You have concerns about the dangers of nonstick cookware but still want to cook using less fat. Two types of cookware have nonstick coatings that are also nontoxic: hard anodized aluminum and seasoned cast iron.
Hard Anodized Aluminum
Hard anodized aluminum cookware has a layer of oxidized aluminum on its surface. The layer is extremely durable and prevents the aluminum metal from reacting with food. It is nontoxic.
Benefits of Anodized Aluminum
Anodized aluminum has nonstick properties, so you can use less oil when cooking on an anodized pan. Unlike other nonstick cookware, anodized aluminum will not chip or scratch. It can withstand high temperatures, up to 1,221 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cast Iron Cookware
You give cast iron cookware a nonstick coating by seasoning it. Some brands of cast iron, such as Lodge, are sold preseasoned, while others are uncoated.
How to Season Cast Iron
Season cast iron by rubbing a thin layer of shortening or vegetable oil over the inside and outside surface of the pan. Place in a 300-degree oven, and allow to bake for one hour. Maintain the seasoning by coating the pan with a layer of oil after each use.
Cast Iron Benefits
In addition to providing a natural, nonstick cooking surface, cast iron retains heat well. Food cooked in a cast iron pan may absorb some iron, a benefit for people with low iron intake.
References and ResourcesYour Cookware Helper: Is Anodized Aluminum Safe
Real Simple: Cleaning and Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet
NY Times: Ever So Humble, Cast Iron Outshines the Fancy Pans