In recent years, we have heard celebrity chefs, food connoisseurs and even journalists endorse the benefits of cooking in titanium cookware. Titanium cookware is a strong, lightweight, durable, and non-toxic cookware option. In this article, we will weigh in on the debate on just how safe it is to use titanium cookware and what we can do to prolong its life.
In general, pure titanium cookware is considered safe, as titanium is a non-reactive, chemically inert substance. For cookware mixed with titanium, make sure the non-stick coating is free of PFOA, nickel, heavy metals and other harmful materials.
What is Titanium Cookware?
It is important to briefly touch upon what exactly titanium cookware is. Readers might assume titanium cookware is made entirely of titanium; however, this is usually not the case. One of the key reasons for this is the high price of pure titanium cookware. For example a FEI pure titanium non-stick milk pan costs above $500.
In most cases, titanium cookware consists of titanium alloyed with other metal and non-metal materials. The end result is still a non reactive cookware that is nowhere as expensive as pure titanium.
- By infusing titanium with aluminum. A good example of this is the HUFTGOLD Tri-Ply Titanium Fry Pan which is titanium coated.
- By combining it with ceramic. A good example of this is the Miles Kimball Ceramic Non Stick Stockpot
- By combining it with copper. A good example of this is non-stick Copper Titanium Frying and Steamer Set.
Reasons to Buy and Use Titanium Cookware
There are a number of benefits of investing in a either a pure titanium, or even just titanium coated or mixed cookware set. Titanium is a chemically inert substance that is also:
- A strong material that won’t dent or warp with proper care.
- Lightweight and easy-to-use for older people, those suffering from arthritis and for people who enjoy backpacking and camping.
- Able to heat up quickly and reduce cooking time.
- Non-porous and will not allow metals such as aluminium to leach through and contaminate food.
- Cleaned easily with little more than a quick wipe with a tissue or wet dishcloth.
Is Titanium Cookware Safe?
Generally, it is felt that titanium is a safe and stable metal to cook in. The following reasons provide some arguments for this assessment:
One of the key qualities which make titanium a desirable metal for cookware is its non-porous nature. This particular property of titanium ensures that other metals such as aluminium are unable leech through it and contaminate food. This is one of the main reasons titanium is combined with metals and non-metals – to make them safer.
For example, having cookware with a titanium core and an aluminium base results in a safer cooking. Having a titanium core and ceramic base will also prevent lead from leaching from the ceramic base into the titanium and contaminating the food.
Perfect For Healthy and Flavour Rich Cooking
Due to its fast heating property, titanium cookware doesn’t need butter, animal fat and oil to cook food. This means that cooking is healthier, lighter, grease free, and assists you to lose weight and live a healthy life.
Furthermore, titanium cookware users don’t need to add water to cook their food, as titanium is non-stick and won’t burn food. Many people feel food cooked with titanium cookware tastes authentic and doesn’t lose its original flavour or nutrients as much. For example meat cooked in titanium cookware will be tender, juicy and retains its flavour. Vegetables cooked in titanium cookware will not lose nutrients and crispness.
Self-Healing Titanium Oxide Layer
Another unique benefit of titanium cookware is that when titanium is exposed to oxygen, a titanium oxide layer forms. This titanium oxide layer shields the titanium from further degradation. If titanium is scratched then the titanium oxide layer becomes a kind of healing agent which allows the scratch to fix itself. This property is helpful when metal utensils are used on titanium cookware.
No Reported Cases of Titanium Related Allergies
To date there has been no reported cases of titanium-related allergies. Furthermore, titanium is non-toxic even at high doses. It takes to heat well and is non-reactive in nature which protects the user’s food and health.
Durable and Abrasion Free
Titanium cookware has a long-lasting and abrasion free finish which makes it more durable. Even with daily use, the material looks new and stylish in appearance. Titanium is metal friendly and normal degradation due to metal utensils will have no effect on the cooking surface.
Acid Resistant and Does Not Corrode
Another important characteristic of titanium cookware is that it’s acid resistant and does not corrode like other metals. This means excessive use of this type of cookware will not result in its cooking surface corroding as is the case with other metal cookware.
Some Points to Consider When Buying Titanium Cookware
In this section lets look at some problem areas when using titanium cookware. While we don’t consider these points as cons or a threat to safety, it is important to highlight these areas. This discussion will help educate readers on how to take better care of their titanium cookware.
Heat Distribution Issues
When starting to use titanium cookware you need to be careful when cooking. Titanium cookware can heat quicker than expected and hold on to heat for longer periods of time than other materials. This heat is dangerous as it burns food or worse still can harm your unprotected hands.
If you continue to cook on high heat using titanium cookware, heat or burn spots appear on the cookware. This eventually leads to your food getting burnt or over-cooked .
The best way to avoid safety concerns is to cook food on lower flame, as lower heat would not allow burn or heat spots to be formed in your titanium cookware.
To avoid the above issues, consider titanium cookware with an aluminium or ceramic base creates cookware. They allow for even heat distribution when cooking and prevents heat or burn spots from developing. A good example of an aluminium base and titanium coated cookware is Fleischer & Wolf Aluminium Black Non-Stick Cookware Set.
Avoid Extensive Scraping
Another issue with titanium cookware is that extensive scraping or stirring causes scratching. This scratching leads to titanium particles entering food being cooked in the titanium pot or pan. However, materials like titanium and ceramic are nontoxic to humans.
Precaution for Avoiding Impurities: Although advertisements from titanium cookware manufacturers state that metallic utensils can be used,it is better to avoid them to protect your cookware. If wooden, silicon or plastic utensils are used, you avoid scratching titanium cookware in the long run. This reduces the risk of exposing yourself or your family to titanium particles and makes it safer for cooking in. A good example of wooden cooking utensils is this eco friendly bamboo cooking utensils set
High Maintenance Cookware
This may surprise readers, but titanium cookware requires more specialized care than other cookware to prolong its life. While titanium cookware can take more use and abuse on a daily basis compared to your average non-stick cookware it does get worn out if not looked after and handled with care.
Proper maintenance and care of titanium cookware
In order to keep your titanium cookware in top-notch order you can carry out the following changes to your daily cooking routine.
- Do not use metal utensils. Use only wood, silicone or plastic ones as they don’t scratch.
- Cook on low to medium heat when cooking on the stove. Never heat the pan higher than medium heat.
- Avoid use of non-stick cooking spray on non-stick pans. Chemicals in the spray react with the PTFE, shortening its life.
- Do not put titanium cookware in the oven at temperatures above 350 Fahrenheit.
- Do not put in the dishwasher as it has abrasive detergents which aren’t beneficial.
- Avoid use abrasive cleansers or scrubbing pads.
- Always allow your titanium cookware to cool down (by switching off the stove or oven) before immersing in cold water to prevent warping.
Not Compatible with Induction Stove
Induction cooking involves heating a cooking pot or pan by magnetic induction, instead of electric heating, or from a gas flame. As inductive heating directly heats the pot or pan, a quick rise in temperature is achieved.
However, a variety of metallic and non-metallic cookware are not compatible to the induction stove – aluminium, brass, copper, glass and ceramics. In addition titanium cookware may not be compatible with the induction heating as titanium is only weakly magnetic. However, if combined with a magnetic metal it could take on a higher magnetic strength.
Find Out More About the Non-Stick Coating
Another area of concern is the non-stick coating in titanium cookware. When buying titanium cookware one of the first questions you should ask is: what substances make up the non-stick coating.
If you consider buying this cookware, make sure you check all substances used to manufacture the non-stick coating. It is important to make sure that the non-stick coating is free of PFOA, nickel, heavy metals and other harmful materials present in non-stick coatings. One brand which isn’t coated with any non-stick chemicals is ProHealth HealthPro Titanium Cookware Set.
Lack of Published Research on Titanium Cookware
There is a lack of published scientific research looking at titanium cookware and its impact on our health. A published research study on titanium has been based on factory workers coming in contact with this metal. The results proved that factory workers exposed to titanium have no adverse health effects. This is an area which needs to be looked at an greater detail to find a meaningful conclusion to this debate.
This article shows the many benefits of titanium as a material, and by extension, titanium and titanium mixed cookware.
Having said that, this type of cookware isn’t perfect, from its uneven heating properties, ability to get damaged in the long-run, and it being unsuitable for the induction stove. The tips and suggestions mentioned however should help protect your titanium cookware for many years to come.
More research remains on just how safe titanium cookware is, though to date there is no negative data or incidences.