Turn on the TV any day of the week and you’ll soon find yourself with professional and amateur chefs from around the world grinding, stirring and seasoning in ratings winners like America’s Test Kitchen, The Great British Bake Off and MasterChef: Australia.
Interest in the kitchen has exploded and, consequently, the sales of kitchen utensils. Silicone products, in particular, have seen a huge increase. Watch any chef on TV and it won’t be long before you see him creating a wonderful dish with the help of baking pans, silicone sheets and mats, spatulas and molds.
With popular television shows promoting silicone cookware, it’s no surprise that home cooks are now purchasing these products in ever-increasing numbers. The world famous John Lewis department store in London, for example, announced at the end of 2012 that its sales of silicone bakeware increased by 126% year-over-year.
Silicone itself is a man-made synthetic material created by coupling silicon with oxygen. But what is it about this product that is fast and makes it a must-have in the kitchen?
1. Silicone is a non-stick material, which means that food will not bake. This makes silicone bakeware a breeze to clean, saving you time and a lot of effort! Silicone baking mats can be used on top of baking sheets and cookie sheets, or inside baking pans, making your non-silicone bakeware completely non-stick.
2. Silicone can withstand heat and cold. Whether you want to store food in the freezer or cook in the oven, silicone is perfect for the job. A silicone baking mat is also ideal as a worktop plate for kneading bread or kneading.
3. Silicone conducts heat very slowly, so utensils stay cool even in a hot pan, and countertops and kitchen surfaces won’t suffer scorch marks. When silicone mats are made to include fiberglass mesh, they provide even heat transfer, the fiberglass mesh and silicone work together to promote even baking and browning.
4. Silicone does not degrade over time and does not rust or stain. If it is made of high-quality silicone, your bakeware can be used thousands of times.
5. Silicone is very flexible so it can be folded or squeezed into tight storage spaces. This also makes removing cakes and muffins from silicone bakeware a breeze.
6. Silicone is a soft material and your utensils will not scratch or mar non-stick pans.
7. One silicone baking mat can be used more than 2000 times, so there is no need to buy parchment paper or other disposable liners/sheets. The environment will thank you!
Now that we’ve established the many reasons why silicone is so popular, let’s look at the safety issue: after all, silicone is man-made, and in food preparation it will be used to make something that will harm you. you will put in your mouth
Not all silicones are created equal, and as a result, quality and safety must be considered.
When buying silicone cookware and baking mats, make sure they are FDA (United States) and LFGB (Europe) certified; This means that it has been awarded food grade certification and is safe for cooking and baking.
If you haven’t used silicone cooking tools and bakeware, or haven’t tried silicone baking mats, you should consider trying them, but make sure they’re properly certified. It could revolutionize the way of cooking. And anything that makes cooking at home easier is a real benefit in our hectic, time-pressed lives.