Are you getting ready to purchase new cookware and want to make sure you choose the healthiest option for your family? Well, you've come to the right place. We've put together this guide to help you make an informed decision on what type of cookware is best for your home.
These are some great nontoxic cookware options:
- Cast iron
- Stainless steel
- Enamel-coated cast iron
- Ceramic coated
- Carbon steel
So which options are the healthiest? And which options will last the longest? Keep reading to learn all about the different types of cookware and their benefits and drawbacks.
Are All Types Of Cookware Safe?
Not all cookware is created equal, and some cookware options even contain material that isn't good for your health.
You should be careful to choose a type of cookware that doesn't have toxic materials that could end up in your food. You should be wary of cookware with an unidentified nonstick coating; while some of these coatings are safe, others can be toxic.
1. Cast Iron
Cast iron cookware is one of the best choices on the market and cooks food evenly. There is no nonstick coating to chip off into your food, and iron is strong enough that it won't chip, flake, or leech into your food. It's considered one of the healthiest cookware options.
Cast iron cookware is durable and long lasting as long as it's cared for properly. It tends to be the most popular option among professional chefs and cooks for all of these reasons.
Are There Any Drawbacks To Cast Iron?
Cast iron is rather heavy, so it's not ideal if you have wrist problems. It also requires a higher level of care than most other cookware materials, and it can be difficult to scrub off burnt-on residue. It needs to be cleaned a certain way and also needs to be cured and seasoned.
Lodge Preseasoned Cast Iron Cookware Set
This six-piece set is made in the United States and comes with all the essential cast iron pieces you'll need to start your collection. The set also comes pre-seasoned to save you some work.
2. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is another great cookware option that doesn't contain any harmful ingredients that could end up in your food. It's another very durable but lightweight metal material that will withstand the test of time and prove to be a valuable tool in the kitchen.
It cleans fairly easily and doesn't require any special care to maintain. Stainless steel is another material that tends to be preferred by chefs.
Are There Any Drawbacks To Stainless Steel Cookware?
Stainless steel cookware isn't as easy to clean as cookware with a nonstick coating, but it doesn't require special care like cast iron. It does tend to be slightly more costly than some of the other cookware options, but its durability may prove to be worth the extra investment.
Heritage Steel Stainless Steel Cookware Set
This stainless steel set is the perfect combination to get you started. The 10-piece set includes all the most important pieces of cookware required to make a delicious meal, and it's made in the USA.
Although it was more popular in the past, glass cookware is harder to find than stainless steel or cast iron, but it is another option that offers a pure cooking surface without the risk of toxic contaminants. Glass cookware cooks food evenly, has a beautiful appearance, and offers a fairly easy-to-clean surface.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Glass Cookware?
The largest disadvantage of glass cookware is that it is a fragile material. Glass breaks very easily if it's dropped or gets knocked over. Glass is fairly easy to clean, but it's still not as easy to clean as cookware with nonstick coatings.
Corningware Pyrex Glass Saucepan
This glass saucepan is made in the USA and includes a matching lid. It's a great item to get your glass cookware collection started.
4. Enamel -Coated Cast Iron
Cast iron cookware coated with enamel is another great option free from toxic materials. It cooks evenly, is easier to clean than traditional cast iron, and doesn't require the same intense maintenance.
Since the iron is coated in enamel, you can wash it with dish soap. It also doesn't need to be seasoned, and you also won't have to worry about your cookware rusting.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Enamel-Coated Cast Iron?
Enamel-coated cast iron is still a very heavy material, so it can be a bit cumbersome. The enamel coating does tend to chip or crack fairly easily, so care is needed to make it last a long time. Their weight can make them difficult to store too.
Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Skillet
This skillet set is a great way to get started with enamel-coated cast iron, and it's made in the USA. It's also oven and stovetop safe for up to 500 degrees.
5. Ceramic-Coated Cookware
Ceramic-coated cookware is a far safer nonstick alternative to Teflon. It's easier to clean than stainless steel or cast iron. It's also lightweight, and ceramic is nontoxic. You will want to be sure that the set is constructed of a safe metal material beneath the ceramic coating that won't affect your food.
Are There Any Drawbacks To Ceramic-Coated Cookware?
The ceramic coating on cookware is somewhat fragile. You can't use metal utensils, as they will scratch and chip away at the coating. Only plastic cooking utensils should be used in order to keep your cookware in nice shape.
While the ceramic itself isn't toxic, if it becomes scratched, you will expose your food to the metal that the pan is made from. Make sure the pan is constructed of safe materials too, like stainless steel.
All-Clad Fusiontec Ceramic Skillet
This frying pan from All-Clad is made with a steel core and a ceramic coating resulting in a healthy cooking method. It's also available in different colors, and they're dishwasher safe.
6. Carbon Steel
Carbon steel is made from a mixture of carbon and iron, both of which are completely safe and nontoxic, making them excellent choices for cooking.
Its surface is slicker than stainless steel, so it can be easier to clean but not as easy as nonstick options. It is a strong and durable material that will last a long time with proper care.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Carbon Steel Cookware?
Carbon steel cookware requires seasoning and curing, much like cast iron, making it a little more high maintenance than some of the other options.
Without proper seasoning and storage, carbon steel is prone to rust, and it can't be put in the dishwasher. Carbon steel also reacts to acidic foods, which will strip the seasoning off and result in discoloration.
Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet
This carbon steel skillet is a great piece to add to your kitchen. It's made in the USA and comes pre-seasoned for ease of use.
Can Cookware Be Toxic?
Yes, some cookware contains nonstick coatings with toxic materials that can ship off into your food. Other types of cookware can be made of metals that leech into your food when exposed to heat. This can affect your health in the long term, and it can affect the taste of your food.
What Are The Most Unhealthy Types Of Cookware?
Avoid cookware with a nonstick Teflon coating. PTFE and PFOA are both chemicals found in Teflon that are toxins and have been linked to cancers and other illnesses.
You should also avoid aluminum and copper cookware, as both meals can leech unhealthy chemicals into food when they're heated and can cause heavy metal poisoning.
Now that you've learned about all the safest cookware made in the United States, you're ready to decide which option is best for you.
Don't forget to consider the maintenance requirements for each material and whether or not you are prepared to care for them before making a purchase. Have fun shopping, and enjoy your new cookware!
If oven-safe cookware is at the top of your list, read this article to learn about the best options for you: 6 Of The Best Ovenproof Skillets
For more information on using glass cookware, read this article: Can You Put A Glass Pot On A Stove?