Health Care

The 7 Best Non-Toxic Cookware Brands for 2024 [Chef Reviewed, Rated & Ranked]

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*Affiliate disclosure.

Since you’d never be caught dead with melamine in your cabinets (literally, and on style grounds alone, a capital crime), you don’t need to be told not to use it. What you do need to know? Your cookware is just as important as the food you choose to eat. There, we said it. And you have plenty of amazing options when it comes to choosing the safest cookware for a healthy kitchen.

Still, it’s not the easiest to know which are the best non toxic cookware options for your cooking style and health concerns.

In fact, we’ve made it our mission to find safe and healthy cookware. Our team has tested the best non-toxic bakeware, ceramic cookware, and we’ve even compared carbon steel to stainless steel and cast iron, and why cast iron might change your life, so you can find out which is best for your cooking style and kitchen.

Ready to feel seen?

Our in-house, pro trained chef, and founder, Laura Klein, has thoroughly tested each and every one of the brands we recommend here (she’s been testing them for over ten years!). 

Choosing the Best Safe Cookware For You

Our founder, and culinary school grad, Laura Klein, has tested a lot of cookware over the years for this annually updated guide to clean cookware.

Photo by Laura Klein

In this annually updated guide, we show you how to choose the safest cookware for your needs and lifestyle, what’s best to avoid with nonstick (we’re looking at you, PTFE and PFAS), the cookware brands we trust (we’ve added a new brand this year!), and even give you a heads up on which products are best for you, the environment, and your pocketbook.

Spoiler: We don’t recommend one-hit wonders (hint: The Always Pan) and there’s a good reason why.

We even updated this 2024 guide with new legislation passed by multiple states banning PFAS, and the EPA’s toxicity assessment of GenX (a newer iteration of yet another PFAS chemical, that’s more toxic than everyone thought (go figure)).

Here’s the Best, Non Toxic Cookware Picks for the Healthy Home Chef

Read on to discover exclusive savings and seasonal sales (hint: sign up for the newsletter here to never miss a sale). Or, bookmark this page to come back and check when your favorite brands offer exclusive sales for the Organic Authority community.

What’s the Safest Type of Cookware for Your Health?

Let’s face it, most cookware is generally safe. But there are things to consider about each material when purchasing your cookware. If you want to stay away from coatings, your choices are, pure ceramic, stainless steel, cast iron, and carbon steel. And if you have serious concerns about cookware and want to stay away from heavy metals completely, please consult your primary physician for advice. 

Here are the healthiest pots and pans to cook with: 

Pure Ceramic

It might be the safest cookware out there and is completely free of heavy metals. This type of cookware is made with just one material—ceramic. Best for low and slow cooking techniques, and can easily go from stovetop to oven. It conducts and retains heat very well. Another bonus to using ceramic pans is its low carbon footprint.

Best cooking technique to use use: low and slow, stove top to oven, excellent heat conduction and retention. 

Ceramic Coated Non Stick Cookware

It’s nonstick and doesn’t off-gas at high temperatures. When treated well it can last for several years. However, no non stick cookware lasts a lifetime. The manufacturing process with this material is also more environmentally friendly, as PFAS chemicals used in traditional nonstick production are under heavy scrutiny concerning public health.1 

When it comes to PFAS, Tasha Stoiber, Ph.D., EWG senior scientist states, 

“Scientific research has uncovered numerous harmful effects of PFAS on our bodies and well-being, including suppression of the immune system and an increased risk of cancer.”

The catch? The low-end cheap brands wear out quickly—as soon as three months. There’s also concerns over “quasi-ceramic” non stick coatings and the migration of nanoparticles of titanium dioxide. Those studies are inconclusive however. This is why we feel it’s worth it to invest in a quality brand (see our picks below!).

Best cooking techniques to use: medium to medium low. 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel pots and pans are the workhorses for professional and home kitchens alike because it can last a lifetime and take a beating. They’re also excellent for high heat cooking techniques. Look for reputable brands that use food-grade 18/10 stainless steel, with an aluminum core, and employ third-party lab testing in compliance with Prop 65.2 Another bonus, stainless steel is metal utensil safe.  

Best cooking techniques to use: high heat searing, stovetop to oven.

Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

An heirloom classic in the kitchen passed down from generation to generation, cast iron retains heat like nothing else and is a master at searing. While cooking with this material is generally safe, those susceptible to iron overload should consult with their primary care physician and use cast iron cookware with caution. Our preference is for enameled cast iron cookware, made with glass black enamel studded with quartz particles, it’s metal utensil safe. Read on to find out why else we love it.

Best cooking techniques to use: high heat searing, stovetop to oven, grilling, excellent heat retention.

Carbon Steel

 Relatively new to the American home chef, carbon steel has been used in professional kitchens for years because of its versatility. It’s lighter than cast iron but has the same high heat searing capabilities. Also like cast iron, this material may leach iron into your food when used to cook with acidic foods. Carbon steel pots and pans require seasoning to build up natural nonstick properties. While acidic foods will strip this coating away, the pans can be re-seasoned as needed. Overall, however, it’s generally safe.

Best cooking techniques to use: high heat searing, grilling, stovetop to oven.

What You Need to Know About Non-Stick Cookware Labels Like PFAS, PTFE, PFOA and GenX

Since you’d rather spend your time enjoying the rewards of a well-cooked meal than elbow deep in a serious scrub session, a non stick pan probably seems like the way to go. But conventional nonstick cookware, like PTFE or Teflon cookware, can release toxic fumes when overheated.3 Now that’s not appetizing.

The processing used during the production of PTFE or Teflon nonstick pots and pans pollutes our water supply with PFAS “forever chemicals” and has been linked to testicular and kidney cancer, infertility, liver damage, and thyroid disease. 4,5 No thanks.

Tasha Stoiber, Ph.D., EWG senior scientist, further describes the class of synthetic chemicals, 

“PFAS, a family of compounds including Teflon, can be found in the blood of people all over the world, including 99 percent of Americans. The production of consumer goods using these chemicals pollutes drinking water, food and wildlife, and since PFAS do not break down, they remain in the environment and people for decades. Almost everywhere we look we find more PFAS.”

As with other “clean” or “green” products, claims can be misleading when it comes to cookware. It’s common to see “PTFE-free”, “PFOA-free”, and “made without PFOA” on product labels, but you can’t always trust these claims at face value. For instance, some brands rename their PTFE coatings with fancy brand names while using the “PFOA-free” label.

To avoid this not-so-appetizing material, it’s important to know how to decipher nonstick and non toxic cookware jargon.


A synthetic class of chemicals used during the production process of PTFE coatings (aka Teflon) that includes PFOA, PFOS, and GenX, PFAS comes with concerns for human health and environmental contamination.6 These chemicals are also known as the famous “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment and can collect in human organs and blood. Both PFOA (phased out) and Gen X (currently in use), have been used to produce PTFE nonstick coatings commonly used in cookware.


Also known as C8, PFOA is a type of PFAS chemical produced and used in products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water, as well as stain-resistant carpets, fabrics, and PTFE based nonstick, or Teflon cookware. After decades of use in the U.S., chemical producers such as Dupont and 3M phased PFOA out due to public health concerns that were kept hidden from the public until a class action lawsuit brought internal documents to the attention of the EPA and the general public.7


Another PFAS class of synthetic chemicals, Gen X is a trade name used to make PTFE nonstick coatings and is a direct replacement for PFOA, but has an unproven safety profile.8 According to a draft toxicity report by the EPA, there is a potential risk of exposure to GenX through drinking water (North Carolina has had severe issues with contaminated water), air, and consuming food wrapped in PFAS containing products.8 Emerging data from animal studies point to health effects in the kidney, blood, immune system, developing fetus, and especially in the liver following oral exposure. The data is also suggestive of cancer.

According to EWG, in 2021 the EPA came out with a new toxicity assessment of Gen X. The agency acknowledged that the ‘forever chemical’ was more toxic than previously acknowledged. In fact it’s hazardous at lower exposure levels than PFOA and PFOS, two PFAS chemicals.


Originally discovered in 1938 by DuPont, PTFE is best known as Teflon (Dupont’s brand name). While PTFE coatings in cookware are generally safe if used as intended, overheating a PTFE pan can result in off-gassing that may lead to flu-like symptoms called polymer fume fever.3 These fumes are potent enough to hospitalize humans and kill pet birds.9

When cheap nonstick coatings wear out, the exposed core is typically made from a reactive metal (e.g. aluminum or copper) and may leach heavy metals (e.g. aluminum, copper, lead, or cadmium). Not to mention that nonstick coating can flake into your food.

The bottom line? PFOA has been phased out for years, so we consider this label as the bare minimum. Instead look for nonstick coatings (see our ceramic nonstick recs below) that are made without PFAS, which encompasses all of the bad stuff associated with PTFE.

There’s good news if you live in Connecticut, Main, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington. PFAS is banned. And if you live in California, a bill signed in January 2023, bans toxic PFAS, “forever chemicals” from food packaging and alerts consumers to their use in nonstick coatings for baking sheets, pots and pans. That’s kind of a big deal. As they say if California goes, so does the rest of the country.

Now let’s get to our top picks! Then keep reading to read more about Laura’s 10+ years of testing non toxic and non stick cookware. She shares insight into what you should realistically expect from your non toxic non-stick cookware. Plus she gives us a handy list of tips on how to care for your non-stick pans.

The 7 Safe Cookware Brands We Trust

Wondering how to get the best of both worlds when it comes to cooking safely without a massive amount of cleanup? We did too! That’s why we spent hundreds of hours (seriously) poring over research from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and PubMed, while consulting experts along the way.

The Organic Authority Approved Clean Cookware seal of approval for non-toxic cookware and environmental stewardship. 

Image courtesy of Organic Authority Studios

The result? Our tested and research-backed, and tested, collection of cookware recommendations to meet every need, lifestyle, skill level, and frequency of cooking. Our guide features only cookware that we have personally tested from brands that are transparent about its production practices and the safety of its products. Each one has earned the “Organic Authority Approved Clean Cookware” seal of approval (what’s behind the ORGANIC AUTHORITY APPROVED seal? Read about it here).

1. Caraway Cookware: Ceramic Coated Nonstick 

Caraway Home’s non-toxic cookware sets come with more than a dozen color options. The ceramic coating makes these cookware sets a breeze to clean. 


Caraway cookware is any home cook’s dream, particularly if you want the ease of nonstick pans. Gorgeously designed—we’re big fans of their Iconics Collection with classy gold hued handles. This ceramic non stick cookware is ideal for the health and design conscious cook. It’s slick ceramic coated surface allows you to use less cooking oil or fat if desired. All the brilliant cooking advantages without the toxic chemicals you’re looking to avoid. You can read about our top seven Caraway piece picks here.

What are Caraway’s pots and pans made of?

Made with an aluminum core, these pots and pans have excellent heat retention and conduction, which makes them a favorite of Klein’s (which is where many nonstick cookware brands fail and is a pet peeve of Klein’s). The foundation of the sol-gel ceramic coating comes from silicone dioxide or silica. A semi-solid gel-like substance is then created and applied to create a dense and hard non-stick surface. 

Made without PFAS (including Gen X), there’s no need to worry that these pots and pans are detrimental to our environment or your health. They’re even California Prop 65 certified. Their products are also tested extensively by globally accredited 3rd-party laboratories (SGS and or TUV) to meet the EU, FDA and other food safety compliance requirements. Caraway offers the utmost in transparency. 

Testing Caraway

Klein has cooked everything from eggs, omelets, pastas, sauces, fish and veg in this set. She does recommend that if you want perfect nonstick for something like eggs, you need to add a little oil or butter to the pan. 

She’s even had a few blunders in these pots and pans. She’s over reduced pan sauces, burned on cheese, creating the ideal situation for a stuck on mess. And the clean up? The pans cleaned up effortlessly with the help of a little soap, water and a soft brush. 

Caraway’s pots and pans are stovetop agnostic making them safe for induction, gas, and electric stove tops. Klein recommends using wood or silicone utensils to lengthen the life of the nonstick surface. Like most nonstick cookware, it performs best over medium to medium low heat, which will prolong the life of the pan. Because of their slick, nonstick surface, hand washing is a breeze (and recommended). If you’re a baker read Laura’s review after testing Caraway Bakeware here, for a year.

The Peracotta set on Laura’s stove top. Caraway’s non-toxic cookware sets come in more than a dozen color options. The nonstick ceramic coating makes these cookware sets a breeze to clean. 

Laura Klein

Here’s what you get when you buy a set

Included in a Caraway set are four pots and pans plus three lids, including a Dutch oven. Most cookware sets don’t include one. Added bonus, when you buy a set – a magnetic pan racks and a canvas lid holder is included. The canvas lid holders fits on kitchen cabinet doors to better organize lids that invariably get lost. Form meets function perfection. (Much like with Caraway Home’s Food Storage, read about Laura’s test here). The Dutch oven and storage organizers make this a great value. 

More options to buy

If you’re not in the market for a whole set, the Mini Duo is an excellent option for small spaces and apartments. They are excellent for warming cranberry sauce, melting butter, or frying an egg or two. They even have a gorgeous bakeware line with the same nonstick ceramic coating. Wondering how this brand holds up after months of use? Read our profile and review of Caraway.

Need the whole shebang? Caraway’s Deluxe Set comes with the 7-piece Cookware Set with storage and a 3-piece Mini Duo (and $150 in savings). 

“When I used regular non-stick pans, it would disturb me when I saw that flakes of the surface had scraped off into my food. Not only does Caraway’s surface not flake, there are no chemicals. Win-win!” Chelsea Mae Plummer, Founder of

What’s included in a set: 10.5-inch fry pan; 4.5-quart saute pan with lid; 3-quart saucepans with lids; and 6.5-quart Dutch oven with lid + pan and lid storage organizer. $316 at time of holiday sale. 

Holiday savings event happening right now! Save up to 20% sitewide with Caraway’s largest savings event of the year. The more you spend, the more you save.

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2. GreenPan: Thermolon Ceramic Nonstick

GreenPan’s new GP5 line integrates 15 years of innovations creating their the most advanced ceramic nonstick collection. 


“In all my years of studying healthy cookware, GreenPan has been the only brand that has well and truly exceeded my expectations with their world-renowned cooking pans. I have been using their non-stick pan collection for years now and am fully satisfied and happy with my investment.” Melissa Collins, Partnership Manager at Perfect Brew.

Here’s what GreenPan’s cookware is made of

As one of the best safe, non-stick cookware brands, each piece in the GreenPan collection features its signature Thermolon ceramic coating. Derived from sand, they were the first to invent ceramic nonstick in 2007. As the original non toxic alternative to traditional PTFE nonstick, they were the first to be free from plastic, PFAS, PFOA, lead, or cadmium. No worries that it will ever release toxic fumes, even if overheated. The collection’s ergonomic stainless steel handles are contoured for a comfortable grip.

GreenPan has also taken strides to make its production methods as green as possible, emitting 60 percent less CO2 during the curing phase of the nonstick coating as compared to traditional coating. They also utilize recycled aluminum in their production process (read our GreenPan cookware deep dive interview). They even have a recycling program to recycle your old cookware.

GreenPan’s latest cookware innovation: the GP5

Their newest line, GP5, integrates 15 years of cook-centric innovations to create the most advanced ceramic non stick cookware collection they’ve ever created and Klein agrees. She’s been using and testing GreenPan for over ten years.

The Infinite8 ceramic nonstick coating in the GP5 collection is their latest advancement in clean ceramic nonstick coating. What is it? It’s more layers of ceramic nonstick, infused with diamonds for extra durability. The hard anodization adds to its durability. Combined, this is what makes it more resistant to scratches from metal utensils, stacking, hot dishwashers, daily life, and Klein agrees.

GP5 Infinite8 ceramic nonstick coating has the slickest nonstick coating she’s tested in all of their lines (and she’s tested a lot!). It has better heat conduction, and has a unique stay-flat base that’s designed to keep your cooking oil in place (if you’re stove is flat). 

Here’s what’s included in a GP5 cookware set

If you want sparkling cookware, the GP5 Stainless Steel Set with Champagne handles is a stunner. Included is a 10-piece set including a stock pot (great value!) and three silicone utensils and handy felt pan separators, so if you want to stack your pots and pans, you can do it safely without risking scratching the nonstick surface.

Klein also recommends GreenPan’s other high end lines (see her full GreenPan collections rundown here), including the Reserve, (for you color lovers this is the set for you, it comes in many!), finding they last the longest. 

GreenPan tested

Klein has tested everything from eggs (she recommend using some oil and butter for a more perfect nonstick, but it’s still slick without), fish, grassfed meats, homemade oatmeal and more. She loves that the lids have steam vents to prevent soups and liquids from boiling over. 

She’s even burned a pot of oatmeal or two in these pans and was scared she ruined the surface and wouldn’t clean up easily. She was wrong. The burned oatmeal on the bottom of the pan effortlessly came off when she ran a wooden spoon across the bottom of it and easily cleaned up with some soap, water and a soft brush. Of all the non-toxic nonstick cookware she’s tested, it stands up to the most use and abuse. It’s probably the most durable of them all. 

“I’ve tried a lot of non toxic, nonstick lines, and most start to lose their slickness in as little as three months. I end up recycling them in six and have to buy another set. It’s a waste of time and money. After about two years, these two collections have proven to stand the test of time. I love these frying pans.” Laura Klein


  • Industry leader for innovation in non-toxic, non-stick cookware brands
  • Signature Thermolon ceramic nonstick coating
  • No PFAS, PFOA, lead, or cadmium
  • Oven safe up to 600°F
  • Excellent heat conduction
  • Metal utensil tolerant
  • A set comes with silicone utensils and 3 pan separators
  • Dishwasher safe (hand washing recommended though)
  • Stovetop agnostic
  • Recycling program helps you recycle your old cookware

What’s included in a GP5 Black set: 9.5 and 11-inch frypan, 3-quart saucepan and lid, 3-quart saute pan and lid, 5-quart stockpot and lid, 3 silicone utensils, 3 pan protectors. $859 + 30% off with code, at time of publish. 

Exclusive discount, use code ORGANIC30 for 30% off sitewide! 

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3. Xtrema: All Ceramic Cookware

Xtrema cookware is one of the original safe cookware lines with their all ceramic cookware. No coatings, no metal core, just pure ceramic.


What’s Xtrema cookware made of?

The original non-toxic cookware, Xtrema’s pure ceramic construction (no metal core, no coatings!) is made with clay, water natural minerals and oxides. It’s great for low and slow applications. The only all ceramic cookware on the market, it’s probably one of the healthiest cookware materials you can find. It can go on the stovetop to oven, and is even microwave safe, making it the perfect vessel for one-pot recipes, as well as braising, boiling, and baking. You can even use it on the grill and it’s dishwasher safe.

Xtrema is PFAS and PFOA free, is FDA-approved and meets California Prop 65 standards, meaning it’s free of more than 800 compounds that may cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm. All products in this line come with a 10-year warranty. 

Testing Xtrema

Klein has tested their Signature Skillet line over the years and is a fan. They recently redesigned it using one-piece construction for extra strength and durability. The 9.5-inch fry pan has the look and feel of a cast iron skillet without the weight or metallic tastes. 

Klein loves this skillet for cooking eggs. She was skeptical about its natural non-stick claims, considering it doesn’t have a coating. However, with a little oil and butter you have a surpisingly, excellent non-stick surface. Her eggs easily release time and time again. This pan is also excellent for making dips that need to go from stove top, to oven, to table and makes a beautiful presentation.

Klein has also tested the Xtrema Dutch oven. Just the thing for soups, stews, chilis, and breads, use it to cook on the stovetop, oven, BBQ and wherever else you need it. It’s lighter than cast iron. So if you find cast iron Dutch ovens are too heavy for you, this could be for you.

Xtrema’s Dutch Oven is excellent at conducting and retaining heat. Here’s a red wine reduction for her mushroom soup. It’s also excellent for making a big pot of beans! 

Laura Klein

Xtrema’s pans retain heat really, really, well. She notes that when she cooks with these pots and pans, she generally uses a lower heat temperature because they conduct and retain heat so well.  When she cooks a big pot of beans or chili in the Dutch oven, the pot will still have a slight simmer in it 20 minutes after she’s turned off the heat. 

If you are health conscious and deal with chemical sensitivities, or just hyper-vigilant about what you eat and what you cook with, pure ceramic belongs in your kitchen. No toxins, no metals, and no maintenance, for worry free cooking every day. Read our Xtrema cookware review to learn more about the brand.

What’s included in Signature Series Set: 1-Quart Traditions Saucepan with Lid, 1.5-Quart Traditions Saucepan with Lid, 2.5-Quart Traditions Saucepan with Lid, 9-inch Signature Skillet, and two 100% Organic Cotton Handle Potholder $414.74 at time of publish with holiday savings. 

Exclusive code: Use code OA15 to save an extra 15% off your order at checkout. 

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4. Alva Cookware: Sustainable Ceramic Nonstick, Stainless Steel, Cast Iron, Carbon Steel

We love Alva Cookware’s non-toxic, cookware options, options, options. Like their classic ceramic-coated non-stick fry pans, a unique oval-shaped fish pan, and even a pancake pan.

Alva Cookware

About Alva Cookware 

New to the guide in 2024, the sustainability story behind this legacy cookware brand is truly remarkable. Launched in 1949, in Belgium, while Europe was still recovering from WWII, Albert Vandaele started making aluminum cookware from scrap metal, and discarded equipment from the war. He had an eye for detail and a hand for pure Old World craftsmanship. Any cookware that did not meet his high standards were sent back to be melted and recast again. 

Flash forward to today, Albert’s grandson, Michel Delmulle leads the helm of the company and is now expanding into the United States. Alva’s cookware collection is extensive. Including everything for your non-toxic, non-stick cookware needs with their ceramic-coated non-stick fry pans, a unique oval shaped fish pan, and even a pancake pan. All 100% PFAS free, coated with a proprietary sol-gel method and is third party tested. For your high heat searing needs, they’ve crafted beautiful stainless steel, cast iron, and even carbon steel pans.  

Alva Cookware tested

Klein tested the ceramic non-stick Maestro Frying Pan, the Nori Grill Pan, an enamel coated cast iron grill pan, and the Energy Nonstick Fish Pan. 

The non stick pan is a classic ceramic coated non-stick pan. Klein tested eggs and delicate fish, and it has slick non-stick capabilities. Sunny side up eggs and fish easily released from the pan again and again. A favorite feature are the straight sides giving you 20% more cooking surface area. And the thick, three layer, aluminum induction base is impressive. It’s a layer of aluminum sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel, ensuring precision heat conduction. 

The enamel coated black cast iron grill pan comes with deep grill ridges that create beautiful grill patterns (tested and true!). Klein tested searing her home grown zucchini in this pan to see if she could easily achieve beautiful grill marks. The pan passed the test with flying colors. 

Laura’s homegrown squash cooked in Alva’s enamel coated cast iron grill pan. This pan makes it easy to get those pretty grill marks!  

Laura Klein

What’s also unique to this brand is their unique oval shaped Nonstick Fish Pan with sloped sides. Klein loves this pan because simply put, “It’s a ton of fun to cook with!” It makes it a snap to cook up whole and quick fish dishes and finish them with yummy sauces like a meuniere, or a simple EVOO + fresh lemon and herbs. With two pour spouts on either end of the pan, it makes pouring your pan sauce over your beautifully cooked fish a breeze. 

8″ Maestro Nonstick Frying Pan – $99 
11″ Nori Grill Pan – $169 
13.4″ x 9″ Energy Nonstick Fish Pan – $119 
All prices at time of publish.

Black Friday Cyber Monday Event: save 20% on purchases over $150 with code BFCM20

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5. Made In Cookware: Stainless Steel and Carbon Steel

Made In is a great choice for pro chefs and home cooks alike—no commercial kitchen would turn their nose up at this beautiful stainless steel cookware sets that will last a lifetime.

Made In

“I have used the Made In Starter Cookware almost daily for about two years in both professional and personal settings, and the set still performs as well as new. I like Made In’s stainless steel cookware as it has a nice-to-hold and cool-to-touch handle, and their cookware is well-engineered for even heating across the cooking surface. I think the Starter Set is an excellent set for anyone wanting to invest in a quality cookware set without breaking the bank.” Jessica Randhawa, Head Chef and Owner of The Forked Spoon

This family-owned brand is 100+ years in the making, and we’re blown away by the superior quality of Made In 5-ply stainless steel clad and carbon steel pans. Made In’s cookware possesses such high quality that 3-Michelin star chef, Grant Achatz, not only uses Made In at Alinea, he’s also an investor and member of Made In’s advisory board.

Made In’s Stainless and Carbon Steel pots and pans construction

The stainless steel pots and pans are constructed with five layers of metals for improved heat conduction and prevents stuck-on messes (finally!) making it an extremely durable kitchen staple. The frying pans rolled rims are a nice added touch that allows you to easily pour without spilling. It’s is oven safe up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit so you can easily go from stove top to oven.

The carbon steel cookware line is a favorite of Laura Klein’s. Boasting high heat capacity, retention, and light maneuverability, think of Made In’s carbon steel as if cast iron and stainless steel had a baby. Perfect for executing high heat cooking techniques. 

Because they’re oven safe, you can go from stove top to oven, or roast your next whole chicken or veg in their carbon steel roasting pan designed by Chef Tom Colicchio.

Made In cookware tested

Klein has tested everything in these pans from roasting a whole chicken in the oven, to executing blistered greens, caramelized Brussels sprouts to searing a grass-fed piece of meat to get that extra caramelization of flavor and texture. You can even grill with these pans

non-toxic-cookware-test-carbon-steel-review-laura-klein (; 0:10)

Over time the carbon steel pans will develop natural nonstick properties as the pan becomes seasoned with use. Klein  notes, though, it does take some work to achieve a perfect seasoning to get it naturally non stick. It doesn’t happen over night. Just stay away from acidic food like lemons, tomatoes and wine that will strip the natural seasoning. If it does get stripped, you can easily reseason the pan. 

Not only are these lines extremely durable, and will become kitchen (and even camping) staples,  but the company also recycles unused metal. That’s right, anything that can’t be used is up-cycled into tailpipes for cars and damaged and returned merchandise is sold to restaurants or donated to ensure nothing is wasted. Read our profile for a more in-depth look at Made In Cookware Reviewed.

Stainless steel frying pan comes in 6, 8, 10, 12-inch options. Price $89-$109 depending on pan size 

Carbon steel frying pan comes in 8, 10, 12-inch options. Choose from seasoned or unseasoned. Price from $79-$129
All prices at time of publish.

Black Friday sale: save up to 30%.

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6. Staub: Enamel Coated Cast Iron Cookware

Staub, a French culinary specialty, is renowned for their enameled cast iron. Their Dutch ovens are commonly used in fine restaurants around the world. 


“I always recommend Staub pots and pans because when you buy them you know you’re getting quality. They are very good at keeping moisture inside the pot during a long braise, which means you’ll have a more flavorful stew. These French-made pots are heavy, sturdy, and made to last a lifetime in your kitchen.” – Devan Cameron, Chef and Owner of Braised & Deglazed.

About Staub cookware, loved by the pros

For nearly five decades, Staub has been renowned as a French culinary specialty in enameled cast iron. Originally developed in part with famed French chef Paul Bocuse, this heavy-duty cookware boasts both the phenomenal heat retention of cast iron and the acid-resistant, slick surface of glass enamel studded with quartz crystals that stands up to metal utensils and it’s oven safe. 

It’s no wonder the pros love to use these pieces as as serving dishes as well as cookware. The heavy-duty, durable cookware stands the test of time (no matter how long you leave it soaking in the sink). Perfectly suited for everything from braises to bread, a Staub Dutch Oven is the jack-of-all-trades pot for every home cook.

Laura Klein’s Staub Cast Iron Dutch Oven on her stove top. It doubles as a beautiful decorative art piece. It’s a favorite for batch cooking, soups, stews and even searing veg and grass fed meats. 

Laura Klein

Staub tested

Klein tested Staub’s famous Cocotte Dutch Oven over many months next to her Le Creuset pots and pans and quickly became a fan. Why? The black matte enamel textured surface made from glass and quartz crystals is unique amongst enamel coated cast iron brands. It requires no seasoning and stands up to heavy metal utensil use (Le Creuset does not). 

Klein has made everything from slow cooked soups, stews, beans, chilis, and even seared veg and meat, and it all passed with flying colors. Like all cast iron cookware, it does take a little longer to fully heat through (you can even put it in the oven to facilitate even heating). Veg and meat browned and seared easily creating excellent caramelized browning leaving tasty browned bits behind perfect for making delicous pan sauces.  

Another bonus, the black interior doesn’t turn brown over time with repeat use. Le Creuset’s cream interior turns brown with use and is easily scratched if metal utensils are used. It’s also tougher to clean. Staub is easier to clean. Yes it’s dishwasher safe but hand wash is recommended. 

A special callout to Staub’s innovative lid design: A snug fit to trap condensation, it features spikes all along the inner surface to ensure moisture drips back into the dish during slow cooks, and enough steam retention to make your sourdough bread tender and moist with a sublimely crisp crust. It’s smooth enamel bottom works on all stovetops, including induction. 

Klein sat down with Joanna Rosenberg from Staub for an Instagram live conversation for a full review of what makes Staub stand out from the rest (you can also read our interview and review of Staub too). 

Tested Dutch oven specs: 5.75 qt, oval, Cocotte, white, $379, at time of publish. Note! There are tons of sizes, shapes and colors to choose from. This cocotte is just one size.

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7. Demeyere: Premium Stainless Steel with Silvinox Technology

The Demeyere Atlantis 7 collection is gorgeous and easy to clean because of the Silvinox tech. It’s honestly the prettiest stainless steel set we’ve experienced! And, it stands up to the hype. 


I use the saucier for so many things, like making weeknight tomato sauces, rice, quinoa, melting chocolate, and caramelizing onions.” Laura Klein

Belgian family-run Demeyere has been a benchmark in stainless steel cookware for over a century. Outstanding feature? Silvinox technology — a unique electrochemical surface treatment (not a coating!) that enriches and purifies the stainless steel surface, making it easier to clean and allowing it to retain its shine and silver-white color for years. 

About Demeyere stainless steel construction

Klein loves these frying pans for their excellent heat conduction and easy-to-clean surface. She tested the Atlantis, made with seven layers of metal, and the Industry 5, with five layers and deemed both to have excellent conduction, eliminating hot spots. These stainless steel pans have superior food release, making them easier to clean than traditional stainless steel pans. They are metal utensil safe too. 

Proprietary flat bottom technology keeps the pans from warping at high temperatures. And since this cookware line is a favorite amongst chefs in professional kitchens, it’s no surprise that home cooks love the pieces too.

Demeyere is definately a pricier option on our list, but their list of pros is pretty impressive. The Demeyere Atlantis set comes with a Dutch oven and Saucier. That’s impressive and adds great value. We’ve never seen a cookware set include those pots and pans, they are usually ad ons. 

Testing Demeyere

Klein notes that because the Atlantis with seven layers of metal takes longer to heat up. However when fully heated, it’s excellent at conducting heat and browning items like potatoes, vegetables and even pancakes for crispy edges! Remember to use plenty of oil or fat for delicate items like pancakes, eggs and fish.

“The Atlantis comes with a little more weight with the two extra layers, but the superior heat conduction retention, food release, easy to clean surface and overall design and feel of the pan in my opinion, is worth it.” Laura Klein

Laura Klein’s forbidden rice with green vegetables in the Demeyere saucier. 

Laura Klein

I use the saucier for so many things, like making weeknight tomato sauces, rice, quinoa, melting chocolate, and caramelizing onions.” Laura Klein

What’s included in a Demeyere Atlantis set: 9-piece cookware set, includes saucier AND Dutch oven which most cookware sets don’t include (great value), $1399.99 at time of publish + 15% off when you sign up for newsletter.

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Choosing the Right, Safe, Cookware for You

Where to start? We recommend beginning with a base set and adding from there. And to make things even easier, follow our chart to select the perfect pieces for your safe cookware collection.

Choose the right non-toxic pieces of cookware that fits your unique cooking style.

Organic Authority Studio

The type of non-toxic cookware you choose will depend on your needs in the kitchen.

Image courtesy of Tina Dawson

Hey, not everyone is a chef, and we get that. But almost everyone does some cooking on the regular and you want it to be as safe as possible. When selecting pieces from our product recommendations above, take your cooking skills, frequency, and lifestyle into consideration before you buy.

Do you prefer to sear or braise foods? If you like to use high heat cooking techniques to add extra texture and flavor, we recommend one, two, or even a set of Made In’s carbon or stainless steel.

Are you an experienced home chef who loves to entertain with elaborate meals? If so, we say start with a foundational set of cookware like Demeyere’s, Made In’s Stainless Steel, or a Caraway set and fill in from there.

Or are you a get-it-done as simply and easily as possible type of cook? If you’re into minimal prep, cook, and clean time we definitely recommend Caraway for it’s non toxic, nonstick ceramic coated surface.

For the fast track to cleaner cooking pastures, just take our personalized cookware quiz to learn which clean cooking items will set you up for cheffing success. (Promise it’s quick and easy.)

Laura’s 10+ Years Experience Cooking with Non-Toxic + Non-Stick Cookware 

If you’re looking for the perfect nonstick pan that’s not PTFE, or Teflon, that will last a lifetime, it doesn’t exist. In fact, no nonstick cookware lasts a lifetime. They all fail at some point. It’s the nature of the material.

The brands we feature have been tested for years and have done an outstanding job of creating alternate safe non-stick, non-toxic cooking surfaces that come pretty darn close to PTFE or Teflon. Are they perfect? No. If you want the longest, most durable nonstick pan, go with PTFE. But those don’t last a lifetime either and they come with their own risks that must be managed (we talked about those above).

What I can tell you is that I’ve been testing non-toxic, non-stick cookware for 10+ years and if you are thoughtful about how you use it, it will last you years. I have multiple non-stick pans from different brands and manufacturers that are going on three to five years of use.

Here’s just small sample of the cookware Laura has tested over the years. Brands include, from left to right, Alva Cookware, GreenPan, Caraway, Xtrema and Demeyere. 

Laura Klein

But I follow the rules when it comes to recommended cooking techniques. I care for them and don’t burn them up over high heat. I only use metal utensils on the ones that can’t tolerate it (GreenPan is the only one that can), otherwise I only use wood or silicone utensils. I also don’t put them in the dishwasher, the high heat will quickly degrade the surface. I also don’t expect perfection from them. And, yes, I use a little EVOO and or ghee as needed to help with the nonstick surface as needed. 

Whichever way you decide to go, the pans you choose must be in alignment with your cooking style and techniques. If you always cook on high heat and only use metal utensils, you probably shouldn’t go with a nonstick pan, because you’ll scratch it, and burn it up quickly, shortening the life of your pan. Then, you’ll be angry at the brand, the pans about the money you spent (trust me I’ve been there!).

If you love high heat cooking like I do, that’s where your stainless steel, carbon steel, and cast iron cookware comes in (see our recs above). These pans are awesome at executing high heat cooking techniques and should be a part of your cookware tools. And save the nonstick cookware for delicate items like eggs, fish and the like that should be cooked over medium to medium-low heat.

If you’re willing to follow some easy guidelines on how to cook with non-toxic non-stick cookware, you’ll lengthen the life of your cookware and not get angry at the brand, cookware or money you invested in your pots and pans. 

Laura’s Cheat Sheet for Cooking with Non-Toxic Non Stick Cookware

  • Don’t use metal utensils. Use wood, or silicone and the like (stay away from plastic please!)
  • Cook over medium and medium low heat. No high heat searing.
  • Hand wash them. Remember their nonstick coating makes them easy to wash! Putting them in the dishwasher that runs hot, hot, hot, will quickly degrade the surface!
  • When hand washing, don’t use harsh abrasive scrubbers.
  • If you burn something on your pan, use a tried and true chef trick, add some water, put it over low heat for a few minutes, and use a wooden spoon to lift the burned on bits. Rinse and hand wash.

FAQ Summary: Non-Toxic Cookware Safety 

Still in the dark on which safe cookware is right for you? Looking for a quick and easy answer to your *ahem* burning questions? Check our As to your Qs below. As always, if you have concerns consult your primary care physician.

Is ceramic coated cookware non-toxic and safe? 

Ceramic nonstick coated cookware is a non-toxic and safe option. It is made without the chemical PFAS, which is used in the production process for traditional PTFE-based cookware. We like Caraway for their thoughtful design and their commitment to good manufacturing practices and 3rd party testing. We also like GreenPan for their innovation and environmental stewardship. Of all the ceramic pans we’ve tested, GreenPan lasts the longest.

Are there any nonstick pans that are non toxic?

There’s an inherent risk of cooking food in anything. Having said that, most cookware is generally safe. We’ve found that the higher end lines of ceramic coated nonstick are the next, best thing to traditional PTFE. It must be treated properly, it’s best for medium to medium low heat, using only wood and silicone utensils (no metal utensils to avoid scratches).

Is aluminum cookware safe to cook with?

While research regarding the detrimental effects of cooking with aluminum is inconclusive, there are concerns over aluminum leaching into food when in contact with acidic foods (tomatoes, vinegar), though leaching is not a concern for aluminum-based cookware that is coated or treated (anodized). It’s best to avoid aluminum cookware that is cheaply made (with scrap metal, for example, as reported in a study published in Science Daily) or secondhand cookware, and stick with reputable brands that follow safe manufacturing practices.10

Is copper safe to cook with?

Copper is considered a heavy metal and is highly reactive to acidic foods, like tomatoes and vinegar. 11 Copper cookware is typically lined with stainless steel to prevent leaching, but there is concern that individuals with nickel sensitivity (about 10% of the population, as reported by Cleveland Clinic) should avoid stainless steel.12 For those without a nickel allergy, it’s best to choose reputable brands that use food grade 18/10 stainless steel or higher. We like Made In’s copper cookware.

Is stainless steel safe to cook with?

Stainless steel has been a favorite of pro chefs because of its durability and high heat capabilities.  While stainless steel is generally safe to cook with, there is some concern over nickel leaching when in contact with acidic foods (tomatoes, vinegar), a concern for individuals with nickel sensitivity (about 10% of the population, as reported by Cleveland Clinic).12,13 Choose reputable brands who use food grade stainless steel with an aluminum core for excellent heat conduction. We like Demeyere  as they follow good manufacturing practices and use 18/10 stainless steel that undergoes a proprietary treatment, making the pans more resistant to acidic foods. Made In is another excellent choice.

Is enameled cookware safe?

Enamelware is often associated with coated cast iron. Look for brands that conduct 3rd party lab tests to ensure Prop 65 compliance for cadmium and lead. We like Staub for quality enameled cast iron pieces.

Is carbon steel safe to cook with?

Carbon steel usually comes as uncoated material (unless it comes pre-seasoned). It’s a mix of cast iron and stainless steel. It can handle high cooking temperatures without breaking down or off-gassing toxic fumes (unlike PTFE-based nonstick coatings). Similar to uncoated cast iron, avoid long simmering meals with acidic ingredients (tomatoes, vinegar) as this may strip the natural seasoning and leach trace amounts of iron into your food. Carbon steel usually requires seasoning to build up natural nonstick properties.

Is cooking with cast iron safe?

Cast iron is generally a safe cooking material. For long simmering recipes, avoid acidic ingredients (tomatoes, vinegar) as they may strip any natural seasoning that has built up. When in contact with acidic foods, trace amounts of iron may also leach into your food, which may not be healthy for individuals susceptible to iron overload.14 We prefer Staub as an enamel coated cast iron pick that is also safe and reduces the risk of iron leaching.

Is cooking with traditional (PTFE) non-stick cookware safe?

Cooking with PTFE-based nonstick cookware is generally considered safe. However, overheating can lead to toxic fumes that lead to flu-like symptoms and are strong enough to kill pet birds.3,9 The main concern with PTFE-based nonstick cookware has to do with the industry’s long history of litigation with regard to localized PFAS contamination (a chemical used during production) in local waterways—a serious public health concern.1 While it is possible for a company to make safe PTFE-based nonstick cookware, we have not encountered a cookware brand that can answer our questions with regard to their wastewater mitigation practices. For this reason, we prefer ceramic nonstick cookware as it eliminates the need for PFAS chemicals altogether.

Brands and Products We Don’t Recommend and Why

Yes, we previously recommended PTFE-free nonstick pans from Ecolution’s Bliss Line, Ozeri Green Earth, GreenLife Soft Grip, and Cuisinart’s Green Gourmet 12-piece set. But we’re walking that back and for good reason. These pans simply don’t hold up to our standards in non-toxic cookware for durability and ability to handle high heat.

We also have thoughts on popular brands that other sites have recommended. Lodge skillets are a good value, but we prefer Staub for its superior performance. Staub comes pre-seasoned with a crystal-based black matte enamel coating, which means you don’t have to worry about re-seasoning the pan or rusting, and it also reduces the probability of iron leaching when cooking acidic foods. 

Staub is easier to clean and wears much better over the long term, and (this is a big deal) stands up to metal utensils (unlike others, like Le Creuset). However, if budget is a big consideration for you, consider the Lodge cast iron skillet, it is an excellent value option.

Many of Cuisinart and All-Clad’s stainless steel product lines are 3-ply and don’t perform as well with regard to heat conduction and even heating as Made In’s 5-ply, or Demeyere’s 5 or 7-ply. (Demeyere is easiest to clean and stays shiny with its Silvinox finish).

The Always Pan seems to be a popular all-in-one choice. But around here, we’re just not fans of gimmicky one-hit wonders that have a short shelf life and end up in the landfill. Not green and costs you more money in the long run. Products like these tend to produce average or below average results because they simply try to do too much. 

And if you really love to cook, you don’t want one pan to execute all of your cooking, or ‘do everything’. You invest in and own multiple types of cookware to execute different cooking techniques. Like many ceramic nonstick pans, there seems to be a consensus about The Always Pan and that it doesn’t last more than a few months, a year if you’re lucky. If you must have a nonstick pan and are willing to treat it properly, we can confirm that our GreenPan and Caraway picks will last much longer, but know that all nonstick pans wear out eventually.

We frequently add or remove products based on our research and testing. Please let us know in the comments below of any brands you’d like us to look into or if you’d like to share your own experiences with the brands you’ve tried.

Read More on Safe Cookware 

Read more related articles on safe cookware like bakeware. 

Image courtesy of Artur Rutkowski

5 Non-Toxic Bakeware Materials to Consider & Our top Brand Picks

How the FDA has Regulated PFAS Chemicals the last 40+ Years

Stone, Steel, or Cast-Iron: Which is Best for Homemade Pizza?

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