121: Cookware Problems: Understanding What’s Hiding in Most Cookware

121: Cookware Problems: Understanding What’s Hiding in Most Cookware

00:00 / 00:49:40

Cookware Problems: Understanding What's Hiding in Most Cookware

Anyone else feel like you spend half your time cooking some days?

I definitely feel that way at times with so many mouths to feed three times a day. I’m a big fan of the many benefits of preparing food at home with the family. Not only is the food typically much more nutritious, but we give the kids the chance to be involved with food prep and we have family time together at meals.

The only downside? The dishes. At least in my opinion.

Dishes have always been my nemesis and when we switched to a more natural lifestyle I was on the search for cookware that made that part of my life easier. Turns out that finding natural cookware that isn’t hard to clean isn’t so easy after all.

Cookware Problems

As I started searching, I found cookware problems with almost every option. Some were toxic but worked well. Others were relatively inert but didn’t cook well at all.

I quickly scratched teflon cookware off my list after reading reports of it creating toxic fumes and even killing birds. Cast iron is great but can be hard to clean, especially if children cook eggs in it. Stainless is also good but can leach some metals and can also be hard to clean.

Enter Ceramcor

My search finally led me to try fully ceramic cookware. I was skeptical at first but the part that convinced me to try it? It is non-scratch!

It isn’t fully non-stick but it can be cleaned with steel wool or an abrasive brush so it was a breeze to clean. I researched several companies and finally settled on Ceramcor for a few reasons:

  1. They test all of their products for lead, cadmium and heavy metals leaching they publish the results each month on their website.
  2. They use sanctioned scientific National and International testing Labs for all of their testing so the testing is third party verified by a reputable company.
  3. Their pans are dishwasher, stove, oven and even microwave safe! I hadn’t found any other cookware that checked all of those boxes.

Their cookware took a little getting used to because it is used at lower temperatures. Once I figured out the temperature difference, it was relatively non-stick and super easy to clean so I was a fan. That’s why I brought on the  founder of Ceramcor, Rich Bergstorm, to talk about all of his research around cookware problems.

In This Episode, You’ll Learn

  • How to find and choose safe cookware
  • The surprising reason Corningware closed in the US and where they are now
  • Why all cookware should be lab tested (and how to find out if it is)
  • The real problems with teflon
  • Unexpected problems with stainless steel cookware
  • If Le Cruset is considered safe cookware
  • How to actually cook with completely ceramic cookware
  • The way different types of cookware are made and how some cause big problems

Resources We Mention

Thanks for listening!

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Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. I am really enjoying listening to your podcast Katie, but the last few episodes I’ve heard have felt more like an infomercial then an informative podcast. This episode with the guy selling the ceramic cookware was just too much. I will admit I did not listen to the entire podcast, but for the conversation to be centered around a perceived problem ‘metal in pans is bad’ and for the solution to be ‘buy this product’ which by the way, I sell, and by the way, is the only safe method available, is a little eyebrow raising. Especially when no proof is offered to back up this claim (at least as far as I heard!). I have listened to many of your other podcasts in which people are plugging their book, and I don’t mind that nearly as much. The most compelling episodes you’ve produced are the ones in which no brand or book is being promoted at all. Anyway, this comment is meant in the spirit of constructive feedback, I really appreciate what you are doing and hope to hear much more from you.

    • I felt the same about this episode, A poor sales pitch with nothing to back up his claims. I do want to learn more about the pros and cons of cookware options but someone trying to sell one of them isn’t a great source. I also Love your podcast generally and have learned SO much, thank you!

  2. Hi Katie,
    I ened to this cookware podcast and I enjoyed it I thought it was really informative. I went onto the site to look at their products is there a specific pot you could recommend for boiling pasta?

  3. Hello Kate
    I purchased Ceramcor products years ago because Dr. Mercola recommends this line as do other natural blogs I follow. I spent over $1000.00 and every single item broke. The frying pan broke within days of purchasing. Either you really do believe in these products or you have to pay the bills. In my opinion endorsing these products makes me very sad indeed if it is the latter 🙁

    • Yes, they can be fragile and we had one break a few years ago, but from the health side of things, I haven’t found any that are safer, and I’ve been using them over 5 years…

    • Oh that IS disconcerting. Did the company try to rectify this?

  4. Great podcast. I’ve been looking for this type of information for a long time. Healthy cookware is absolutely essential and hard to find. Big companies hide the truths of all the chemicals in their products. I returned my new Instant Pot because the company gave me their stats on what’s in the materials for the pot but would not give a link to the actual test results. Also Instant Pot is 8% nickel according to their online rep. Further, she wouldn’t even address the silicone ring, whether or not it has been tested for chemical leakage into the food. Further, the product is designed in Canada but manufactured in China, with Chinese products always a negative for me if it’s going to be in contact with my food. I’m going to start replacing my steel products with Xtrema ceramics. This guy seems honest and upfront and will give you the test results, very important! On another note, a tip I learned. If a magnet sticks to your steel pots, they don’t contain nickel. If it doesn’t stick, they have nickel and, unfortunately, I just discovered that all my steel pots that I thought were the healthiest way to cook contain nickel. Bummer. Thanks again for an important and informative podcast. How about doing a podcast on clay pots?

    • The ability to cook quickly, healthy foods, compared to eating crap…way outweighs getting rid of the IP. Im going to make a roast after work tonite. I do get off at 4 but still. Make a roast you start at 4:20 to eat by 6? IP Win.

  5. Does anyone, by chance, know the name of the company Rich was referring to that sells the good quality stainless steel pans? Or, simply, do you know of a brand that is safe? I need a stock pot larger than what Ceramcor offers.

    Thank you so much.

    • Bed, Bath, and Beyond carries a brand called Chantal. It’s nickel free. I haven’t used it or know much more about it. But that it’s nickel free is great.

  6. I thought this podcast was great and so informative. You could tell that the owner of extrema really cares about helping people and not just selling his products. Thank you for educating us on such an important topic.

  7. So coating the castiron with flaxseed oil rly is the answer. The iron leached out isnt helping anyway. BAM!

  8. I listed to the podcast and wondered if you could answer my question since you’ve been using the ceramic cookware for years. Can you brown or sear meat with the ceramic. It was said low and slow is the best way to use this type of cookware, but I do a lot of browning or searing and I’m wondering if this is the best option or not.

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