Glass food containers, metal drinking straws, and silicone storage bags are eco-friendly and non-toxic, that have made their way into the kitchens of those striving for a greener lifestyle. But if you’ve been using the same pans for years, your cookware might be thinking to upgrade.
Some traditional cookware can leach unwanted metals like cadmium, lead, and nickel into your food. Many nonstick coatings are made with perfluorooctanoic acid PFOA, polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl PFAS, and perfluorinated PFCs, all of which can release toxic fumes at high temperatures. Also, once the nonstick coating gets damaged, it can flake off onto your food while cooking. That means you’re ingesting these compounds directly.
If it’s time to give your old cookware the new-fashioned breath, We will cover you. Here’s a list of our favorite non-toxic, Eco-Friendly Cookware Brands.
Our Best Picks Cookware Brands
A complete set of ceramic cookware that won’t break the bank.
If you need to update your cookware but want to keep costs down, turn to the Initiatives line from T-Fal, a trusted European Eco-Friendly Cookware Brand. This 14-piece set is made of heavy-gauge aluminum with a PTFE, PFOA, and cadmium-free ceramic-lined interior that withstands high temperatures and offers fast, even heat distribution. Heat-resistant handles are riveted to the sides of the pots and included glass lids let you keep an eye on your food while it cooks.
This set includes three sizes of 8.5-inch, 10.5-inch, and 11-inch frying pans, two saucepans and a 5-quart Dutch oven, as well as, four nylon cookware. The pots are also oven safe up to 350 degrees and can be used on most hobs except induction.
It can withstand temperatures up to 850 degrees Fahrenheit without emitting toxic fumes.
GreenPan cookware features thermolon nonstick technology that can withstand temperatures up to 850 degrees without emitting toxic fumes, blistering, or peeling. Thermolon’s excellent thermal conduction also allows you to cook primarily at low to medium temperatures, reducing energy use.
The products are also cadmium and lead-free. They use recycled stainless steel for the handles. Recycled aluminum that emits 60 percent less carbon dioxide than the traditional nonstick coating has been used for the cookware bodies.
The company produces 5 types of cookware, as well as bakeware, appliances, and accessories. For pots to work well, GreenPan recommends avoiding the use of metal utensils when cooking. Washing pots by hand and separating when storing for long life.
These trays are coated with a substance that does not contain PTFE or PFOA.
These Eco-Friendly Cookware Brand fry pans are coated with German-made Greblon ceramic, which is PTFE and PFOA free. The scratch-resistant surface is textured and designed to withstand high temperatures without releasing harmful gases or toxins.
The pans are made of heavy-gauge cast aluminum to distribute heat evenly. It has a magnetized bottom that allows heat to transfer quickly to induction cooktops. Ozeri’s Green Earth Collection includes a 12-inch wok and 3 pan sizes—8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch—with matching lids sold separately.
Features a Green-Tek nonstick surface and ceramic titanium coating.
Scanpan cookware features a GreenTek nonstick surface and a ceramic-titanium coating that is PFOA and PFO-free. Their Professional item includes Dutch ovens, saucepans, sauté pans, grill pans, sauce pots, woks, and steel lids.
Scanpan recommends avoiding the use of extremely high heat when cooking with this cookware. The pots are oven and dishwasher-safe. It can be used on electric, gas, induction, and halogen stovetops. In addition to its professional line, Scanpan manufactures two other lines of cookware that feature the Green Tek coating.
These triple layer pans have excellent heat conduction allowing you to use less energy while cooking.
This All-Clad Triple-Ply Classic Set is a professional-quality cookware collection made with an aluminum core and a brushed stainless steel exterior. So there’s no risk of off-gassing or leaching toxic chemicals while cooking. Due to its excellent thermal conductivity along the bottom and sidewalls, it requires less energy than other types of cookware. Each piece is oven safe up to 600 degrees without lids and can also be put in the dishwasher.
This set is included a 2-quart saucepan, a 3-quart soup pot, a 3-quart skillet, an 8-quart stockpot, and two 8-inch and 10-inch skillets. Each item is provided with a lid. All-Clad offers a limited lifetime warranty on this collection because they are built to last. Aligning with the “buy less, buy better” ethos that supports green shopping habits.
These beautiful pans have a durable ceramic nonstick coating that works like a dream.
There are many options for ceramic cookware, but none are as attractive as this set from the recently released Caraway Home. Its on-trend color palette and clean lines are perfect for a modern, minimalist kitchen. The brand’s motto is “Chemical-Free Cookware”. They offer a complete cookware set constructed of ceramic-coated aluminum with stainless steel handles. The pans are oven safe up to 550 degrees and will work on all cooktops, including induction. Once you are done cooking, you can choose to place the pans in the dishwasher or gently wash them by hand.
Considering how many pieces are included, this complete set is excellent. It includes a 10.5-inch skillet, 3-quart saucepan, 4.5-quart saucepan, and 6.5-quart stockpot, as well as a simple storage organizer with a lid. But if you just need select pieces, Caraway recently started offering its la carte cookware as well. Perfect for trying out a pan or two before buying the full set.
Great skillet and pot combo that hinges together to form a dutch oven and is induction compatible!
This three-piece collection was designed in the spirit of the company: “Cook more, with less”. A 12-inch skillet and 7-quart hybrid pot make up the minimalist Duo Anti-Set. But what makes it unique is that the skillet hinges together with the pot to make a Dutch oven. You can sear, sauté, braise, stir-fry, boil, bake, and more with this durable cookware set and its induction compatibility. The skillet is available in a choice of carbon steel or stainless steel, while the hybrid pot is constructed of multi-layer stainless steel. The set also includes a 12-inch stainless steel lid designed to fit both pans and snaps between them for storage.
Designed in San Francisco and made in Wisconsin. The Duo Anti-Set is a bit more expensive but has proven to be a hit so far with incredible feedback. Proclamation also backs its cookware with a lifetime warranty and offers a 30-day trial guarantee, so you can buy with confidence.
These virtually indestructible pans come in a selection of colors and add a touch of rustic elegance to your kitchen.
Le Creuset is best known for its iconic round ovens. The brand also makes a variety of silhouettes in its signature colored enamel cast iron. This set includes three essential pans: a 4.5-qt Dutch oven, a 1.75-qt saucepan, and a 10-inch skillet. Each of these pieces is made of thick cast iron coated with a glass-like enamel, that is naturally non-toxic and requires no additional seasoning to maintain its glide. The glaze develops its patina over time, allowing the surface to become even more non-stick.
These pans are also oven safe to 480 degrees with the highest lids without the lids, allowing you to start cooking on the stovetop and finish in the oven or under the broiler. To clean, you can easily scrub them with an abrasive nylon pad or choose to wash them in the dishwasher. The trays are quite large, which can be a problem if lifting heavy trays. But their sturdy construction makes them durable enough to last for generations. Their longevity means they are less likely to end up in a landfill, making them a wonderfully Eco-Friendly Cookware Brand.
Our top pick is the affordable T-fal initiatives Aluminum/Ceramic Nonstick Cookware – it can withstand high temperatures and has fast and even thermal conductivity, as well as a full assortment. If you have the budget to splurge on a professional-quality set, we also recommend the All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set found here due to its versatility and exceptional durability.
What to look for when buying eco-friendly cookware?
Many people own at least one piece of nonstick cookware, traditionally coated with polytetrafluoroethylene PTFE, commonly known as Teflon. Teflon is a chemical that breaks down at high temperatures, releasing toxic fumes. Other problem pans include those made of uncoated aluminum and high-quality stainless steel, for reasons we’ll discuss later. The good news is that many manufacturers have decided to address the demand for non-toxic alternatives. Some eco-friendly alternatives include ceramic-coated aluminum, hard anodizing, cast iron, and stainless steel, all of which we’ll take a closer look at below.
The material of your cookware will determine its heating capacity. Generally speaking, ceramic-coated cookware should be treated like traditional nonstick. This cookware work best at low and medium temperatures. Extremely high heat tends to cause micro-cracks “cracks”, which can eventually splinter. Stainless steel and hard anodized aluminum generally have higher heat thresholds and can often withstand the oven. Always be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions to confirm the maximum heat-safe temperatures of your cookware.
When selecting a cookware set, you’ll want to consider what pieces you want. It is ideal to have a frying pan to cook eggs. sauté mushrooms and make pancakes. A saucepan is wonderful for simmering some eggs and sauces, and a pot is a must for boiling pasta or cooking soups and stews. Beyond those essential pieces, the rest depends on how many people you regularly cook for and if you have enough storage space for the set you want. Don’t forget that the number of pieces in a cookware set includes lids!
Green cookware doesn’t have to be expensive. Ceramic-coated cookware tends to be quite affordable. Although newer, more modern ceramic brands will be on the more expensive end of the spectrum. Hard anodized aluminum and stainless steel tend to be a bit more expensive than ceramic, but tend to last long enough to justify their price.
Ceramic coatings wear over time, so expect a limited warranty on this type of cookware. Most manufacturers will only guarantee the coating for a year or two. Stainless steel and hard anodized cookware will tend to have longer warranty periods. Sometimes with a full lifetime warranty to cover defects in workmanship and materials. Be sure to always check the manufacturer’s warranty to see if it fits your needs before you buy.
Types of ecological kitchen utensils
Pans made with a ceramic coating are often made from a base material, typically aluminum, which is lightweight and conducts heat very well. These pans are then sprayed or dip-coated with a special coating made from silica, a component that is derived from sand. The resulting glass-like finish is non-stick and non-toxic, and won’t release dangerous fumes when the pan overheats. It is an excellent general alternative to traditional PTFE Teflon coatings. But it is more brittle than PTFE. It is more susceptible to cracking. Like other nonstick coatings, it is recommended to use them in low to medium heat settings for best results. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific heat limitations.
This durable material was created by the Calphalon company from a technique adapted from the aerospace industry. It uses an electrochemical reaction to convert soft aluminum into a metal that is 30 percent harder than stainless steel. An oxidized top layer that is resistant to scratches and does not react with acidic foods. Hard anodized aluminum is a great conductor of heat. It is not as heavy as multi-coated cookware. It is easy to handle in the kitchen. Some higher-quality hard anodized parts are also safe to use in the oven and under the grill.
Not all stainless steel cookware is created equal. If this is your material of choice, you’ll want to choose high-quality parts made from 18/10, 18/8, or 18/0 stainless steel. The first number indicates the percentage of chromium in the steel alloy, and the second number denotes the percentage of nickel. While there is some concern about chromium and nickel leaching. This generally only occurs with lower quality parts while cooking for extended periods, using acidic foods think tomato-based sauces, and using very high heat.
Enameled Cast Iron
Cast iron is made from an alloy of iron and 2 to 4 percent carbon and is one of the most popular materials for heavy-duty cookware. It is naturally non-toxic and is the best choice for dutch ovens and pans due to its ability to retain and distribute heat. Enameled cast iron has a glass-like ceramic coating that helps prevent rust and corrosion. This barrier not only creates a nonstick surface but also makes the pan non-reactive. So you can cook with acidic ingredients like citrus and tomato without worrying about off-flavors or discoloration. The durability of cast iron parts means they are less likely to end up in a landfill.
Created by two friends in Belgium, GreenPan was born out of the need to find an alternative to traditional non-stick coatings made from PTFE Teflon. He then developed a ceramic coating called Thermolon that paved the way for the eco-friendly cookware brand to become a world leader in green, non-toxic cookware. GreenPan’s products range from lightweight aluminum to heavier stainless steel and hard-anodized aluminum cookware, all with their unique ceramic coating.
This popular cookware manufacturer is best known for popularizing food processors in 1973. But today Cuisinart also carries a full line of small kitchen appliances and cookware. Their GreenGourmet series is available in two versions: the first is made from hard-anodized aluminum and the second is made from three-layer stainless steel. Its nonstick pieces use a petroleum-free, water-based ceramic coating known as Ceramica.
This well-known French eco-friendly cookware brand, sometimes marketed as Tefal, takes its name from the combination of the words “Teflon” and “aluminum.” While many of T-Fal’s favorite products are made with traditional nonstick coatings, their initiatives line features a PTFE-free ceramic coating that handles high-heat cooking and works just as well as your regular nonstick finishes.
Launched in November 2019, this new cookware manufacturer has built its brand on products that are free of PTFE Teflon and other toxic chemicals. While their assortment is not as extensive as some other brands, they do have a fantastic selection of essential pieces in trendy colors and aesthetically pleasing designs.
Care and Maintenance
Like any other type of cookware, the maintenance of these eco-friendly selections depends on the material of the pan. For uncoated pieces like stainless steel and hard-anodized aluminum, which are naturally scratch-resistant, you’ll be able to get a little rougher with them. Although some manufacturers will specify if the pans are to be hand-washed only. For ceramic-coated pots and pans, you’ll want to take the same care as you would with traditional nonstick. Avoid using sharp objects and metal tools inside. Use a nylon scouring pad to gently remove any food residue. Choose mild dishwashing detergents to help preserve the life of the liner. Please note that ceramic lining, such as PTFE, erodes over time and should be replaced once the non-stick properties decrease significantly. Also, if there are cracks or flaking in the ceramic finish, it’s a sign that it’s time to buy a new pan.