Kitchenware enjoys a rich history, from humble clay pots and stone vessels to new-age Teflon and galvanized pots and pans. Humanity has successfully reached the era of non-stick and rust-resistant utensils that are long-lasting, easier to maintain, and economical. So are you new to the world of galvanized kitchenware? Then, this guide is your one-stop source for answering all your questions!
What Is Galvanization, and Why Is It Done?
Galvanization or hot-dip galvanization is a process wherein iron or steel sections are submerged in a bath of liquid zinc. As such, this process coats the former two metals with a thin coating of the latter.
The galvanization process is meant to be protective in nature, as iron and steel are prone to corrosion when exposed to air or moisture. The zinc coating prevents (at best) or slows down (at the least) the process of rusting. This helps extend the life of the metal.
Is Galvanized Utensils Toxic?
This is a huge myth surrounding galvanized cookware. In their finished form, galvanized pots, storage containers, etc., pose no health risks to adults, children, or other life forms. In fact, zinc is ubiquitous in nature and is vital for many bodily functions like DNA synthesis and metabolism.
The Harvard School of Public Health not only lists down the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of zinc for men, women, and children but also for expecting and lactating women. Moreover, people have been consuming rainwater collected from galvanized roofing for a long time now without any ill effects or major health problems. Meanwhile, zinc toxicity only occurs after prolonged exposure to the metal in its unfinished form, which is not the case with galvanized utensils.
How to Clean and Maintain Galvanized Cookware?
To further increase the lifespan of your galvanized utensils, make sure that you do not store them in direct contact with other utensils made from metals such as copper or brass. Also, ensure that your kitchen is well-ventilated and not too humid.
So when cleaning galvanized utensils, use organic solvents or alkaline-based cleaners with a PH of 12 or more. Also, avoid vigorous or abrasive scrubbing altogether, while gentle rinsing followed by wiping with a clean, soft cloth should do the trick.
What Are Some Important Things to Keep in Mind While Using Galvanized Utensils?
Kitchenware subjected to galvanization serves its maximum purpose as the metal remains sheltered from the atmospheric elements. Even so, your galvanized utensils will serve you for decades (if not a lifetime) simply by keeping these important things in mind:
- Do not use galvanized utensils for cooking or storing highly acidic foods. These include tomato sauces, dishes with vinegar, and lemon-based stews or sauces. The acidity of such foods will not only accelerate corrosion but also cause a metallic taste to the food.
- Similarly, do not cook or store foods with preservatives as these can react with the zinc coating, causing corrosion.
- Never use bleach or a disinfectant on them (yes, people actually do it!)
Since several galvanized kitchenware suppliers exist in the US, finding one will not be difficult. But, you must run a background check on the supplier to ensure you receive the highest-quality kitchenware. Also, follow the tips mentioned above for cleaning and maintenance, and your galvanized utensils should last long.