Did one of your friends tell you Teflon is really bad and now you are panicking because every kitchen appliance you own is made from Teflon, including your bread maker?
Don’t stress, we are here to put your mind at ease. Before we have a look at the few bread makers on the market without Teflon, let’s first go back to basics and take a look at what Teflon is and whether it is really THAT bad for you.
What is Teflon?
Teflon is actually a brand of non-stick products made from a material called polytetrafluoroethylene. It’s a bit of a mouthful trying to pronouncing that, so it’s called PTFE for short.
Essentially, PTFE is a synthetic material that has been used in pans and kitchen appliances since the 40’s. It’s a hydrophobic material, a physical property that repels water. Because of these properties, this has made cooking and cleaning effortless, as most of us know.
Is Teflon Bad For You?
Actually, Teflon doesn’t become harmful unless it’s heated continuously over 260-300 degrees Celsius. Teflon, at such degrees, releases harmful smoke and gases, known as perfluorooctanoic acid (or PFOA for short) which are known to cause flu-like symptoms that can even be fatal to pets.
But, in recent years, after all the outrage of Teflon being harmful, they have removed PFOA and now all Teflon products are made without this harmful acid, suggesting that there is no need for concern over Teflon products anymore.
But what about when a non-stick pan starts to exfoliate? Digesting the material will not cause any harm to the gut. It’s the inhalation of the fumes and gas that is released when Teflon is heated over a long period of time over a certain temperature that is more cause for concern.
So, generally speaking, Teflon is safe to use for everyday cooking. As long as you are sensible, not overheating the pans over a long period of time and using wooden/silicone spatulas instead of metal ones then you should be fine. Plus, the most affordable appliances are made from Teflon, and especially with bread makers, there is not much choice out there other than bread makers with non-stick baking trays.
Is Teflon Safe in Bread Makers?
To really put your mind at ease about using bread makers with Teflon, bread bakes at low temperature. The maximum that bread will bake in a bread maker is around 175 to 180 degrees Celsius. This is significantly lower than the temperature where Teflon can potentially become harmful.
Unfortunately, it is pretty challenging to find a bread maker with a stainless steel bread pan. There currently is only one on the market that uses stainless steel.
If you are concerned about using Teflon, the best thing to do is get a bread maker that has the option of customsing your settings so you can adjust the temperature accordingly. Most bread makers come with pre-programmed settings and therefore cannot be changed. But we have managed to find a few bread makers where it is possible to adjust the temperature settings.
The Sana Bread Maker markets itself to be the only bread maker without Teflon. It has a stainless steel bread pan, so you can be assured that your bread will be cooked in the safest way possible.
It comes in 3 different models; basic, standard and exclusive. The machine is the same in each model, but with each model, you get different accessories. It also gives you the ability to adjust all the programmes manually which is a great bonus.
On the downside, this bread maker is only marketed in Europe with the standard bread maker model being priced at EUR299.
If you are convinced that Teflon is really not that bad for you but you still want to ensure that your bread maker bakes your bread safely for you to enjoy, here are 2 of the best bread makers with adjustable settings.
The Breville BBM800XL is not only one of the best bread makers out there, but it also allows you to customise the settings any way you like. The exterior is made from stainless steel so it’s a solid and sturdy machine. The bread pan is non-stick, and thus made from Teflon, but since you will be able to adjust the temperature manually, there is really no need to worry about anything harmful entering your bread while it’s cooking.
If you want a full review on the Breville, check it out here.
This is another favourite bread maker in the marker with custom settings. It may not be the most stylish bread maker out there, but it will consistently provide you with bakery standard bread every time.
What makes this bread maker really stand out from the rest is its two paddles, leaving nothing unmixed. It also has a large, horizontal loaf which is great if you want to add a bit of a personal touch to your loaf by shaping it. But more importantly, like we said, it allows you to customise the settings and adjust the temperature. If you want to find out more about the Zojirushi, have a look here.
For a number of years now there has been speculation that we should get rid of Teflon products. Considering the fact that Teflon products are now PTOA free, there really should be no cause for concern. Your general, everyday cooking will not emit the harmful gases associated with Teflon so you should be alright.
Unfortunately, with only one stainless steel bread maker out there, it is not easy to get a hold of a Teflon free machine. But, if you are concerned about your bread pan being made from Teflon, the best thing you can do is get a good quality bread machine that will bake your bread at a healthy temperature.
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