Are Silicone Baking Mats Safe To Use?
One question keeps on coming up in your emails, and that’s folk asking about using silicone in the kitchen, they rightly want to know about the fibre glass content and basically are silicone baking mats safe to use.
Silica is widely used in making glass and is commonly found in beach sand and other natural occurrences like sandstone, with synthetic additives it becomes silicone in a variety of different forms which can then be used for different products.
Silicone isn’t so much glass, as made from the same product as glass.
From breast implants (very safe) through to parts of the satellites we send into space (very tough), silicone is an incredibly versatile material.
It repels water, has low heat conductivity, low taint and non toxic properties plus it doesn’t stick to many things, though adheres exceptionally well to glass.
Because it won’t taint your food with plastic tastes and isn’t toxic, silicone became a kitchen success story almost overnight with designers swooning at the possibilities. Since then we’ve seen an explosion of fuchsia pink and daffodil yellow spatulas plus some totally fabulous cake pan designs.
So is everything made with silicone the same and can it be treated the same? No! There are several different compounds used for manufacturing silicone baking and pastry mats, and different again for the oven liners, many silicone products like muffin pans are rigid whilst pastry mats for example are flexible.
Some pan liners even come on a roll which you can cut to size, the more robust pan liners like the one above being used to roast our Sunday potatoes on, you cannot cut, they are sealed units and will last much longer.
When you stop and think about it, a lot of chopping boards are made of a silicone compound, but you know if you put them in the oven they’ll melt, whereas the pastry and dough mats as well as the pan liners are heat proof to 425F – which is hot!
You do need to make sure what you are buying is silicone – for example some oven liners are made of non-stick coated heat resistant material, not silicone.
But provided you take a little care when choosing and make sure to get the right product for the right job, it will give you years of service. Want to know more? There’s a post on the silicone baking sheets I use and can recommend – just click the link.
Silicone Oven Mitts
There is one feature of using silicone oven mitts you should be aware of. Because they are waterproof, they allow you to reach into boiling water, something I’d caution against. Even if you are very careful to my mind it’s an accident waiting to happen, if you pick something out of boiling water and it slips back in with a splash? Please, don’t go there!
Hopefully this has set you mind at rest, but if you still have questions then drop them below and I’ll get back to you shortly.