What is Titanium Cookware Really Made of?
Titanium is a lightweight, stable and to a large extent, one of the strongest metals. In terms of strength to weight ratio, it has the highest rating of any metallic element. Even though it weighs about half of the average steel, it is as strong as stainless steel. Titanium is extremely acid-resistant and does not corrode easily; on exposure to oxygen, it forms a layer of titanium oxide that increases gradually. The titanium oxide coating on the surface of the metal material, shields it from further degradation. In the event that the metal does get scratched, the oxide film serves as a sort of healing agent as the scratch will heal itself.
Titanium has found increased use in today’s modern world and especially due to its compatibility with human tissue, it is extensively used in various surgical procedures as well as for making human body implants. Titanium is non-magnetic, and it is a fairly poor conductor of heat and electricity. However, the fact that it is lightweight, durable and highly resistant to corrosion makes it suitable for many manufacturing uses where these characteristics are utilized.
Cookware made with titanium seem to be the in-thing at the moment and can be found in most online stores. However, there is some confusion regarding the name because most of the advertised “titanium cookware” is actually not manufactured with pure titanium.
How is Titanium Cookware Constructed?
In terms of the materials used and the manufacturing procedure employed, “titanium cookware” can be classified into two.
• Pure titanium cookware with the titanium core which may or may not have silicon-ceramic coating.
• Titanium reinforced cookware with aluminum base and titanium-infused cooking surface.
Pure Titanium Cookware
HealthPro Titanium Lightweight 3-Piece Pot and Pan Camping Hiking Cookware Set (Amazon.com)
This type is very strong, extremely light and has many functions. The heating characteristics make pure titanium cookware unsuitable for everyday cooking because it transmits heat unevenly and food also sticks to the base and the walls of the pot. However, it is quite good for backpacking adventures like camping and hiking because it is very light and can be easily included among the cooking materials needed for such activities. Pure titanium cookware is durable, doesn’t get deformed by bending and it is resistant to corrosion. To reduce sticking, the cooking surface can be coated silicon-ceramic non-stick coating.
Titanium Reinforced Cookware
BLACK+DECKER 83365 14 Piece Durable Titanium Nonstick Interior Cookware Set (Amazon.com)
Titanium reinforced non-stick cookware uses a cast aluminum base to ensure fast and even heat distribution and good heat retention. The aluminum core confers the advantage of faster heat conduction, as much as seven times faster than metals such as steel or iron. The base is coated with a titanium-infused, ceramic cooking surface with non-stick properties for increased durability and better cooking performance. This non-porous coating also prevents the metal base from coming in contact with food.
Is Titanium Cookware Safe?
Pure Titanium is considered a safe choice for manufacturing cookware because it is non-toxic, stable, resistant to acid degradation, has no odor and will not affect the taste of food.
For titanium reinforced cookware, its safety depends largely on the material used in coating to achieve the non-stick property. Some manufacturers claim that they even don’t use ceramic, mixed with Titanium. For instance, Young Living Titanium Pans are made of hand-cast aluminum base, patented, non-stick, titanium finish which is resistant to scratches. The titanium layer prevents aluminum from seeming into the food being cooked and because of the non-stick feature which results in a smaller amount of oil being used to cook, titanium reinforced cookware is safe for individuals that are conscious about their health. The surface of premium titanium coated cookware doesn’t peel, even with the use of metal utensils and even if it does, titanium is chemically inert and will not have a toxic effect on the human body if ingested. No cases of titanium allergies have been reported and titanium has been discovered to be non-toxic even at high doses.
For cookware with titanium infused ceramic coating, the metals and alloys used in the manufacturing of the base will not seep into your food because the cookware is made non-porous. Also, the materials used to achieve its non-stick property are not toxic and non-reactive in humans. Some of these materials are used to manufacture implants for medicinal uses. Cookware coated with titanium and titanium infused ceramic is both considered non-reactive and safe for cooking. However, if you consider buying this type of cookware, ensure that you check all the substances used to manufacture the non-stick coating to make sure it is free of PFOA, nickel, heavy metals and other harmful materials usually present in some non-stick coatings.
Benefits of Titanium Nonstick Coating
Certain manufacturers claim that Titanium-infused coating offers enough benefits to justify the high prices
associated with it. These benefits include:
Scratch-Resistance and Durability
Since ceramic coatings are fragile and require hand-washing and use of plastic or wooden utensils, titanium is added to increase wear resistance and ensure longer life of cookware with ceramic coatings. Titanium-infused cookware has a long lasting and abrasion-resistant finish which offers a higher rate of durability than other non-stick coatings. Even with prolonged use, the material still retains its new, tasteful and stylish appearance. It is metal friendly and normal degradation due to metal utensils will have no effect on the cooking surface. Using knives can leave small scratch marks which will not affect the cooking performance and non-stick feature. Those marks would just be physical flaws and the pan can still be used with no worries.
Some manufacturers of Titanium infused cookware claim a Surface Performance Warranty of 20-years.
Due to the non-stick property of a titanium infused ceramic coating, you do not have to use oil, fat, or butter when cooking food with these titanium-infused pans; this makes it ideal for fat-free, low-fat and generally healthy cooking. Even while on high heat, the non-stick feature will prevent your food from getting burnt.
Ease of Cleaning
This is perhaps one of the greatest advantages of this titanium coated cookware. They can be wiped clean easily using a piece of cloth or with warm soapy water and a sponge. A few brands of titanium coated cookware can be cleaned using a dishwasher. Another plus is that you don’t have to season the pan before using it.