The Best Non-Toxic Cookware for 2021
Clean and healthy eating is an important part of living a better life. While you might put a lot of thought into the ingredients you cook with, are you looking at what you use for cooking? If not, what you’re using might actually be causing you harm. That’s why it’s important to use the best non-toxic cookware.
But which types of non-toxic cookware are right for the meals you make? This helpful guide takes a look at the important reasons why you should use non-toxic cookware and goes over the safest nonstick pans.
From glass dishes and cast iron pans to stainless steel pots and ceramic cookware sets, you’ll find the best non-toxic cookware to make sure everything you cook is safe and healthy to eat.
What to Avoid When Buying New Cookware
According to the FDA, high levels of toxic chemicals known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are lurking in our food because of our widespread use of nonstick cookware, food packaging, contact paper, and cleaning products.
Their research found that PFAS are present in the blood of 98% of the U.S. population, and our diets are the main source of exposure. These hazardous substances are known as “forever chemicals” because they never break down and remain in your body for the rest of your life.
To make matters worse, they never break down when they’re released into the environment either.
Exposure to PFAS has been linked to certain types of cancers, liver damage, infertility, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, obesity, and several other health conditions.
While PFAS were commonly found in Teflon and other nonstick pans, they’ve been banned from further production. However, PFAS aren’t the only chemicals in Teflon you need to worry about.
Is Teflon Safe?
Teflon is a chemical coating known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8, is a man-made chemical used in the process of making Teflon. Although the manufacturer says it’s burned off during the process, it does admit small amounts are leftover in the final products.
Exposure to both PTFE and PFOA has been linked to a variety of health issues, such as:
- Thyroid disorders
- Liver disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Birth defects
- Low birth weight
Any Teflon products made today must be PFOA-free. But that doesn’t mean they’re completely safe. Traditional non-stick cookware can also contain ingredients like lead, cadmium, and other toxic materials.
Plus, when Teflon pots and pans are overheated, the coatings break down and release toxic chemicals into the air. Inhaling these fumes can lead to polymer fume fever, also known as the Teflon flu. Some case studies have also reported lung damage from exposure to overheated Teflon.
Think you never overheat your pans? Think again. One study found that it only takes 2.5 minutes for traditional non-stick pans to heat up to 500ºF.
Therefore, it’s obvious that the best way to protect yourself, your family, and the environment is to completely avoid products coated in Teflon. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up the convenience of nonstick cookware. Instead, just check out these best non-toxic cookware options!
1. Best Nonstick Cookware Set
Caraway has developed an innovative line of naturally nonstick cookware that’s better for you and the environment.
Their nonstick pots and pans require less oil or butter for cooking, which helps you make healthier meals. It also means less scrubbing for a spotless clean, which saves you time and hassle!
Not only does Caraway’s mineral-based ceramic coating produce completely non-toxic cookware, but it also releases up to 60% less CO2 into the environment during production than traditional nonstick cookware.
While the Caraway cookware set is ideal for times when you need to stock a kitchen with a complete collection of pots, pans, and lids, you can also buy fry pans, saute pans, saucepans, and Dutch ovens separately.
Do you like to do a lot of baking? Then make sure you also check out the complete bakeware set from Caraway!
Like other Caraway pieces, their ceramic-coated bakeware items have a mineral-based coating that won’t leach toxic chemicals into your food.
2. Best Cast-Iron Cookware
When it comes to getting the safest nonstick pans, sometimes it helps to go back to the basics. There’s a reason people have been using cast-iron cookware for years: it offers even heating, outstanding heat retention, and impressive nonstick capabilities.
If you’re shopping for the best cast-iron cookware, you can’t beat Lodge Cast Iron. Lodge has been making heirloom-quality cookware in the U.S. since 1896.
We own this 10.25-inch skillet and find it’s the ideal size for pretty much everything we need to cook. But there are a variety of other sizes available. You can even get a Dutch oven for doing roasts, a reversible grill and griddle, and a cast iron loaf pan.
No matter which items you choose, you know you’ll enjoy pieces that are already pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil, which means you can enjoy cooking with them right away!
Pro Tip: When you cook with cast iron, the entire piece will heat up, so you definitely don’t want to grab the handle with your bare hand! That’s why you should also pick up one of these cast iron skillet handle holders. Simply slide it on the handle of your skillet when you’re ready to pick it up to protect your hands from the heat.
3. Best Glass Cookware
If you’re worried about toxins leaching into your food from your cookware, you can’t go wrong with glass. And since Pyrex has been making glassware that gets passed down from generation to generation for over 100 years, they’re an obvious choice when it comes to glass cookware.
These clear glass baking dishes come in two convenient sizes and are safe to go in the oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher. Plus, since they’re made from non-porous glass, they won’t absorb stains or odors.
Also, don’t forget that glassware is a great way to eliminate potentially toxic and wasteful plastic in your entire kitchen. These glass measuring cups are a lot safer to use than plastic ones.
4. Best Ceramic Cookware
The Thermolon ceramic nonstick coating on GreenPan cookware is free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium. This means it will never release toxic fumes, even if you accidentally overheat it.
The nonstick coating is incredibly durable, and the heavy-gauge construction offers outstanding heat conduction for even cooking. Plus, not only are GreenPan pieces oven safe up to 350°F, but they’re also dishwasher safe for quick and easy cleanup.
Best of all, you can find all types of pieces for all types of cooking. We use these ceramic nonstick frying pans in our kitchen. You can also get saucepans in all sizes, saute pans for one-pan meals, spacious stock pots, and versatile grill pans and griddles.
5. Best All-in-One Pan
If you’re looking to streamline your kitchen, you’ll love the do-it-all Our Place Always Pan. This unique pan is designed to replace the fry pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, spatula, and spoon rest.
Even better, the innovative pan offers the convenience of a nonstick pan without using any harmful chemicals, such as PFOAs, PTFEs, lead, cadmium, toxic metals, and nanoparticles.
Even though it has a sturdy aluminum body that delivers fast and even heating, it’s lightweight and easy to use. It’s also compatible with all cooktops, including induction.
6. Best Stainless Steel Cookware
Stainless steel cookware has been a kitchen essential for years because it’s durable and nonstick. All-Clad offers some of the best stainless steel cookware you can find because they handcraft their pieces in the U.S. using ultra-durable stainless steel that won’t warp or tarnish.
The highly polished cooking surfaces offer stick resistance and easy maintenance. Plus, it won’t react with any type of food you cook.
Every All-Clad piece is also incredibly versatile. For example, you can use this 12-inch fry pan with lid on all cooktops, including induction. It’s also oven and broiler-safe up to 600°F.
7. Best Enameled Cookware
Although the enameled cast iron pieces from Le Creuset aren’t cheap, they’re certainly a case of getting what you pay for. Ask anyone who owns a Le Creuset piece, and they’ll say it’s definitely worth the price.
The cast iron skillets have a black enamel interior that requires no additional seasoning and resists staining, dulling, and general wear and tear. Additionally, the Dutch ovens have a smooth interior enamel that prevents sticking and resists stains.
No matter which items you choose, you’ll enjoy using durable pieces that require very little oil, which is ideal for low-fat cooking. You’ll also appreciate that these dishwasher safe pieces offer even heat distribution, superior heat retention, are compatible with all cooktops, and are oven-safe up to 500°F.
In addition to their enameled cast iron pieces, Le Creuset also offers a line of stainless steel nonstick cookware for safe and reliable cooking.
Protect Your Family With the Best Non-Toxic Cookware
As we learn more about the chemicals we come into contact with pretty much every single day, we start to realize how bad they are for our health and the environment. But we don’t have to wait for the government to step in and start banning these chemicals.
Instead, you can make the switch to these best non-toxic cookware items today. Then you can enjoy more peace of mind knowing you’re cooking with pieces that are safer for you, your family, and the environment.
More Helpful Eco-Friendly Tips
Did you enjoy learning more about the safest nonstick pans? Are you interested in checking out even more outstanding tips that can help you live an eco-friendly life? Then please be sure to take a look at some of our other popular posts:
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- How to Make a DIY Fruit and Veggie Cleaner
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- How to Reduce Food Waste at Home