The Healthiest Nonstick Cookware

le creuset blue casserole dish and pepper

So far on Organic Gods we’ve had a look at the extent of additives in foods and how they affect the body as well as hormones and biotics that have been added to our meat. I don’t want to keep posting, somewhat negative posts on how your health is being harmed but the aim of this website is to raise awareness so the final topic to cover is nonstick cookware and which is the best and safest to use. 

Best Nonstick Cookware Comparison Table

Earth Pan

$13410 pcs
$13410 pcs
  • Weight: 20lb's
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Lifespan: 1 Year
  • Durability: Fair
  • Coating: Sandflow
  • Rating:

Xtrema

$2505 pcs
$2505 pcs
  • Weight: 11.5lb's
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Lifespan: 1 Year
  • Durability: Fragile
  • Coating: Ceramic
  • Rating:

Le Creuset

$1.2k10 pcs
$1.2k10 pcs
  • Weight: 50lb's
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Durability: Tough
  • Coating: Enamel
  • Rating:

Staub

$2891 pc
$2891 pc
  • Weight: 17lb's
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Durability: Tough
  • Coating: Enamel
  • Rating:

Dangers of Traditional Nonstick Cookware

Teflon (PTFE) is a polymer of carbon and fluorine and is the coating of choice on many nonstick pans. The metal underneath can be, steel/stainless steel, aluminium, iron etc. This substance itself has incredibly strong bonds between the carbon and fluorine but when the temperature reaches 220 Celsius pyrolysis occurs and the compound breaks down into carbonyl fluoride, hydrogen fluoride etc, full list can be found here. These do have adverse affects on humans and animals, with many reports of birds dying when kept in the kitchen. Another worry is the fact this coating can flake away and reveal aluminium metal which is dangerous to health, and is linked to neurological disorders and alzeihemers.² 

So what is really needed is a an alternative that is stable at high temperatures so that the non stick surface doesn’t break down or flake away. 

The Best Nonstick Cookware – 1) Le Creuset 

Le Creuset cooking setIn the table above, you’ll notice that Le Creuset took the title with a 5 star rating. It is the Rolls Royce of cookware, hence the rather high price tag. However the lifespan is so good, as long as you look after it, it could last you a lifetime. Currently I don’t have the luxury of owning this cookware but my mother has had the same pans for the last 15 years and they still work perfectly. 

Why are they so good?

Each pan is crafted out of one piece of cast iron which means even heat distribution and a strong structure that will expand and contract at identical rates. Many pans are made of alloys, mixtures or layers of metals and each will expand at slightly different rates. You may have noticed that sometime frying pans become warped, with a convex nature so all the oil drains to the edges, this is can be due to the pans uneven expansion properties. Le Creuset will never have this problem. 

One of the biggest issues with nonstick products is usually that the nonstick doesn’t do it’s job for very long. The combination of heat, burning, oils and cleaning all take their toll on traditional PTFE surfaces. Le Creuset has an enamel coating which is can essentially be considered glass like, and made from a silicon/oxygen mixture which is very inert and harmless to human health and able to withstand high tempertures and acid/alkali conditions. 

The price is one of the only reasons many people, including myself (for the time being….hopefully) don’t own this set. They are expensive and do need care and attention but from that they reward you with fantastic tasting meals and no worries of harmful chemicals entering your system. If you’ve not got the budget for the set I recommend the oval casserole dish. 

Lastly, don’t they look fantastic, not only great for you but very aesthetically pleasing for the kitchen. Check them out on Amazon here.

2) Ceramcor Xtrema

ceramcor setArguably on par with cast iron is a ceramic casting, in the table you’ll notice that Ceramacor’s, Xtrema range comes in second with 4 stars. Forged from natural clay, stable up to 1375 degrees Celsius and no petrochemical coatings, Xtrema tick all the boxes every healthy cookware needs.

Xtrema’s Differences

Some cast iron alternatives do not have very good performance at low temperatures as they require a seared layer to form, which is something you’d also expect from a ceramic pan however Xtrema performs very well at low temperatures. This is particularly handy if you require slow cooking thick sausages, vegetables etc. The ceramic surface is incredibly easy to clean, should you have overcooked your food you can use steel wool, detergents and cleaning products which is very different from the guidelines from other manufactures such as Le Creuset which has strict cleaning guidelines. This sets it apart on a convenience level as you can care less about maintenance, but I strongly suggest you don’t, looking after your cookware is extremely important.

Cons

There are two major cons of a ceramic pan, firstly it takes longer than metal to heat up to a usable temperature, and secondly it’s fragile and will break if it’s dropped, not the best thing to have in a busy house with children and teenagers.

3) Earth pan

earthpan setEarth pan are the most affordable, healthy cooking pan in the table. They are made from anodised stainless steel which is very unreactive. The coating is called sandflow, which is a PTFE and PFOA free composite reflecting enamel like properties. The coating does a fantastic job at ensuring food doesn’t stick, and as long as you take care of it will last for around a year. This is where this pan does get brought down, it’s longevity is limited but at a 10th of the price of Le Creuset you can afford to replace them every year. These pans are much thinner than cast iron and ceramic ones which means they heat up as fast as any conventional one. If you’re in a hurry and need to whip up a quick omelette you don’t need to wait 5 minutes for the pan to heat up like you do with Xtrema. 

Earth pan performs fairly well and is a good choice if you’re an infrequent chef who likes tasty, quick to cook dishes. 

4) Staub

staub cocetteStaub is the slightly better looking cousin on Le Creuset. Born in France, this small family company specialises in creating beautiful cocette’s, aka casserole dishes. Staub pays attention to the small details, on each lid there are small spikes to ensure there is a self cycling, condensate affect. Many of the best flavours in foods can be lost in the cook water, Staub understand this and ensures this occurs as little as possible.

Another difference from that of Le Creuset is the fact that the enamel can come in black. Regardless of cooking techniques staining will occur on enamel surfaces and once it does it is there for life, removing it will damage the pan. For those people who really cherish the aesthetics of their cookware this black enamel will be preferable as any stains are masked by the colour. Staub don’t offer cooking sets but if you’re after just a casserole dish then you can’t get much better than this. 

Summary

Healthy cookware often boils down to those that have the most basic compositions. Cast iron, ceramic and stainless steel are all very inert, just be sure that the quality of the metal is top notch and it doesn’t have any heavy metal contaminants. You don’t have to limit yourself to the options listed here there are just what we think are the best healthy pans you can get, but more brands pop up with new amazing products every week, if you spot one let us know!

References

¹ Zapp JA, Limperos G, Brinker KC (26 April 1955). “Toxicity of pyrolysis products of ‘Teflon’ tetrafluoroethylene resin”. Proceedings of the American Industrial Hygiene Association Annual Meeting.
² C.N Martyn, C Osmond, J.A Edwardson, D.J.P Barker, E.C Harris, R.F Lacey. The Lancet, Volume 333, Issue 8629, Pages 61 – 62, 14 January 1989

 

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