The Best (And Worst) Cookware Materials | Chris Kresser
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The Best (And Worst) Cookware Materials

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Image Credit: Penny De Los Santos

 

With the wide range of cookware available on the market today, it is easy to see why consumers may be confused about which materials to look for. I am frequently asked about my opinion on various cookware materials, particularly regarding their safety and potential toxicity. In addition to the health issues with various cookware, there are also differences in quality, durability, and ease of use that may influence your decision on what type of material to use. With all these different factors in mind, choosing the best cookware can be challenging.

While many popular brands and styles of pots and pans are perfectly safe and versatile in their uses, there are a few types that may pose health risks if used regularly. In this article, I will clear up any confusion about which types of pots and pans are safest and easiest to use for all types of cooking.

The following are my picks for the three best and three worst types of cookware.

Best Materials

Enamel

Enamel cookware is ideal for dishes where heat retention and balance are required. The best quality can be found in enameled cast iron, but enameled ceramic or steel are other great choices. It is one of the safest types of cookware that comes close to a non-stick surface, making it easy to use and clean up after cooking. The cooking surface is nonreactive, so there is no need to worry about dangerous chemicals or metals leaching into food.

Though it can take a long time to heat up, the heat is distributed evenly and is easily maintained, making it a versatile cookware material for many types of dishes. Enamel cookware can also easily go from stovetop to oven, so these pots and pans are great for slow cooking or braising.

The major downside of enamel cookware is it tends to be very expensive, particularly when made by a reputable brand like Le Creuset. That said, high quality enamel pots and pans can be a worthwhile investment, as they are extremely durable and will last for many years. I personally love my enamel cookware and use it on a regular basis to create many of my meals.

My top picks for enamel cookware are the Le Creuset 5-1/2-Quart Round French Oven and the Le Creuset Stoneware Square Baking Dish.

Cast Iron

Cast iron is another popular and traditional style of cookware that has been used for hundreds of years. Cast iron is durable and provides great conductivity and heat retention. It is perfect for cooking dishes that need to go from stove-top to oven, and is excellent for searing meat. Cast iron tends to be far less expensive than enamel, but lasts just as long and can be used for a variety of recipes.

People with iron overload should probably not use iron skillets, as inorganic iron can leach into the food, particularly when cooking with liquids and acidic ingredients like citrus or tomato. However, the amount of iron that is released into the food is generally safe for those who do not have any issues with excess iron.

Cast iron does require some extra effort in its maintenance. A cast iron pan should be seasoned by coating with an oil like coconut oil, tallow, or lard (do not use butter), and then putting it in a 300° oven for three hours. While it is heating, you should remove it at least three times to wipe it clean and re-grease it. Seasoning your cast iron cookware will help give it a natural nonstick coating and will prevent rusting. Never use soap on a seasoned cast iron pan, simply wipe it out with a nonabrasive sponge or washcloth, or use salt as an abrasive if extra cleaning is needed.

Some popular cast iron cookware items are the Lodge Logic 10-Inch Chef’s Skillet and the Lodge Logic Square Grill Pan.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel can be used for any type of cooking, but is especially useful for quick dishes, browning meat, or for recipes that require gauging the color of a broth or a sauce. If you are just looking to sauté something quickly, stainless steel is your best choice. Stainless steel is great for quickly heating things up, is far less expensive than ceramic, and is easier to clean and maintain than cast iron.

Stainless steel can withstand dishwashers and abrasive cleansers without scratching or denting, so clean up is relatively painless. Stainless steel is quite durable, and even the less expensive brands will last a long time. Also, stainless steel is one of the few metal cookwares that are nonreactive, so the metal doesn’t interact with the food or affect the final flavor of the dish.

One of the major drawbacks of using stainless steel for cooking is that many types can be prone to sticking if the cookware is not used correctly. It is important to add adequate oil to the pan, and allow it to get hot before adding the food, in order to minimize sticking. Unfortunately, compared to enamel and cast iron, stainless steel is not a great conductor of heat and doesn’t distribute heat as evenly.

Be sure to find a stainless steel pan that does not have any non-stick coatings. My favorite stainless steel items are the All-Clad Stainless 10-Inch Fry Pan and the All Clad Stainless Steel 1-1/2-Quart Sauce Pan with Lid.

Worst Materials

Teflon

If there is one cookware material I would never use, it’s one with a non-stick plastic coating like Teflon. While non-stick cookware is a tempting purchase due to its inexpensive price point and easy clean up, the health risks from using this type of material for cooking overshadow any time or effort you may save in the kitchen.

Teflon, made of the chemical known as PFOA, is the most persistent synthetic chemical known to man, and is found in the blood of nearly every person tested. (1) Animal studies have shown that PFOA causes cancer, liver damage, growth defects, immune system damage, and death in lab rats and monkeys. An EPA advisory panel reported that PFOA is a “likely carcinogen” in humans. (2)

Besides just leaching chemicals into the food, Teflon cookware has also been shown to release dangerous chemicals into the air during use. Toxic fumes released from heated non-stick cookware has been shown to be deadly to birds, with many hundreds of birds dying every year from “Teflon toxicosis.” (3) Even more scary is that DuPont’s own scientists have admitted that polymer fume fever in humans is possible at 662°F, a temperature easily exceeded when a pan is preheated on a burner or placed beneath a broiler. (4)

There is no amount of time or stuck-on food that could be saved that would make up for the likely dangers that cooking with Teflon brings, and any cookware made with this toxic material should be thrown out immediately. It amazes me that this product is still allowed on the market, considering the warnings from the EPA about its toxicity.

Aluminum

Aluminum cookware, while not as toxic as Teflon, may pose some health risks as well, and is not recommended for use in cooking. Aluminum cookware has been shown to leach a significant amount of aluminum into food during cooking, which could pose a toxicity threat. This raises some concerns due to the effects of aluminum on the human nervous system and the hypothesized connection between aluminum exposures and Alzheimer’s disease. (5) Studies in animals show that the nervous system is a sensitive target of aluminum toxicity. (6) While there is yet to be a scientific consensus on the dangers of low level aluminum ingestion, avoiding aluminum exposure in cooking is generally a good idea for optimal health.

Depending on the type of food cooked in aluminum cookware, levels of aluminum in the food will be highly varied. Leafy vegetables and acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus products, absorb the most aluminum during cooking. (7) If you absolutely must use an aluminum pan, avoid cooking highly acidic or basic foods, and do not scrape the pan with a spatula or metal spoon.

Copper

While copper may be a safer choice than Teflon or aluminum, I do not recommend using copper cookware due to leaching concerns. An excess of copper can cause a variety of health problems, many stemming from a copper-zinc imbalance. Some symptoms of this imbalance include behavior disorders, depression, acne, eczema, headaches, and poor immune function to name a few. You can learn more about the symptoms of copper-zinc imbalance by listening to my podcast on the topic.

Most copper cookware these days is coated with stainless steel to improve durability and ease of cleaning. Despite this steel coating, copper should never be used to cook acidic food, since over time the acid can cause copper to leach into the food. Older copper cookware may be coated with tin or nickel, which is unsafe for food use and should not be used for cooking. If you are unsure of the age of your copper pots and pans, it is probably safer to just discard them. Regardless of whether your pot is new or old, the risk of copper leaching into your food is still significant, so replacing your copper cookware with a safer alternative is recommended.

Good cookware is worth the investment!

While enamel, cast iron, and stainless steel tend to be more expensive, they are durable, versatile, and safe. I feel it is worth investing a little extra money into high quality cookware, and I am confident these non-toxic kitchen tools will last you and your family a lifetime.

What kinds of cookware do you use in your kitchen? Do you plan to make any changes having read this article?

Image Credit: Penny De Los Santos

207 Comments

Join the conversation

  1. I am wondering about aluminum foil. Since I stopped using a microwave to re-heat leftovers I have been wrapping it in foil and heating it in the oven or toaster oven – is that bad?

    • I used to do that, but a safer method would be to use parchment paper.
      Make sure it’s unbleached, chlorine free.
      I tends to leak so you can probably put the foil under the parchment paper or on a tray as not to make a mess.

    • I use pyrex and glassware all the time. I love it! Cleanup is not too bad.
      I also use some Corningware frying pan skillets.
      Is CorningWare safe?

  2. I have been reading a lot about crock pots leaching lead. Is this true? Have you done any research on this Chris? Due to lack of time I am making usually 2-3 crock pot meals per week and I am concerned with lead, especially being that we are trying to conceive. Thank you in advance!!

    • Hi Erin,

      My mom used to own a ceramic shop, and she occasionally fired stoneware. She told me to toss any ceramic or stoneware that developed cracks in the glaze or those gray scratches (that come on from vigorous scrubbing or scraping). The reason was that the item would leach lead. This also applies to non glass casserole dishes and your regular household plates.

      She also told me to be wary of any food/beverage container with the deep/bright(underglazed) colors. Those colors have lead in them too. (you put a lead free clear coat over those colors, but you can’t be sure unless you are glazing them yourself, or if you’re buying from a reputable company)

      I hope that helps you.

      • Heidi,

        Thank you so much for that info! I’ve been wondering about a couple of old plates that will now get tossed!

  3. I just bought a “Greenpan” brand skillet for omelets. It’s supposedly a natural, non-stick mineral-based coating and completely PTFE-free and contains no silicone oil. I’ve been using it about a month and it’s a great pan (as non-stick as tephlon).

    Any thoughts on this type of technology?

    • I recently spent some quality time with one of my Lodge pans, an angle grinder with flap discs, and an orbital sander. I got the bottom of that pan as smooth as glass. Right now, the pan is in the oven at 500 degrees, getting its fifth coat of flax seed oil seasoning. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll just get some vintage Griswold or Wagner.

      • Way to go, Alex! When buying vintage staff pay attention on the “sits flat” in the description. Any degree of wobble is unacceptable .

        • In Googling about grinding down Lodge pans, I came across a forum post from a guy who did it with an orbital sander. I started doing it that way but very quickly realized I needed something that would remove metal more aggressively. So, I used an angle grinder with 60 and 120 grit flap discs to remove the sand casting texture. I then used the orbital sander with 180 and 320 grit discs to do the final polishing.

          As for seasoning, it makes sense to me that flax oil would polymerize into a hard coating more quickly than other oils, and I’m very pleased with the results.

    • This is a great idea, UNLESS a person is sensitive to trace amounts of gluten. The gluten will not come out of cast iron, and when buying used, you don’t know what the previous person used the pan for. I spent hours shopping around to find a new, unseasoned, and good quality cast iron pan. I can’t speak to today, but about 3 years ago, it was still possible.

      • Most people who buy cast iron strip it first from all layers of polymerized oils (often in a self-cleaning oven at 900F) and re-season it . There is no way it would be even traces of gluten left after such procedure.

        • My husband and I thought the same thing, until my son still reacted. Some other people have had the same experience. Some people are extremely sensitive.

          Some other surfaces we were able to put in a self-clean oven and “purify” them (like grill-plates), but not the cast iron. And fortunately the self-clean worked on the oven itself, too. Of course, in running the self-clean for this purpose, we had to keep our son out of the house until the air was completely cleared.

          Fortunately, the only cast iron that I had used for cooking gluten was the griddle. I got to keep my favorite cast iron skillet.

          Maybe some ovens don’t get as hot on self-clean, or maybe it’s that the cast iron is more porous than other materials. I don’t know the reason, but I wanted to caution folks, in case gluten is an issue for them. Because what *should* work doesn’t always work.

    • Thanks for posting this article. I was just scrolling my way to the bottom of the page to say that all the Lodge stuff I have seen is best sent to the scrap heap. As far as I can tell from observation, all old cast iron skillets were turned on a lathe after casting. That is why there are fine concentric lines in the bottom of the pan. The turning also thins them to a more useful weight. The pans are essentially cast in sand and the new ones from lodge that I have seen are left that way out of the factory making them of very limited use when it comes to keeping food from sticking in the pan. I found this out the hard way when I bought a couple of lodge pans, grrrrrr…. They are just exploiting the reputation of cast iron producing literally tons of cookware that stops just short of being any good. What a waste of valuable resources and labor. There are still plenty of excellent older cast iron pans out there. Find a lighter weight and smooth bottomed old pan and save yourself some disappointment. As long as there are no cracks or deep rust pits in the cooking surface and the bottom is flat enough, they’re good to go for decades more. I’ve thought about the angle grinder, but I have enough old ones now, good for you though Alex!

      Personally, I like the low sided cast iron frying pans as they are easier to get a spatula into and also easier to use when flipping food in the air. I also don’t cook very wet or soupy stuff in them because I don’t want the iron taste and it ruins the seasoning pretty fast. Their niche is quick cooking when I don’t want stuff to stick like scrambled eggs, crepes and the like.

  4. I’m always baffled by claims that enamel is nonstick, because my experience is that food sticks to it like crazy. Enamel is basically just glass, and that Visions glass cookware was a similar sticking food nightmare. I bought a set of Safepan cookware, that has a ceramic nonstick, and the nonstick qualities are outrageously excellent… for about six months, and then the nonstick starts fading. From what I’ve read, that’s a common experience with all the new ceramic nonsticks.

    • I haven’t had a sticking problem in my enameled pans. EXCEPT the black, pebbled-looking ones (they look a bit like cast iron). Those are terrible! And I got rid of them. But the smooth ones are fine. You do need to use enough fat, though.

    • Alex,
      I do tons of braises in my Le Creuset pans. I think I have cooked every meat dish on the nom nom Paleo site in those pans, LOL. I have cooked everything from Kalua pig, to carnitas (Melicious style) as well as stews and chiles and all sorts of veggies. The white surface gets brown and crusty, but comes clean with soap and water. I have looked at those green coated pans and they all look cheap and flimsy. My cookware doubles for kettlebells lol. Heavy cast iron with a fabulous coating that is as non stick as any Teflon. Visions glass was something I had in the 80 s to go with my 80 s track home electric range. I think I kept the SOS and Brillo Companies in business. If you want to boil water visions is fine but that glass is totally tenacious. Also, you can grease your pan with coconut oil before cooking just like you would for baking. Has same release effect.

    • You could keep in mind that food sticks less even to a stainless still if pan if heated to 350F, enough of oil is used, foot is dry and not cold. For example room temperature egg sticks less to a skillet than one from a fridge.

    • Glass is a good choice for some applications, like making tea. But it doesn’t hold/distribute heat like ceramics.

  5. I’m confused about the copper. I have Revereware stainless steel pans but they do have a copper bottom for heat distribution. Is this the same thing you are talking about when you say, “Most copper cookware these days is coated with stainless steel to improve durability and ease of cleaning. Despite this steel coating, copper should never be used to cook acidic food, since over time the acid can cause copper to leach into the food.” Also, some cookware says it is 100% stainless steel that encapsulates an “aluminum core” to provide heat distribution. Is that okay?

    • Copper bottoms help with heat distribution, but since your food isn’t touching it, it doesn’t leach into the food.

    • Emily,
      There is copper ON THE BOTTOM of Revereware Stainless. I used to have an entire set of it. I got tired of scouring the insides and polishing the copper bottoms, and the bakelite handles got funky after 30 years of use. I pitched it all and bought a combination of Calphalon, All-Clad and Le Creuset. Now, am in the process of replacing the Calphalon. The Calphalon they sell these days is cheap. I have a small saucepan (2 qt) that cost almost $200 more than ten years ago. The teflon interior is intact. Whereas I bought a small Calphalon skillet at Bed Bath and Beyond less than a year ago and it is peeling and scratched, although I never use anything but wood with it. I am one of those who feel that well maintained teflon in perfect condition that is not used at high temps is the least of my worries. I would rather spend my money on pastured eggs and raw milk, and just use my existing quality cookware in a sane manner. Meaning, I cook veggies at a simmer, in the 200 degree range, and not fry in the 400 degree range.

  6. Wow thanks Chris ! I’m throwing out the Teflon frying pans that I cook breakfast fort whole family with everyday! I’ve been wondering about it for ages! Thanks again.

    • Anolon is another nonstick cookware line that got gobbled up by giant Meyer. Just like Calphalon. My Calphalon was made by Calphalon back in the dark ages. Circulon is another of these companies.

      So, if you want to avoid nonstick Anolon is off the table (stove?).

  7. I have a lovely Le Creuset stock pot that gets a lot of use and then I have a set of Kitchencraft (waterless cookware) – it is fully coated in surgical quality stainless steel but has some aluminum in the core. This stuff cooks amazingly well and cleans up really easy! And it is made in the USA with a lifetime guarentee. Now I just need a really good roasting pan – I didn’t worry about it much when we only cooked a turkey once a year but since going Paleo we are using it a lot more so I need a healthier one as I’m sure my cheap one not made of quality materials.

    • Sarah,
      I got really lucky finding an All Clad stainless roaster at TJ MAXX. It was the old anodized exterior, discontinued model. I found myself cooking way more roasted poultry too after going Paleo. What I really like about mine is you can put it right on the gas burners to reduce the pan drippings. Look for the old LTD line. Polished stainless inside, but dark outside to hide burned on stuff. I don’t know much about the newer LTD2 line. I would google it and see what you can find. Expect to pay a lot but this will last forever. My mom is 80. She has had one forever. Stll looks and performs great.

  8. I agree with Dan above in comments. I have a ceramic skillet and it is by far the best non stick cookware I have ever used. I love it! The nano ceramic is very non reactive and safe from what I have read. Hope that is the truth.

  9. Chris, thanks for the great article on something myself, and I’m sure many others, have been unsure about for a long time. I was wondering if you could say how you feel about other quality non-stick cookware, such as Calphalon. From an ease of use and cleanup perspective they are pretty fantastic, but I’d like to know if they present any risks.

    • Anodized Aluminum Cookware May Be a Safer Alternative
      These days, many health conscious cooks are turning to anodized aluminum cookware as a safer alternative. The electro-chemical anodizing process locks in the cookware’s base metal, aluminum, so that it can’t get into food, and makes for what many cooks consider an ideal non-stick and scratch-resistant cooking surface. Calphalon is the leading manufacturer of anodized aluminum cookware, but newer offerings from All Clad (endorsed by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse) and others are coming on strong.

      • After initial seasoning, an un-caoted cast aluminum pan is covered with polymerized oil and aluminum doesn’t touch food, and nothing sticks to it. I bought mine 10″ Adcraft in a restaurant supply store for 18 bucks, works better with every use, which is opposite to coated skillets.

  10. Here, here! I agree, I recently dumped all my teflon and replaced with enamel pots and nano ceramic coated frying pans. Do you have thoughts on the new nanoceramic coating? It releases food like nothing else I’ve cooked on. I’ve also wondered it there is a difference.between the inexpensive and expensive versions. Please tell me you have an opinion, Chris! Thanks for the post!

    • Just wait, it will get sticky , expensive ones are usually better made thicker, but will stick to food anyway in a while.

    • True, they start to stick but most people give it a spray with the non-stick oil (though I don’t – just to save money and don’t like the idea of what’s in the spray). They also eventually scratch (my wife did it after two weeks to mine). So I have no idea what a compromised pan might do.

      • Eventually compromised pan will be the equivalent of stainless-still one with an aluminum extra layer for a better heat distribution – somewhat sticky but non-reactive, still suitable for many food preparations that require to use more fat or liquid. I re-seasoned some of my old Teflon ones (with nice design and good thickness) with the same technology suitable for cast iron after using power tools on the inside, and it became usable and rather un-sticki again, but it can’t be done with ceramic. There is no way I will ever buy another ceramic skillet ever in my life, that rip-off is over for me.

  11. I’ve read about Teflon a few times, but this article finally motivated me to hit the store this weekend. I’m seeing some cast iron pans/skillets that state “Exterior is coated with silicon to prevent rust.” What’s up with that?

    Thanks

    • American vintage cast iron is the best in the world, relatively light, with glossy like black mirror cooking surface, there are a lot of reasonably priced pieces on ebay, Grishwold is more pricy, but Wagner is more affordable. Modern Lodge is super heavy, with extremely rough unfinished surfaces. It is suitable only to give a college kid to cook because he would ruin anything else.

      • Hi Galina,
        The reason Griswold antiques cost more than Wagner is that many decades ago, the Wagner Brothers bought out Griswold. I think it was in the 20s. So buying a Griswold (there are many on eBay) would mean buying a genuine antique. I grew up with Wagner pans which are still made today. You can buy brand new ones at their website. I grew up with Wagner pans (I am in my 60s) and then lost one in a divorce and the last three I had to a larcenous roommate. I had tucked them away in the garage since they did not work well on my then electric stove. Wish I had them now. I just ordered a set from Wagner. Under $50.

        • After realizing I don’t want to loose money on various non-stick skillets forever, I recently got myself couple of Grishwold skillets 9″ and 10″ from the period 1930-1939, each under $20+shipping, and some Taiwan very shallow and light 8″ cast iron skillet for $5 from a flea-market to make buckwheat pancakes for my son. All needed cleaning and seasoning, I used instruction from Sheryl Cantor blog ( http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique-for-seasoning-cast-iron/) and now it looks like black mirrors inside. I don’t understand what Lodge people are thinking about. OK, finishing skillets costs money, but they should at least try to make their product weight less. May be their ore is so crappy they can’t do it. I also bought last year a wonderful thick cast aluminum Adcraft 10″skillet with high sides, nothing sticks to is after initial seasoning. My son cooking with it on a campus, it is impossible to ruin , he doesn’t cook with tomatoes or vinegar, the real kitchen working horse.

    • I have a glasstop stove, and I use cast iron and enameled cast iron. I haven’t damaged either the stove top or the cookware in all these 11 years (except when my husband put his knee through the stove top early on…). There is no reason to use toxic cookware just because you have a glasstop (and IMO anodized aluminum is toxic – it’s still aluminum).

      • I looks like the toxicity of aluminum is an urban legend. Also, a well-used and properly cared for pan is usually coated with a layer of polymerized oils, like a cast iron one.

        • I suppose Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are also urban legends?
          Aluminum is necessary for the human body, like Vitamin C. But while you’d have to ingest ridiculous amounts of the latter to feel adverse health affects, the former will get you at much smaller doses. It’s a composite metal that stores itself away in important places (e.g. the brain, the kidneys) and causes oh so many health problems.

          • Only the connection between the aluminum and Alzheimer is the urban legend, or rather the result of press hysteria about some unproven hypothesis 40 years ago..
            Here is from Alzheimer society on myths surrounding Alzheimer:
            “During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.”
            It looks like you one on few.

            • There were “scientific” disputations of cigarettes and lung cancer, for a while. Then the truth smothered those smoldering lies. This is similar. Let it go, yer wrong.

  12. How, in the wide, wide, world of sports, could you leave CERAMIC cookware out of this article??? In my opinion, that seems to be the only way to go.

    • I’d honestly never heard of ceramic cookware before. Looks like its coated over aluminum, Chris, would love to hear your opinion of it.

    • I second Dan’s question… Ceramic based non-stick “green” cookware is all the rage now in stores, and picking between one brand and the next is difficult… are they all the same? Are they all good? I have a white Ceramic Bialetti pan and it performs as well as teflon w/ eggs, no complaints. However, is it safe? Please add these pans to your review.

      Also, while I won’t argue that Le Creuset makes good enamel cookware, I think you should also mention Lodge Enamel cookware. The Lodge 6qt enamel pot costs 80% less than the comparable Le Creuset, and in my experience lodge products are excellent and very durable: Lodge Color Dutch Oven, Island Spice Red, 6-Quart

      • Curious to hear the verdict, too. I know I *love* my enamel pans, but they sure are the more affordable kind – but seemed the best choice when ditching teflon a while ago. Oooh, and they come in crazy colors. I’m a girl. I like orange pans. 🙂

      • I have one of the ceramic Bialetti pans and it’s great for eggs, or anything. But, even though I only use wooden or bamboo or silicone spatulas, it is all scratched up after just a few months. Maybe silicone implements only would work.

      • I have been using 6 quart Lodge enameled dutch oven DAILY for about 4 years. It is just awesome. My skillets are Lodge cast iron, not enameled because their enameled versions don’t have a smooth cooking surface, not sure the purpose of the texture. I have to tell everyone that if you find a very old cast iron pan, the quality will be much higher (barely liftable) and should have a flat, gray, shiny cooki g surface (newer pans don’t get this). Also, you MUST use a heavy metal spatula with a sharp, flat edge (very hard to find new) on non-enameled cast iron, never plastic or a curved edge spatula do to an uneven “scrape” on your cooking surface (not to mention leaving behind some plastic that will distort the pan). BTW, rust cast iron is no problem, can easily be converted with proper seasoning.

    • Since Ceramic is pretty new there are zero regulations that the manufacturers have to abide by. They have found heavy metals leaching out of the ceramic (ie. Lead). I used my roommates ceramic once and loved it. I wont use it again due to those concerns. Ill stick to my stainles. Just think how long it took them to recognize that regular non stick was bad for you…

    • I haven’t looked into it. I’ll try to cover it in a future article or on the podcast.

    • great article! tossing my teflon & looking for ceramic (cast iron to heavy for me, do have stainless steel, but stir frying in it is too hard to clean)

    • The Green pans are not very good quality. However the scanpan CTX range is quite good from my experience and is PFOA free as well. shop around online to get a good price. in my case it was about 50% cheaper than in the shop. Probably the best pan I’ve had. I also got a pot in the same range which is also very good.

    • Ceramic-coated “green” pans are great, but as all kitchenware with un-sticki surfaces they loose such quality after several moth of even very gentle use. Only cast iron and cast un-coated aluminum get better with use.

      • This has been my experience, they don’t last long, with their super-thin ceramic coatings. I’d love to find one better made. Anyone have experience with the “Orgreenic” pans? My spam file is filled with offers for them.

    • your cookware is as important as the food you eat because unless its an inert or 100% non-reactive materiel like natural clay (the original cookware material for thousands of years). all other material is reactive and will leach into your food. if you can get some 100% natural clay cookware (not the lab made ceramics), that’s the best this you can do for your healthy and your futures. i got mine from Miriamsearthencookware.com. have been using these for about a year now, really like it!

      The ceramic coated green pan is actually a synthetic polyurethane coating , some kind of a plastic material. if you don’t like to eat plastic don’t cook with it.

      • Safecook said: The ceramic coated green pan is actually a synthetic polyurethane coating , some kind of a plastic material. if you don’t like to eat plastic don’t cook with it.
        ———————-
        Really? Polyurethane is a thermosetting plastic, which while it might make it — to some degree — temperature resistant, would hardly qualify it as a useable candidate for a frying pan. There is a wide variety of polyurethane chemistries, meaning no single melting point can be given, but at some higher temperature any polyurethane is combustible. I am finding it hard to believe that any manufacturer, however insensitive they may be to the potential health hazards of their products, would therefore use it in an application such as a frying pan, if only because the pan wouldn’t last very long, never mind the poisonous fumes.

        However unlikely your statement may sound, however, I’m not saying it’s wrong, just that it sounds both very unlikely and that my quick googling so far has failed to confirm it. Unless and until I can do so, I am inclined to put it in the category of urban myth that might possibly turn out to be true; I would therefore be real interested if you can point me to the source of your info for the above statement.

        Thanks,

        -Kevin