When it comes to cookware, there are a lot of choices available and silicone has become a popular choice for numerous cooks. It’s non-stick, easy to clean, and can withstand high temperatures, making it an excellent choice for baking and roasting. But can silicone go in the oven safely?
With concerns raised by experts over the years, it’s important to know the facts about using silicone cookware in the oven. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the benefits and risks associated with using silicone in the oven, so you can make an informed decision for your kitchen.
If you are interested in learning more about eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to silicone cookware, be sure to check out our article. Also check our article: Is PVC toxic?
Table of Contents
Presentation of Silicone
What is silicone?
Silicone is a synthetic material made of silicon, a natural element found abundantly in nature in the form of sand and rock. Unlike plastics, which are made from petroleum, silicone is derived from silicon.
What are the benefits of silicone?
Silicone is a versatile material that offers numerous benefits, including resistance to high variations of temperatures (-80F to 500F), chemical resistance, water repellence, durability, and flexibility.
Where is silicone found?
Silicone is used in many materials we use on a daily basis, including construction as sealants, adhesives, lubricants, thermal insulation, and electrical insulation. It also plays an important role in medical supplies and aerospace materials. Additionally, Silicone is widely popular for food packaging.
Safety Concerns Over Silicone Cookware
Is silicone cookware safe? What are the dangers of silicone?
Are you worried about the safety of silicone cookware and the dangers associated with it? Here’s what you need to know.
To make silicone, silicone polymers are mixed with two types of catalysts: platinum or peroxide. Peroxide silicone can cause particles to migrate into food according to this 2022 study and it is prohibited in some European countries. Silicone cookware made with peroxide is cheaper and often contains bisphenol A (a hazardous chemical), which can contaminate food.
Platinum silicone, on the other hand, is more stable and recommended by the authorities to use with food. It’s more expensive because it contains rare materials like platinum. Platinum silicone cookware can withstand oven heat up to 260°C or 500F. So, it’s safe to cook with silicone bakeware, as long as it’s made from platinum silicone and not peroxide silicone. Follow the recommended temperatures indicated on the label, and do not exceed 260 degrees Celsius or 500F.
Does silicone melt or burn? Is silicone toxic when heated or melted?
Silicone doesn’t easily melt, unlike plastic. Some types of silicone can resist temperatures up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. When silicone burns, it turns into ashes.
However, at temperatures over 260 degrees Celsius, silicone can become unstable and release compounds called siloxanes. According to this 2016 scientific research, siloxanes are “are commonly regarded as non-toxic to humans and the environment, or toxic to a very small extend”. While siloxanes are generally considered non-toxic, some experts question this belief. It’s better to avoid heating silicone molds above 260 degrees Celsius (500F) to be on the safe side.
Is there regulation regarding silicone cookware? What is food-grade silicone?
In 1979, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared that silicone cookware was generally safe for use with food.
Since then, the FDA has created FDA food-grade silicone, which is a type of silicone that meets specific standards established by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These standards ensure that food-grade silicone does not contain any harmful chemicals or pose any risk to human health.
FDA food-grade silicone is widely used in cooking, baking, and food storage containers. It is:
- Non-toxic, petroleum-free, and does not contain fillers, BPS, or BPA, making it safe for human use.
- Resistant to substances such as acetic acid found in vinegar or sodium sulfate found in detergent.
- Water-repellent, and resistant to aging.
- Can withstand temperatures ranging from -80°F (-60 degrees Celsius) to 500°F (260 degrees Celsius).
Pros of using silicone cookware (FDA approved)
- Non-stick, no need to use butter or oil to unmold your cakes
- Easy to clean
- Durable, silicone is a material extremely durable
- Goes in the freezer, oven, the microwave, and the dishwasher
- Does not alter the quality of the food
- Resistant to cold and heat from -80F(-60degrees) to 500F (260degrees)
- BPA and BPS-free, and therefore non-toxic and safe for food use
- Flexible, silicone is known to keep its flexibility through time
Cons of using silicone cookware
- Silicone is a material that is not recyclable. At the end of its life, it should be disposed of appropriately. Although it can be converted into silicone oil, which is used as a lubricant for industrial machines, it is currently recycled in very few places worldwide.
- Silicone is also not biodegradable, meaning it will not decompose rapidly under the action of bacteria and other living organisms. It will not degrade by itself.
- Low-quality silicone cookware (not FDA approved) can release chemicals. Therefore, it is essential to use only FDA-approved food-grade silicone cookware to ensure that it does not contain any harmful chemicals or pose any threat to human health. If you need to dispose of silicone products, you can drop them off at a dedicated collection point to ensure they are managed appropriately.
Alternatives to silicone cookware
While silicone has been a popular choice for cookware in recent years, there are several alternatives that can offer similar benefits. Here are some eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to silicone cookware:
- Cast Iron: This material is durable, long-lasting, and can be used on a variety of heat sources, including stovetops and ovens. Cast iron is also known for retaining heat, making it perfect for searing and frying.
- Ceramic: Ceramic cookware is non-stick and easy to clean, making it a great alternative to silicone. It is also oven-safe, making it ideal for baking and roasting.
- Glass: Tempered glass is strong, durable, and can withstand high temperatures. It is also natural, non-toxic, and completely recyclable. Glass can also be reused many times without losing its quality.
- Stainless Steel: This material is non-toxic and doesn’t leach chemicals, making it a perfectly safe option for cookware. It can be recycled infinitely without losing its quality.
If you are interested in learning more about eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to silicone cookware, be sure to check out our article.
Baking And Cooking With Silicone
How do you bake with silicone?
When using silicone bakeware, you can simply place them in your oven, whether it’s a gas, electric, or combined oven. Silicone cookware can usually withstand temperatures up to 260 degrees Celsius or 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Avoid using sharp instruments such as knives on silicone bakeware, as they may damage the material.
Does silicone bakeware take longer to bake?
Food will usually cook faster in silicone cookware and bakeware than in “metal” ones. You should then lower the temperature by 10degrees and add a little bit of extra cooking time.
Can silicone go in the oven?
It’s perfectly safe to put silicone in the oven. In fact, many cookware items, such as baking trays and muffin tins, are made from silicone because of their high heat resistance (up to 260 degrees celsius or 500F).
So if you’re ever wondering whether you can put silicone cookware in the oven, the answer is yes.
Can you put silicone molds directly on the oven rack?
Silicone molds are also designed to be put directly on oven racks. Make sure the temperature doesn’t exceed 260 degrees celsius or 500F.
Is silicone safe at 450F?
Yes it is safe. Silicone cookware such as molds can go in the oven, gas oven, electric oven, and combined oven. They usually can withstand up to 260degrees celsius or 500F.
Can silicone bakeware go in a toaster oven? Electric oven?
Yes, and yes. You can do both. Make sure the temperature doesn’t exceed 260 degrees celsius or 500F
Is silicone spatula safe for frying?
Silicone spatulas are generally safe for frying, but it’s important to choose the right spatula for the job. Silicone spatulas are heat-resistant, flexible, and non-stick, making them a popular choice for frying and other cooking tasks.
When choosing a silicone spatula for frying, look for one that is labeled as heat-resistant up to at least 500°F (260°C). This will ensure that the spatula can withstand the high temperatures of frying.
Can silicon go in the microwave?
It depends on the type of silicone bakeware. Some do, and some don’t. Be sure to check the label and product recommendation before using silicone bakeware in a microwave.
Can silicon go in the freezer?
Yes silicon can go in the freezer. FDA-approved food-grade silicone can withstand temperatures from -80°F(-60 degrees celsius).
Can silicon go in the dishwasher?
While it is true that silicon can withstand high temperatures, it is important to remember that dishwashers use very hot water and strong detergents.
If you want to put your silicone molds in your dishwasher, do not use intensive programs that exceed 260 degrees celsius or 500F.
It’s also better not to use abrasive detergent when washing your silicone bakeware in a dishwasher. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions when washing your silicone mold. Dishwasher cleaning is still to be avoided if you want to keep your molds as long as possible.
How to clean silicone?
To prevent sticking, run cold water over your silicone molds before using them and dry them thoroughly.
Allow your baked goods to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before attempting to remove them from the mold.
After each use, be sure to clean your silicone mold thoroughly, removing any stains, burn spots, or grease.
How to pick non-toxic silicone cookware?
To ensure that you’re buying high-quality silicone cookware, you can perform a simple test. Fold and pinch the mold, and if it maintains its original color, then it is likely of good quality, such as platinum quality or FDA-approved. However, if there is a white spot on the pinched area, it is low-quality silicone, and you should avoid purchasing it.
It’s also important to check if the silicone cookware you’re interested in is food-grade approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This ensures that the silicone does not contain any harmful chemicals and is safe to use with food.
3 Brands with Safe Food-Grade Silicone Cookware
If you’re looking for a versatile, durable, and safe option for your cooking needs, we gathered 3 brands selling food-grade silicone cookware.
Made from 100% food-grade silicone, these cookwares are BPA free and safe to use even at high temperatures.
Aschef – Silicone Bakeware Tools set
- High quality silicone, BPA free, non toxic
- Heat resistant up to 446°F(230 °C)
- Non-stick, easy to release
- Easy to clean, dishwasher safe
Mibote – Silicone Kitchen Utensils Set
- 17 Pieces in total
- BPA-Free Material, 11 inch-13.5 inch long
- Food Grade Silicone & Bamboo Wooden Handle
- Anti-rust, Anti-deformation
- High-heat resistant up to -40℉/-40℃ to 480℉/250℃
- Easy to Wash
Esie Houzie – Microwave Steamer
- Made of 100% high quality platinum silicone and plastic-free, contains no BPA or Phalate.
- Heat resistant up to 450 degree Fahrenheit
- Dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe, oven safe, freezer, and refrigerator safe.
Image Credit: All photos belong to Pexels, Unsplash, and respective brands.