Monday, March 24, 2014

talking about containers, pots and pans

my entire professional life was about extractions.  As an analytical chemist, in order to determine what was in a substance, you needed to extract the items you wished to know about.
We are a bit limited as cooks to what kind of vessels we cook in and heat is a great "extractor", but there are issues and problems.
When we marinade something over night, what type of vessel do we use.
Most marinades are acidic in nature, do you use a metal bowl?
Even the best stainless steel is affected slightly by a vinegar, sugar or even a tomato marinade and the result is a trace of metallic twang or sharpness that will be present, even though it is in a small amount.
Do you place hot foods or microwave foods in plastic?  While there is no significant taste issues, the "fillers" in the plastic, primarily Phalates, will migrate into your food.  This is even more true is you microwave in plastic.
While there was some sort of hysteria created on the internet concerning dioxins migrating into food (this is a known carcinogen), phalates may have some effect on the genetics in reproduction and so it might be go to stay clear (here it is talked about creating more females than males).
So what do i do - i have glass bowls and plastic bowls for cold marinades,  Glass pans for baking in acid and for microwaving.
I have stainless pots for cooking, like everything else, but major acidity is added after cooking or done separately in a microwave in glass.
Sadly, it appears again, i know too much.