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2020 was a crazy year, largely because no one could have imagined the entire world stuck at home for months on end. The year brought trying times, but also brought refreshing surprises. Many people reconnected with their families in ways they didn’t even realize they needed to, and everybody and their neighbor started baking.
Recent times have also reminded us we have to be careful about what goes in our body, consciously or unconsciously. We wear masks and gloves to avoid the unseen, which has made us ponder other unseen harms, such as whether we have non-toxic cookware sets.
There is something special about cooking with your loved ones, but after unexpectedly spending so much time in the kitchen, many also now realize they need to update their cookware sets. Choosing non-toxic cookware is an important consideration when making a decision regarding which brand to buy. So which brand should you choose? We will help you decide. Read the detailed review or see the side-by-side comparison below.
What Non-toxic cookware should I buy?
Calphalon, Great Jones and Le Creuset are our favorite brands selling non-toxic cookware. Not every piece in their line-ups meet the PFOA- or PTFE-free standards, so make sure to review the product details before buying, but each brand has great non-toxic options. This is what we love:
- Calphalon - Best Ceramic Cookware
- Great Jones - Best Overall Cookware
- Le Creuset - Best Cast Iron Cookware
These brands sell industry leading cookware that will last a lifetime. Cookware is by nature functional, but can also have elegant design and alluring colors. When you choose a new cookware, you are not only purchasing a practical set of tools to help you in the kitchen, but also making a statement about your style and all that you aspire to be.
Small details matter when it comes to cookware. Surprising thought is put into the curvature that allows for the best whisking, ergonomic handles that facilitate comfort, and rims that allow liquid to be poured without creating a mess. We love Circulon, Great Jones and Le Creuset because they stand above the rest in thoughtful design.
What Does PFOA- and PTFE-free Mean?
Non-stick pans are a simple pleasure in life that alleviate hassle and annoyance. If you have ever soaked a pan, only to have to scrub the same pan later with all your might, then you know exactly what I am talking about. There are different types of non-stick pans, including those in this article that are non-toxic, but many non-stick pans are made from Teflon.
Teflon is a brand name associated with a group of brand-name chemicals, including polytetrafluoroethylene. Polytetrafluorethylene is more commonly known as PTFE. Up until 2013, another chemical known as PFOA was used in the production of Teflon. Over the years scientists have had suspicions that PTFE and PFOA may be linked to cancer and other illnesses.
PFOA in particular is known to stay in the body for long periods of time, and while PFOA is no longer a primary component in the Teflon production process, concerns persist that high temperatures will release PTFE into the air.
Aside from certain flu-like symptoms, often referred to as Teflon Flu, there are no proven health risks for people using Teflon cookware. Nonetheless, many consumers opt for non-toxic options or taking other precautions such as avoiding high heats when using Teflon products.
No Worries. We Reviewed The Best Non-toxic Cookware.
Despite the best science, it is easy to wonder how man-made chemicals impact the human body. Rather than the fret over Teflon-coated products, the informed consumer may forego Teflon altogether, opting instead for some of the other great non-stick surfaces. This makes sense to us, so we scoured the internet to find non-toxic cookware alternatives, and have included detailed reviews for our favorite products below.
Calphalon Cookware Review
Calphalon makes a product we find interesting because it is made from oil-infused ceramic. The oil-infused version has 3X better non-stick release compared to Calphalon’s other ceramic cookware. The beauty of this cookware is that it largely eliminates the need to cook with oil and butter, making it an inherently healthier alternative.
If your primary focus is on finding a cookware set that will help you life a healthier lifestyle, consider that in addition to being PTFE- and PFOA-free Calphalon’s oil-infused ceramic cookware set is also free of any harmful heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, copper, nickel, chromium, or iron.
Aside from the health benefits, when you buy a Calphalon product you can rest assured you are purchasing high-quality, innovative products. In fact, the company is credited with being the first to manufacture hard-anodized aluminum cookware. They utilize a process that originated in the aerospace industry to create cookware that is more durable and less likely to warp or corrode.
Calphalon is a mainstay in the at-home cooking space, so they have a vast portfolio of bakeware and cutlery to go along with their oil-infused ceramic cookware set. Not all products are PTFE-free, but with a discerning eye you will be sure to find cookware and other kitchen products from Calphalon that make cooking and clean-up a breeze.
Calphalon makes our favorite ceramic cookware set, and we love the small details such as extra long handles that stay cool on the stovetop. If cooking without oil and butter is enticing to you, then we highly recommend buying Calphalon’s oil-infused ceramic cookware set.
Great Jones Cookware Review
Great Jones is the newcomer to the cookware scene, and they have interesting pedigree. Two childhood friends brought their skills together to form Great Jones. Sierra was a James Beard Award winning writer and food editor for New York Magazine, and Maddie worked for several successful start-ups, including Warby Parker and Zola. This is relevant because there are unique brand elements clearly inspired by their combined experiences.
Top food influencers were consulted during the product design phase, which resulted in cookware that is thoughtful and unique. For instance, the sides of the saucepan are curved to make whisking and stirring easier, and measurements are laser-etched into the cookware for useful convenience. One of our favorite details is that the interior is rivetless, meaning you don’t have to constantly scrub around the most difficult-to-clean area of your cookware.
Beyond these unique details, Great Jones cookware is sophisticated. Even the ergonomically designed handles are as strikingly handsome as they are uncommon. Most of the cookware pieces are made from stainless steel, though the dutch oven is made in colorful, enameled cast iron as you might expect. Stainless steel can sometimes look anonymous, but Great Jones’ stainless steel cookware easily stands out from the rest because of the interesting details such as the contrasting handle color.
Great Jones is still relatively young, so their line isn’t as expansive as some of the competitors, but we actually find this refreshing. Some competitors have so many options it is hard to know where to start, but Great Jones provides you just what you need: quality essentials and aesthetically pleasing and carefully crafted.
We also like some of the things they have done to start building the brand, such as the potline, which is a text message hotline for cooking advice. Need recipe suggestions or in-the-moment cooking advice? Simply text Great Jones and they will guide you through. If you want to do a little planning, they also have recipes and articles on their website to inspire your meal-planning.
Great Jones makes affordable cookware you will be as proud to display as you are to use while cooking. It’s an excellent choice that cuts against traditional grains, and will accent your kitchen as emphatically different.
Le Creuset Cookware Review
Le Creuset may be the most well known and well respected cookware brand, and certainly that is with good reason. Not only is Le Creuset cookware both eye-catching and durable, but their line-up of products is unmatched. In many ways, they are the exact opposite of Great Jones in their company evolution. Where Great Jones has a small line-up of essential products, Le Creuset has a line-up so large you probably don’t even know what some of the products are.
The Le Creuset line-up includes all of the essentials, plus Moroccan tagines, paella pans, pate terrines, tart tatin dishes, and crepe pans. Many of these products are made from enameled cast iron, and the color schemes will stop you in your tracks. Does the broad focus diminish Le Creuset’s quality? Not at all. Regardless which individual product you are looking for, Le Creuset is broadly considered best in class.
As best in class, some of the products are a little more expensive than products you might find from competitors, but that price is reflective of the company’s reputation. They can only charge premium prices because they provide premium quality.
Both Great Jones and Le Creuset offer discounted cookware sets which make great wedding and housewarming gifts, but where Le Creuset really differentiates themselves is in the wide-ranging inventory of enameled cast iron products. Great Jones cookware sets are beautiful, but currently they only offer the dutch oven in the colorful enameled cast iron.
Le Creuset, on the other hand, offers entire cookware sets in enameled cast iron. Given the vibrant nature of most enameled cast iron pieces, your Le Creuset cookware set will serve as strongly as a kitchen accent piece as it will in its intended purpose. It is so stunning visually that it would honestly be a shame to hide.
If you have the money, and are ready to invest in cookware that will last a lifetime, Le Creuset has a long-standing reputation assuring you will be pleased with your purchase.
Calphalon vs. Great Jones vs. Le Creuset Customer Reviews
Buying new cookware is a big deal, so we don’t want you to just take our word for it when we tell you all the things we love about these three brands. We carefully cultivated the most insightful 5 star reviews from around the internet so you can hear directly from other customers. Understanding why they love each brand will help you decide which brand is best for you.
5 Star Calphalon Cookware Reviews
Review from GG: Best set of pans ever, no oil, no spray, food slides right out. Super easy clean up with damp paper towel, mild dish soap. These would make a great gift for you or your mom. My kids laugh because I’m so excited about these pans. Excellent quality, not too heavy, pour spouts in pans, lids are well made. These pans are everything the full description tells you.
Review from Coco: I already had a set of pots by Calphalon that I loved. They are my favorite ones but it was definitely time for another! Calphalon are the only pots I will ever buy. They last forever and are heavy duty. I will definitely put these pots to good use. They are 100% non-stick which works great for me because I’m not the best cook.
Review from Crystal: This is the first Calphalon brand of cookware that I have ever owned and I am so impressed! I am always looking for ways to eat healthier and with this cookware set I love that I hardly have to use any butter or oil when I am cooking. The pots and pans do heat up very quickly so make sure you don’t cook on high heat! I was so used to cooking on medium/medium high heat with my old set of cookware but I quickly learned that with this set, food turns out perfect when cooking on low or medium heat. Calphalon paid great attention to detail with designing this set as I love that the pots have the measurement features on the inside, straining lids and they also have the pour spouts! I now have no need for my measuring cup and strainer when using this cookware! Makes cooking easier! My favorite part of this set is the easy clean up! I no longer have to let my pans soak or scrub my cookware as they are super easy to clean! After using this cookware for a few weeks, I am definitely now sold on the Calphalon brand! If anyone is looking for new cookware, I highly recommend this set from Calphalon!
5 Star Great Jones Cookware Reviews
Review from Sarah: I’ve been googly eyeing this cookware for quite some time. My family knows, my friends know, Facebook knows, instagram and all the rest. I’ve clicked on your link to look at it so many times and I’m so happy to say that my husband and I received this set for Christmas from my family and I AM SO FREAKING HAPPY. What’s not to love? It’s beautiful, it’s quality, it works great, and it’s condensed so there are not a crap ton of lids falling all over the place. It just makes sense. Plus I love their story, the marketing and all the things! Thank you Great Jones for being just what you said, GREAT!
Review from Angela: The set is beautiful and well made. I have had fun cooking again using my Great Jones cookware!
Review from Nate: These pots are sturdy. I was tired of pots and skillets where the handle was riveted on and became loose over time. These guys are rock solid. Stainless steel is durable and cooks wonderfully. Doesn’t hurt that they look great. Evenly distributed heat. Love the oversized sauce pan. Lid handles can get a little hot. As with most stainless steel products, I recommend keeping bar keepers friend handy for cleaning.
Review from Reese: I own a catering company and loathe chafing dishes. I just bought my first four Dutchess pieces in green and absolutely am obsessed. They look gorgeous in our fair city of New Orleans with the brick and tropicals - such a perfect visual fit! We use them to hold food during station or family style receptions and it totally elevates the entire set up.
5 Star Le Creuset Cookware Reviews
Review from Peyton: I was surprised by how quickly it heats up, even the large pans. I’m delighted I bought these. Gonna buy 2 more sets for my kids
Review from Elle: I have used Lecreuset cookware for 35+ years. My cookware is still in fabulous condition & my adult kids fight over who will get what pot, etc. I’m from southern Louisiana & we slow cook everything. Cookware seasons beautifully over time. I love that I can cook on a stovetop or in an oven with pots. I decided to purchase a new set & give the old set to my kids. They were so excited & I’m excited about my new ones in blue.
Review from Carla: I just love this. I’ve used this almost every day since it arrived. My primary use so far has been for braising. The high sides keep most of the grease splatter inside the pot. The oval shape allows more content in one layer. The handles are well-placed so that it is easy to maneuver, despite the necessary size and weight. It fits easily in my double sink, although mine is deep — it might be a little awkward in a shallow sink. Even though my burners are round, it works well on the stove top, probably because the pot conducts and holds heat so well. Although the pot is large, I recommend it for small kitchens because it is a multi-tasker that serves many functions.
Review Merlyn: I’ve had my skillet for several years. I prefer cast iron over other materials. I’ve made the identical meals in both cast-iron and a non-stick skillet that I purchased from a discount warehouse. There is a substantial difference in taste. I attribute that to the nonstick surface coating. That bothered me so I now cook strictly with cast-iron. As long as you follow the instructions, I don’t understand how anybody could scratch the surface of the cast-iron skillet.
Which Non-toxic Cookware Do We Recommend?
Calphalon, Great Jones and Le Creuset are three industry leaders in the cookware segment. All three are great options, but if you are having trouble deciding, we recommend Great Jones. The cookware is beautiful, and the small details such as the laser-etched measurements will make cooking a pleasure for years to come. In fact, we love Great Jones so much that we included their cookware in our list of Ten Best Gifts for 2020.
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