of common sense and practicallity.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/22/2007 1:59 PM

case491:

"Frying an egg in my nonstick pan" is not likely to be hot enough to cause any thermal decomposition, unless of course you like your egg very well done (i.e., charcoal). However, the same can not be said if you want to brown/pan sear some meat before oven roasting it. Pan temperatures could easily exceed 500 degrees during such a task. You see, you preheat the pan before putting in the meat to brown. The whole idea is to "sear" the outermost layer, to seal in the juices.

You then say that it is "Easy to pick holes in somebodies arguments when you loose sight of common sense and practicallity."

I'm not sure where I lost sight of practicality. You clearly are not familiar with "high end" solid copper cookware (often from France), or lined copper pots. In fact, the confection industry uses copper kettles almost exclusively.

Copper ain't so soft. In fact, I believe that it is harder than aluminum regardless of the measurement scale you use (i.e., Brinell, Vickers, or Mohs)...

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/22/2007 2:15 PM

I ain't no chef, you got that right. I like to cook mind but that does not count.

With regards to the "solid" I think it refers to the fact that it is made entirely out of the material they call "copper" but you may find that it is in fact an alloy. If it is affordable than I am wholy wrong on that point, I can only recall too well my attempts to obtain some pure copper tubing once for a project which prices made me fall of my chair three times over.

To your first point I can say that this is perhaps the reason that teflon has started to add the red spot in their pans to indicate the right temperature rather than trust the peoples judgement on this. Smoke of the oil means bad and I would never use it at that point. With regards to the other point I made earlier in the excerpt, they also mentioned that most harmfull toxins had already leached out of the final product before it reaches the shops. This is because they accepted since 1986 that teflon had some nasty habbits with regards to poluting the environment and how it was still there after a long long time. All the poluting chemicals they mentioned were in fact contributed to the manufacturing process, not to the contents of the final product.

Still all good fun and certainly not something to completely close ones eyes to but if you cannot trust your friend the pan manufacturer, who can you trust? Certainly not the politicians that put all those health and safety rules in our way

p.s. copper alloys are also a good bit heavier than aluminium which has advantages in the pans rigidity but not for dear old ladies.

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#17
In reply to #14

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/22/2007 2:37 PM

Alone it is already very very very expensive and as an alloy I doubt you would want to fork out the price.

Yes, copper is expensive, as compared to aluminum or steel, which is why you rarely find it in cooking ware for the home, not because it is too soft to be used. Certainly copper bottomed stainless pots and pans have been around for years (notably Revere-ware) in home kitchens and aluminum bottomed stainless has also become very popular.

As the JMAN said, many commercial cooking wares ARE made of copper alloys. Of course no one would use soft pure copper, but to say that all copper alloys are expensive? Brass and Bronze are both copper alloys (though not often used for cooking) and not very expensive. It does not take much of another metal to radically change the properties of copper, or of aluminum for that matter, so that they become excellent materials for forming into pots and pans. Copper, being very chemically reactive, usually must be lined so the copper does not erode or leach off the inside surface during cooking, but of course there are exceptions, as JMAN cited the confectionery industry.

At home we use a variety of copper and aluminum clad stainless, as well as teflon and anodized aluminum.

My preference is for anodized aluminum. The anodizing prevents the surface from being scratched by steel utensils (unlike even the hardest Teflons, which can still be scratched by vigorous stirring, scraping, or cutting with steel) and prevents the leaching of aluminum (whether or not that is a cause of Alzheimer's or other diseases) while giving excellent heat conduction properties at an affordable price. Anodizing also makes cleanup almost as easy as Teflon (especially since steel and brass brushes and cleaning pads may be used, unlike with Teflon) and you never have to worry about overheating, since anodizing is basically a thin coating of ceramic and is more heat resistant than the base aluminum! I especially love my anodized aluminum pizza pans, which I use for baking all kinds of stuff as well, when I want nice crisp bottoms.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/22/2007 3:35 PM

Below are the current metal prices from the london metal exchange

brass $2.5 to $3 per lb source lme
bronze up to $1.50 per lb source metal prices . com
aly $1.1 to $1.2 per lb source lme trend is coming down
aly alloy $1 per lb source lme
copper $3.58 per lb source lme trend is going up
nickel $14.5 per lb metal used for copper alloy level
tin $7.3 per lb metal used for copper alloy trend going up

Clear to see that copper and its most used alloys are more expensive than aly or its alloys by factor 3ish. Also clearly shown id that aly is coming down while copper and its alloy ingredients are going up. 8% of the earths crust is aluminium and that is the reason we use it so much, cheap and easy and lots of it.

Brass is up there as well and bronze is only used in industry I think as bearing material or as art material for sculptures. Never seen bronze in cooking except for those old civilisations which used it because it was very easy to cast or pour and remained malleable

I have conceded on the points previousely mentioned when found wrong or incomplete. Copper is softer than aluminium in pure form. They compare in Hb copper 75 climbing to 100 when worked and aluminium 150 climbing to 200 when worked. Alloys change soo much that you could go either softer or harder depending on what you mix it with.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/22/2007 4:56 PM

Dear case491,

You are not saying anything new. My last post on this thread basically agreed that aluminum is the metal of choice for affordable, medium-performance cookware. But since you are quoting prices, let's take a look!

"Expensive" is a relative term. I cannot, nor would not, deny the pricing you have quoted, but at the same token, check out the prices of the following metals:

Titanium: $25-30 per pound (ingot form)

Silver: $13.50 per troy ounce = $196 per pound

Gold: $750 per troy ounce = $10,900 per pound

Platinum: $800 per troy ounce = $11,667 per pound

Kind of puts your "factor 3ish" for aluminum versus copper into perspective, huh?

Wow, wouldn't it be great to have a "solid gold" (well only about 10-14K, or else it would be unusable) frying pan? Nice even heat distribution. No worries about oxidation (rusting), looks pretty hanging in your kitchen, etc., Note: I said "solid", not "pure" gold, so OK cut the cost in half, then only around $5,000 per pound!

Or how about Titanium? Much more affordable than gold. You're not gonna scratch that baby! And dents and dings? Fogeddaboudit! Of course, titanium is so heat resistant and non-malleable you have to machine (cut) what you want from a block (ingot) rather than cast it or stamp it, and only about $25-30 per pound, what a bargain!

Well, maybe copper would be somewhat more affordable.

Ya' think?

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#13

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/22/2007 1:02 PM

Let me add to what JMAN said about trivalent versus hexavalent chrome. Both are used in so-called "Chromate conversion coatings" commonly used to give zinc-plate steel parts (notably stampings and machined parts) a degree of oxidation prevention (from "white rust") and to protect Aluminum parts from oxidation. However, as the toxicity of "hex" became more known, more and more countries are banning its use. It is currently illegal to use "hex" in Europe or even to import parts with "hex" conversion coatings (RoHS legislation). The danger is greatest to those involved in the processing, but off course there are concerns of "hex" leaching into groundwater from parts ending in dumps or if quantities of the chemical itself are dumped (as in the famous "Erin Brockovich" case).

How does one tell the difference between steel parts with trivalent and ones with "hex"? It used to be easy. "Hex" is yellow, and trivalent is usually clear. However, aesthetics being what they are, with people used to seeing "yellow" parts, some clear coatings have been given yellow dye treatments to simulate the yellow of the "hex" coatings, all very legal, but misleading. This is particularly so, since clear chromate is not quite as effective as "hex" in oxidation prevention. For this reason, the US Air Force continues to require that some parts use "hex" even though toxicity may be a concern. The military also requires the use of Cadmium plating on some steel parts for the same reason.

Basically, I would avoid using any "yellow" steel for cookware, or using any cookware made that way. I also agree that teflon coatings are safe if you do not overheat them. This becomes obvious when you observe that the surface has blackened and lost its "silvery" grey appearance. Beware of any burned food cooked in teflon pans as well. Why eat it if it is burned anyway?

Also, I echo the safety of stainless steel cookware as well as the excellent heat distribution properties of copper or aluminum cladding (on the bottoms). Thick Aluminum cladding can rival copper by being cast with ridges or grooves or having grooves machined into the metal giving more surface area for heat transfer. Also, besides the facts previously mentioned, the chromium in stainless steel is mostly bound up in solution with the iron and does not react with most food ingredients anyway, which is why chromium plating is also used for food industry parts. I would be more concerned about the bacterial grown in the oils trapped in the surface of cast iron and carbon steel parts if they did not get heated sufficiently to kill the bacteria, since cleaning iron and carbon steel is rarely done with detergent and water due to rusting.

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#21

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/23/2007 11:51 AM

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/

familiar with this site? I have had stainless plates in my leg. Interesting snippet, the plates and screws have to be from the same batch otherwise electrolytic action sets in and impedes / affects bone regrowth.

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#22

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/24/2007 3:13 AM

A couple words of caution. Although iron from cast iron can be a good source of iron, men do not have a natural method of bleeding off excess iron. Iron poisoning is a real risk for males that use cast iron, combined with highly acetic foods, like tomotaoes, on a daily basis. I use cast iron, but am also very careful about the grade of cast iron. Some have been known to have minor amounts of everything from lead and aluminum to chemical residues and even petroleum distillates. So, make sure you clean that new cast iron well before first use, season it properly, and use responsibly.

Now, for the real reason I wrote: Teflon, PTFE's, Tefzels, etc. There have been a number of studies done which show that no matter what type, mfg, or age, you will end up getting some teflon in your food. It does not require the high temps called out above. The exact mechanism is unkown, but is easily detected in subjects that were using teflon coated pans. For more info. go to Mercola's website or read the book "The 200 year lie" for an excellent crash course in this.

If that wasn't scarey enough, the teflon used on those nice white styrofoam trays that your hamburger, chicken, and etc. comes on which keeps the styrofoam from staining, is now turning up in mother's milk all across the world. Because of the type of teflon used, they are fairly certain that it is likely coming from these styrofoam trays.

I can't recommend aluminum under any technological guise. I've been in reliability engineering and failure analysis too long to know that the whole of science is ill-equipped to really tell us what they can and can't control in terms of our health.

Regardless of what you cook with, eat real food you can identify, not the SAD (std. American Diet) non-food which comes in boxes or cellophane packaging. If you can't identify the food source, it probably is stealing from your valuable tomorrows more than you realize.

Again, I recommend "The 200 year lie" for anyone interested in understanding their true health exposure, especially in North America

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#23

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

10/30/2007 8:32 PM

I read once that there was a suspected link between aluminum and Alzheimers.

cr

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#25

Re: How do you deal with stainless steel kitchenware?

12/05/2007 11:21 AM

Fear not. If there was even a hint of causing a rash on any life form California would ban it immediately.

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