(This excerpt taken from Wikipedia)
“Scientific studies show that Teflon is stable and nontoxic, it begins to deteriorate after the temperature of cookware reaches about 260 °C (500 °F), and decomposes above 350 °C (662 °F). These degradation by-products can be lethal to birds, and can cause flu-like symptoms in humans.”
“Meat is usually fried between 200 and 230 °C (392 and 446 °F), and most oils will start to smoke before a temperature of 260 °C is reached, but there are at least two cooking oils (refined safflower oil and avocado oil) that have a higher smoke point than 260 °C. Empty cookware can also exceed this temperature upon heating.”
No one likes to scrub a dirty pan or skillet. But why risk our health over convenience.
This is why people are switching to cast iron or stainless steel. Actually I use both cast iron and stainless steel depending on what I am cooking. If I know the food has a tendency to stick, then I pull out my cast iron skillet.
I’ve used cast iron skillets on gas, non-stick (junk) and electric stove tops. My opinion on non-stick stove tops is, sell it and buy a real gas stove. They all work, but gas is the best.
A properly seasoned cast iron skillet builds up a natural non-stick surface, which allows for easy cleaning.
Cast iron skillets can be found inexpensive at auctions or yard sales. Usually half the price of a good stainless steel pan. So always keep an eye out for a bargain.