Shopping for cookware can be an overwhelming process, especially if you are someone who knows nothing about kitchen stuff. From style to performance, you have a lot of things to consider. Among others, one thing that you should not miss is the material used.
Nickel is a common material that you will find. However, nickel has hidden dangers. As much as possible, you should choose nickel-free cookware. Keep on reading as we talk about nickel and why it is one thing that you need to avoid in your kitchen.
What is Nickel?
Nickel is a hard metal with silvery-white color. Some of its benefits include its durability, heat-resistance, and ductility. No wonder, it is a common material that is used in wires, coins, and even military equipment.
Nickel in Cookware
Nickel is not the main material used in cookware. Rather, it is often used as a lining. Nickel-lined pans are common in stainless steel. For both commercial and domestic applications, nickel is found in most stainless steel cookware.
The use of nickel lining is often for improving the strength of cookware. When added to stainless steel, it helps in resisting corrosion, making sure that your cookware will withstand many years of use.
Aside from durability, using nickel in cookware is also good in terms of promoting even heat distribution. This will be a great way to prevent hot spots in whatever you are cooking, allowing you to cook evenly.
Nickel is also used in copper. This provides a protective barrier against copper and highly acidic food. Nickel protects the copper from breaking down.
When you buy nickel-lined cookware, it is common to see manufacturers offering a lifetime guarantee. This assures that nickel will be hard-wearing. It may sound tempting, but given the possible dangers of nickel, you might want to hold off.
The Dangers of Nickel
While nickel has its benefits, it is undeniable that it also has drawbacks. Most experts in the kitchen would recommend that if possible, avoid nickel in your choice of cookware. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Over half of the nickel manufactured is used in stainless steel cookware. It is common for the latter to contain at least 18% nickel. While cookware releases only a small amount of nickel, it can be toxic. This is especially true in the case of people who have nickel allergy.
The most common sign of nickel allergy is an itchy rash. Although, this type of allergy is more common in jewelry than in cookware. Different people, however, may react differently. This will also be different based on the extent of exposure and the sensitivity of a person.
Nickel can get disturbed when it is exposed to extreme heat. This can also happen because of abrasions. This will cause nickel to mix with your food, and this is where allergy can be a problem.
So, with the threat of serious allergy and other health problems, it is obvious that it is best to go nickel-free in your cookware. Even the slightest content of nickel should be avoided, if possible, especially if this will provide you with peace of mind.
If you want to go nickel-free, then you have to consider other materials as an alternative. It should be noted that nickel, in small quantities, is not dangerous. Nonetheless, some people tend to be paranoid, and hence, they would want to avoid nickel overall. If you are one of those people, then you should consider alternative materials.
Among others, cast iron is one of the best alternatives if you are looking for nickel-free cookware. It is heavy, so this isn’t for those who prefer their pots and pans to be lightweight. With cast iron, you don’t need to worry even if you scratch the surface. It won’t be damaged. Plus, cast iron also fortifies your food with a small amount of iron.
Glass is also an excellent choice if you are looking for nickel-free cookware. It is heavy and fragile. Nonetheless, aside from being nickel-free, we also like how glass is clear. This means that you can easily monitor what you are cooking without the need to lift the lid often.
Another good material that should be on your radar is ceramic. It is stylish, making it a great way to add character to your kitchen. However, take note that it can easily break when exposed to a high temperature.
Nickel may seem harmless at first. It may even be beneficial. When used as a lining for materials like stainless steel and copper, nickel can help in improving durability and heat resistance. However, nickel can also be a health danger. With this, it is best to make sure that you have nickel-free cookware in your kitchen.