Things are changing quickly and today we’re seeing a growing demand for non-stick cookware as a replacement to the tradition iron cast skillets. I can’t even think of any home that doesn’t have a non-stick pan. I mean, they make the best pancakes, omelettes, sautés…, but have you ever stopped to think of how harmful some of the coatings used on these sets can be?
We have certain brands that are using harmful chemicals when manufacturing their products, and examples of these are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) artificial chemicals. Now don’t panic because today we have a solution for you, considering that the only safer way out is knowing what to avoid the next time you’ll be looking for a non-stick cookware set to make your life easier in the kitchen. In this article, we will look at what these two chemicals are and the safer non-stick coatings that you can trust.
What Are These Chemicals?
This is asynthetic compound commonly used in the manufacturing of stain-resistant carpets and fabrics, and today some also use it on non-stick cookware. In as much as their chemical compounds are different, PFOA is also used to manufacture its sister compound, PTFE. The effects this chemical has on one’s health is alarming considering that once it gets into contact with the body, it does stay there for quite some time. Exposure to this chemical leaves you susceptible to diseases such as liver damage, increased cholesterol levels, thyroid, colitis and many more.
This is a silicone-based plastic compound which has fluorine and carbon. In each PTFE molecule you’ll find four fluorine and two carbon atoms, a combination that is sometimes used to make cookware surfaces non-stick. It’s well-known for its unmatched strength and durability, and that’s why it’s also commonly used on automobiles and electronics. Compared to PFOA, PTFE is considered to be fairly safer, but still, there are certain health concerns and so you should avoid non-stick pans with this compound as well.
Reviews of Best PFOA and PTFE free Cookware
Top 1 – Ozeri ZP17-26 10″ Stone Earth Frying Pan 100% APEO & PFOA-Free Stone
The Ozeri ZP17-26 10″ Stone Earth Frying Pan features a stone-derived coating that is totally free of PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, GenX, APEO, including the lesser-known chemicals NEP and NMP. This ensures that the unit is safe for use.
That’s not all: this eco-friendly cookware provides unprecedented nonstick performance with no exposure to these controversial chemicals. Further, it comes with a hardened scratch-resistant coating, which makes cleaning this unit a breeze.
Also, this model’s interior is made out of highly durable heavy-gauge aluminum for impressive heat conduction and a magnetized base to deliver rapid heat transfer induction stoves.
Ozeri ZP17-26 10″ Stone Earth Frying Pan features a handle coated with silicon for remarkable heat resistance and comfortable use. In addition, this unit boasts of 3 solid rivets reinforcement for secure handling when cooking.
- Durable heavy-gauge aluminum
- Compatible with induction stove
- Easy to clean
- Excellent heat distribution
- Misleading product description
Top 2 – All-Clad E785S264/E785S263 HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick PFOA Free Fry Pan Cookware Set
This cookware set is available in three options depending on how many pieces or pan size you want. The 8-inch and 10-inch pans feature a versatile low-profile shape and a wide flat base. Keep in mind that this unit does not include lids.
Also, All-Clad E785S264/E785S263 features hard-anodized aluminum construction for easy cleanup, and even and fast heating. Further, this cookware set sport stainless steel bonded anti-wrap base designed for optimal induction.
Here’s good news, its nonstick coating is scratch-resistant and free from PFOA and other chemicals. Besides, it supports healthier cooking with less fat. That’s not all: this product is compatible with halogen, ceramic, electric, gas, and induction.
Another thing about this unit is contoured stainless steel handles for a comfortable hold. Plus, the stainless steel rivets ensure it’s permanently secured and reliable handling. Cleaning this cookware with baking soda and water removes any cooking residue for clean pans.
More importantly, it’s oven safe to 500 degrees F, limited lifetime warranty, and dishwasher friendly. It’s advisable to handwash.
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Exceptional performance
- Highly compatible
- Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
- The handles could be better.
Top 3 – Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan 3-Piece Set
Each pan in this set utilizes ceramic nonstick coating that does not include any harmful chemical such as Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs), GenX, NMP, PTFE, APEO, and NEP.
And, the honeycomb textured cooking surface, which is innovative, enhances its heat distribution. Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan 3-Piece Set has a scratch-resistant dual ceramic coating offering unparalleled abrasion resistance for super easy cleaning experience.
Wait, there’s more. The fry pans are made of a long-lasting, heavy-gauge aluminum core for brilliant heat conduction. Not only that, but these pans also sports silicon coated handles that are heat resistant and offer comfortable use.
Lastly, it includes a magnetized base for speedy heat transfer on the induction stove.
- Induction stove safe
- Easy to clean
- Comfortable silicone handle
- Superior nonstick performance
- Issues with durability
Top 4 – GreenPan Prime Midnight Healthy Ceramic Nonstick, Frying Pan Set
The GreenPan Prime Midnight Frying Pan Set features the brand’s proprietary Thermolon healthy ceramic nonstick coating that’s said to be free of cadmium, lead, PFOA, PFAS. It won’t release harmful fumes when overheated.
Even better, its diamond-reinforced coating makes this product metal utensil safe and offers incredible durability. Plus, it includes a scratch-resistant tough hard anodized body to ensure this unit stands up to rigorous daily demands.
Unlike most products out there, this model is broiler and oven safe up to 600 degrees F, allowing users to enjoy cooking a wide variety of food. GreenPan Prime Midnight Frying Pan Set is also dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
Here’s more: this unit won’t wobble or wrap over time for better cooking experience without the loss of heat or energy. Additionally, this cookware has matte stainless steel handles for an ergonomic grip and firmly riveted for secure and reliable handling. Unfortunately, GreenPan Prime Midnight Frying Pan Set is compatible with a wide range of heat sources except for induction.
- Dishwasher safe
- Wobble or wrap free design
- Broiler and oven safe up to 600 degrees F
- Comfortable and secure grip
- Not compatible with an induction stovetop
Top 5 – WearEver 2100087606 15 Piece Ceramic PTFE PFOA & Cadmium Free Nonstick Cookware Set
Another complete set available in two-piece options, 10 and 15 piece sets, is WearEver 2100087606. Each piece features a soft touch and riveted handles to deliver a reliable, comfortable grip. This handles can withstand high temperature; thereby, allowing you to cook with a temperature about 350 degrees F.
Similarly, it features a nonstick ceramic coating free from lead, cadmium, PFOA, and PTFE. Plus, its heavy-gauge aluminum features ceramic coating offers superior scratch resistance, stain-resistant and impressive durability.
On top of that, WearEver 2100087606 Nonstick Cookware Set sports a high-quality aluminum base to offer proper heat distribution for better cooking efficiency. Even better, this set of cookware is backed by a limited lifetime warranty, which shows the high level of confidence the manufacturer has in this model.
Again, each piece is safe for all cooking methods, with the exception of the induction stovetop. Further, it’s oven safe up to 350 degrees F, and can handle temperature up to 700 degrees F. The best part, it’s dishwasher safe for hassle-free cleaning experience.
- Withstand high temperature
- Superior stain and scratch resistance
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Even heat distribution
- The nonstick coating works for a short period.
Top 6 – T-fal E765SH Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick 17 Piece Cookware Set
When it comes to choosing the best PFOA and PTFE free cookware for your kitchen, then you also want to consider T-fal E765SH Ultimate Hard Anodized Cookware Set.
This 17-piece comes with a scratch-resistant, hard titanium-reinforced, nonstick interior crafted to withstand daily use and make it easier to clean.
Here’s a catch. This model has a Thermo spot indicator to allow users to know when the cookware is perfectly preheated and ready.
- Features a Thermo spot indicator
- Vented tempered glass lid
- Oven safe up to 400 degrees F
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Egg pan is not included.
Top 7 – AmazonBasics Non-Stick Cookware Set
Last on the list is 8-piece nonstick cookware from one of the top brands in this space, AmazonBasics. This set includes a 1.5-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart casserole pan with lid, 10-inch fry pan, 8-inch fry pan, and 2-quart saucepan with a lid.
On top of that, each piece has a comfortable soft-touch handle that remains cool during use. With spiral bottom, this unit heats evenly and is compatible with glass, electric, and gas stovetops.
- Essy to clean
- Even heat distribution
- Two piece options: 8 and 15 piece set
- Not dishwasher safe
PFOA Free and PTFE Free Cookware
Having highlighted the dangers that come with these two chemicals, here are some of the best alternatives that you can give a try:
- PFOA-Free Cookware Alternatives
Generally, one is less exposed when the non-stick pan they’re using is made of PFOA and can only became a hazard over time. It’s in the cooking process that the layer will burn off, making the fumes harmful as you breathe them in. That’s why most brands like Teflon no longer use it and in case you’re in Canada or US, it’s unlikely that you’ll come across a PFOA cookware.
What happens now is that it’s used in the manufacturing process of PTFE which is later used on non-stick cookware, but in the end you’ll have minimal traces left because it’s not used as the main component. At the same time you can avoid getting exposed to such fumes by cooking with other alternatives like stainless steel pans or cast iron skillets.
- PTFE-Free Cookware Alternatives
PTFE still remains to be one of the leading compositions of non-stick layers used in cookware, but that doesn’t mean that there are no effective alternatives that you can give a try. One of these options is ceramic cookware considering that it’s also readily available at different stores near you. We also have big names like Teflon now diversifying their range of cookware which now includes a portfolio of ceramic cookware.
If you’ve dealt with non-stick cookware before, ceramic shouldn’t be a problem because they call for similar maintenance habits. When cooking or cleaning, avoid using objects that will scratch on the surface which could minimize on the durability. Such pans can also be scratched when you stack them up together during storage, therefore ensure that they’re carefully stored separately.
Features of a Good Non-Stick Cookware
Now the presence of either of the two harmful chemicals doesn’t mean that we don’t have good quality non-stick pans on the shelves. Quality here is defined in terms of the layers used in the coating, how thick the layers are and also quality of the coating used. Depending on what your budget is, you can get yourself a fairly affordable non-stick pan with up to three layers, but to get the best, you might want to consider high-end brands which usually feature 6 or 7 layers.
Another way to approach this is by looking at how the non-stick layers have been installed. Manufacturers usually do this by either spraying or just rolling these layers on the cookware surfaces. Pans with sprayed layers tend to stick around longer than when the coating is rolled. So if you’re looking for something durable, go for those products that are sprayed and the best way to identify them is with the smooth and even finish they have.
Still on durability, there has always been a question of whether PFOA Free and PTFE free pans are durable. This is very simple, what dictates the durability of any cookware has nothing to do with the non-stick layer used, but the thickness of the pan itself. That’s why you’ll find that a tradition cast iron oven could last more than some non-stick brands that we have today.
When you have a non-stick layer over a low quality material, the cookware won’t last because it’s the thick material underneath which will protect the coating from heat. For example, it’s proven that aluminium options with PFOA free finishing can still last longer than say a stainless steel cookware with one.
Something to mention about these chemicals is that they’re mostly released into the human system when you use a non-stick cookware on heat over 500 degrees. This means that you can still be safer when making light meals that only require low or medium heat.
So if you need to fix something that calls for overheating the pan, you have other options like those made of cast iron which will come in handy. What this also means is that if you’re reading this and your non-stick pans are not PTFE or PFOA free, you can still use it safely and another way to do so is to avoid scratching the non-stick coatings.
However, if you want a new cookware set, consider some of the alternatives aforementioned. One thing that cuts across any cookware is maintenance, so whether you’ve decided to stick to your non-stick collection or have opted for PFOA Free and PTFE Free cookware remember to equally invest in the right cooking and cleaning essentials.