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3 Bird Safe No Stick Cookware Alternatives

Hi Mitch

I am long overdue for getting appropriate bird-safe cookware to use around my African Grey.

 

I’ve wanted the Calphalon set for years. Do you know anything about it being safe? I get a little confused. I know “Teflon” is not good, but just what is meant by non-stick?

 

Is all “non-stick” unsafe around birds?

 

Thank you for your time. KATHY

 

Hi Kathy

Calphalon nonstick surfaces do use a PTFE (non-stick) coating.

 

Calphalon is Teflon free but that’s because they don’t use the Teflon brand for their coating so it’s really semantics.

 

Both are similar in that they use PTFE in their non-stick surfaces which is harmful to animals and humans alike to various degrees.

 

Your bird can die from “Teflon toxicity” or “PTFE poisoning/toxicosis.”

 

The poisoning is triggered by “No Stick” cookware treated with “Teflon” aka polytetrafluoroethylene.

 

The fumes of an overheated PTFE pan can kill a bird in minutes 3 rooms away.

 

That leaves other ways are required to achieve a kitchen full of bird-safe cookware, the first being “ceramic” coated cookware.

 

From: Ceramic Coated Cookware Safety Secrets That No One Will Tell You! (by the Cookware Advisor)

 

Manufacturers and marketers of ceramic coated cookware claim they are ultra-safe, with no chemicals or heavy metals, and are very durable….. BUT ARE THEY?

 

We drilled down to find out.

 

Consider this your ultimate guide to the safety, ease of use, and durability of non-stick ceramic coated cookware.

 

What is Ceramic coated cookware?

 

Ceramic technically means ‘clay that has been fire-hardened’.  

 

So when we talk of ceramic coated cookware, we are talking about some sort of metal (usually hard-anodized aluminum) that has been coated with a layer of ceramic.

 

Ceramic non-stick coatings are typically made from inorganic minerals, primarily silicon and oxygen.

Inorganic means not containing any carbon.

So does that mean it Is it PTFE and/or PFOA free?

Yes, none of these chemicals are used in the manufacture of Ceramic coated cookware. Read more

 

The article is quite long so here’s the skinny​:

 

Ceramic cookware is bird-safe.

 

We have some ourselves.

 

The problem is its “useful life” Ceramic cookware pans last about 15% as long as Teflon cookware.

 

In other words for every 6 years, you have a Teflon pan, your ceramic coated pan lasts 1 year.

 

Check out Kitchen Ambition PTFE and PFOA free cookware

 

Then your next choice, the path we took – (retro) stainless (below).

 

A bit of a learning curve is required when cooking but stainless is bird-safe (as long as your bird is not in the kitchen when you are cooking) and lasts forever.

 

The big issue with stainless steel is that food can stick.

 

This is usually due to overheating the pans, learning to cook at lower temperatures makes all the difference.

 

You can season a stainless pan to make it non-stick by seasoning it properly as seen in the video below.

 

 

They also can be seasoned for cooking eggs, etc. Read up on the care of stainless steel cookware online and learn to enjoy cooking again. Ideally, you want 18/0 Stainless.

 

We’ve seen new stainless cookware sets from $300 – $800 on the web

 

set of bird safe retro stainless cookware

 

The image above is a sample of our collection bought at resale shops and yard sales over 2 years.

 

We think we now have every piece (and accessory) plus some duplicates. 

 

We think we invested no more than $150 for everything you see below.

 

full set of revere ware and farberware stsainless steel cookware from the mid 20th century

 

Still working through a storage strategy at our new space

 

Bird Teflon dangers you didn’t know & other household perils

 

Don’t rule out  – cast iron.

 

A well-seasoned cast-iron pan is a no-stick pan that is bird-safe.

 

Food can get low levels of inorganic iron if the pan is not well seasoned but that has nothing to do with the issue of “fumes” that are toxic to birds.

 

Cast iron pans emit no toxic fumes.

 

Cast iron pans will last a millennium.

 

They require your due diligence but cook quite nicely when dealt with properly as explained in the video below.

 

Then you also have glass cooking pots and pans like Corningware. Also, a learning curve to be able to use them properly, but you won’t have any fumes.

 

Written by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing

your zygodactyl footnote


 

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground.Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care.He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis.He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this helpful article. Do you have any thoughts on copper, such as Copper Chef non-stick or any other copper lined pans???

  2. Hello. Because I have a sweet little parrot, I won’t let my husband cook with nonstick pans. He just bought two All-Clad’s new HA1 nonstick pans, which state that they are environmentally safe and free from toxins. He’s convinced this will be safe. I’m dubious and can’t find any posts about this. Any info you can share? Thank you! — Andrea

    1. Hi Andrea

      I called All Clad

      Good news bad news. All-Clad’s new HA1 nonstick pans are POFA free but incorporate PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) which is generic for “Teflon”

      That said, they can be used at low temps with the bird not in the room – you’ve been warned

      mitchr

      1. Thank you for this info. Doesn’t sound like it’s worth the risk. Appreciate your quick response!

  3. I appreciate comments on bird safe cooking, cleaning products I’ve read at sites like this over the past 15 years. Our nonstick pans are starting to wear so I’m shopping prices and researching latest ceramic technology and public and expert opinion again.
    I do want to reassure some newcomers by parroting (pun intended) others. Better-safe-than-sorry is fine but chemical release concerns are minor to nonexistent for quality, mainstream products at low to medium-high cooking temperatures — even the PFOA/PTFE nonstick variety. We use and have used a combination of stainless steel, ceramic, an old T-FAL nonstick cookware set I bought 25-30 years ago, and occasionally cast iron. The T-FAL dutch oven and similar Revere fry pan remain and we still use them at least 3-4 times a month.
    We live in a small 1100 sq. ft. 2BR/2BA ranch house with very little extra space to keep our parrot separate from our daily environment. Not to mention we like her company that way. Our Blue-fronted Amazon, Calle, is 25 years old. She has lived in her Avian Adventures Chiquita Playtop cage in our living room, adjacent to one end of our sliding glass back porch door. She is uncovered 2PM-midnight daily. Her cage is 14 ft. from the natural gas stove top in our kitchen — open floor plan. She is healthy and has never shown symptoms.
    I have admittedly badly burned food in saucepans 3 times over the past 30 years, ruining 2 pans. I once fell asleep for 2 hours with large kettle of homemade apple cider at rolling boil until the smoke alarm went off. It was pretty much molasses by that time.
    We have decent but not great ventilation and we are careful with our cooking.

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