The 9 Best Non-Toxic Cookware Sets, According to Reviews
The black nonstick fry pan was the ubiquitous fry pan of practically every kitchen I set foot in growing up. Its slick, shiny coating was pure magic, slipping eggs off its surface with barely a push.
Recent reporting released on some of the chemicals used to create that nonstick surface, specifically Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), caused public concern over the possible health and environmental impact. Teflon and other kitchenware manufacturers have mainly stopped using these synthetics, but older models and products built in other countries could still pose a risk.
A new generation of PFOA-free cookware is now available with beautiful design features, environmentally conscious packaging, and enduring quality. Here, we select our favorites and reveal the best non-toxic cookware on the market today.
Best Non-Toxic Cookware Sets at a Glance
- Best Overall : GreenPan Rio Healthy Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set, 16 Piece
- Best Single Pan: Always Pan
- Best Splurge: Caraway Cookware Set
- Best Budget: GreenLife Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Nonstick Pink Cookware Set, 12-Piece
- Best Environmental Option: Milo Mini Dutch
- Best Cast Iron: Lodge Chef Collection Skillet
- Best Ceramic: Staub La Cocotte 5 QT
- Best Bakeware: Great Jones Fully Baked
- Best Stainless Steel: ScanPan CTX Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set
What to Look for in a Non-Toxic Cookware Set
Non-toxic cookware excludes certain chemicals, typically perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOAs) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFEs). These chemicals are what create that slick nonstick surface in cookware.
PFOAs and PTFEs were most commonly associated with the brand Teflon, which stopped using them after concerns arose regarding the human and environmental health effects. Heating this cookware to 500 degrees F (which isn't recommended in the first place) can cause noxious fumes to be released and cause flu-like symptoms in both humans and pets.
The American Cancer Society notes that PFOAs have been found worldwide in water at low levels due to its manufacturing. Those community residents who consume local water supplies have higher blood levels of the chemicals.
While research is still ongoing, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified PFOA as "possibly carcinogenic to humans." You may also see labels promoting the lack of cadmium and lead, which are also known carcinogens and thus shouldn't be consumed.
Ceramic, cast iron (as well as enameled cast iron), and stainless steel are materials that serve as great non-toxic cookware options, either produced by traditional manufacturers or by new brands devoted to the non-toxic mission. Unlike traditional nonstick, some of these materials can require fat or oil to prevent foods from adhering.
We scoured the net, searching for the best-reviewed and loved non-toxic cookware, as rated and used by customers. Each product described below received high ratings and met our standards of being toxin-free, and in some cases, environmentally-friendly.
Keep reading to learn about the best non-toxic cookware sets and find out which one might be best for you:
Best Overall Non-Toxic Cookware Set: GreenPan Rio 16 Piece
This cheerfully hued 16-piece set is ideal for a newbie cook or a complete non-toxic refresher. The set includes two fry pans, three lidded sauce pans, a casserole dish with a lid, a stainless steel steamer, and four bamboo tools.
GreenPan's feature ceramic nonstick coating provides a durable and PFOA- and PFA-free surface, as well as lead- and cadmium-free. It's dishwasher safe, making clean up easy, and oven safe up to 350 degrees F.
"I love these pans. I seem to use that sauté' pan for every meal," writes one reviewer. Another says, "It is perfect for just about everything from scrambled eggs to steaming broccoli and everything in between. Nothing sticks. Clean up is a breeze."
Buy it: $150; amazon.com
Best Budget Non-Toxic Cookware: GreenLife 12 Piece
Environmentally-friendly GreenLife is made with recycled aluminum. It's also PFA-, PFOA-, lead-, and cadmium-free for a healthful cook-up.
Ceramic nonstick with a silicon coating makes for a safe, nonstick surface. This set includes two fry pans, two sauce pans with lids, one stockpot with lid and stainless steel steamer, and nylon spoons and other cooking tools.
Available in an array of pastel colors, this set makes a joyful addition to your kitchen. It is also dishwasher safe and oven safe to 350 degrees F. One reviewer writes, "I have had hundreds of frying pans in my life. This is by far the best one ever!! It cooks fast, evenly and is easy to clean."
Buy it: $80; amazon.com
Best Single Non-Toxic Pan: Always Pan
This cult-favorite cookware tackles eight pans' work with its innovative design, plus with extra help from a handy custom stainless steel steamer basket. Replacing the fry pan, sauté pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, and saucepan, this workhorse is able to tackle just about every stovetop task.
The aluminum body quickly heats up for fast, even cooking, and the ceramic nonstick coating is free from PFOAs, PTFEs, PFAs, lead, cadmium, toxic metals, and nanoparticles. The thoughtful design extends to two pour spouts which ensure ease of use, and a modular lid for steam release. "So easy to clean and versatile," writes one shopper, "I use this pan almost every day. And it looks SO CUTE on my stove."
Buy It: $145; fromourplace.com
Best Non-Toxic Cookware Splurge: Caraway Cookware Set
With four essential pieces, the Caraway cookware set is simplified to a fry pan, saucepan, sauté pan, and a Dutch oven. This non-toxic ceramic-made cookware set (it is free of PTFEs, PFOAs, PFAs, and other heavy metals) is oven safe up to 550 degrees F.
Sleek and modern looking, Caraway cookware comes in various colors and is usable with all oven types. Purchase pieces separately or as the set. Each cookware set comes with an organization system, including a magnetic pan rack and a canvas lid holder; this thoughtful addition makes clean-up a breeze.
The 90 percent positive reviews speak to the product's quality; as one happy customer writes, "Funny describing cookware as a gamechanger but these are amazing. You feel the quality by just holding them, let alone how nicely and evenly they cook. Big fan so far, and the organizer is just a cherry on top."
Buy it: $395; carawayhome.com
Best Non-Toxic Cast Iron Pan: Lodge Chef Collection Skillet
Fifteen percent lighter than the original, the Lodge chef collection skillet is carefully designed for ease of use and comfort. The cast iron develops its nonstick surface through seasoning and repeated use, building up a nonstick food-safe exterior.
Cast iron is inherently a safe, non-toxic choice as it's simply iron. This durable and budget-friendly piece is a cookware standard for its heat retention and adaptability; oven-safe and ideal for frying, sautéing, and stovetop grilling. Hand wash and season after use.
One happy reviewer says, "Really effective nonstick, love the lighter weight of this vs. standard lodge skillet. Perfect for any dish, especially if going from stovetop to oven."
Buy it: $40; williams-sonoma.com
Best Non-Toxic Bakeware: Great Jones Fully Baked
This playfully decorated set of bakeware begs to be used for savory dinner options or sweet desserts and is available in the colors blueberry or broccoli (blue or green). The set comes with one sheet pan, two cake pans, two loaf pans, one ceramic casserole dish, and one pie plate.
Designed with stainless steel and ceramic, the brand notes that the cookware is PFOA-free and oven- and dishwasher-safe. The pieces are available for purchase individually or as a set.
One reviewer says, "My husband grilled asparagus on the grill tonight in the Blueberry Duchess, and they were so yummy! I made a 'cavatappi' casserole baked in the oven with lean grass-fed beef, tomatoes, onions, and sharp cheddar cheese! It turned out great and washed like a dream in the top of my dishwasher. Great product."
Buy it: $265; greatjonesgoods.com
Best Non-Toxic Ceramic Dutch Oven: Staub 5-Quart Cocotte
Renowned for its beautiful and durable cookware, the Staub's Cocotte is made of enameled cast iron — making it ideal for both oven (moderate to high heat) and stovetop (low to moderate heat) cooking. The black matte interior provides a perfect crisp searing surface and won't show any pesky dings or burns the way a lighter surface may. The lid has tiny spikes that help release liquid back into the pot for super moist stews and roasts, while the surface has even heat distribution and retention.
Hand washing is recommended, though the pot is dishwasher safe. The cocotte is PFOA and PFOS free. One reviewer says, "Performance is excellent as Staub always [is]. Maintenance is easy as it always [is]. A hearty gift for all cooking lovers."
Buy it: $219; zwilling.com
Best Environmental Option: Kana Milo Mini Dutch Oven
Kana is an environmentally-focused company, starting with the material in their products; they use 40 percent recycled cast iron in their Milo Mini Dutch Oven. This 3.5-quart enameled cast iron piece is ideal for stovetop stews or slow-roasted meats in the oven (oven safe to 450 degrees F).
Offering a lifetime warranty on the product, the company takes a step away from the "throw away" economy with a highly durable product. The cookware is free of all compounds and chemicals listed in California's Proposition 65, including PFOA, PFOS, cadmium, and lead. Further, all materials used in packaging is uncoated to help ensure ease for recycling services.
"I have both the Dutch oven and skillet and use both or either every single day in the kitchen. I went from a complete novice at cooking (microwaving, cheap Teflon pans) to absolutely loving cooking and baking after buying the Milo set. Nothing more to say on the beautifully artisanal Dutch oven bread that I bake up every weekend," writes one happy customer.
Buy it: $110; kanalifestyle.com
Best Non-Toxic Stainless Steel Cookware: ScanPan CTX Nonstick 10-Piece Set
A combination of stainless steel and 100 percent recycled aluminum, the Scanpan cookware set is ideal for everyday use. The materials provide a rapid and even heat distribution for high-heat cooking and creating an excellent sear. The nonstick surface is PFOA-free.
The set includes two fry pans, two covered saucepans, one covered sauté pan, and one Dutch oven with lid. Each piece is dishwasher, oven, and broiler safe.
One reviewer says, "It's great that it is induction compatible! My first set of Scanpans nonstick lasted me 20+ years. If you burn food on it, let the pan cool, put soapy water in it, and heat it. The food comes off very easily with gentle non-scratch scraping. I am looking forward to the next 20+ years with this set!"
Buy it: $700; williams-sonoma.com
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