Here at Clean Cuisine, we get asked this question quite often: What is the Best Non Toxic Baking Pan? Stick around, because you’re going to be quite surprised by our answer.
As we prepare for the busy baking season ahead of batch cookies for the holidays (and don’t worry, they have all been made without refined sugar, no dairy and no refined grains), we wanted to finally get this post live to help you as you make baking purchases for your kitchen.
Without a doubt, I am a firm believer that healthy food starts with healthy cookware. For the most part it is not really all that hard to find non-toxic pots and pans if you know what to look for (my favorite “green” cookware happens to be Xtrema 100% Ceramic Cookware.)
But finding a healthy baking pan is a little trickier.
In fact, because the market is flooded with so many non-stick (but toxic!) baking pans, in some ways it is easier to locate a healthy cookie recipe than it is to find a healthy pan to bake them in.
How to Select a Non-Toxic Baking Pan
Ok, here’s the deal: the absolute greenest baking pan would be a stoneware cookie sheet and we trust Pampered Chef has and their incredible line of unglazed stone cookware that we absolutely love.
So, give me a minute to talk about why we love unglazed stoneware from Pampered Chef first and then we’ll talk about a the second best baking pan.
7 Reasons Why We Recommend Unglazed Stoneware
We love unglazed stoneware because that’s all it is: unglazed, uncoated stoneware that is pure and clean to bake with. It’s quite simple really. Here are 6 things that we love about using stoneware:
#1: You do not have to preheat the stoneware.
If someone once told you that you had to preheat your stoneware, it’s a myth. Just simply place your food, cookies or pizza directly on the stoneware and place it in the oven.
I’ve made a few homemade bread recipes and the recipe encourages you to preheat your stoneware first. This is a personal decision… I tend to preheat my oven and not my stone.
#2: Stoneware has an amazing heat retention
Stoneware retains heat and distributes it evenly. Your dish cooked in a stoneware will be evenly cooked and ready at the same time. If the outide of your dish is cooked, then so is the center.
Not just that, but stoneware’s superior heat retention makes it perfect for transferring something right from the over to serving the meal. Stoneware is great for keeping your food warm during meals. Great for second helpings!
#3: Stoneware draws moisture away from the food
Whether you’re making some homemade Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chunk cookies, a Healthy Apple and Cranberry Crisp or Baked Salmon Burgers with Chive Sauce… your food will come out light and crispy because the stoneware draws moisture away from your food.
#4: Stoneware doesn’t retain oils, odors or flavors.
There’s no scents, no slick oils and no flavors.
#5: Your stoneware is safe in the microwave, freezer and in the oven up to 450 degrees.
I LOVE the flexibility of using our stoneware, especially this small stone bar pan for only $25. It fits perfectly in the microwave and our toaster oven.
UPDATE: The brand new stoneware that has just been released and will continue to over the next few months can be heated up to 550 degrees. This is such exciting news. Be sure to check the product to make sure yours can. For older stones, like my collection, we should stick to 450 degrees.
#6: Cleaning Stoneware is a Breeze!
Cleaning Pampered Chef stoneware is easy because their stones are virtually nonporous so nothing will soak in.
Once the stone is completely cool, just wash it by hand using warm water and the little scraper that came with your stone. This will help remove any leftover food.
Let air dry and use again!
#7: Pampered Chef stoneware is made in the USA.
I was raised to value the “Made is the USA” stamp… it protects jobs while allowing the creation of jobs so that our American citizens can provide for themselves and care for their families.
When you purchase products that are made here, you are helping to sustain and strengthen our economy for generations to come.
What Baking Pans do we Use?
My very favorite baking pan is this stoneware cookie sheet. Yes, it can be a bit pricey… but you have to decide if it’s worth the long term investment. I’ve had this same unglazed rectangle stoneware from Pampered Chef for over 15 years and still use it, worry-free, to this day.
If by now, you’re still not a fan of the cleanest, greenest and most non-toxic baking stoneware… well, here’s the next best option.
Selecting the Next Best Option
The next best option for a non-toxic baking pan would be 100% stainless steel. However, there are still a number of things to consider:
#1: A number of stainless steel baking pans have been dipped in an aluminum coating, which I am not too crazy about.
#2: Stainless steel is not the best option for conducting heat uniformly and consequently your cookie recipes might not turn out the way you expect.
#3: Some manufacturers coat their aluminum cookie sheets with substances much worse than aluminum, including toxic non-stick chemicals, which is often done to improve the cooking performance of the stainless steel cookie sheet.
However, you can always cover your stainless steel cookie sheets with unbleached parchment paper, which will help prevent aluminum and other toxins from leaching onto your food.
A professional baker who is not as concerned about the healthfulness of their cookies might tell you that the best bet for a cookie sheet is aluminum because it is such a great conductor of heat.
However, if you go with aluminum I would definitely cover it in unbleached parchment paper to prevent aluminum from leaching into your food.
Can you tell that we really do suggest using stoneware over anything else?
Best Stainless Steel Option
I truly believe that using unglazed stoneware is really, truly the best thing for you and your family and then no unbleached parchment paper is needed at all. However, if you don’t want to spend the money on stoneware, then the, Norpro Stainless Steel Cookie Sheet is the second best option.
A Few Healthy Holiday Cookie Recipes to Bake in Your New Baking Pan!
Just in case you missed my healthy holiday cookie recipes earlier this week, here are my 3 favorite: