7 Nontoxic Cookware Brands for Healthy Cooking

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Why take the risk?

Photo: Keith McDuffee [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr

Nonstick pans have plenty of benefits — including requiring less oil for a healthier meal — but the Teflon that keeps foods from sticking has a controversial past, with experts going back and forth on whether or not it can be harmful to humans when heated. A 2018 study also revealed that using nonstick cookware is linked to weight gain.

Why take the risk? The brands here produce cookware lines without the toxic chemicals so your family can enjoy a safe, healthy meal without the worry.

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10-piece nonstick cookware set from GreenPan

Photo: Amazon

GreenPan's nonstick pans are coated with Thermolon, which won't break down below temperatures of 450 degrees C (842 degrees F) and is developed from minerals instead of PerFluoroOctanoic Acid, or PFOA, which is what is used in Teflon.

The company also says it takes less than half the energy to make the pan so you're saving on the production side, too.

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Ecolution nonstick pans

Photo: Bed Bath & Beyond

Pots and pans from Ecolution are also nonstick and made without PFOA. In this case, the coating is applied and attached using water in place of a solvent.

The aluminum-bottomed pans heat evenly and are safe to go in the dishwasher for easy cleanup, and they're sold individually so you can replace your set little by little or invest all at once.

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Lodge cast-iron pans

Photo: Lodge

Sure, they're heavy, but cast iron pans have been a favorite of generations of cooks who appreciate their even heating, reliable heat retention and extreme durability.

The cast-iron skillets, grill pans, Dutch ovens and casseroles from Lodge come pre-seasoned for easy use, and they are finished with stainless steel handles, which let you go from stovetop to oven without switching pans.

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Enamel cast iron from Le Creuset

Photo: Le Creuset

Enamel cast-iron pans have the same heat distribution and other benefits of traditional cast iron, but the porcelain enamel makes them easier to clean.

Le Creuset skillets, available in punchy colors with a satin black enamel are designed to develop a "natural patina" the more you use them. That means the searing and frying qualities improve with time — and let you make everything from eggs to onions without sticking.

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Pyrex glass dishes

Photo: Pyrex

Many glass dishes aren't safe for use on the stovetop, but for baking your grandmother's lasagna, your to-die-for brownies, or a quick weeknight casserole, glass is an essential part of your nontoxic kitchen.

Pyrex, one of the most popular makers of glass bakeware, still uses the same soda lime base that it developed in the 1940s. It's reliable and durable enough that you can use your mother's (or grandmother's) heirloom pieces and check vintage stores for the dishes instead of buying new.

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Mauviel M'150s copper and stainless cookware

Photo: Mauviel

The excellent heat conduction properties of copper make it an obvious choice for cookware. It's especially responsive to changes in temperature from the heat source, so when you turn down the burner right before your dinner burns, the pans can adjust.

But they also offer the potential for metals to leach into your food, so choosing a pan that's lined with stainless steel — like Mauviel M'heritage line — can give you the best of both worlds. (Experts recommend that you use wooden utensils so you don't scratch the stainless steel, which can also leach.)

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Ceramcor-Xtrema ceramic cookware

Photo: Xtrema

Ceramic cookware and bakeware are often for oven use only, but Ceramcor Xtrema ceramic cookware works on either heat source (and also can go from the freezer to the oven or stovetop safely).

The interior ceramic glaze is nontoxic, and the nonreactive pieces come with a 50-year guarantee.