Have you accidentally put plastic handles in the oven and melted the handles of your favorite frying pans?
We understand that people often get confused when it comes to using their frying pans to bake.
This is why we’ve written the perfect guide for you! This article will help you determine if the handles of your pans are safe to put in the oven.
Things to know before putting a pan in the oven
When deciding whether it is safe to put a pan in the oven, there are many factors to consider.
What you are baking, the time duration, and the temperature are all important factors that come into play.
The plastic-quality is used to make the handles is also important. Cheaper plastics generally tend to melt at around a hundred degrees Celsius.
On the other hand, studies suggest that certain plastics can withstand temperatures of up to a hundred and eighty degrees Celsius.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s always better to avoid putting a pan with plastic handles in the oven. This is because the melting plastic can cause many health hazards.
However, many pans with plastic handles can withstand high temperatures for a specific time limit. This is usually specified in the manual, so make sure you read the manual to make an informed decision.
If you have lost the manual but know which plastic the handles are made of, then you can easily find out the melting point of that type of plastic by doing a quick Google search.
Most plastics can withstand a temperature of a hundred degrees Celsius. So this is a safe temperature to set your oven at for pans with plastic handles. Otherwise, you can bake food in a pan on a lower temperature than the melting point of the handles.
This will help you decide which food can be baked in your pan with plastic handles in the oven.
Also read: Are Nonstick Pans Bad For You
Tricks to Stop Your Pan’s Plastic Handles from Melting
In the case of a really old pan, you often don’t have much choice. If you feel like you are in a fix and urgently need to bake something, then you can use certain tricks to help you out. These tricks stop the plastic handles in the oven from melting.
One popular trick is to wet paper towels, wrap them around the plastic handles, and then cover the handles with aluminum foil. The plastic handles in the oven will be protected from melting as long as the paper towels remain slightly wet. This will stop the plastic handles from melting to some extent.
You can find similar tricks online if you plan to use a frying pan with plastic handles in the oven.
There are many online communities which provide guidance related to baking for beginners. However, this is not a very reliable solution to stop the handles of your pan from melting in the oven.
Read the Guidelines before Buying a New Pan
If you are purchasing a brand new pan just to use for baking, then it is wise to do the proper research before buying one.
The latest frying pans come with a detailed manual which helps you decide if they will be a good fit for you. If the handles are plastic, the manual will have specific temperature and time limit mentioned that will help you decide whether or not that particular pan will suit your needs.
Moreover, you can also discuss the matter with a salesperson/manufacturer as they will be able to guide you better. They might suggest that you opt for a pan with steel handles or cast iron handles instead. This will let you use the frying pan for baking at higher temperatures for longer durations.
How to Choose the Best Pan for Baking
If you are new to baking, there are plenty of must-have pans you might need to buy. Choosing the best baking pan mainly depends on what you want to bake in it.
In the case that you want to bake a whole chicken for a dinner party, then you’ll need a bigger roasting pan.
If you’re looking to buy the best pizza pan to bake homemade pizza in, then a metallic, stainless steel pan should be your first pick. So overall, choosing the best pan for baking ultimately depends on your personal needs and what you want to bake in it.
The Impacts of Melted Plastic Handles on Our Health
Professionals from Harvard Medical School suggest that microwaving in plastic containers can be dangerous for our health. The harmful chemicals in the plastic can easily leak into our food when warmed up.
Now imagine the seriousness of the impact that melted plastic handles in our oven can have.
Melted plastic handles can have a severely damaging impact on our health. Not only will the melted plastic ruin the taste of our food, but it will also produce toxic fumes.
These toxic fumes are highly dangerous for us. They are composed of harmful substances like carbon monoxide, dioxins, and furans.
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas which is not safe for us to breathe. Dioxins and furans, which are also released when plastic burns, are reportedly linked with cancer and can cause respiratory diseases.
Dioxin is an organic chemical which is formed when chlorine and hydrocarbons are heated at high temperatures. It is a widely known human carcinogen. In fact, Dioxin is the most powerful form of synthetic carcinogen to be ever tested in a lab.
So when plastic handles melt in the oven, these substances are released into the air. As the oven is a confined space, these particles have no other escape, and they enter the food that you are baking in the oven.
This way, your food intake becomes highly polluted and unsafe because of melted plastic handles in the oven. This should be avoided at all costs.
Why You Should Bake Instead of Fry
Sometimes, we avoid the hassle of baking because we don’t know which pans we can use and which we can’t. We find it quicker and easier to fry or boil food when we should choose to bake those dishes instead.
There are many reasons why we should take time out to bake our food.
Firstly, baking is healthier than frying because baking requires far less oil to cook the same food. During the baking process, the high temperature inside an oven burns and melts all the natural fats in a meal.
This means that you don’t have to add large proportions of cooking oil to cook it. As a result, baked food has a much lower fat content than fried food. This is why we should try to incorporate baking into our daily lives.
Secondly, baking your food will preserve the natural nutrients in it. Frying and boiling food to cook it makes some nutrients dissolve in the oil or water.
This doesn’t happen while baking because baking uses dry heat to cook the same food. Therefore, baked food is more nutritious and healthy because it preserves important vitamins like vitamins B and C.
Lastly, it is no secret that baked food is generally more visually appealing. Many studies have linked food appearance to a person’s appetite.
So if you bake your food and it looks delicious, you will end up consuming more of it. This is an ideal situation as you’re tempted to eat a larger quantity of a healthy meal that is full of nutrients.
The Bottom Line
Overall, there are plenty of ways by which you can avoid melting the plastic handles of your baking pan. As explained above, melted plastic handles can cause serious health hazards.
It is not something to take lightly and should be avoided under all circumstances.
Your health and safety come first! You should not take any unnecessary risks with your health as you don’t want any long term regrets for you and your family.
Making the right choices for your cookware is the first step towards minimizing any possible risks.
This is why it is wise to invest in a pan which doesn’t have plastic handles. After buying a pan with metal handles, you don’t always have to monitor for the temperature allowances or time period.
This way, all your baking limitations will come to an end, and you can start on your journey towards a healthy lifestyle.
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- Why Do Pans Warp?
- Can You Put a Hot Pan on Granite?
- Why Do Cooking Pans Catch Fire and how to prevent it?
- How to Tell if a Pan is Oven-Safe?
- How to Get Melted Plastic Off Pans