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, or any other link on the site, I may 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 🙂

Just make sure you season your cast iron well before using it, so that food won’t stick and it will cook better.

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. Our most used stainless item are these large roasting sheets that we use daily for roasting meats, veggies and almost everything else…

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!

My highest rated cookware and bakeware that is eco-friendly and won't leach chemicals in to food. In order of preference, X-trema, cast iron, enameled cast iron/stoneware, and glass.

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Reader Comments

  1. 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!

    • 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…

      • Where do you find a waffle maker like that and bet it’s heavy!

        • My daughter got me a 7in waffle maker from Bed, Bath and Beyond for $20. I love it!!

      • 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 😉 🙂

        • What exactly did you get that was affordable? Unfortunately here is no way I could afford anything discussed here.

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

          • I buy all myour cast iron at thrift stores. Also Cracker Barrel has stoneware for under $20 a piece.

          • Stainless Steel is not very expensive. A lot of people get one to two pieces at a time of cookware and not a whole set when it comes to the more expensive cookware. My first time using Cast Iron I bought two pans. One large, One Medium. I used my coupons at Cost Plus & racked up Rewards points in doing so. That also let me just invested in a couple of pieces to see if I liked cooking with it before spending anymore money on it.

          • Thanks for your suggestions, ladies! I did start using my mom’s old cast iron frying pan and her blue cornflower corning ware. (I haven’t tried the corning ware on the stove top yet though). I’m hoping to get some stainless steel a piece or two at a time as was suggested. One non-stick pan that I’d really like to replace is a small omelet pan that I use almost every day. Any suggestions for something to replace it? Thanks! 🙂

        • Hi Dottie,

          Walmart is a great place to find a small cast iron pan (Lodge is the brand.) I have three cast irons that I love: the grill pan, the 10″ and the 12″. =D

      • I’m new here, you mentioned your store tab for the Slow cooker: where on the site is the store tab?

          • Hi,
            I have a crockpot and use it a lot. Just recently read that the ceramic in crockpots contain lead and it leaches into food. I also read that glass cookware contains lead. I’m now looking for a safe crockpot and lead free glassware. Would a stainless steel pressure cooker be safe? I worry because they are mostly made in China:(

      • Do you have a suggestion for a slow cooker in Australia?

      • Have you looked into whether the ceramic ware you mention in#1 leaches lead or not? I’ve read also corningware can leach lead. And do you have any idea what the enamel on le creuset is made of? Can that leach anything? How do you feel about just using parchment paper over baking/cookie sheets to avoid baking on non-stick. Thank you!!!

    • 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.

      • 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 😉

      • I’ve used these pots too, love the way they cook your food and food stays warm in them for a long time. And cooks without loosing the nutritional value. You can learn more by going to their website at miriamsearthencookware DOT com.

      • That’s scientifically false. What you’ve stated is silly. Steaming in stainless steel is just fine!

      • Here is a link from Cook’s Illustrated which has a nice summary about pots and pans. https://www.cooksillustrated.com/equipment_reviews/1190-green-skillets I stopped using anodized and non stick pans after reading about the concerns with it but now using stainless steel realize what a pain in the butt they are to clean. That being said my next splurge (after I recover from Christmas) will be an enameled cast iron skillet I think….

        • I’m not sure if coconut oil works as well in stainless steel as it does with ceramic but it would be worth a try. I put about a tablespoon of coconut oil in the bottom of almost every pot, pan and skillet before cooking. I think this helps, but then also after cooking and after rinsing out the pot,pan or skillet like you always would, I then add about a teaspoon or tablespoon of coconut oil and fill with hot water to set a few minutes or overnight for more stubborn situations.

    • There are all kinds of cookware, but pure clay is the most healthiest. Pure clay pots are 100% natural and non toxic. The benefits are great, knowing that harmful metals can not get into your food and that the food cooks without losing its nutrients.

      • I bought one of these pots because of this post. The pot is cheap clay (same a flower pot but worse). I used the pot ONE TIME for cooking and it has leaked, molded easily and useless in less than a month. I prepped it as recommended in the packaging. I was SUPER careful w/ the pot. left it to dry on the stove and it molded.

    • I buy off brands of Le Creuset and they are great. Fantastic for scallop potatoes and spaghetti sauce.

    • A great slow cooker to try is by Miriams Earthen Cookware. All of their cookware is made from 100% tested Pure-clay and it cooks just as well if not better than any conventional slow-cooker.

      • The Instantpot 7in1 stainless steel pressure/slow cooker is probably the greatest thing I have ever purchased. Period. I much prefer it to the Clay-pots. I can’t recommend the instant pot enough.. and I hardly ever recommend anything.

    • I use Salad Master pans. I love them, check them out.

    • Katie – thanks to your research I’ve been using the xtrema cookware for about a year and love it and even though it’s much more expensive than I would have ever thought I would consider, I feel really good about its health and food safety features. I kind of accidentally discovered that if you cook with or add coconut oil to everything from vegetables and even scrambled eggs, you won’t need to scrub so hard nor use steel wool (that was always hard for me to do anyway on this such pretty cookware). For something like scrambled eggs, I just add hot water a little coconut oil and let it set for a little while – or I guess you could reheat the water and coconut oil to speed it up. I’ve started using coconut oil in almost everything I cook anyway. Also great for cleaning crockpots – especially if you fill it with hot water and a little coconut oil and let it set overnight. I love your blog and all the great info you provide! Thanks!

  2. i purchased a great “le Creuset” knockoff by Kirkland at costco for $59.99 and I love it !

  3. Visions is also fantastic safe cookware to add to the glass category.  
    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…

    • These are the sets I got. 😉 ill try be careful with them though

  4. 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. 🙂

  5. Has anyone heard anything negative about the Ogreenic cookware sold on TV?

    • they have a lot of complaints against them for being a scam and not working….

    • I have 2 of them and a Yoshi Blue and love them!

    • 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.

    • 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.

  6. 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 😀

    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.

  7. 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!

    • 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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! 🙂

    •  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.

    • 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.

      • I have several pieces of Pampered Chef stoneware. I have square bakeware pieces, a pizza stone and jelly roll trays so far. They work amazingly well, even cooking and once seasoned, wipe clean with and need no soap. There is no glaze on them at all. Do you know anything about what is in these?

  10. 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.

    • Nice! I love good will!!! I have lots of Pampered Chef stoneware as I was a consultant for a few years! And I have a few Cast Iron( hand me downs from my grandmother), Dutch oven and a big skillet as well as a 5″ skillet! That gives me lots of variety for cooking!

  11. 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!

  12. 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

    • 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.

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

    • It’s not necessarily a problem, though some say it can leach nickel, but it can be harder to clean and didn’t rate as high for that reason.

      • After a ten minute soak, a quick once over with steel wool cleans them right up

      • 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. 😉

        • just don’t put the salt directly on the pan, boil some water in the pan and then stir some salt into the water until dissolved. When you are done cleaning your pan be sure to rinse very well or it can pit your pan.

      • 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..?

        • 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.

      • Stainless steel definitely leaches nickel and chromium particularly if you cook anything acidic like tomatoes and many vegetables. Note that there is no financial conflict of interest in a study such as this… it’s not an affiliate-paid review like a lot of what you read out there: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4284091/

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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. 😀

    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.

    • 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?

      • 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!

        • Flax oil is the best oil to season cast iron it stinks when baking the first time or two but makes the slickest, hardest finish!!(;

  17. 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.

    • I’m actually not sure. We don’t eat breads, so I’ve never researched it…

    • 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.

    • 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.

  18. What about Visions by Corningware? Is it safe and worth the money?

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. Katie, I was checking out the Lodge Logic cast iron and noticed it’s seasoned with soy/vegetable oil seasoning. What do you think?

    • I saw that too…. typically, I wash them well and re-season with tallow when I get a new one…

  22. I would add titanium pans. I recently got a few and love them but they are truly costly

  23. 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?

    • Le Cruset are great, and I also love the ceramic Xtrema ones for foods like eggs that are likely to stick…

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

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. So is steel not a good choice?

  29. So is steel not a good choice?

  30. 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.

    • Titanium pans are a good buy. They are healthy and save you lots of money in the end. If you find guys that need salad master, you can direct them to me.

  31. 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

  32. 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!

  33. 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?

    • 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.

  34. 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!

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

  36. 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

  37. Just ordered an Xtrema skillet! Thought my kitchenaid was safe all these years and finally took the time to look it up. NOT!

  38. Anyone have a favorite sauce and stock pan? like for soups.
    Also, a frying pan that I can cook tomato in.

  39. I am looking for a healthy replacement for my George Forman Grill. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  40. 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.

  41. 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?

    • 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.

  42. We use scan pans. They are as far as I know very healthy

  43. We use scan pans, very healthy as far as I know. Thoughts?

  44. 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!

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

  46. I really wish they would come out with a cast iron doughnut pan or something 😛 It would be heavy but worth it 🙂

  47. 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 🙂

  48. 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.

  49. I am in the process of eliminating plastic stores for glass, earthen and cast iron. Thank you for the advice! ^_^

  50. 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!!

    • PS, I’m 23. Can I rid my body of the chemicals leeched into my system if I begin using healthy tools now?

    • I used those before I knew too…. all we can do is use the best we know where we are right now 🙂

    • Google “chelation” and “remove heavy metals” there are vegetables and herbs that detoxify and remove metals from the body. Just do your research. Hope that helps.

  51. I’m just curious-why not cook with glass sauce pots and frying pans..they are out there!

  52. 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?!

  53. Do you know of any good brands that have a cookie sheet for baking?

    • 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.

  54. 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?

  55. 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.

  56. 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!

      • Emerson Creek Pottery and Hartstone Pottery both have safe bake ware. One has unglazed ceramic, and the other is stoneware. They are both made in USA and lead free. Their dishes are very expensive, but, their bake ware is reasonably priced and very safe.

  57. Hi you tried de buyer element B? How is it compared with Ceramcor?

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

    • 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).

  60. what do you use to cook tomato sauce in and also what do you use to boil water for noodles and such???

  61. Hi

    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.

  62. 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!

  63. Hi!

    Just wondering where I can purchase Cermacor that will ship outside of the US?


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


  65. 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

    • You do realize that zinc & iron are necessary things we actually need in our bodies, right? The only even potential issue is just of an overdose of them, which is extremely unlikely in any case where you are not welding or heating the metal past the point in which it becomes a real concern. Otherwise you’re spreading misinformation here. Yes, copper can be bad. Not for the reasons you said so much, but other reasons I’m having trouble remembering right now. Still, cast-iron cookware is totally fine & other things with zinc should be relatively okay as long as you’re not for some silly reason coming close to exceeding the safe levels already on your own (with supplements or otherwise). Iron is actually really important, and without enough in your blood, you bruise ridiculously easy & bleed easy, too. It’s called anemia, I should know because I’ve got it. Staying away from cast iron cookware because of the iron is just stupid. It really doesn’t make any sense.

  66. 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?!?

  67. UPDATE!!!

    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.

  68. How well do the X-trema cookware cook with butter?

  69. Hi,
    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?


  70. 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??

  71. 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!

    • 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

      • Thanks for sharing all of your research, Ivy and Erin! Are the non-stick items labeled as such?

        • Hi,
          They are tagged as Non Stick..All Non stick range of Le cruset..

          • Thanks!

  72. 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 🙂

    • I just use a stainless steel one since it is typically considered safe and also isn’t too difficult to clean from just a turkey

    • There is a vintage (blue cornflower) corning ware roaster you could find on ebay. That would be safe, too. 🙂

  73. Would you include titanium cookware into this category? These are relatively new. Anyone have any information?

  74. 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. 🙂

    • 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!)

  75. What about blue steel crepe pan? Is this safe or is carbon steel also a good choice.

  76. 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.

  77. What type of pan do you use for cooking bacon in the oven?

  78. 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.

    • Debby, I just use the tray that came with the toaster oven, and put a piece of parchment paper on it. I also heat things in my ceramic dishware; it can withstand very high heats without breaking. I heat casserole or veggies in stoneware baking dishes. I make oven fries and baked sweet potatoes, etc. all the time and the parchment paper keeps the tray clean.

  79. 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.

    • Aroma sells a ricecooker with a stainless steel pot. Best pot for cooking rice ever. Have been eating rice for over 50 years.

    • Debby, I just use the tray that came with the toaster oven, and put a piece of parchment paper on it. I also heat things in my ceramic dishware; it can withstand very high heats without breaking. I heat casserole or veggies in stoneware baking dishes. I make oven fries and baked sweet potatoes, etc. all the time and the parchment paper keeps the tray clean.

  80. 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.

  81. I would like to know the same as Amy here above – is stainless steel safe? Thanks for writing about this btw 🙂

  82. 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.

  83. What are your thoughts on cookware by Green Earth frying Pans by Ozeri–with Textured Ceramic Non-Stick Coating (GREBLON) from Germany (100% PTFE and PFOA Free). My research says that Greblon is 100% made from nature making it a great ceramic coating over stainless steel. Does anyone have any experience or scientific research that would make this unsafe? It is a much less expensive alternative to XTREMA but if safety is my goal and purpose to switch out my cookware I want to get other opinions. I would LOVE and APPRECIATE your input.

  84. Are CAST ALIMINIUM electric skillets and grills toxic?

  85. Hey I was wondering if an aluminum pan that’s covered with ceramic is still safe? Or does the aluminum core still make it toxic?

  86. Great post and helpful comments. Thanks so much! I’m trying to buy cake pans and can’t seem to find information for safe baking ware. Advice?

  87. My husband has a very high ferritin level and I have read that using iron clad pans is not advisable. Does Le Creuset have a line of non iron clad cookware that is as safe? I am in great need of finding the safest cookware possible. Thank you!

    • I’d use the ceramic as those have no/trace levels of iron or other metals.

  88. I have had a hard time locating a cast iron waffle maker. Do you have nay suggestions or links as to where you can pick one up? Thank You!

  89. Also, I was wondering if you had any suggestions for safe bakeware to make donuts. Thanks!

  90. I use my mother’s old wearever aluminum from the 40s. It is still awesome. I have used le creuset as well.

  91. Great info in here! Thanks so much. I’m in Australia and just helped my daughter set up house using stainless steel pans in her kitchen…they are 18/10, I thought I was giving her the best advice ti buy stainless steel but now I’m not sure. I would LOVE to buy the earthenware ones but I’ve never seen them in Australia. Have I done the wrong thing by my daughter in urging her to buy the stainless steel pots and pans?? Does anyone know of anyplace in Australia where I can purchase the clay cookware??

  92. Have you ever looked into Pampered Chef?? I have a ton of friends that sell it and I like to help out these businesses but just wondered if you had and research knowledge. In what I am reading I am leaning more towards cast iron…

  93. I was wondering what your thoughts are on silicone bakeware? Is it safe? Does anything leach into the food?
    I like that they are non-stick and all but never used them and don’t want to buy them if they will compromise our health potentially.

  94. Hello,

    I need help!! LOL! My research has shown me that all cookware, stainless steel and cast iron all have metals. And all need to be watched.

    Stainless steel is recommended only if it’s medical grade; where would I find that?? Does the ja henkels brand use that?

    Stainless steel also has aluminum core.

    Cast iron, yes it’s better, but the iron does leak out. And if you have high iron levels it can be toxic. And another article went to say that the iron used is not the iron that humans can ingest properly. You also are limited to what u can cook on it and how to clean. If I’m going to change my cookware I don’t want to tip toe and worry if i cook this or clean this way this will happen.
    You also need to worry about the seasoning and if it gets removed you have to reseason it.

    These are the better alternative, but they both have setbacks.

    Your x cookware is made in China, forgive me but I don’t trust them especially with my food. Some say they’re made In Taiwan and they’re “almost always”safe. That’s not convincing enough lol.

    The “green” pans aren’t even that healthy either!!

    I’m very confused and annoyed that we have to go through this to keep our families safe. Why must EVERYTHING be a hazard to our health?!?

  95. Thanks for all the great info! The cookware I use is cast iron. For bakeware, I use glass or ceramic. But, I want to replace old aluminum cupcake/muffin pans and cookie sheets. Glad to see that there are stoneware cookie sheets.
    I have some questions:
    • What do you recommend for baking muffins? I do not want to use silicon cups.
    • Lotus Foods makes a rice cooker that is stainless steel on the inside. You can also use it as a steamer. Do you know anything about the safety of this item ?
    • I have a wok made of spun steel. Is this safe, or should I toss it and use my largest cast iron skillet?

    • We have a stainless steel steamer/rice cooker and use it regularly for vegetables. I’ve seen cast iron muffin tins and you could use a liner with them (or stoneware)… I’m not sure on the spun steel though

  96. I am curious, what is your opinion on safe eating utensils?

  97. I too would be interested to hear your opinion on how safe Pampered Chef cookware is. Mainly the stoneware. I am a former consultant, so I have quite a bit. But I loved the stoneware from long before I was selling it. Should I stop using it? I’m only talking about the oven. I don’t cook with the microwave.

  98. There are so many different types of cookware available today, but which ones are truly ‘safe’?

    While cooking with Aluminum poses health risks, all vegetables cooked in Aluminum produce hydroxide poison which neutralizes digestive juices, producing stomach and gastrointestinal trouble, such as stomach ulcers and colitis, so do various other types of traditional cookware.

    Stainless steel cookware is made from scrap metal ( an 18/10 grade at best) and can allow chrome and nickel to bleed into your food as salts and acids react with the pot. They cannot be eliminated and build up over time causing troublesome conditions.

    Note: There IS a 316Ti Stainless Steel, but when used for cooking produces the same dangers. The cooking surface of Saladmaster cookware is 316Ti surgical stainless steel it is the highest grade of steel used in the cookware industry. It is non-porous, meaning you can cook without oil and it’s much easier to clean than regular stainless steel.

    And as mentioned in my previous post, cast iron is very porous and grease can turn rancid in the pores. There is an assumption that you can get iron from cast iron, but the reality is that iron comes in a ferrous and a ferric form. Your body cannot assimilate the iron (ferric) from a cast iron pan.

    Terracotta and Ceramic can also be porous, especially if it gets chipped, resulting in rancid grease in the pores.

    Glass and enamel coated/Teflon chip and flake. Exposure to Teflon resins at temperatures above 393ºF may produce a condition termed polymer fume fever characterized by flu-like symptoms such as chills, fever, body aches, nausea and occasional vomiting. A chemical, C-8, used to make non-stick coated pans has been linked to birth defects in humans to cancer in laboratory animals. The chemical is also present in the blood for up to 4 years and can show up in breast milk.

    So, what are the alternatives?

  99. Hello there! I have a question regarding water heating in the stove, people would use a kettle or teapot, since it would only be used for water, what materials or brands are safe for this purpose?

    thank you

  100. Great info! Any suggestions for muffin pans?

    • I’d like to know too!!!

    • after looking into cookware for a while now. I’m more confused than ever. Going to look deeper into clay. We cook a lot with frying pans, muffin tins, cookie sheets, sauce pans, and I’d also like to figure out a good kettle (I’m a tea-aholic!). I’ve now heard not great things about cast iron, stainless steel, glass, and ceramic. It is so overwhelming!!

  101. I haven’t found xtrema to be anything I had hoped for. I bought the 2 cup saucepan and it burns everything and everything sticked to the bottom that I’ve tried to cook or reheat in it. Shortly after I had it, of course I dropped it in the sink and now there’s a big chip on the lid. (not too durable) As I was debating about giving it away, but hanging on because it was so expensive with the shipping for such a tiny pot, I wound up using it to boil water for jumbo shrimp and quail eggs. Neither falls through the lip when I drain it. And a mold for a raw cheesecake recipe I make. I was so disappointed with them. And gee after reading all these posts, it would seem nothing is safe to cook in. After doing some research on silicone I ordered waffle molds, I just got them today and they smell like a rubber tire or petroleum jelly. No way am I cooking with them. Problems problems problems.

  102. What about Greenpan Healthy Ceramic Nonstick pans? They sell them at Sur La Table, and are having a sale at the moment. I have to say I ordered the X-trema Cookware skillet and it arrived broken into a million pieces. I was really disappointed.

    • Did you contact the company about having it replaced? Their customer service is very good…

  103. Since this was the blog that made me first aware of Miriam’s earthen cookware, I wanted to give my opinion after purchasing 2 pots and a tagine from them. I would not recommend this cookware to anyone. It has taken a lot of effort and time to try and learn to cook with them and even after following the directions on their website and emails from them, I’ve had so many problems with this cookware.

    1. It’s easy to burn food in them. Once the bottom is burnt, you can never remove the stain.
    2. I had mold and mildew grow on the pot. After removing the mold and mildew following the directions on their website and drying the pot in the oven at 250 degrees, mold and mildew still grew back on the pot after I cooked with it. According to their website, it should not have happened again.
    3. Black droplets oozed from the outside of the pot while cooking. I contacted the company and they explained to me that the black droplets were caused by the toxins in my food. I use water from reverse osmosis and buy organic vegetables so I don’t know what else I can do to minimize toxins.
    4. Cooking with the pots emit a strange odor – almost like a burning smell. This happened even if nothing was burnt inside.
    5, With the burning and the black droplets, the pots do not look as pretty and I won’t be setting it on the table to serve as the website suggested.
    6. I contacted a local business where the owner makes his own pottery and he said that Miriam’s Earthen Cookware is full of marketing mumbo jumbo and a lot of their claims are misleading.
    7. I wish I could return these pots but I would have to pay more money to ship them back to Massachusetts. Plus, they will only give me a percentage of what I paid for them.
    8. Bottom line – save your money and look for another line of cookware.

  104. I purchased some Lodge cast iron pans from Costco about a month ago, but have yet to use them because I read they are seasoned with soy oil, and I’m trying to avoid soy. I’m not even sure if this really matters, and have had a hard time finding an answer. Does anyone know if the oil cast iron is seasoned with will leach into food?

  105. What do you think about Le Creuset’s non-stick cookware? Or are their stoneware/cast iron the only safe options? When I wrote Le Creuset and asked about it, specifically their Forged Hard-Anodized Non-Stick Braiser, this is what they said:

    “Be advised that the nonstick in the hard anodized is called “Eclipse” which does not contain such materials nor will it leach into your food if the finish is not compromised. You may obtain further information on this material online at http://www.whitfordww.com. The material is manufactured by Whitford.”

    Then when I asked him to expand upon what is considered “compromised” he said:

    “That means as long as the item is not used incorrectly to cause damage on the surface to deteriorate or the incorrect utensils used to scratch the lining.”

    I’m worried because we tend to always get scratches in our pans. But if we are careful with it, maybe it is safe enough??

  106. I regularly cook my food in stainless steel cookware i got from foodnetwork. I recently broke my corning serving/baking pieces and was thinking of buy La crueset ceramic/porcelein. Are they safe for baking casserroles. Since they claim to be dishwasher,microwave,freezer safe, can i store leftover in them in fridge.

  107. I’m so confused about all these posts on using non-toxic cookware. I want to replace my old aluminum pots & pans too, but I can’t afford a huge price tag. Are there other brands besides the Xtrema that are ceramic (that seems to be the consensus on safe cookware) that are not as expensive as Xtrema? What about Dr. Mercola or others? I use stoneware & glass mainly for baking but I need a good pot & pan set without toxic chemicals.

    • Karen,
      You can find the old school Corning ware in thrift stores and on eBay. It is the white, with different designs. It is ceramic and very safe. It also comes completely clean with a little baking soda on a rag and rarely breaks.
      You can pull the pans from the freezer and put directly in an oven, on the stove top, in the microwave or even on a campfire. There are handles, and plastic or glass lids to fit the pans.
      I rarely use anything but these pans. Good luck.

  108. I’ve removed all aluminum bakeware except my sheet pans. I’ve looked at stainless half sheet pans (18 x 13) but they have terrible reviews for sturdiness. Any ideas? Thank you!

  109. Do you have a link for extreme cookware that is valid today?

  110. I absolutely HATE my x-trema fry pan. Its non scratch but EVERYTHING sticks to it. I also have iron pans which get better with use. How do you keep your x-trema fry pans from not sticking?

  111. Recently read information on the dangers of non-stick and aluminum cookware so I decided to throw all of mine out and replace them with something non-toxic. I felt comfortable switching to enameled cast iron but what a nightmare. Everything stuck to them and it took more than twice as long to heat because you have to preheat them and bring up the heat slowly. So, I switched to ceramic. Awesome.

  112. Le Creuset is a very pricey option compared to the others. Are they better a cast iron cookware compared to other cast iron cookware?

  113. Hi Wellness Mama,
    This is great! I do have a question,…we roast vegetables almost every night (it’s one of the few ways my guy will eat broccoli, asaparagus, etc,), and he likes when things get a little crispy. I don’t want to use our aluminum baking tray any longer. The link you had for the pan you use to roast was from The Pampered Chef and it looks like it’s getting some not great review about cracking. (sad face). Can you recommend another large sheet type of pan for roasting at 400-425? It’s so hard to figure this stuff out–ack!
    Thank you and keep up the good work!

  114. Is cermacor NSF certified? It is made in China…is that a concern?
    Thanks so much for all your advice.

  115. I want to buy more glass cookware. I use glass for glasses, bowls, casserole dishes, and pie pans. They should make more in glass than Pyrex options.
    I think I’ll try ceramic this time though.
    I would be hesitant to buy any cookware used unless you know who used it.

  116. Is the old Magnalite Cast Aluminum Cookware dangerous?

  117. Can anyone please recommend a safe slow cooker? I tried the All-Clad one with the ceramic insert but it cracks and eventually breaks (easily)…thanks in advance!

  118. I recently read an article talking about ceramic crockpots leaching chemicals into the food after it reaches a certain temperature I think it was around 90 degrees. I think it was referring to the glaze on ceramic cookware. Now I’m nervous to use my crockpot or my ceramic casserole dishes in the oven.

    I use mostly cast iron and stainless steel to cook with. But I miss using my crockpot and I can’t seem to find an insert for it made of iron or glass 🙁

  119. What do you think of the scan pan? It’s recycled aluminum but coated with ceramic titanium. Pfoa and pfte free. Has anyone done any research on them? Supposed to be very nonstick.

  120. Hi.

    I was just wondering if you have done any research on titanium cookware. Everyone is talking about it. Saying it is the best. Better than ceramic.

    I was just wondering what your thoughts were on this issue.

    Thank you for all the information you give us. I really appreciate all your hard work.

    • Hi Marisol… something I”m currently researching and will share my experience soon 🙂

  121. Please do more research on Xtrema ceramic cookware. The website is extremely convincing about how much care and research is done to ensure no toxicity. However no where on their website tells you where the cookware is made only where they get their materials. I emailed them and found out their ceramics are made in mainland China because they couldn’t find an American factory. Ceramics are made with water. 60% of the water is polluted. Google water in China. I am returning the kettles.

    • Hi Marie, I also contacted the company and asked a lot of questions before purchasing, and requested copies of test results. I will certainly look into the water issue more though….

      • Hi, since I wrote to you about Xtrema cookware being made in mainland China where their water is polluted I have email the service manager again requesting how to return the kettle’s I bought costing over 200.00 and asked about the water they are made with. He has not answered me regarding the water only that he’s sorry I feel that way and that the cookware can not be made in the USA because no factory in the USA can make his cookware and repeated “they can can not”. I will not buy Xtrema/Ceramcor because its made in China and I didn’t like his attitude. China has extremely polluted with air and water so how are they the best, purest, clean and healthy ceramic cookware in the world when he can’t answer me about the water they are made with. I found a wonderful website called Miriam’s Earthen Cookware made in Roslindale, MA, made of 100% pure natural clay, unglazed, free of lead, cadmium and other heavy metals and cheaper than Xtrema. Oh, yeah Xtrema is made in China for the cheap labor so why are they so expensive. Why don’t they build their own factory here in the USA and hire American ceramic artist.

  122. What are your thoughts on the ceramic coated cookware. I found some, but indicate that are aluminum with ceramic coating that keeps the chemicals from leaching through? Are they still harmful?
    Thank you!

    • Oooh, my question exactly. There are some that are stainless steel with ceramic coating as well. Seems like the best of all worlds–durable but nonstick and no leaching? But is the coating really safe? Where do I start looking for studies on this?

  123. What do you use for muffin pans? My old ones just rusted, so I need to upgrade. If I’m going to spend the money, I’d prefer to buy what I really want! The only option I have found online is stone muffin pans, but it seems that they are not much fun to clean – not that muffin pans are ever fun to clean but… The only ceramic option I’ve found is simply aluminum coated in ceramic – probably not the best option… I’ve scoured your site can haven’t found anything about muffin pans. I would really appreciate any recommendations!

  124. I would love to hear your comments on titanium cookware as they seem to be the best health alternative now.

    • Patricia – have you seen a response to your inquiry? I don’t know if it is just me, but I find these posts very difficult to navigate. They are not in date order so I seem to be reading the same posts within this thread over and over.

      I recently saw an infomercial about Gotham Steel pans. Does anyone have any information on their safety?

      Thank you!

  125. Amazon is a great source for pre-seasoned cast iron cookware. I have recently started adding to my collection of cast iron that previously was only two skillets and a flat round griddle. I now have muffin pans, a giant wok, roasting pans and a double sided grill pan.

    You can build your collection slowly by adding a piece or two at a time and eventually work all the undesirable items right out of your kitchen.

    Cast iron really is the original non-stick cook / bake ware and if maintained will last several lifetimes. My collection started with a hand-me-down 8″ skillet from my Grandmother when I was in my 20s, and has grown to more than a dozen items so far. My next purchases will be soup pots, dutch ovens and smaller items that will fit into my toaster oven for reheating left overs. I got rid of my microwave just last month!

    Those who are familiar with cast iron etiquette know this already, but for those using cast iron in the oven for the first time here is a great non-stick tip my Grandmother showed me; Put your cast iron piece in the oven with a tsp of coconut oil rubbed all over the inside surface while the oven is preheating. Remove it when the oven reaches temperature and only then put in the food you are cooking in the pan. The co combined with the heat from the cast iron will act just like cooking spray and keep the food from sticking and clean-up will be a breeze.

      • Thanks for this link.

        I have another question though.

        You mentioned a want to grill outside. I have not done my research, but I have heard cooking outside with charcoal or even propane/whatever is not a healthy idea? I stopped grilling outside, because of this possibility.. but I was wondering what are your thoughts now about this?

  126. Hi,
    My question to you is that what would you cover your stainless steel bake ware because usually foods tends to stick on stainless steel when you cook with it do you use aluminium foils are those considered safe .


  127. Looks like Naved asked a similar question to mine. What can you use as a aluminum foil substitute for camping when heating up and cooking things like salmon, or for covering a roasting turkey or chicken? Do they make stainless steel foil?

    I regularly go camping and need to reheat premade dishes and do not know how to do this in a campfire. Could one of your ceramic bakeware sets with a lid be placed in a campfire?

    • When we go camping we just use an old cast iron dutch oven to heat everything…

  128. Is ceramic and ceramic aluminum pots/pans the same thing? I am looking at purchasing a set that says “Ceramic Non Stick” in the title, but in the fine print it says “heavy gauge aluminum”. Help, please! Thank you!!!

  129. hello all. great ideas on cookware i am the cook in the family cause my wife works like a maniac lol. we have an electric flat top glass cooktop and thereby lies the problem. many of our pans have warped and no longer touch the heating surface. i need all new stuff. what would you recommend for glass top cooktops–something that stays flat. i know le cruset as i have a piece but any other say stainless steel manufacturers? i would need something that definitely would stay flat to maintain contact. someone mentioned to me that induction cookware would work . thanks.

    • Cookware that won’t warp is hand-cast cookware. It is a solid cast piece, like jewelry is made. So when there is an extreme temp change, it won’t try to flatten out to what it was originally (like die-cast or machine pressure cast cookware will do). Titanium cookware is my specialty. I prefer a nonstick surface so I can waterless cook, vapor cook, and not use any oils if I don’t want to. By the way, induction cookware is for a stovetop that is induction. If you have electric, there is no point in buying induction cookware.

  130. Thanks for all of this information! I am having a hard time finding stainless steel that doesn’t have an aluminum core. Is that safe to use?

  131. Hello,

    First off, I cannot tell you how helpful your blog has been the last few weeks. We’re trying to start living more clean and healthy, but it can be so difficult to navigate through the thousand….millions of opinions, options, information, you name it! I’m starting to see behind the scenes of what is considered “healthy” by the mainstream public, when really, a lot of it isn’t healthy at all. The more I learn, the more I want to change everything, but as you know, time and money are a great obstacle.

    We have the teflon frying pans and pots that we received from our wedding. I’d like to replace them as soon as possible. The extrema cookware seems awesome, but a bit pricey for us right now. Have you heard of the Food Network™ Nonstick Stainless Steel Ceramic sets/pieces? I saw some at Kohls and wondering if this would be a safe option. Either way, I’m sure it’s much better than what we’re using, but if I’m going to spend the money, I want to try and spend it wisely. One of our pots is starting to flake off, so I want it out of here asap. A frying pan or two will be needed soon also.


  132. In 2004, Bill Gebhardt investigated the LEAD content in a number of kitchen tools, including slow cookers. His analysis found that 20% of slow cookers were leaching measurable amounts of lead into food. Ceramic vessels heated to 80 degrees, release 10x the amount of lead than they do at room temperature. And slow cookers heat up to more than 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

  133. Hi, just found this article. Is the 10% discount still valid at Xtrema Cermacor?

  134. I’ve been having some health concerns lately.
    I am highly allergic to nickel, so… I started to do some research, I have a very expensive set of Stainless Steel cookware that I just LOVE ! BUT now just finding out stainless can leech nickel & cadmium !!! OMG !
    And to find out some other horrific info on other cookware…… here’s the link: http://conscious-cook.com/hidden-dangers/

  135. Very informative discussion.

    Does anyone have an idea of cookware made from German Silver?


  136. Code wmx10 is not working

    • I believe it won’t work in combination with other codes or sales. Was there another bigger sale going on?

  137. What about tinted glass (glass that is colored)? Some of my glassware is purple, blue, etc. I know that glass is better (less toxic) than stainless steel generally, but I wanted to know whether tinted glass is better than stainless steel. Thank you.

  138. Thanks for the blog, Awesome info…off to by my Xtrema cookware 🙂

  139. Dear Wellness Mama,
    Can you please share what teapot you use/recommend? And, can you do a tutorial or a video on to use an old-fashioned cast-iron waffle maker? I bought one, and I cook a lot, but the old cast-iron waffle iron is so tricky to use I have not been able to make good waffles. Thanks for all you do!

  140. Hey! I’m just going through the process of trying to get some non-toxic cookware and found this very useful.

    I was looking more into cast iron however, and came across a few sites claiming that the iron leeched from cast iron is of a form that is not bioavailable to the body. These claims said at best this iron is eliminated from the body and at worst, it can accumulate and cause issues. Have you come across anything in regards to the different forms of iron?

    Here is one of the websites I came across for reference:

  141. Hi all. I am a water quality engineer and am writing a blog/book to expose much of what you don’t know about water. As part of this I went to glass makers to see how safe glass is for drinking water/food storage, in order to advise people. The bad news is that much glass is not ‘safe’, made with cadmium and other additives and other fixers, especially the Chinese made. its still safer than teflon/non-stick/aluminium. There are as many types of glass as there are plastics, and additives are added to reduce thickness/shattering etc a bit like we do with concrete. I’m in Australia so I cant tell you yet what glass brands in America are safe but if you really want to know, do as I did and seek out glass craftsmen/women (the sort that make glass objects for tourists/a s art work are where I started). Meanwhile I echo a comment above PLEASE what is the safest crockpot/pressure cooker option for cooking bone broth as this takes days and is quite a corrosive/high electroavailable mixture especially with the addition of vinegar and the resultant glutaminates. (the atoms are seeking other atoms with a strong electrical field)

  142. I’ve been trying to find smaller covered bakers, something along the 1 1/2 cup size for making individual serving sizes. Can’t seem to find anything! I don’t want to use aluminum foil to cover them when baking. Do you or anyone else have any ideas? Thanks

    • The old school Corning ware with the blue flower comes in all sizes and glass lids are available. You will probably have to get them from eBay. They can go in oven, on stove top, in freezer, etc.

      if you have a glass stove you will need the cookmates version with the very flat bottom.

  143. What cookware is made in the US that is also safe for cooking? Many of the brands discussed are not made in the US.

  144. Hi, thank you for all your info about healthy cooking. I need to replace my skillets because of scratches and I was at the store the other day looking at different kinds of skillets. My question is what about ceramic coated or stone coated skillets, how safe / healthy are those to use on regular basis?
    Thank you so much!!!!

  145. Hi Katie! What do you currently use to bake muffins in? Thanks 🙂

  146. I’m thinking of purchasing the xTrema glass/ceramic blend cookware myself. My only concern is the possibility for lead. ALL ceramic comes from the earth and does have trace amounts of lead, and the manufacturer wouldn’t tell me what’s in their ‘proprietary’ blend (this is also why I don’t use ‘painted’/enameled cookware – we don’t know exactly what is in there…). How are you sure that the xTrema is safe? I LOVE the idea of having something dishwasher safe!!!

  147. Sorry if I missed it somewhere. But how does anodized cookware rate?

  148. Hi Katie, you mentioned the ceramic and enameled Le Creuset but not their “try ply stainless steel”. The site says it has a full aluminum core with professional grade stainless steal around it. Do you know if they are okay or would leach aluminum or something else through? I bought these and now am concerned it was a bad choice.
    I’d LOVE to hear back from you, thank you!!