There is a growing consumer awareness and acceptance of silicone
products in areas traditionally dominated by other products, like steel,
aluminum, plastic and stainless steel. Silicone products tend to be
more colorful and unique just as the silicone itself is unique.
Skip the next paragraph if you are not into science!
Silicon is made from silica, a non-metallic chemical element in the carbon family and makes up 27% of the earth's crust. It is the second most abundant element in the crust, only exceeded by oxygen. Silica is found in almost all rocks, clay, sand and soils. Silicone is a polymer in which silicon and oxygen alternate in a chain and are bound to various organic radicals, such as phenyl and methyl. Enough of the science!
It was discovered in the early 1800s, but not used commercially until the 1940s. However in 2004, the introduction of silicone brushes and subsequent bakeware and other kitchen products has made silicone a household name in some parts of the world. Nevertheless, they are still relatively new.
One of the many advantages of silicone products is their temperature resistance. It is really the ability of silicone to act as an insulator that gives it this property. Most silicone products are tested to 270 C or 520 F, which is hotter than a standard oven and other stove top cooking temperatures. Hence, silicone kitchen utensils and products can be used for all normal kitchen activities.
Another advantage of silicone kitchen products is their non-porousness. They do not stain easily when coming into contact with food, nor do they hold residual substances like ordinary plastic products. Silicone is also slip resistant and waterproof. These features make silicone products a "no mess product" and they easy to clean, especially brushes when compared to ordinary brushes. Cleaning can be either in the dishwasher or in the sink using water. Oven mitts have been known to be washed in the washing machine, if the dishwasher is full.
Silicone products are flexible and can be folded for easy storage. They can be either stored flat or hung from a hook.
Special care needs to be taken not to puncture the silicone utensils with sharp objects, even thought they are extremely durable to other forms of damage.
In summary, it is easy to see why they are becoming popular - a kitchen utensil that is heat resistant, easy to clean and colorful.
When next updating that great kitchen of yours, try a silicone kitchen product or give it as a gift to someone you love.