Teflon is used in cookware, fabric, construction, and much more. Since 2013, Teflon has been manufactured without PFAs, per- and polyfluorinated substances, making it safer. However, Teflon does still contain chemicals. You might wonder, do all rice cookers have Teflon?
Not all rice cookers have Teflon. Some rice cookers use stainless steel or clay as a coating material instead. Each material has advantages and disadvantages.
Are All Rice Cookers Teflon?
No, not all rice cookers have with Teflon. Many rice cookers have inner pots coated with Teflon, but other options exist. Some rice cookers have clay or stainless steel inner pots.
Each type of material has advantages. Clay can enhance the flavor of foods because it is porous. Stainless steel pots are dishwasher-safe. Teflon pots are the best non-stick option.
What Is Teflon?
Teflon is a chemical coating called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Dr. Roy J. Plunkett accidentally created it in the 1930s. Later, manufacturers used it to create a non-stick, non-reactive surface. It’s widely known for its use on cookware. It is also used on fabric and wire to make them waterproof.
Is Teflon Dangerous?
Concerns over Teflon center around a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA was used to make Teflon until 2013. The chemical was supposed to burn off during manufacturing, but trace amounts are still sometimes found on Teflon cookware. PFOAs are linked to certain health issues such as infertility, low birth weight, and thyroid disorders.
In 1999, a study found that over 98% of people had PFOAs in their blood. Soon after, the EPA led the PFOA Stewardship Program. This initiative got eight leading PFOA companies to stop using PFOA by 2013.
Are There Still Risks Associated With Teflon?
Teflon is now safe since it no longer utilizes PFOAs. PTFE is inert, so it will not react with chemicals inside or outside your body. The American Cancer Society does not currently believe PTFEs cause any cancer risks.
PTFEs are safe at most temperatures. However, if you heat PTFE-coated pots above 500° F, you may experience coughing, fever, or sore throat. These symptoms are temporary and will not bother you long-term. Rice cookers only reach 212° F, so the risk of experiencing these symptoms while using your rice cooker is negligible.
Is The Coating On My Rice Cooker Safe?
Yes, the coating on your rice cooker is safe. Since Teflon is manufactured without PFOAs, any rice cookers manufactured after 2013 are safe to use.
Rice cookers don’t reach high temperatures, so the Teflon coating stays intact.
The main downside of Teflon is that metal utensils scratch it easily. Most rice cookers come with a plastic spoon or spatula that you should use with your rice cooker. Metal forks and spoons may damage the Teflon lining of your inner pot.
Is It Safe To Use A Scratched Rice Cooker?
No, it is not safe to use a scratched rice cooker. Scratched Teflon may leak aluminum from the pot into your food and body. When aluminum enters your body, it collects in your liver, lungs, thyroid, brain, and kidneys. Some studies show that people with Alzheimer’s have excess aluminum in their brains.
What Should I Do If My Rice Cooker Is Scratched?
If you see scratches on your rice cooker, get a new one. Once damaged, there is no safe way to repair the inner pot’s Teflon coating. You can find several brand-new rice cookers for under $40 that make excellent pots of rice.
Are There Any Rice Cookers Without Teflon?
Yes, there are rice cookers made without Teflon. If you’re concerned about cooking with Teflon, choose a rice cooker made from stainless steel or clay.
Stainless Steel Rice Cookers
Stainless steel makes a great alternative to Teflon. However, some cooks worry about using stainless steel because it can leach chromium and nickel. It reacts when used with high-acid foods and for long cooking times. Since rice is not acidic and only cooks for about an hour, cooking rice in stainless steel is safe.
One downside to stainless steel is that it is not non-stick. Cooked foods, especially rice, stick to stainless steel easily. If you use a stainless steel rice cooker, wash the inner pot thoroughly immediately after use.
Clay Rice Cookers
Clay rice cookers may also be a good choice for those avoiding Teflon. Clay pots are porous and will absorb the flavor of your foods. Some say stews, soups, and curries taste better in clay pots because the clay brings out the dish’s flavors. The longer your rice dishes cook in a clay pot, the more intense the flavors.
Like stainless steel, clay pots are also not non-stick. Cooked rice and other foods easily stick to their surfaces. Another downside is that clay pots break more easily than stainless steel or Teflon. Sudden temperature changes or bumps may cause the pot to crack.
Manufacturers began making Teflon differently in 2013, so it is now safer for cooking. If your Teflon rice cooker’s inner pot becomes scratched, replace it immediately. Clay or stainless steel are suitable substitutes if you prefer to avoid Teflon.