How many of you can admit that you’re not sure if your cookware is toxic? Up until a few months ago, I can admit, I had a general idea… but wasn’t really sure. However, I have done some extensive research, completely overhauled our kitchen and can now confidently say that our kitchen is officially toxic-free.
Let me tell you what I learned.
How is cookware toxic?
Cookware can be toxic because of certain nonstick coatings used on cookware stocked in most American kitchens. One of the biggest culprits was used in nonstick pans like Teflon. If you’ve heard of Teflon, then you should know that the the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA was in the production of these nonstick pans and have caused concerns for decades. Thankfully, DuPont, the maker of Teflon did stop using PFOA during production in 2013. Except for, what about all of us that bought Teflon cookware prior to 2013?
Cookware with Teflon prior to 2013 can cause some people to have flu-like symptoms because the Teflon surface is scratched and over-heated. I will admit, 2 of my 5 Teflon coated pans had small scratches and without hesitation, they went in the trash. Even though nonstick pans are scientifically safe according to Today, thankfully many people like our family are choosing to avoid it and err on the side of caution.
Cookware can also be toxic if it uses polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE, which is known to deteriorate cookware when at high levels of heat as well as emit gases that can cause flu-like symptoms as well.
Is aluminum non-toxic?
There is a huge debate over whether aluminum is non-toxic or not. I love how the Cookware Advisor carefully and methodically walks us all through the basis for aluminum cookware with the understanding that all cookware sold with aluminum either comes coated (not recommended), anodized or clad and these are their two conclusions:
#1. Aluminum does not leach into food from coated or anodized aluminum cookware.
#2: The amount that leaches from untreated aluminum cookware is not enough to cause a health hazard.
What do you look for when shopping for non-toxic cookware?
When you’re choosing cookware for your kitchen to replace those Telfon pans that you purchased before 2013, these are the words I looked for while shopping for non-toxic cookware replacements.
- 100% Ceramic
- 100% unglazed Clay
- enamel-covered cast iron
The 4 Best Non-toxic Cookware Brands
Xtrema®, Pure Ceramic Cookware
Featuring a PFOA-free and PTFE-free, 100% ceramic and non-toxic, non-scratch and non-reactive is our absolute favorite brand: Xtrema® cookware.
We love that ceramic heats evenly and generates far-infrared energy, which means using Xtrema® means that your food will cook from both the inside and the outside at the same time. This 100% ceramic cookware can withstand very high and very low temperatures without breaking or reacting to food.
Not only is Xtrema® cookware FDA approved and meets all of the California Prop 65 requirements, but is also has no lead, cadmium or heavy metals. Xtrema® cookware can be used on the stove top, in the oven, in the microwave or be used on your gas or charcoal grill. Talk about versatile!
VitaClay® Slow Cooker
Why not a pressure cooker? Well, that’s a completely different topic for another day and as soon as I publish the article, I’ll link it here. But, for now, I want to share with you the incredible VitaClay Slow Cooker benefits.
VitaClay® is amazing because it uses nature’s organic unglazed clay. It is non-toxic, does not leach into your food while cooking, saves energy with it’s synergistic heating abilities and the cooking with clay amplifies the flavor while also providing nutrient bio-availability.
Why we love VitaClay® brand slow cookers:
- Cooks with unglazed pure clay.
- Superior taste, texture and nutrition.
- Fast and easy with push of a button.
- Compact multiple settings plus warm, stock and yogurt.
- Make healthy nourishment in the half time.
- No added Lead, aluminum and Non-stick chemicals in your clay pot and is verified by a 3rd party laboratory.
All Clad Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is another safe cooking option. Along with being non-toxic, stainless steel cookware is durable and heats quickly. Our suggestion: to minimize sticking, be sure to use a generous amount of healthy fats to coat the pan and allow time for it to warm up before using. The fast create a layer to prevent your food from sticking.
The more versatile, stack-able and easy to clean is the All Clad Essentials Nonstick Collection. It combines the ease of nonstick cookware the ability to go from the top of the stove to the the oven without hesitation.
This line from All Clad also boasts PFOA-free, easy clean up, safe for the dishwasher (although we find hand-washing these are just as quick and efficient), easy storage and “fuss-free” nesting that prevents surface scratches.
Shop for the All Clad D3 Stainless Steel set. It is the best stainless steel cookwate set when you are either just starting to put together your kitchen or ready to do an overhaul of those toxic cookware you currently are using. They are both made in the US and should last a lifetime.
Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Cookware
The enameled cast iron cookware collection from Le Creuset is by far my favorite set of cast iron cookware. We know that enamel-covered cast iron ware can be very expensive, the benefit is that it does not react with any food; therefore, it is completely non-toxic. This type of cookware lasts many years (My mom has been cooking with the same black cast iron skillet for nearly 40 years!) and holds the heat well because it is so heavy. Unless it is well seasoned, it can cause foods to stick. Less expensive brands like Lodge brand and Utopia Cast Iron brand are a less expensive investment.
Did you know? Le Creuset is now making Stainless Steel collections as well? You can check out their entire selection here. As soon as I buy a few pieces from this collection, I’ll update you on my thoughts. If you buy it first, be sure to leave a comment below letting us know how you like it.
Shop the Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Collection from Le Creuset here.