Last Updated on February 2, 2023 by Claire
Are silicone cooking utensils safe? Silicone utensils are generally safe to cook with, and are even considered food-grade by the FDA. Moreover, silicone bakeware, for example, is heat-resistant, freezer-safe, and oven safe, but only up to ~428 degrees Fahrenheit or 220 Celsius.
Some people worry about using silicone cookware to prepare food due to metal poisoning. But it’s food-safe and doesn’t leach or trigger food reactions.
That said, there are lots of features of silicone, as well as the pros and cons of these silicone utensils, which are discussed in this article to help you make guided kitchen decisions.
Are silicone cooking utensils safe?
Many chefs are skeptical about the use of silicone as it is fairly new in cooking. They worry about a number of things which includes the leaching effect of silicone while cooking. Silicone cooking utensils are very safe for cooking as it doesn’t leach into the food thereby ensuring the safety of the food.
Another pressing worry are the fillers used in lower quality silicone utensils. It is advised to purchase high quality silicone utensils as fillers used in the lower quality are not safe for the health. Also, high quality silicone utensils contain 100% pure silicone which is absolutely safe for your health.
Most metals produce odor when cooked at a very high temperature and this is a cause of concern in silicone but silicone is different. Silicone utensils have high resistance to heat and also do not produce any odor no matter the number of times it’s being used. You can conveniently cook with it without worrying about any odor.
Silicone is also known to be stain resistant as colors from food or recipes do not stick on it easily.
What are the benefits of silicone cooking utensils?
While considering cooking utensils with silicone material, below are the features, as well as benefits.
1. high heat resistance
Silicone cooking utensils have high resistance to heat and there is no need for fear of melting if accidentally placed in a pot on the fire. Some can withstand as high as 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Making use of silicone utensils like cooking spoons, whisks, etc., for a hot meal or recipe has no effect as it won’t melt away. Silicone can be used on an oven.
2. Stain resistance
Due to the non-porous nature of the silicone, it doesn’t retain odors or colors when used to stir deep-colored food like tomato-based food products. It is usually difficult to remove such stains with a regular plastic, wood or rubber spatula but silicone does the job perfectly. Aside from this, silicone does not support microbial growth, so your food is safe from bacteria.
The silicone utensils have non-sticking surfaces and the spatula doesn’t scratch. Unlike the rubber or wooden spatula which scratches the bottom of the pot when used, with silicone you are safe as your pot remains as good as new. It is useful in scraping clean the cake batter off the mixing bowl.
4. Non-corrosive and hard-wearing
Food-grade silicone is very safe to use in any type of food. It does not react with food or beverages or produce any hazardous fumes. Unlike some metals which may corrode when exposed to certain acids in food. It does not react negatively to exposure to extremes of temperature. This means that it will probably last longer than the other kitchen utensils.
Silicone utensils are non-reactive and non-corrosive. The food-grade silicone is very safe to use in any type of food. It is nonreactive to food and beverages and doesn’t produce hazardous fumes. Most metals are known to become reactive when exposed to food but silicone doesn’t react and lasts longer than other kitchen wares.
5. Overall usage safety
FDA-approved food-grade silicone can withstand temperatures from ~80°F to 450°F, per SSP Manufacturing, Inc. Silicone maintains its integrity at high temperatures, so it stays flexible at low temperatures.
Is silicone safe for food prep?
Silicone is safe for food prep or storage. It fits perfectly into different conditions or temperatures. They don’t expand nor do they contract.
Moreover, silicone cooking utensils have strong resistance to color and odor. They are resistant to all forms of stains and are non-corrosive. Most experts also agree that silicone utensils are environment friendly, and can be recycled.
The silicone utensils can be used over and over again, it isn’t like the single-use pots.
- Reliable flexibility
This is mostly applicable to baking as it gives it numerous shapes including complex shapes.
The utensils are light and can be carried about with ease. This is unlike other products like glass which is actually heavy.
- Mostly non-stick
The silicone utensils are non-stick, especially the bakeware as it doesn’t stick the cake to its pan. It gives the perfect result with its non-stick surface.
- Won’t scratch your pans
Your silicone spatula will not scratch your pot. Unlike metal kitchen implements, silicone is nice and gentle on your non-stick pans.
- Withstands changes in temperature
Silicone can be moved from the oven to the freezer without a crack as it has a high tolerance to temperature change.
Harder to clean
It has a wobbly nature making it not so easy to clean.
How to clean silicone utensils
Using silicone utensils is fun and easy but cleaning them is not so easy. Due to the processes involved, it might take more time to clean it.
In order to efficiently clean a silicone utensil, you’ll need some baking soda, hot water and degreasing soap.
The following are steps to follow when cleaning silicone bakeware;
- The very first thing to do is to wash the bakeware using a soft sponge, hot water and a degreasing soap. This is done as any normal cookware.
- Rinse with clean water when you’re done washing. After this, use your hand to feel the bakeware, this is to spot where there is grease or sticky spots. Apply some baking soda on the bakeware and gently rub on the surface. Avoid making use of an abrasive scrubber as it might damage the silicone coating.
- For a very effective job, let the baking soda dry into the bakeware. This might take up to half an hour.
- After this, use hot water and degreasing soap to wash the bakeware clean. The grease will be totally cleaned off.
- After washing the silicone bakeware, dry it and store in a cool dry place ready for future use.
You can also use this method to clean the baking mat but for a perfect result, soak the baking mat in hot water filled with degreasing soap.
Be careful on the market
Food-grade silicone is safe for baking and cooking but there are knockoffs out there. The materials will not leach when being used in the originals.
However, cheaper and fake silicone expels odor when placed on fire into the food thereby making it unhealthy for your consumption needs.
Is silicone safer than plastic?
Silicone lasts longer and is environmentally friendlier than plastic when cooking. Silicone also has a high resistance to heat, unlike plastic which expands when introduced to heat. Plastic may leach into food, especially when hot thereby making food intake unsafe, this cannot be found in silicone as it does not leach and ensures the safety of food.
Is it better to cook with silicone or metal utensils?
Silicone utensils are preferred over metal utensils. This is because it doesn’t damage the pans and pots. Silicone utensils do not remove coating from the utensils and keep them fresh. Silicone is also very durable as it lasts for a longer period of time and it is recyclable.
Silicone cooking utensils are reliable cooking utensils. They have high resistance to heat and change in temperatures and they don’t stain. They are actually non-biodegradable but can be recycled. When next you are searching for cooking utensils, perhaps, you should consider going with silicone.