For a long time, Teflon (also known as PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene, if you’re fancy) was the gold standard for ultra-slick, nonstick pots and pans. But over the past 25 years, the FDA has discovered that certain chemicals (specifically FOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid) used in manufacturing Teflon are actually toxic to the environment and our health, and can build up in your body over time.
That’s because when you scratch the surface, you give those bad guys a chance to get a little too friendly with the food you’re about to eat. Thankfully, those chemicals have been slowly phased out of production, but it’s still important to read the label on any nonstick cookware before purchasing.
The bargain pan without a tag that you found in the sale section of your favorite home goods store? Good news: Plenty of cooking materials are just as nonstick as Teflon without being potentially harmful to your health.
Teflon, also known as PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene FOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, which is sometimes just labeled with the catch-all term nonstick ” Avoiding metal utensils: Even if a brand says it’s scratch resistant, we like to play it safe and opt for wooden spoons and silicone spatulas when frying and flipping.
Cleaning with a gentle sponge: Please, we beg you, do not take your steel-wool scrubber to your coated pans (unless they’re stainless steel). A drop of dish soap, a generous soak and a gentle scrubby sponge should do the job just fine.
Caraway home has that covered with a slew of muted, cheerful colorways like terracotta (a creamy brownish rose) and sage (a calming green). It’s made with a ceramic nonstick coating that can handle temperatures up to 650 °F, it can go from stove top to oven and it won’t add unwanted chemicals to your meals.
And according to the brand, the pans are manufactured in a process that releases fewer harmful fumes and less carbon dioxide into the environment, plus they even ship in recyclable, environmentally conscious packaging. And every piece in the set is stove-top agnostic, a fancy way of saying it works with induction, gas and electric ranges.
The Danish cookware is nonstick, heats evenly, is lightweight enough to flip pancakes and omelettes, and is oven safe up to 500 °F, if you’re more of a frittata person. The CS+ line has the look of brushed stainless steel, but its interior actually has a food-safe, micro-textured ceramic-titanium finish for a slick surface that’s ideal for searing and browning.
We suggest picking and choosing from the brand’s robust lineup (start with the 11-inch skillet) if you don’t want to commit to an entire set. Aside from the aesthetic appeal, Le Crest’s ceramic-coated cast iron conducts and holds heat like a dream, goes from stove to oven to table, is scratch and chip resistant, and is incredibly easy to clean (say goodbye to the infamous overnight soak).
A 10-inch skillet is a good all-purpose size for daily cooking, but for feeding crowds and tackling bigger tasks like roasting whole chickens, we also like the larger 12-inch version. Of all the materials used in cookware manufacture, an alarming number contains substances that have been linked with serious diseases and health issues.
In particular, NMR and NEP–both of which have been used in non-stick cookware –can contribute toward low birth weight and even fetal death. Teflon–previously the darling of the non-stick cookware industry –has since fallen out of favor for its tendency to chip and crack over time.
Made of a variety of metals, it is actually quite a stable material that will not leach a significant amount of foreign matter into your food. This is one of the safest and most inert materials around, and you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals being used in the manufacturing process.
Cookware manufactured in Mexico and China is known to have high levels of lead, which readily leaches out onto food. Unless the manufacturer explicitly states that their ceramic cooking surfaces will not leach harmful toxins, it might be best to avoid them altogether.
Greenspan Lima collection is especially impressive, with its hard anodized aluminum body and riveted stainless steel handles offering unparalleled durability. With over a decade of experience making quality kitchen equipment, the company is a recognized pioneer in the non-stick cookware industry.
Of all the innovations that the company has introduced over the years, it is the Thermal ceramic non-stick coating that has achieved the most attention. Used in the company’s earliest products, Thermal is a non-toxic ceramic surface that has revolutionized the cookware industry.
Neither is particularly cheap, but they do offer excellent value for the money in terms of quality construction and features. Each piece matches a hard anodized aluminum body with a stainless steel handle, ensuring total dependability.
Suitable for both stove top and oven use, all the pots feature Thermal non-stick coating, which Greenspan claims will remain intact even when subjected to high temperatures. Like the Lima collection, the Rio set features Thermal ceramic coating.
It also features Bakelite handles that stay cool even when things get heated up in the kitchen. For many users, the Greenspan line strikes the perfect balance between usability and performance.
One particular user was looking for a healthier alternative to the Teflon pans they used to own, and the Greenspan line seemed like the perfect choice. But they do provide excellent value for the money, and you simply can’t put a premium on ensuring good health.
Given the quality construction, safe and efficient performance, and undeniable good looks, Greenspan is easily one of our top picks for best non-toxic cookware. In its more than 35-year history, the company has released a huge array of professional cookware inspired by the finest kitchens in France.
The GreenGourmet line is ideally suited to the needs of today’s modern green kitchens. Full sets are a bit pricey, so you will be glad to know individual pots and pans are available for purchase at very reasonable prices.
The hard-anodized construction enables the GreenGourmet cookware to withstand even rigorous daily use. Compared to other non-toxic cookware, much less energy is required in order to reach optimal cooking temperatures.
Over time however, a number of issues popped up that made some regret making the purchase. Oil was now necessary for cooking even the simplest foods, and clean-up was no longer fast or easy.
The result is elegant and functional cookware that meets the demands of even the most discriminating chefs. The Covered Dutch Oven has a 6.5-quart capacity, with a non-toxic, non-stick coating that allows for efficient searing, browning, and deg lazing.
It has a capacity of 3 ¾ quarts and a thick bottom that ensures even cooking at lower heats than usual. With its 3.25 quart capacity, it can hold quite a bit more food and ingredients than your average sautéing pan.
The ceramic titanium non-stick surface is amazingly durable, and can even be used with metal utensils. And like all the other pot and pans in the Scan pan Classic line, its non-toxic coating makes it a safe choice for healthy food preparation.
One user reported using the same sauce pot for over 15 years, with the surface remaining in pretty much the same condition as when he bought it. One of the few issues brought up about the Scan pan Classic line of cookware is that not all the pots and pans are dishwasher safe.
Nevertheless, the non-toxic cooking surface, easy cleanup, and solid reliability were more than enough to make them exceptional values. Over is fast making a name for itself with its line of stone-coated non-toxic cookware using the company’s own exclusive coating technology.
Called Stonehenge, this particular example of German technology provides durable non-stick performance with no harmful emissions whatsoever. The surface and materials of this cookware conforms to the most stringent German regulations, ensuring a high degree of safety even with regular use.
The company’s Stone Earth pans have an inert coating applied using a process that is free from harmful chemical substances. It is just as durable and resistant to scratching as the finest cookware, and it offers the added advantage of non-stick performance.
Stone Earth Pans come in a few different varieties, each ideally suited for specific tasks. A 12-inch pan with superior heat conduction abilities, it will work just as well over an induction burner as it would on a standard stove top.
The pan has a non-toxic stone-derived coating that is free from harmful chemicals such as Apex and FOA, and even NMR and NEP. With the same non-toxic cooking surface as the frying pan, it ensures excellent performance without the health risks associated with non-stick cookware with Apex/FOA/NMR/NEP content.
Able to conduct and maintain heat to a remarkable degree, it is also suitable for use with induction burners due to the magnetic bottom. A remarkably versatile and useful cookware, it has proven to be just as effective for cooking soups as it is for handling full roast dinners.
One user reported it to be especially effective for caramelizing onions, and that roasts were free of the excessive charring at the bottom of the meat. Other users cited the effectiveness of the non-stick cooking surface, which made cleanup a cinch.
Minor issues aside, the Over Stone Earth Pans are pretty impressive for the price. If you are interested in non-toxic cookware but don’t want to pay a lot of money, you could do worse than the Over Stone Earth line.
Also, from Over, the Green Earth Pans line utilizes another inventive example of German cookware technology. Called Revlon, it is a dual ceramic coating that is absolutely free of harmful chemicals.
The ceramic coating is designed in a honeycomb pattern that allows for a bit of air underneath the food. According to Over, these air pockets distribute heat more efficiently, improving the performance of the cookware.
They each have a non-toxic cooking surface made of Revlon ceramic, which is totally free of PTFE, FOA, and Apex. You can therefore use this cookware safely at higher temperatures than usual without worrying about harmful toxins leaching into your food.
Extremely resistant to scratching, the surface can be cleaned easily without a lot of elbow grease necessary. The sauce pan is equipped with a side handle so you can manage it quite easily even with its considerable weight.
One user reported several months of trouble-free use, even with the pans being subjected to daily wear and tear. This particular user doesn’t even bother washing the pans, only wiping the cooking surface gently with a dish towel after each use.
Priced much lower than competing brands from other companies, the Green Earth line provides very decent value for the money. Compared with higher-priced non-toxic cookware that wears down even when babied, these are definitely worthy of consideration.
Greene offers a few different lines of professional cookware that promise to bring durability and convenience to the home kitchen. Features such as hard anodized bodies ensure perfect heat conduction properties, while innovative non-stick surfaces provide years of safe and reliable performance.
Capable of performing a variety of roles in the kitchen, they provide many benefits that you would normally expect from much higher-priced cookware. Even if you unintentionally leave the pots at high heat for too long, you won’t have to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into your food.
All the pieces in the non-stick cookware sets feature hard anodized aluminum bodies that are remarkably resistant to heat and rugged use. Although most of the pots and pans are primarily intended for stove top use, they can safely be used in an oven without mishap.
Even the glass lids can withstand temperatures of up to 492° F, and they effectively lock in moisture, flavor, and nutrients of food. Low to medium heat is recommended, and a few drops of oil or a small pat of butter is ideal for ensuring longevity.
Like the other cookware in the 12- and 16-piece sets, Greene bakeware have Thermal non-stick coatings that do not release harmful toxins even when subjected to the high temperatures of a typical oven. Unless kept lowing or medium heat, a bit of charring at the bottom of foods is to be expected.
One user was disappointed to find out that the cooking surface touted as being durable and scratch-resistant was actually quite unforgiving. Although the pans did work as advertised for over a year, seeing more and more bits of coating in the food was understandably unacceptable for these users.
For too many users however, joy ultimately turned to disappointment with the scratching and chipping of the cooking surface. Despite its reasonable price and decent initial performance, the Greene line falls just a bit short of the mark.
Some cookware lines deliver excellent performance at the start, only to reveal serious flaws after several months of use.