Is Silicone Safe?
The short answer is yes, silicone is safe. According to the FDA, food-grade silicone cookware and utensils do not cause harmful chemical contamination of foods. If you are nervous about using silicone when cooking or baking, focus on using silicone kitchen tools and avoid cookware. Whether you are making goodies for a continental breakfast or preparing a delicious dessert, there are plenty of safe silicone molds that can be used to help. Continue reading to learn if silicone is safe to cook with and how to properly care and clean for silicone baking mats and molds.
What is Silicone?
Silicone is a synthetic polymer that contains bonded silicone, oxygen, and other elements like carbon and hydrogen. Silicone is generally formed into a flexible, rubberlike plastic, which has a number of properties useful in any commercial kitchen. Known for its low toxicity and high heat resistance, silicone has a variety of uses.
Benefits of Silicone
- Offers options for fun shapes
- Easy to clean
- Durable and long-lasting
- Flexible material
- Can withstand high temperatures
- Resistant to staining
- Space saving
- Offered in a wide variety of color options
- Better nonstick qualities than several alternatives
Is Silicone Safe for Food?
Food-grade silicone is safe for baking and cooking. The ingredients in silicone are inert materials, which means that none of the materials used to manufacture the silicone will leach into the food being cooked in it.
When buying silicone bakeware, buy high-quality items and make sure that there are no fillers in the silicone. Fillers are a cause for concern because when silicone bakeware or cookware is heated, it expels an odor that can be transferred into the food. Only buy silicone products that say they are 100% silicone on the packaging.
Is Silicone Safer than Plastic?
Yes, silicone is safer than plastic. Many prefer to use silicone over plastic because silicone is more durable and environmentally friendly compared to plastic. Silicone also has a higher tolerance to heat and does not contain BPA like some plastics do.
Can You Microwave Silicone?
Silicone molds are microwave-safe, freezer-safe, and oven-safe. In 1979, the FDA deemed silicone safe to be used for cooking and everyday usage. Temperature changes will not cause food-grade silicone to leach into foods, despite common consumer concerns.
How to Clean Silicone
Cleaning silicone bakeware is easier than you might think! Check your products to make sure they are dishwasher safe if you would like to throw them in for an automatic cleaning. If you prefer hand washing, follow the steps below to get clean silicone!
- Put grease-cutting soap on a cloth (avoid abrasive cleaning tools) and run the water until it is hot.
- Once water is very hot, wipe down silicone mats, molds, or pans with soapy cloth.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- Leave out to air dry.
- If cleaning a silicone baking mat, lay the mat out flat to dry.
If your silicone still has a few bits and pieces of food stuck to it, place it back in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 to 10 minutes then to soak in hot water to loosen the food. Repeat the steps above to achieve clean silicone.
Silicone is still relatively new to the cooking scene and there is a lot to be learned of it. As long as you are using high-quality silicone bakeware without fillers, your food will be safe.