It looks like it would be great for cooking my egg muffins in, but I can't see how cooking with plastic can be completely safe? Is it "cook safe" in the same way that soy is really really good for us?
Would you cook with it?
Silicones are extremely inert and non-toxic, and on the off-chance you burn or melt them, their degradation products are also mostly inert and non-toxic. Granted, I wouldn't use silicone cookware directly on a stovetop or barbecue grill, but at normal pan and oven temperatures there should be absolutely no problem, and I mean that in the same way that vinegar and baking soda should fizz when mixed together and a steak should brown when seared. It's just the nature of the chemistry.
Silicones aren't like BPA or phthalates where the chemicals are similar to biomolecules and interfere with your own hormones. They're long chains of a -O-Si-O-Si-O-Si-etc. backbone (biologically inert, and when it burns it converts to SiO2, also known as silica, the major component of sand) with organic side chains that are themselves largely biologically inactive and tightly bound.
I use silicone utensils, only because I buy into the 450-500 degree temp claims, and over a couple of years, they don't seem to change or oxidize, so I figure they aren't leaching. I could be wrong, but I figure that chemicals that have to have really high temps to break down are probably better than handling cash register receipts which can leach BPAs directly into my bloodstream by just touching... I'm screwed regardless in this part of the world...
I bought a set of 6 for my egg muffins based on the blog post on nom nom paleo. I was having such a hard time with foil cups or greasing the pan well enough that I just gave in and bought them. If they give me cancer or something, it's maybe worth it just so I don't have to let the stinking muffin tray soak in the sink for a week to get the egg off!
I've read that over time they start to get sticky, so you need to wash thoroughly and keep them seasoned with oil between uses. I would try to find some good quality ones rather than the cheapest thing available to avoid other sorts of chemicals or fillers.
I think bakeware is probably fine to use in moderation for occasional things where you really do not want to deal with a messy clean-up. That said, if anyone posts a study that shows some horrible toxic consequences of heating silicone to 375 degrees, I might change my mind.
Another option no one has mentioned is to use stoneware for baking/oven/microwave. I use both cast iron and stoneware exclusively in the oven, and especially for things like needing muffin tins for meatloaf or egg creations, the stoneware muffin trays cannot be beat.
Yes, silicone spatulas are pretty much essential, got many shapes of them. But thats the only silicone stuff i use. I use only metal pans (cast iron, stainless steel or sometimes aluminium sheet pans) in oven.
Those things worry me and I personally wouldn't use them. When I was at the International Kitchen Show in the Spring 80% of the vendors there had silicone products. So many thoughts on bio-degrading, health, etc. That bothered me on a huge level. And so does the feel - so creepy! I have a few of the spatulas but rarely use them any more, mostly wood or my whisk.
I love the foil liners - I can do 24+ baked items at one time by using those on a cookie sheet. No washing and when items are cool they can be frozen or stored easily.
I don't use my silicon bakeware simply because I don't bake anymore. But when I did, I still didn't like it because it was too flimsy and the cake pans were even warped.
My one semi-paleo use for the muffin "tin" was for molds for a chocolate candy recipe I came up with, which worked out pretty well.
I have silicone cups that I use for egg muffins. I have also used them to make paleo carrot cake muffins. They are so much easier to use than a metal pan or even the foil/paper muffin liners.
I also use silicone utensils.
I haven't had any problems with degradation that I've noticed. They still look new and perform great.
If sticking is an issue I use emile henry flame products, they are pricey but if well cared for last a long time. Their return policy is well honored.
I find the silicone bakeware does not conduct heat well so muffins don't get nice and crisp outsides.
Don't think there are health issues with the good quality stuff.
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