The 10 Best Nonstick & Eco-Friendly Cookware: Pots, Pans and Sets

While many of us are health-conscious about the food we eat, we don’t always consider the safety of the products we’re cooking with. Take a look around your kitchen - how safe is your cookware?

The problem with traditional nonstick cookware is that it can leach unwanted metals into your food including nickel and chromium. Additionally, most traditional cookware contains toxic compounds - polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl (PFA’s) and perfluorinated compounds (PFC’s) being some of the worst offenders. It can leach unwanted metals into your food

In fact, approximately 98% of Americans have traces of PFA’s or PFC’s in their bodies. Over time, exposure to these compounds can cause harmful effects.

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The good news is there are healthy and eco-friendly alternatives available. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 nonstick and toxin free pots, pans and sets that are high quality, durable and most importantly, safe to use.

GreenPan Paris Pro 11pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set

This ceramic non-stick and non-toxic cookware set was made with minerals and a durable exterior designed for scratch resistance. Coated with Thermolon™(made from a sand derivative that does not require the use of toxic chemicals), the GreenPan Paris Pro 11pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set won’t peel if you overheat your pan. Thermolon™ is heat resistant up to high temperatures (as high as 840°F)! All pots and pans have stainless steel lids and handles that are safe for oven and dishwasher use.

12" Stone Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri

This eco-friendly frying pan is 100% free of APEO and PFOA and the lesser known chemicals NMP and NEP. The 12” Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri is covered with a stone-derived, non-stick coating from Germany that is scratch-resistant and easy to clean. Perfect for Inductions stoves this pan boasts a magnetized base for rapid heat transfer.

GreenLife Soft Grip 16pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set

Made with sturdy aluminum and Thermolon ceramic non-stick coating. Greenlife is manufactured free of PFOA, PFAS, lead or cadmium. The GreenLife Soft Grip 16pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set is both an excellent heat conductor and safe from toxic fumes if the pan overheats. It’s oven-safe up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, dishwasher friendly, and features oven-safe ergonomic stay cool soft grip handles.

*Children under age three are particularly susceptible to iron toxicity, to be on the safe side, avoid cooking foods for young children in iron pots

*Lodge L8SK3 10.25 inch Cast Iron Skillet

The Lodge L8SK3 10.25 inch Cast Iron Skillet is the best buy in terms of cast iron cookware. MADE IN THE USA. Lodge has been making cast iron cookware since 1896. With over 120 years of experience, their cast iron is known for its high quality design, lifetime durability, and cooking versatility.  Lodge seasons its cookware with 100% vegetable oil; no synthetic coatings or chemicals. This lodge skillet has over 9000 5-star reviews on Amazon.

*FINEX - 8-inch Cast Iron Skillet

In terms of the highest quality cast iron, the FINEX 8" Cast Iron Skillet is handcrafted in the USA and uses non-GMO organic flaxseed oil to season the pan instead of cheaper oils or chemicals like many competitors products. Free of chemical coatings; Pre-seasoned and ready for use right out of the box with a Thick base and walls for constant, even heating and heat retention.

*Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 10-1/4-Inch Square Skillet Grill
Made with enamel coated cast-iron, this square skillet grill is a must-have in your cookware collection. Along with heating evenly, the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 10-1/4-Inch Square Skillet Grill allows for low-fat cooking. Raised ribs impart grill marks; dual spouts for drip-free pouring and oven/broiler safe to any temperature.

Xtrema New Versa 100% Ceramic 16 Oz. Sauce Pot with Lid

This sauce pot is 100% ceramic and metal-free, making it a great eco-friendly alternative to conventional cookware. Xtreme New Versa 100% Ceramic 16 oz. Sauce Pot with Lid is extremely versatile and can be used in the oven, on the stove, on the grill or in the microwave.

Vesuvio Ceramic Coated Nonstick Frying Pan

Ceramic coated and with a heat resistant handle, the Vesuvio Ceramic Coated Nonstick Frying Pan is made in Italy with safe, environmentally-friendly materials. The coating is PTFE-free, cadmium-free, and lead-free. Scratch resistant with a thick aluminum base, this pan heats up quickly and ensures even heat. Oven safe up to 450° F with cool-touch silicon handles.

Blue Diamond Pan CC001602-001 Toxin Free Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set (10 pc)

This versatile 10-piece set will assist you with all your cooking needs. If you’re looking for a healthy and safe alternative to traditional cookware, The Blue Diamond Pan CC001602-001 Toxin Free Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set is manufactured without PFAS, PFOA, lead or cadmium, ensuring that no toxic fumes are release even when pots and pans are overheated. Warp Control Base: A lightweight forged base ensures extreme strength, so you’ll never have to worry about warping, wobbling or degrading over time.

VISIONS 4-pc Cookware Set

This 4-piece cookware set is made of glass-ceramic material which won’t absorb food odors or flavors and it does not react with acidic foods. The VISIONS 4-pc Cookware Set is safe for dishwasher, freezer, microwave, oven and stove top use. It can also be used as an attractive serving dish

CorningWare French White Round Bakeware Set (10-Piece)

Created with a stoneware non-porous surface, this bakeware set does not absorb food odors, flavors or stains. The CorningWare French White Round Bakeware Set is chipping and cracking-proof and safe to use in the dishwasher, microwave, oven, refrigerator and freezer.

Shopping Tip: As a general guide, the next time you’re shopping for cookware, look for 100% ceramic, Chemical free ceramic coated, cast-iron, heatproof glass or stoneware. Steer clear of any traditional non-stick cookware containing Teflon, PFOA or PTFE.

The Dangers of Teflon

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon, is one of the main problems in traditional non-stick cookware. This synthetic chemical is what creates a surface without friction, making it easy to clean and cook with.

Within the last decade, concerns about nonstick cookware have surfaced and these products have been under investigation – specifically the health risks associated with overheating Teflon.

“When exposed to heat, most non-stick cookware becomes a source of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is a long-chain chemical compound that has been linked to a frightening range of health problems including thyroid disease, infertility in women, organ damage and developmental and reproductive problems,” according to Food Matters. Several studies have indicated harmful side effects when it comes to exposure to overheated Teflon. The takeaway: Teflon starts to breaks down when heated above 300°C, and this is when toxic fumes are released. Inhaling these toxic fumes is what leads to polymer fume fever symptoms. So, if you own Teflon cookware, cook food at a lower heat to prevent health issues.

There are other types of cookware that leach toxic chemicals into your food. This includes copper pots and pans, lead-based cookware, and aluminum cookware.

The Top 5 Alternatives

With so many eco-friendly non-stick cookware alternatives that are safe and effective, why risk it? Your health and the health of your family is too important. Here are the top 5 alternatives and why they work:

100% Ceramic

Ceramic cookware has a lower thermal conductivity compared to metal. Slowly absorbing and radiating heat, they emit healthy infrared energy and gently enhance the food’s flavors.

Ceramic-coated

This material is becoming increasingly popular due to the fact that it creates a nonstick surface without traces of toxic chemicals. Ceramic cookware heats evenly, and hold in flavors in foods, so you won’t be sacrificing value or taste!

Cast-iron *Children under age three are particularly susceptible to iron toxicity, to be on the safe side, avoid cooking foods for young children in iron pots.

Not only is cast-iron naturally nonstick, but it can handle higher temperatures than other types of cookware. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used in the oven, on the stovetop or even over a campfire.

Stoneware

As one of the most ancient forms of cookware, stoneware has been around for centuries. It’s scratch-resistant, nonstick and can withstand high temperatures. Commonly used for baking, stoneware is an excellent alternative to cooking with aluminum baking sheets.

Heat Proof Glass

Last but not least, heat proof glass is probably the best in terms of cleanliness. While glass cookware is more on the expensive side, food does not absorb, stain or cause odors. Be sure to check that the glass is heat proof - otherwise, it will shatter.

What is your go-to kitchen cookware? Tell us your favorites in the comments below!

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