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Why Is The Handle Of A Pot Made Up Of A Plastic?

We use materials to form handles of the pots which are bad conductors of heat. If handles conduct heat efficiently then they will heat up in a few minutes during cooking. As a result, you can’t touch the handle of the pot.

That’s why we use plastic and wood to make handles. Because they have low conduction values. They resist heat transfer in the handles. So we can easily hold the handle during cooking.

Since they are poor heat conductors, cooking pots come with wooden or plastic handles. By doing this, the heat from the pan is kept from reaching our hands.

We provide you with all the basic information related to plastic handles including their benefits and side effects in this article.

Benefits Of Using Plastic To Make Pot Handles:

Mostly thermosetting plastic is used in the making of pot handles. The following are the benefits of using plastic to make handles.

Bad Conductor:

Plastic is a bad conductor of heat, so it never heats up during cooking. That’s why we mostly use plastic for making handles.

Because if we use a good conductor to make handles, it transfers heat quickly and heats up, due to which we can’t touch it. 

Benefits Of Using Plastic To Make Pot Handles:
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We can even accidentally burn our hands by touching the hot handle.

Heat Resistant:

Thermosetting plastics are heat resistances. All these properties make plastic suitable for handles.

Bakelite, a thermosetting plastic that is used in making pot handles, has the ability to resist heat up to 285°C.

Light Weight:

Benefits Of Using Plastic To Make Pot Handles:
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Affordable:

Pots with plastic handles are less expensive, making them affordable for various budgets.

Plastic handles are lightweight so we can hold them while cooking.

Variety:

Plastic handles come in various colors and designs, so they increase the variety of pots.

Also Read: What Is The Very Top Part Of The Pot Called?

What Is The Best Plastic For Making Pot Handles?

Bakelite:

Bakelite is considered the best thermosetting plastic to make pot handles due to their. This thermosetting plastic is formed by the reaction of formaldehyde and phenol.

  • It is a bad conductor of heat, so it never heats up quickly. 
  • In addition to this, it is nonflammable, and never catches fire. It deforms on heating instead of catching fire.
  •  Its rigidity, heat resistivity, and scratch resistivity make it good plastic for making pot handles.
  • Surprisingly, it can resist temperatures up to 285°C.
  • Besides its use in pot handles, it is also used in making non-conducting parts of radio and electrical devices such as sockets, automobile distribution caps, and switches.
What Is The Best Plastic For Making Pot Handles?
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Also Read: Should You Wash Pot If All You Do Is Boil Water In It?

Mostly Used Materials For Making Pot Handles:

We use those materials for making pot handles that have low conduction, high heat resistance, and high scratch resistance values. 

Here is the list of materials that are mostly used in making pot handles.

MaterialBenefitsSide Effects
Cast IronLonger life span, oven safeHeavy, needs proper maintenance, can rust
WoodStays cool, comfortable gripCan degrade with time, and can’t be suitable for oven
PlasticComfortable, heat resistant, and good insulator, and affordableCan’t be used in an oven, and not safe at higher temperatures
Stainless SteelOven safe, Longer life span, professional appearanceNot heat resistant, heats up quickly, and needs a pot holder.

Also Read: Do You Have To Wash A Pot If All You Do Is Boil Water?

Which Plastic Is Not Suitable For Handles?

We can’t use all types of plastic in pot handles. Plastic should consist of the following properties to be used in pot handles. 

They should be heat resistant, good insulators, and never melt on high flame.

Thermoplastic lacks all these properties due to which we can’t use it in pot handles. 

Which Plastic Is Not Suitable For Handles?
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Thermoplastics are soft and can’t withstand high temperatures. They can easily melt on heating. That’s why we can’t use them in pot handles

Also Read: What Is The Benefit Of A Pasta Pot With An Insert?

Can We Use Metal Instead Of Plastic For Handles?

Everything has its own benefits and side effects. Metal and plastics have their own pros and cons. 

Plastic handles never heat up quickly but they can’t withstand high temperatures, so we can’t use them in the oven.

Because they can deform in the oven at high temperatures. Consequently, it releases harmful fumes in the oven.

Metal handles can withstand high temperatures that’s why we can use them in the oven. 

Can We Use Metal Instead Of Plastic For Handles?
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They never deform at high temperatures and do not make harmful fumes. But they have the disadvantage that they can easily heat up. 

You can burn your hand due to the hot metal handle.

That’s why it is not considered the ideal material for making pot handles. 

Thermosetting plastic is the most used material all over the world in the making of pot handles.

Also Read: Is It Safe To Continue Using A Pot That Has Steamed Dry?

Side Effects Of Plastic Handles:

We are living in the world of plastic. Plastic is not only making our lives easier but also affecting us badly. When we heat the plastic, it releases dangerous chemicals which are responsible for air and land pollution.

  • Undoubtedly, thermosetting plastic has very benefits for us but it is also affecting us badly. Because when we overheat the thermosetting plastic, it releases many harmful fumes.
  • We mostly use Bakelite plastic to make handles. Bakelite never melts on heating but releases many harmful fumes including formaldehyde and phenol which are really toxic. Bakelite also consists of asbestos which causes respiratory problems including mesothelioma and lung cancer.
  • We mostly use thermosetting plastic to make pot handles. Thermosetting plastic never melts on heating. Instead of melting it breaks down into pieces.
  • You can’t use the pot with plastic handles in the oven because plastic can’t withstand high temperatures. They can deform in the oven.
  • Also Read:Do I Have To Wash The Pot Between Each Cooking?

Summary:

Plastic and wood are considered the best materials for making pot handles because they are bad conductors of heat. In addition to this, they resist heat and don’t melt on heating. 

You can easily grip plastic and wood handles because they don’t heat up quickly during cooking. 

Thermosetting plastics are best for making pot handles, as they can withstand high temperatures and never heat up quickly during cooking.

You can’t use thermoplastic materials for pot handles because they melt on heating.

This article gives you all the information related benefits and side effects of plastic handles.

Bakelite is the most used thermoplastic in pot handles worldwide.

Also Read:Why Use A Pan Instead Of A Pot? 

FAQs:

Q: Can We Use Any Plastic To Make Pot Handles?

A: No, we can’t use any plastic to form pot handles because thermoplastic can easily soften and melt on heating. 

That’s why we don’t use them in handles. We mostly use thermosetting plastic because they are heat resistant and never melt on heating.

Q: Which is the best material for making pot handles?

A: Thermosetting compounds are mostly considered the best option for making pot handles. 

Because thermosetting compounds are heat-resistant, good insulators, scratch-resistant and rigid. They have the best mechanical strength that is required to make pot handles.

Q: Why is a pot handle made of wood?

A: We use wood in making pot handles because it is a bad conductor of heat. 

We can easily grip the wood handles during cooking because they don’t heat up quickly. Wood handles also give a nice appearance to the pots.

Q: What is a Bakelite handle?

A: Bakelite is mostly used in making handles for the pot. Because it is thermosetting plastic, it can withstand high temperatures. 

In addition to these qualities, it is also non-flammable. Due to these qualities, it is considered the best material for making pot handles. Bakelite is the first plastic which was discovered in the 20th century.

Q: Is plastic chosen for pot handles due to its heat resistance?

A: Yes, many types of heat-resistant plastics can withstand the temperatures commonly encountered during cooking without melting or deforming.

Q: Are there specific types of plastic used for pot handles?

A: Yes, heat-resistant plastics such as polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) or polyamide (Nylon) are commonly chosen for pot handles.

Q: Can plastic handles on pots become hot during cooking?

A: While the pot handle itself may not conduct heat, it’s still advisable to use oven mitts or pot holders to avoid burns.

Q: Is plastic chosen for pot handles to prevent heat transfer to the user’s hands?

A: Yes, plastic handles provide insulation, reducing the risk of burns from the hot metal or other materials used in the pot.

Q: Does plastic make pot handles more comfortable to grip?

A: Yes, plastic handles often have ergonomic designs, providing a comfortable and secure grip for users during cooking and pouring.

Q: Can the type of plastic used affect the pot handle’s durability?

A: Yes, high-quality, durable plastics are chosen to ensure the handles withstand the stress of regular use and variations in temperature.

Q: Are plastic handles preferred for their lightweight nature?

A: Yes, plastic is generally lighter than other materials, contributing to the overall weight management of the pot.

Q: Can exposure to high temperatures damage plastic pot handles?

A: Prolonged exposure to extremely high temperatures can lead to wear and degradation of plastic handles, so it’s essential to follow manufacturer guidelines.

Q: Are there safety standards for plastic pot handles?

A: Yes, reputable manufacturers adhere to safety standards to ensure the plastic used in pot handles is food-safe and free from harmful substances.

Q: Does the design of plastic handles allow for easy handling and pouring?

A: Yes, plastic handles are often designed with features like ergonomic shapes and thumb rests to facilitate easy handling and controlled pouring.

Q: Can plastic handles be easily cleaned?

A: Yes, plastic handles are generally easy to clean and maintain. They resist staining and can be wiped down with a damp cloth.

Q: Are there alternatives to plastic for pot handles?

A: Yes, other materials like stainless steel, wood, or silicone are used for handles, but plastic remains popular due to its unique combination of properties.

Q: Can plastic handles withstand dishwasher cleaning?

A: Most plastic handles are dishwasher-safe, but it’s advisable to check the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure longevity.

Q: Does the choice of plastic for handles affect pot prices?

A: The type and quality of plastic, along with the overall design, can influence pot prices, but plastic handles often contribute to cost-effectiveness.

Q: Can the color of plastic handles fade over time?

A: Exposure to sunlight and certain cleaning agents may cause some fading, but high-quality plastics are designed to resist color degradation.

Q: Are plastic handles suitable for use with induction cooktops?

A: Not all plastics are suitable for induction cooktops. Manufacturers often specify compatibility, and metal handles are more common for induction-friendly pots.

Q: Can plastic handles be easily replaced if damaged?

A: Some pots allow for handle replacement, but it depends on the design. Check with the manufacturer for information on replacement parts.

Q: Are there environmental considerations with plastic pot handles?

A: Yes, the environmental impact of plastic is a concern. Some manufacturers are exploring eco-friendly alternatives, like recycled or plant-based plastics.

Q: Can extreme temperature changes affect the integrity of plastic handles?

A: Rapid temperature changes, such as transferring a hot pot to cold water, can stress plastic handles. Allow pots to cool gradually to avoid potential issues.

Q: Can plastic handles provide a more secure grip than other materials?

A: Yes, the texture and design of plastic handles often provide a secure grip, reducing the risk of slipping or accidents during handling.

Q: Are there health concerns associated with plastic pot handles?

A: High-quality, food-safe plastics are generally considered safe. However, concerns about potential chemical leaching have led to the development of alternative materials.

Q: Do plastic handles come with any warranties?

A: Some pots may offer warranties on handles. It’s advisable to review the product documentation for information on warranty coverage.

Q: Can plastic handles be used in the oven?

A: Plastic handles may not be oven-safe at high temperatures. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine the oven compatibility of the pot.

Q: Are there innovations in plastic handle design for modern pots?

A: Yes, manufacturers continuously explore new materials and designs to enhance the performance, durability, and safety of plastic pot handles.

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