In a long debate about plastic vs. metal utensils, cardboard utensils come through. While it is marketed as an eco-friendly alternative, it couldn’t be used for cooking purposes.
Using cardboard utensils for an extended time can cause the material to rip, making it unsuitable for numerous uses. Because of this, many eco-utensil producers have promoted this product as a one-time use item that should not be used in the kitchen.
The eco-utensil label refers to the fact that this product does not harm the environment. Compared to other materials such as plastic and styrofoam, they are also biodegradable, indicating that they will decompose in a shorter time.
Even though cardboard is a valuable material, it cannot be used in the kitchen since it is not heat-resistant. Therefore, you must guarantee that your choice of utensil is sturdy, resistant to water and flame, and can be used several times before being regarded as an ideal cooking implement.
Cardboard will quickly fall short of the following standards. As a food packaging material, it’s strong enough, but repeated use can cause it to become brittle.
The utensil will soften if submerged in water for an extended period. However, it’s no longer usable as a utensil as it dries out.
To make matters worse, using a cardboard utensil at high temperatures will ignite the product. Therefore, all heat sources must be kept at a minimum when working with cardboard.
Why Can’t You Use a Cooking Utensil Made of Cardboard?
Parties, gatherings, and functions frequently feature disposable dinnerware, which is well-liked because of its simplicity. Whether you run a restaurant or eat at home, the convenience of disposable tableware can’t be overstated.
Cleaning up after a party or event is significantly more accessible when the dinnerware is disposable. Unfortunately, fast food restaurants, food trucks, event caterers, and public television rely on cardboard utensils.
In addition to being entirely harmless to the environment, bagasse can be found in large amounts and is an agricultural waste product. A strong raw material provides rigidity and strength in disposable tableware.
Plastic or wax is commonly used to make throwaway tableware waterproof. To keep food and beverages from leaking out of the container, containers need to be laminated or coated with wax or sealant.
These items don’t pollute and are easy to dispose of because they are created from bagasse, a renewable resource. Due to their eco-friendly nature, these products are referred to as “green” alternatives to disposable plastic plates and bowls.
Disposable crockery like this should only be used once, as previously noted. Try using utensils made of wood, bamboo, and metal to avoid harming the environment.
Why Are Cooking Utensils Not Made from Plastic?
Cooking utensils are commonly stainless steel, aluminum, copper, or these metals. While plastic and silicone are commonly used to make cooking utensil handles, they are not suitable for cooking.
Plastic utensils are much more durable than their cardboard counterpart. It is also waterproof, and some manufacturers create a non-stick variant for easy application.
However, since plastic can melt quickly on direct heat or exceeding temperatures, this material is not suitable for making utensils. In addition, plastic is also an insulator, which will not respond well to extreme temperatures.
Some cooking methods may require chilling and freezing the food item. Using plastic utensils in this cooking process is not ideal because it can make your food prone to bacteria, and the extreme cold can shatter inside your meal.
In addition, using a plastic spoon at high temperatures will cause the product to catch fire. Therefore, plastic utensils necessitate that all heat sources be maintained to a minimum.
What is the Best Material to Use for Cooking Utensils?
Toxins lurk in plain sight in your kitchen. That is why it is critical to use the safest cooking tools possible. Since you’ll be using these goods for a long time when preparing meals, take your time selecting them.
Stainless steel, titanium, aluminum, copper, wood, ceramic, and silicone are some of the best materials for cooking equipment. The attributes of these ingredients can be used in the kitchen in many ways.
- Kitchen and cooking tools made of stainless steel are very prevalent. Stainless steel is scratch- and chip-resistant, thanks to the material’s thick, dense structure.
- Titanium ranks near the top of the most durable materials for kitchen cutlery. Because titanium cookware is so durable, most firms provide decades-long warranties on it.
- Cookware made of aluminum is among the lightest on the market. Because aluminum is a relatively cheap material, you’ll get a better deal on most of its products.
- One of the great items for making cookware is copper. But unfortunately, an antibacterial metal like copper cannot support the growth of germs and bacteria.
- The wooden variety of kitchen utensils will appeal to everyone who likes vintage-style equipment. In addition, there are a lot of eco-manufacturers who use wood to make kitchen equipment, including spoons and spatulas.
- Withstanding high temperatures and retaining heat for extended periods are intrinsic properties of ceramic. Slow-cooking dishes can benefit from their ability to distribute heat uniformly.
- Cooking utensils made of silicone are lovely. It’s heat-resistant, non-melting, and available in various colors, sizes, and shapes. In addition, it’s like rubber, so it’s easy to use on delicate surfaces like non-stick cookware.
Which Material Is Not Used for Making Cooking Utensils?
Cooking utensils made from cardboard, plastic, styrofoam, felt, and plastic is made for single-use or craft-making. Note that these products are combustible, which means they can easily catch on fire and destroy your utensils.
- Cardboard: As mentioned earlier, cardboard utensils are suitable for takeouts, quick packaging, and single-serve purposes. As a disposable utensil, it cannot be reused the same way as silverware is used.
- Plastic: Disposable plastic utensils are not safe for continuous use. These materials can attract germs and bacteria, and they cannot be used multiple times. It also tends to be brittle and can break when dealing with complex proteins like meat.
- Styrofoam: Styrofoam is used for packaging soups and meals with sauces due to its waterproof ability. However, this material is nonbiodegradable and can make the landfill deposit larger. Try to reduce using this material as a utensil.
- Felt and fabric: Felt and fabric utensils are used for arts and crafts. Some create utensil charms made of cloth, while others use felt and other materials to develop cooking playtoy. While it looks attractive for young kids and toddlers, these materials are not safe for food consumption. Proper adult supervision is recommended since this material is a choking hazard.