If you’re worried about chemicals leaching into your food from your cookware, read below for the safest pots and pans.
We’ll answer questions like:
- Which cookware is sustainable?
- What’s the best cookware to get?
- The only types of cookware I should use?
When researching which cookware was the best, I looked at a few key aspects.
- Heats evenly
After some research I found that there is really a general consensus on which pans are the best. Sorry folks, it’s not nonstick pans. The general nonstick pan is not environmentally friendly and will only last a couple years.
On the other hand, your grandma’s pans will last years, and maybe generations. So, what I’ll be focusing on is everything but nonstick pans.
First, let’s go over the list of what cookware NOT to get…
These can be toxic.
They break down easily, only lasting a few years.
NO- Nonstick pans
I know there are some good, eco-friendly nonstick pans out there but its exhausting to keep up with all the new ones coming out- red copper, ceramic, Scanpan, Greenspan, etc.
Other examples include Teflon, or Farberware.
All these pans start out great but in just a few short years they chip and scratch, an unsavory (toxic) chemicals can get into your food. I know I don’t like to worry about toxic materials getting into my food.
I will let you do the research on those. If you are going nonstick, be sure to get one made in the US to be sure that it’s made with safe chemicals. Other nonstick pans may be made poorly and chemicals may leech into your food or into the air.
The truth is, teflon pans and other nonstick pans are relatively new in the cooking world and we don’t know all the health effects it may have on us.
For this reason, I do my research before buying nonstick pans. I don’t use them often, and prefer using the pans in the list below for every day use. The only reason I have a nonstick is really to cook fried eggs and sometimes pancakes. It’s hard to get the same result without using tons of oil or butter in the other pans.
But, after doing the research, I want to give up my nonstick pans and use the toxic-free pans below.
NO- Aluminum cookware
Aluminum pans are made safely so aluminum doesn’t leach into food. But, over time, the protective layer wears away and food can be exposed to aluminum. We know aluminum is not safe for us, studies show that aluminum can cause Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
That being said, for the 95% other part of my cooking, I use the pans below.
Take a look at the list below for the best NON-TOXIC Cookware
#1 Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is the most versatile and favored of the bunch. It conducts heat well and is relatively lightweight. It will last a long time, and can be passed down generations, unlike your quick nonstick pans.
Stainless steel is my go-to for most all of my cooking. It doesn’t require the care and seasoning that cast-iron requires so it’s quick to use and wash.
If you buy a stainless steel pan, try to get a copper core, not an aluminum core. Aluminum is not eco-friendly and doesn’t conduct heat as evenly as copper does.
It may be heavy and difficult to clean and care for but it will last you and probably be passed down to your grandchildren. It can take a little time to learn how to care for it, but it gets easier and lower-maintenance as time goes on. Really, the more you use it, the better it is. Each time you use it, the pan becomes more nonstick, creating its own “patina.”
Is Le Creuset toxic? Is enamel cast iron safe?
After researching further, I found that thankfully Le Creuset is safe to use. Le Creuset are heavy, enamel coated cast iron pots and pans. They are tested thoroughly and made with the highest quality practices. So, yes I consider Le Creuset safe to use like Lodge or Staub cast-iron. They also last very long without any chipping.
Below are recommendations for cast-iron.
#3 Carbon steel
Many chefs use carbon steel in restaurants because they are similar to cast iron but lightweight. These pans and woks made from carbon steel are great for high heat cooking, frying, sautéing, and stir-frying. It is not as nonstick as cast iron but it is a sustainable material. I have a carbon-steel paella pan I use to cook paella, dumplings, or stir fry.
Cooking acidic foods like tomato will change the color. You need to care for carbon steel like cast iron and season it.
Below are my recommendations for carbon steel
I know these are probably not the answers you were looking for. At least, they weren’t for me when I started researching non-toxic pans.
The safest, most durable pans have the heftiest price tags. I wanted to read about cheap, super non-stick pans that were also healthy and sustainable.
But, like this age is teaching us with many things, it is better to buy less and buy better quality things that last longer.
Not only will it save you money in the long run, but you will get used to using your pan and get better and better as time goes on.
You can instead exhaust yourself researching and buying the new nonstick fad pan- ceramic or other, but being a nonstick pan expert is probably not on your bucket list.
Instead, keep it easy on yourself- buy the quality pan and say goodbye to stressing about cookware. It will probably last the rest of your lifetime. I know my grandma only had one set of pans and they still are just as good. They have the memories in them too!
Hope this article helped you select the best pan for you and your family.
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