What Are the Safest Cookware Options?

What is the safest cookware?

I’ve gotten multiple emails this week from readers who are engaged and wondering what the safest (and healthiest) cookware and bakeware options are to put on their gift registries. This is a topic I’ve researched quite a bit, so I’ve compiled my top five choices in order of preference. Thankfully, there are some great options out there that aren’t much more expensive than the harmful teflon and non-stick varieties.

Hopefully, this list will be helpful to some of you, as there are many changes I’d make if I could do my registry over again! In fact, I’ve thrown out quite a bit of what was on my original registry when we got married and am slowly buying replacements as I can afford them.

The main issues with traditional bakeware like non-stick and aluminum is that they can leach hormone disrupting chemicals and toxins into food… probably not the best choice! Some of the new-old-fashioned options are a lot better, and are much more fun to cook with once you get the hang of them!

Here are my  favorite bakeware/cookware options in order of preference:

1. Ceramic Cookware and Bakeware

I am a huge fan of X-trema Cookware since I got several of their pans for Christmas a few years ago. They are the most inert cookware I’ve found and they don’t leach anything into food. The one downside is that they can break if you (or kids *ahem* drop them while being taken care of  by extended family *ahem*). They are the absolute easiest option to clean, as you can use steel wool or scrubbing pads without scraping the surface. They have a non-scratch cooking surface, heat evenly and hold in flavors in foods.

They are technically dishwasher, oven, microwave and stove safe and can be scrubbed with anything. I love these pans so much that despite my kids breaking my skillet TWICE, I’ve replaced it. They cook better than cast iron or stainless and are easier to clean!

My favorites are the 10 inch skillet (which I use multiple times a day), and the 3.5 Quart Saucepan, which I use to cook soups, heat foods, and even bake in.

Xtrema-Ceramcor also has some collapsible silicone food storage sets that are very compact in the cabinet but can safely store food in the fridge or freezer (and can technically be heated, though I prefer not to heat in silicone).

Pssst… Xtrema is giving a 10% discount on any order with the code WMX10 if you use this link. (That is an affiliate link, so if you decide to purchase through that link, I receive a small commission to help support my blog. Many thanks!)

2. Cast Iron Cookware

Funny though it sounds, I am glad I listened to my great-grandmother-in-laws and my dad’s (who was a boy scout) advice and started cooking with cast iron. At first, I was worried because it sounded complicated to season cast iron and clean without using abrasive soaps, etc. Now that I’m used to it, I love cast iron and the added benefit of the extra iron in our diets. I mainly use it for cooking meats and for deep frying in coconut oil (I have a large skillet that perpetually holds about an inch of coconut oil or tallow for frying… talk about good seasoning!).

As long as you don’t scrub it with soap and a brillo pad, a good cast iron skillet can be an excellent non-stick surface to cook on and cooks evenly and with good flavor. The one downside is that you can’t cook tomato products in it as the acid interacts with the pH of the pan and gets an off-flavor. Cast iron is great because it can be used in the oven or on the stovetop (or on a campfire!) or all of the above.

My favorite cast iron piece is my large skillet, which is great for frying, cooking meats and even oven-cooking. A smaller skillet is great for eggs and oven omelets and I love my dutch oven with skillet top as it does double duty and cooks a mean roast in the oven or cobbler on the campfire. A grill pan is also great for meats, especially in the winter when it’s too cold to grill… though perhaps with all the talk of cold therapy lately, I should just suck it up and grill in the cold :-)

3. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron and Stoneware

The reason this isn’t one of my first two options is because of the cost. Le Creuset is the gold standard of coated bakeware and cookware and they have the prices to go with it. The one Le Creuset piece I own cooks wonderfully and I hope to add to my collection one day. If you have the budget, or are looking for a great option for a wedding registry, I’d include some Le Creuset pieces.

My personal favorite (i.e. the only one I’ve tried) is their coated stone ware baking casserole dish, which cooks amazingly evenly and makes delicious food and which is also easy to clean. (It’s also gorgeous and comes in colors that match your kitchen… I love the red ones!). They also have matching color pieces including their french oven which is on my if-I’m-rich-one-day list.

4. Regular Stoneware

More for baking than cooking on the stove, stoneware is a great alternative to aluminum baking sheets or roasting pans. There are also muffin tins, bread (not grain!) pans, and many other stoneware pieces.

These can be tricky to clean but give amazing flavor to food and cook very evenly. You won’t want to use soap, as the stone absorbs the flavor, but a properly cared for stoneware piece can last a lifetime!

My favorites: The basic stoneware baking sheet (large) which I use to grill veggies, bake healthy cookies, and re-heat food. It is so versatile, plus I get an arm workout lifting it! :-) I also really like their baking dishes which can make casseroles, meats, etc. They also have bread pans, but who uses those… :-)

5. Glass and Corningware

Corningware especially has a lot of nostalgic value to me, since I remember seeing it in both my parent’s houses and using it in my parent’s house growing up. It’s not as versatile and is mainly used for baking, but it is inexpensive (comparatively) and is low on the leach-poisons-into-my-food scale.

My favorites: This set of Corningware  which I’ve used (and broken) extensively and my beloved Pyrex Storage set which I use a lot since I don’t use plastic and everything in my fridge is stored in this or mason jars.. so classy! :-) I also use my Pyrex Bowls with Lids and my Bake and Store Pyrex Set a lot! If you’re registering for your kitchen, I’d put a lot of Pyrex and Corningware on it!  (and Corell dishes.. those things don’t break easily… my kids have tried!)

6. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is also a good option, though I personally prefer the other types above. We have several good stainless pieces that have lasted us for over a decade and still look new.

This is the set we got when we were married and it works really well, plus it is a more cost effective option than some of the above. I also have these stainless steel bowls and I use them daily and love them.

What cookware do you use in your kitchen? Plastic or glass? Aluminum or Iron? What is your favorite? Weigh in below!

You may also enjoy these posts...

Reader Comments

  1. Ashley d. says

    This pretty much sums up our house!  I’ll add, though, that Le Creuset can be found at places such as Home Goods/T.J. Maxx at discounted prices … hit or miss, but always worth a shot to look.   :)  Do you have any suggestions for a slow cooker or waffle maker?  I have a really hard time finding specialty electronics that aren’t laced in lovely toxic non-stick coatings.  Best!

    • says

      You can get an old fashioned cast iron waffle maker… they are fun and work well on almond and coconut flour waffles too :-). For the slow-cooker, the Hamilton Beach one is the best I’ve found (in my store tab) and according to the email I got from the company, has a completely ceramic coating that won’t leach lead…

      • Lorraine says

        I can’t actually post comments on here without replying. I just want to say that I went for the ones I could afford the amber glass vision or pryrex. I got it second hand but this way I know it won’t explode on me and I can afford it. I feel wary of cooking anything now so I thought I don’t have the cash for this but I need to just do it now regardless. I got a set of baking goods for baking bread, pies, and two flay round plates great for reheating or pizza with coconut flour ;)
        I also got another set with two sauce pans one with spout great for sauces and 2 size fillets pans. And then one baking pan. ; p it’s the most pans and pots I’ve had in awhile so I hope it meets all my needs and recipes from your and others lists for the high fat and low carb lifestyle ;) thanks for raising the awareness ;) :)

          • Patti says

            Vintage blue cornflower corning ware is safe on stove, in oven, in freezer, in fridge and can often be found at second hand stores.

    • Kara says

      hmmm… I’ve tried all of these, the expensive le creuset, EH etc… but none of these can do what cookware is supposed to be doing in the 1st place which is to lock the nutrients in, i am a nutritionist and know that most of food nutrients (water soluble nutrients are lost as steam when cooking in metals and so after a lot of research i bought a set of 100% natural clay cookware from Miriamsearthencookware, they lock steam naturally and the food tastes great!! am loving it so far, very different from all the ones I’ve used before.

      • Lorraine says

        I was thinking can i not making 10 per cent pure clay for cooking. I should have waited and looked at pure clay pots and pans. ;) always good for next time. Pity there aren’t lids you can buy that locks in nutrients to put onto bought ones that don’t lock in nutrients. Do you think that’s an option? Replacing the lids with pure clay lids? Would that help? Lol I just bought the sets now so I did spend a lot on them ;)

  2. Emily says

    Visions is also fantastic safe cookware to add to the glass category:  
    http://www.shopworldkitchen.com/visions.  I love them.  Especially the pots with plastic tops, so you can cook with them with the glass top and then store in the fridge in the same pot with the plastic top.  Only problem is that they break also if dropped…

  3. Beth says

    I agree…Le Creuset can be found at tolerable prices. We have an outlet near us, and I wait for Black Friday pricing…usually 30% off already discounted prices. I’ve also seen them in Tuesday Morning.

    And what’s a girl to do with a stoneware bread pan? Meat loaf, my friend. Delicious, scrumptious meat loaf. :)

    • giggles says

      I was given 2 of the Orgreenic pans as a gift. I was hesitant to use them not knowing what they are made of, but gave them a try. They work beautifully as far as being non-stick and clean up is a breeze. I do wish there were studies or any other indicator as to how safe these pans are. It seems the jury is still out on these. If anyone knows anything, I would love to here it.

    • Emily says

      I bought the 10″ pan and been using it nonstop for past few weeks. They’re great! For best result I use a little bit of oil. I’m hoping they’re safe.

  4. Liadora says

    After chucking out the umpteenth teflon pan for losing it’s non stickness we invested in a massive iron frying pan (not sure what it would be in american…skillet maybe?) and have never looked back. EVERYTHING gets cooked in it and it never gets washed, just rinsed off and wiped round with kitchen paper. We have had it for 2 years and not even a hint of sticking still. It has a metal handle so it can even be used in the oven.

    Ceramic and glass ovenware also have the added bonus of being pretty enough to go straight to the table, equalling less washing up :D

    I’ll admit I am also a plastics fan, I have so many saved from the days of prepackaged food that I would be bonkers not to use them.

  5. J Magnant says

    The Martha Stewart collection are great. I got showered with several pieces one Christmas. The prices are a lot more affordable than Le Creuset. They work & wipe wonderfully. I have the big Dutch oven that I use for soups. It’s my favorite piece in my kitchen. We also have a covered casserole, grill pan, and skillet. We use glassware for food storage. Hate the smell of plastics!

    • Jules says

      I hate storing in plastic as well. What do you do in the freezer? Do you take the veggies and meats out of packages too? Struggling w how to keep those items and small items in the freezer. Thanks

  6. says

    I use stainless steel cookware, I have some waterless cookware that I got. I don’t have any aluminum. I also use cast iron, and then glass for my bakeware. I use a solar oven for cooking outdoors in the summer when I don’t want to heat up my house. In it, I can use any type of dish that is dark colored.

  7. Shelly B says

    I have looked extensively (without success) for cast-iron waffle makers. . . where have you found them???  Also, I noticed that you use the stoneware instead of stainless steel for baking.  Is the one superior to the other?  I use my cookie sheets constantly for roasting vegetables, and am needing to buy new ones that aren’t non-stick. . . I didn’t know any better when I got married. . . I should have listened to my husband! :-)

    • AmyA says

       I found a cast iron waffle maker on Amazon.  Haven’t purchased it yet, just been keeping an eye on it for a day when I have the money to blow.

    • says

      It’s hard to find metal baking sheets that aren’t nonstick (or aluminum)! I found some enameled steel ones online (at West Elm) after a long search, and I love them. Very easy to clean.

  8. AmyA says

    I use my cast iron skillet for nearly everything.  I’ve been guilty of using it for spaghetti sauce, and have paid the price by losing my nice, smooth surface for a few days.  My other pans are stainless, with the exception of a Le Creuset Dutch oven that my mother bought me years ago.  However, it no longer has a lid after I found out that, yes, you can break cast iron if you drop it at just the right angle onto a ceramic tile floor.

    I also have a huge cast iron Dutch oven that I use for stews, but it is big and heavy and cumbersome to clean, so not my fave.

    Glass for baking, old metal non-stick baking sheets for roasting veggies, and my best find ever — a Pampered Chef stoneware baking dish at Goodwill for $3.

    Trying to transition to glass for storage, but they take up more cabinet space and they’re pretty expensive so only have 5 pieces right now.  But I love the GlassLock (?) pieces from the Container Store.

  9. Janekay says

    Well-compiled information! Thank you.  I”ve had to make this list many times for friends and daughters….and you have now done it in a “bookmarked” place for me, instead of me going thru all my old emails trying to search for my list.  I love it!   Also, btw, your “mason jar” storage is very much in vogue here in southern cal, & also amongst the “hipsters” of today,  so it actually is “classy”!    Thanks!

  10. Dinika says

    My grandmother has some guardian service cook ware – is that bad to cook with? It is hammered aluminum according to this website but doesn’t have any non stick surface

    • giggles says

      Hi Dinika. I would stay away from aluminum the most. Aluminum is highly toxic and when you cook in it, some of the aluminum leaches into the food. My mom had those and they look very retro but it’s not worth it in my mind.

  11. Cynthia says

    What about Stainless Steel? I know we shouldn’t use aluminum, but I didn’t know that the Stainless was a problem.

      • Elizabeth Smith says

        Salt is another great way to clean stainless steel. We treat ours just like our cast iron and the only issue we’ve really had was when some milk got left on the stove and burned accidentally. That was a fun clean up. ;)

      • JG says

        Hi. Great info Katie.
        I have a extra hardened stainless stell pot – but it has a aluminium core. Do you know if the aluminium can leach out through the steel into the food? My thoughts are it might depending on the steel quality..?

        • Laura says

          I think Dr. Mercola says if you can stick a magnet to your stainless steel pans they are okay. Not sure, I’d have to look it up on his website again.

  12. Jrenaev says

    I heard several years ago that Corning ware/Pyrex was sent to China and there are possibly toxic ingredients in them.  I found a lot of the older corning at a resale/antique shop here for great prices.  They are the kind that can be used on the stove which makes them much more versatile.  Anchor Hocking also has glass storage containers.  I’m still looking for a great skillet to cook eggs in and appreciate all the suggestions given.

  13. Mcrubi says

    Hi , I love your blog!
    I also store all my food in glass containers but the problem is that they take a lot of refrigerator space……do you know of any other form to store them? I’ve heard of organic cloth or mesh bags…have you heard about them?

  14. says

    I use my cast iron frying pan for all of my frying, now that it’s properly seasoned. It’s great for french toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs (fried OR scrambled), etc. I cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast in it, and it came out tasting a bit grilled. :D

    For everything else (boiling), I use Lagostina stainless steel pots. They’re nice & heavy (good quality) and cook evenly and stay hot a long time.

    • Debbie G says

      I have two cast iron skillets that I have “inherited” that have apparently been washed with soap and everything sticks to them. Is there a way to “re-season” them?

      • Timothy Faulkner says

        Yes! It’s as simple as soaking them with soap and water, and scrubbing with steel wool. (Some use oven cleaner, I don’t know why you would put chemicals on them though) after scrubbing them down, immediately rinse the soap off.
        Then THOROUGHLY dry by putting on low/medium high heat until bone dry. Apply cooking oil, many use coconut, with old rag, paper towel, (paper towels and rags may leave fibers behind, I use cheap rags that don’t appear to leave fibers) or fingers when it is cooled off but still warm. (No need to glop it on, just a thin layer is fine).
        Finally place upside down in oven (some people put something under to catch drips but if you just have a thin layer you should be fine).
        Turn on all exhaust fans And take out the smoke alarm batteries. There will be smoke! Set temp to about 400 and bake for about an hour. Let cool in oven and repeat several times for best results.
        Many people have there methods but this is mine, just do some research, good luck!

  15. says

    What about bread machines? I just called Spectrum the manufacturer of Breadman Plus and verified that the inner compartment is lined with a nonstick coating. Yuck!! I purged my non stick cookware long ago and overlooked this one. Do you know of a bread machine that doesn’t have this? I’m thinking of making quick breads instead of using the machine.

    • Frederica Huxley says

      I’ve never found a reason to use a bread machine, and I’ve been making all our breads for over 40 years. If you don’t want to spend time kneading, do the King Arthur ‘no knead’ breads, or make sourdough, using the lift and fold method.

    • Robin Davis says

      Ross…I have a breadman bread macine. It does have a non-stick holder. Sometimes you can only do so much. I wanted bread with out certain ingredients and in order to do that I got a bread machine. Not all of us have the time to make kneaded breads so this works. I found that I can’t stress on everything healthy or I would just not eat anymore. It’s just horrible. I do what I can when I can and ONE THING AT A TIME. :) I hope that helps.

  16. JJ says

    Thank you so much for sharing all your research & knowledge! you have been my “go to” person in all things natural and healthful. I personally own one piece of Le Creuset… the little pepper shaped pot in the “flame” color. I had it for years and never used it for anything more than stove top decor. we use it daily. Before our son was born, our thoughts of being “healthy” were a lot different than they are today. Now, every little thing matters from what we eat, clean, and bathe with, etc. it’s all scrutinized. thanks for being the voice of wisdom & helping us make our lives better!

  17. says

    I love my Pyrex and Corell. We still aren’t sure how but my husband broke my casserole dish! My mom uses the same Pyrex dishes that she had when I was young and they haven’t broken and I LOVED to play kitchen with them. Thank you for this post.

  18. Tiffany says

    I do use stainless steel for most of my cooking but I still have one non stick for cooking eggs and fish since they tend to stick on stainless. I did consider the pre seasoned cast iron from Lodge Logic but they are seasoned with a soy based vegetable oil. I didn’t like the idea of seasoning cast iron myself, plus it’s hard to clean and maintain. So what are some other good and safe “non stick” cookware? Have you heard of Le Creuset forged hard-anodized or the enamel coated cast iron?

  19. joyinhisword says

    does it matter the brand of cast iron you use~is the safety level affected by buying a less expensive cast-iron?

  20. Sarah Jones says

    I have a Lodge enameled cast iron skillet and dutch oven. I think they work as well as my friends’ more expensive Le Creuset dutch ovens. I have also heard good things about the ones Ikea carries. Other than that I have a cast iron griddle and some frying pans I inherited from my Grandpa.

  21. Jody C says

    I mainly use my two cast iron skillets to cook everything. I never put them away. They “live” on my range. I have a Lodge ceramic coated dutch oven and love that. I have a few of those old Pyrex skillets, but I’m afraid to use them on the stovetop. I should try it anyway. One thing that I do with my old cheapo cookie sheets or cake pans is to use parchment paper whenever I bake. Makes for easy clean up too.

  22. Jody C says

    I just read a blog post that talks about how the new Pyrex baking dishes explode in the oven or when removed from the oven. Evidently it’s happening a lot. I guess they make Pyrex from a different substance than they used to. Yikes.

  23. Quincy Zikmund says

    Have you heard of Saladmaster? That’s what my wife and I use. They’re made out of surgical grade stainless steel and since it’s such a high grade of steel it doesn’t leach (there’s a simple “pot test” you can do to see if your cookware is leeching material into your food). It’s probably the most expensive cookware I’ve seen, but worth it if you can budget it. It’s also great because you can cook veggies in a pot without water and retain more nutrition. You can only get it through a dealer though (direct sales) since they don’t sell in stores or online.

  24. Tracey Johnson says

    I have a few pieces of black cast iron which I love. I still mainly have stainless steel slowly switching out to get pieces of Le Creuset

  25. Patricia 'Trish' Allen says

    I really like to cook with cast iron, the down side for me is the weight of the pot full of soup! I also like stainless steel cookware, I like Pyrex but I have broken all of mine and I have a hard time finding replacements that do not have a Teflon coating which I wont use. I found you because I was looking for a recipe for a home made, sugar free cough drop recipe, your sounds excellent, I will be trying it today, thanks!

  26. Jamie Rowland says

    So do you use the lids with the Corning Ware or Pyrex? You said you don’t use plastic, but I think the lids are plastic. If not, how do you cover them?

    • Clara says

      Most corning dishes have lids to fit, except for 9 X 13 casserole dishes. I very seldom see Pyrex covers, and if there are some they are plastic. I normally use heavy tinfoil to cover them while cooking.

  27. Trinette says

    asking for new cookware for Christmas and wanting to start phasing out
    the pans I have for better pans. Have been researching and am down to
    either the xtrema or the ones that Sean Croxton recommends – Nutri Stahl
    (although these are very expensive). Either way they are a lot of
    money! Can any one comment on the safeness of both of these and which
    would be better overall. I’m confused because some say that stainless
    steel is not safe, but this claims the highest quality surgical steel
    used. I’m having a very hard time deciding and would certainly
    appreciate any help! Thank you!

  28. Eva says

    What about anodized aluminum? Does that anodized coating keep aluminum out of your food, even if the surface gets scratched?

  29. Erica says

    I have the opportunity to get all new things for my (very small) kitchen. I know about safe cookware options but I am looking for ideas for safe dinnerware and silverware. Can anybody recommend safe brands or types? Also safe space saving storage ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you and have a blessed day

  30. Abby says

    We have the xtrema ceramic cookware and we hate it :( I’ve given it a fair chance but it is horrible! I am trying to figure out my next steps.

  31. Debbie G says

    I have two cast iron skillets that I have “inherited” that have been apparently washed in soap as everything sticks to them. Is there any way to “re-season” them?

    • Clara says

      Re-seasoning is fairly easy with patience. They can be washed with soap, but I prefer a soft Brillo pad. Only use them if something has stuck to them. Soap and water does not hurt cast iron. Dishwashers will. After cleaning, swab with Pam or cooking oil, put in oven at 350 deg. for about two hours.
      It is important to make sure to clean the outside bottoms of the skillets. This is where the build up really builds up. After cleaning, only wash them if frying something, and always swab with Pam before storing. Just for breads, they can be wiped out and stored.

  32. Angie Newhouse says

    Cast iron is my go to and now my husband’s when he discovered my cast iron works so much better than his wok! Also I use Farberware stainless steel. I haven’t heard anything negative about it but I’m far from well schooled on this subject. Love your blog and DIY recipes!

  33. sarah p says

    Hi Katie thank you for your blog and all the info. I’m wondering if you can suggest any non-toxic dinnerware? Thank you

  34. Malissa C. says

    Has anyone researched or used Mercola Healthy Chef Ceramic Cookware? I know Xtrema ceramic cookware has been recommended, but I simply can’t afford it right now. Are there any ceramic coated cookware brands that are non-leaching and BPA, BSA, PTFE, PFOA, cadmium free? Thanks for letting me pick your brains :)

  35. Stanley Kumar says

    I use my pure clay cookware for nearly everything and I love it. I got it from MEC pure clay cookware & it is 100% natural and preserves the nutrients inside the pot by locking steam. It can be used on the stove top as well as in the oven. In my opinion this is the safest and the healthiest cookware.

  36. Archie says

    Katie, am I screwed for life?! I just began my journey of safe cooking with healthy cookware, and I grew up eating food cooked on the “bad” cookware, like Teflon, aluminum, etc. I worry it’s too late for my body? Has the damage been done, or if I begin cooking and baking using safe materials, can I still live healthily? Freaking out some… had no idea about all the dangers, just used what was easiest!!

  37. Linda says

    I noticed at the end you mentioned Correll dish ware. I use these for my kids. But I worry serving heated food in them due to possible leaching of yuckiness. What are your thoughts on the dishware?!

    • Martini says

      Healthy cookie sheets? Just use natural parchment paper on whatever you already have in the kitchen. I prefer the insulated aluminum to minimize burned bottoms with parchment paper.

  38. lana says

    Now I am reading that titanium is the only truly safe cookware. Ceramic is said to leach high levels of toxins. What are we to believe?

  39. Sherry says

    My favorite pan to use is a 14″ cast iron wok, it’s really heavy and not just for stir fry. I also have a almost every size cast iron skillet I got from my mom and grandmother. Mom also made me buy a set of Saladmaster Stainless Steel cookware when I was 16 and now (42 years later) I still have every piece and use it all the time. Love your cite and use it too all the time.

  40. Amanda Goodwin says

    Excellent! I’m making my registry and am trying to keep everything on it safe. It would be SO cool if you listed the safest products that should be on any registry. I do have a question for you – I’m having a hard time finding baking sheets that seem “safe.” Even the non, nonstick ones are still metals that could leak chemicals. I’m registering at Kohls & Macys. Also, how can I make sure our plates/bowls dining set is safe? Thank you so so much!

  41. Nica says

    Hi can i ask what you use for a stock pot? i make bone broth at least once a week in a 12Qt stainless steel. any other suggestions? I dont like to use a slow cooker because when i was pregnant anything cooked in one tasted like metal to me and it put me off.

  42. Desiree says

    I would like to inform you of a recent change in Le Creuset cookware. About 10 years ago they very sneakily starting coating their products with Silverstone. This stuffed called Silverstone is a type of Teflon. I read this on the internet and thought it was a lie. I adore their products and really trusted this company. Many people have said if they leave older Le Creuset products in the rain they will rust after time but newer ones will not from the coating. I wasn’t going to rust my cookware so I called the company. THEY DO COAT PRODUCTS FROM 2001 WITH SILVERSTONE. I could have cried. The woman talked herself in circles when she realized how upset I was. ALL NEW PRODUCTS FROM 2004 ARE COATED. We all should just buy cheap Teflon coated because it’s all the same thing. This is a great little article about it http://www.vega-licious.com/dangers-of-non-stick-cookware/
    please do not think I’m rude. I have really recommended their products for a long time and feel heartbroken to learn of their shadiness. Do your research and be safe. My daughter has an immune disorder so I am very selective with my food and cookware choices. I want to throw these pans at their heads for being so misleading. They had a great fan base and put a dangerous product under a different name in their products.

    Also I had 2 products both purchased around 2006. I had older ones I gave to my mother and got new ones. Both sat outside for some time after I learned of this. Neither rusted. They got thrown away because quite frankly I can’t give these to a person knowing they are coated in a dangerous chemical.

    • Greg says

      Desiree, what do you use then? I just learned my daughter has an autoimmune disease too. Before this, we’d already made huge diet and cookware changes. I like enamelware (I believe our bread pans are from Crow Canyon, or something like that.) We also have stainless steel pots (begins with a C. I can’t remember since my husband ordered them).

  43. Guy says


    The safest cookware seems to be out of reach financially, and anyway, we read that glass cookware can explode if it is not used properly, and cast iron can leach iron into food….

    I have found some cheaper cookware – describes itself as “hard-enamel” with a Prometal non-stick coating. They say this is so hard that it is resistant to metal utensils. Does this mean that there is less risk of it breaking and other chemicals/metals leaching in, or would that also give out harmful gasses/leaching while cooking??? They seem quite expensive, but not as ultra-expensive as the other “healthy” options.

  44. MJ says

    Thanks Katie for all of your information. I have searched and searched for a healthy and safe cookware for yeas and finally purchased some ceramic cookware I found at my local home goods. Well after surviving a move and my cooking for a family of 6, it has finally “died” on me. I am now once again on my search for the best cookware thats sturdy, efficient and most of all safe! Well thanks to you and this wonderful blog, I feel like I am more prepared and ready to make that purchase. I have decided to rid my house of plastic and use pyrex glass for storing leftovers, and I am also going to purchase some corning ware ( I remember seeing this in my aunts house, but never knew why she loved it so much) and finally some cast iron skillets for frying and ceramic ware or stoneware for everyday cooking. Thanks again so much this was more helpful than you know!

  45. Dana Greyson says

    What sources do you trust for the health benefits of cooking with Cast Iron? Looking for some go-to nutritionists on the topic.


  46. Adrian Langford says

    Your recommendation about using iron skillet/cookware is not the best. I have researched the many types of cookware as well. At the top of the ok to use list is stainless steel to be sure. Iron skillets are not the healthiest as it turns out because iron does get into the bloodstream and can cross the brain barrier which is not good. The other metals one needs to be aware of that cross the brain barrier and can cause health issues are zinc and copper–not only from cookware (copper) and plumbing, etc. but also from supplements. This information is from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM.org). I attended their Nutrition for the Brain Conference and what I have described here was the some of the latest data they presented last summer. Check your facts! Best to you – Dr. Adrian Langford, N.D., Health Coach, Nutritionist, and Yoga Instructor

  47. Elizabeth says

    Hey Katie,

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!!! I have a question in regards to silverware, I realize it’s not heated, so probably not as much leaching, but is there still leaching and are there any other options?!?

  48. Desiree says


    When I originally talked to Le Creuset about my enamel coated cookware it was through email. I didn’t hear from them so I just called. That is when the woman told me all their products were Silverstone coated. I was confused and upset. However on Friday I received an email from a representative. He said all of the nonstick cookware is coated. However, the enamel coated is considered a different category of cookware and is not coated. It’s safe. I informed him of my early phone call and he apologized for the unconvinced. He said they have been getting many inquiries like mine and realized the confusion on the Nonstick and the Enamel coated. Even though the enamel coated is considered a nonstick, you still have to clarify it’s the enamel coated when speaking to a representative. Sorry for all the confusion.

  49. ivy says

    What do you recommend for stockpot and creating bone broths..this needs long hours of slow cooking or simmering..

    Please advice. I would like to have the healthier option of course. Will it be Xtrema, All Clad stainless steel or Le Creuset enamel?


  50. brooke says

    I have been looking for a big, safe, non-toxic cooking pot for soups. I just bought a tramontina enameled cast iron dutch oven and I am trying to get some feedback before I open it. Does anyone know if tgis is a good option??

  51. Erin says

    I found your info very helpful, lead me down my own rabbit hole of research. Ive noticed a lot of sites say to use enamel coated cast iron, specifically Le Creuest. However, when researching that brand, on their website they say they use “3 layer coating of Silverstone Non Stick”. Which, when you research that, is actually a Teflon product. It is supposed to be more superior in non stick-yness, but it is Teflon, has PFTE, PFA and PFOEs in it. I definitely will NOT be using Le Creuest. Ever!

    • ivy says

      Hi Erin,
      I saw your post..and done some reading.. Not all Le Creuset range uses Silverstone, they have it only on Non stick interior range..

      Q: Does Le Creuset offer a Nonstick interior?

      A: Yes, introduced in 2000, Le Creuset’s unique Nonstick process combines a special base coat enamel plus three coats of Silverstone Nonstick. Designed for low temperatures and gentle cooking applications only.+-

      Q: What temperature should you cook on?

      A: Start on medium, which is the halfway point on the dial (5 out of 10) and decrease. Never cook above medium heat.

      For the rest of LE Creuset, the coating is porcelain enamel besides from their original cast iron. So it’s safe

  52. ana says

    I am looking for a roasting pan for a thanksgiving turkey. This is the first year I’m making it for my family and want to use a safe pan…Any suggestions..?! Ty :)

  53. Bonnie says

    Hi! Thanks for all of your wonderful information!

    Do you have any info on Martha Stewart Collection Enameled Cast Iron cookware? It’s very heavy, but is it a safe way to go?

    Thank you for your answer in advance. :)

    • Brittany Elliser says

      I am wondering the same thing- we got some as a wedding gift three years ago and haven’t opened them because we combined our kitchens and didn’t have a need for them yet. I just went and looked at the box and it says non-stick on mine, so I am thinking they are not safe. In general, from what I have read enameled porcelain is OK just as long as there is not a non-stick element in it. Looks like I will be trying to return these though (if they will let me!)

  54. Rochelle Wilder says

    Cast iron pans should not be on the safe list. Google “cast iron and dementia or alzheimers.:” •Excess iron can build up in the brain, sparking the production of damaging free radicals. Sources of excess iron include cast-iron cookware, meats, and iron supplements.

  55. Debby Quashen says

    I have a question I recently bought a large counter top toaster/convection oven plus. I’m trying to find cookware and bake ware that is safe to use and won’t disintegrate. I don’t want anything fancy just serviceable. I would like to find a casserole dish so I can heat up a frozen dinner if I want to since I can’t stick anything with paper inside the oven, and possibly a cookie sheet so I can bake a potato, maybe a yam without everything getting on the surface of the oven and then finding it impossible to clean. I was wondering if there is something in enamel coated cookware and bake ware and not terribly expensive. At the moment I just want make oven fries, toast, later maybe bake something, for that I might want a loaf pan for making bread, possibly a cake pan. Can you help? Thank you.

  56. Marie says

    Hello. Question. What material of cookware would you recommend for cooking rice? Alternatively, is there a rice cooker brand out there that is safe? Please help.

  57. Amy says

    I noticed that stainless steel is not on this list. Is there a health hazard associated with stainless steel cookware? I’ve noticed it’s often cheaper and easier to find than, say, enameled cast iron.

  58. Eileen says

    I have been searching for pots that can go in the oven and are not glass. I had some corning ware that I got from my mom for my first apartment. I also used pyrex for baking until the glass shattered as I removed it from the oven. What I learned was that the original formula used by the manufacturer was changed and the glass kind of explodes on you. I needed seven stitches from this incident and will never use them to cook again. This article did give me some alternatives to look into further.

Join the Conversation...

Please read my comment policy.