Can We Use Steel Utensils in The Oven?
Which utensils can be used in the oven to bake the cake? Baking can sometimes be confusing because not all materials are oven-safe. What appears to be oven-safe at the outset may take damage and burn because of how much heat ovens can generate over time.
Can we use steel utensils for baking cake in the oven?
If you are a relatively new baker and wonder if steel tools and pots can be used in the oven for cooking or baking, yes, you can. Stainless steel tools are generally considered to be safe for OTG.
Melting Point of Kitchen Utensils & Cookware
Kitchen utensils have different melting points, and it would be essential to know the exact melting points so you know what would happen when you leave a container/utensil in the oven.
- Silicone utensils: 600°F (315.5°C)
- Nylon utensils: 400°F (204.4°C)
- Plastic utensils: >428°F (>220°C)
- Stainless steel: 2750°F (1510°C)
In terms of durability and heat resistance, stainless steel leads the roster of common materials used for making cookware and utensils, followed by silicone. Nylon and plastic have the poorest heat resistance, so they should never be used in the oven.
What Utensils Can Be Used in OTG for Baking?
There are plenty of oven-safe materials that are safe for use in ovens. The easiest choice would be stainless steel because stainless steel won’t melt or warp even if the temperatures rise inside the oven.
Always look for the “oven-safe” symbol whenever you buy new containers, pans, and utensils for baking. It’s a bit complicated, but some products may be made from a sturdy material, but if they are not meant to be used or placed in a container, you won’t get good results. Nonetheless, you should try using other materials if you are tired of using stainless steel.
Two kinds of metal stand out among oven-safe materials – cast iron utensils and stainless steel utensils. Cast iron is a solid material that is meant to be baked. Cast iron containers, pots, and pans are not likely to take any damage if placed in an OTG/oven.
However, do remember that some metal utensils have combustible handles. Combustible handles are handles made of wood or plastic. The steel component of the utensil will be unaffected by the heat. Still, wood will catch fire, and most plastics will not tolerate the presence of fire in an enclosed environment like an oven.
Let’s talk about food-grade silicone. Despite the seemingly fragile appearance of food-grade silicone, it outlasts regular plastics and wood by several leagues. Baking with food-grade silicone is very safe. Silicone is not like BPA or any of those plastics with low combustion points and can even leach chemicals into your food.
Silicone utensils are oven-safe, and they won’t cause issues with your baking. Now, some people might be confused about silicon and silicone. Silicon is an element, while silicone is a polymer created by combining the element with oxygen or carbon.
What is interested about silicone is that it can exist in various solidity states, from gels to solids. There’s also liquid silicone. Silicone is inert and can be inserted into the body without triggering an immune alarm in most cases. Silicone bakeware has been around for years, too, because silicone doesn’t crack or combust with heat. The inertness of silicone is what makes it so ideal for baking.
How safe is silicone?
Silicone has been around since the 1970s, and it has been classified as physically stable and chemically inert. To those who don’t know what inert means, it just means that there is virtually no likelihood or risk of silicone leaching bad chemicals into your food when you use it as a container or if you cook with it.
Unlike plastics, silicone does not exhibit off-gassing or outgassing, one of the clear dangers of plastic. There is a reason why people are told to steer clear of using plastic containers when the foodstuff is very hot. The heat can make many types of cheap plastic reactive, and unstable.
When the chemical bonds in plastic begin to break apart, that’s when problems start to arise.
Outgassing would be the least of your problems at this point because the plastic will be essentially melting (at least partially), and the plastic will be releasing compounds into your food. When you are coming up against things you can’t see, smell or taste, that doesn’t mean that the plastic residues and byproducts are safe for consumption.
It’s a different story with silicone. Silicone doesn’t react to heat that way. It doesn’t melt easily, and you can bake with silicone bakeware repeatedly and not get the same reaction as plastic. Looks can be deceiving, and despite how flexible and sturdy silicone bakeware look, they’re not going to be causing harm any time soon to bakers everywhere.
What about metal pans?
Metal pans, containers, and utensils are generally considered safe, but again, you have to consider their handles. The metal bodies are fine, and they have nonstick capabilities too. But sometimes, inexplicably, the manufacturers add combustible handles to the pans. What do you do with these pans and pots? If you have no other option, one workaround is to wrap the plastic handles with aluminum foil.
This will only work for very brief bouts of cooking (a few minutes at most). The aluminum reduces the impact of the heat by keeping the handles cooler. However, the workaround does have a failure point, and you should never depend on this workaround for regulating baking tasks. You would be better off with silicone cookware instead of anything that has a volatile component.
Let’s say that you want to cook longer, are pressed for time, and don’t have any other option. What do you do in this situation? If you don’t want the oven to burn off your pan or pot’s handles, wet some paper towels and wrap them thickly around the plastic handles. Add another layer of aluminum foil around the wet paper towels. This is not a fixed solution, but will likely be sufficient to prevent those handles from catching fire.
The best solution is to go for aluminum baking pans, stainless steel, or cast iron if you don’t have silicone utensils or bakeware.