Most people are well aware that bits of teflon coating in their food is not desirable. I was also concerned about the scratches in some of my hard anodized aluminum pans, allowing aluminum beneath the hardened surface to leach into my food. I have now pared down my kitchen cookware/equipment, so that my collection now consists primarily of:
- Cast iron (two skillet sizes, a square griddle and a large covered pot)
- Enameled cast iron (several sizes)
- Enameled steel (baking dishes)
- Stainless steel (large sauté pan, stock pot, and a large, lightweight mixing bowl)
- Glass (baking dishes and mixing bowls)
- Ceramic (baking dishes and mixing bowls)
My cookware is much more organized now, too! I am impressed with how useful those two cast iron skillets are. I have been able to cook eggs without sticking, and braise veggies… just about anything that fits. I saved a lid from an old anodized aluminum pan, and it fits perfectly over my larger skillet - useful for wilting greens, etc. Keep in mind that stainless steel will react with acidic foods, so they are not a good choice to pair.
I kept a few items that I could not bear to part with, since there is just so much I can take.
- Slow cooker, 6 quart enameled crock*
- Crepe pan, teflon coating (no scratches)
- Waffle iron, teflon coating (no scratches)
- Electric griddle, teflon coating (no scratches)
- Wok, anodized aluminum (no scratches)
- Plastic mixing bowls**
*There is some controversy over whether heavy metals may leach from enameled crocks under long-heat conditions, particularly with acidic foods.**There is a decent chance I will eventually part with these too, but they are handy and lightweight.
Possibly over the top, I have also strictly limited my use of the microwave, out of concern for the degrading of nutrients. (Many are already aware that they should never heat breast milk in the microwave, because it will destroy or alter many of the most important nutrients.) It takes a little more planning, but I find it is not such a big inconvenience.