Controversies and issues regarding Teflon nonstick coating have been around for quite a while. There are mixed opinions and findings about its use in cookware especially in nonstick pots and pans. Some claim it is safe; the others say otherwise. With so much chatter going around, things get a little bit complicated. And for this reason, some people are overwhelmed and confused, as to whether or not to use a nonstick pan.
It is for the same reason that we’re creating this guide. We want to shed light on the issue and share what we know regarding the safety of Teflon. In this article, we’re also going to discuss some important tips in order to make cooking safer with Teflon and other nonstick cookware coatings.
And if you’re looking for the best non stick pan without Teflon, we’ve also prepared our top suggestions that will help you make a better buying decision later.
I. Our Top Picks for Non Stick Pans without Teflon
|Products & Features||Image & Price|
1. Our #1 Pick: Scanpan CTX 8-Inch Fry Pan
2. Runner-Up: GreenPan Lima Ceramic Non-Stick Covered Frypan
3. DaTerra Cucina Ceramic Pan with Natural Nonstick Coating
4. Tramontina 10-Inch Ceramica Fry Pan
5. Chantal Steel Ceramic Coated Fry Pan
6. GreenLife Soft Grip 12" Ceramic Non-Stick Open Frypan
|7. Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan 3-Piece Set|
|8. GreenLife Soft Grip Ceramic Non-Stick Open Frypan Set|
II. What is PTFE (Teflon) and PFOA in Non-Stick Cookware Production?
Teflon has long been used in cookware products like pans and pots. Generally, it is safe to use if you follow proper use tips (to be discussed later). A nonstick coating like it is useful for frying eggs, turning fish or meat or flipping pancakes.
This coating is useful to prevent the sticking of the food into the pan, especially sensitive food. Saucepans, fry pans and other pots/pans, which are nonstick, are coated with polytetrafluoroethylene, also called PTFE. Now, this is known as Teflon, which is composed of fluorine and carbon atoms.
The nonstick surface makes pans easier and more convenient to use, allowing for quick food release and preventing food from sticking to it. With it, cooking with also need less butter or oil, allowing for healthier cooking. So if you’re someone concerned of your family’s health, you might be considering buying a nonstick pan with or without Teflon.
Teflon, however, has other applications. In addition to cooking, it is used in making cable and wire coatings, waterproof fabrics and carpet/fabric protectors. It is also used in making raincoats and other outdoor clothing.
But while it is useful, it is very controversial especially when talking about it health effects. In fact, some even claimed that this coating is dangerous for the health and could cause diseases like cancer. Over the past years, cookware safety is under investigation. Many are also concerned about the perfluorooctanoic acid. PFOA was used to make nonstick pans.
While it is stable and safe, Teflon can be bad when used at extremely high temperatures of more than 570 degrees Fahrenheit. With this temperature, the cookware will break down and release many toxic chemicals. When inhaled, these fumes can be bad for the health. It can lead to polymer fume fever or Teflon flu.
So without even saying, you should not use Teflon nonstick pans with beyond the safe temperature levels. Other tips to be safe using nonstick cookware include the following –
- Never preheat an empty pan. What will happen next when you preheat an empty pan is that it will reach high temperature fast. If it does, the pan will release polymer fumes. In this case, you need to put some liquid and food into the pan before you preheat it.
- Do not cook on it on high heat, ideally should be only low to medium heat. You should also not use the pan for broiling because it needs high temperatures that are not recommended for nonstick pans.
- Do not use metal utensils but only plastic, wooden or silicone utensils. Metal can lead to scratches and scuffs on the pan When this happens, your cookware will not last long.
- Make sure of proper ventilation. You should turn the exhaust fans on as well as open all the windows so that you can clear out any fumes.
- Do not use very old cookware which nonstick properties are deteriorated. Replace those that have excessive flaking, chipping or peeling.
- While some pans are claimed to be dishwasher safe, they are better for hand washing. You should gently wash your pots and pans using only warm and soap water. Do not use harsh cleansers and abrasive scrubbers or steel wool that can scratch the surface.
There you have info to know about the PTFE (Teflon) and PFOA in non-stick cookware production as well as some important tips to improve safety with such cookware. The bottom line is that Teflon cookware is safe to use provided you follow usage tips and directions. Generally, avoid using it at high heats beyond recommended maximum temperature.
III. What types of Non-Stick Pan do not use Teflon?
If you love nonstick pans but want to opt for alternatives to Teflon, keep reading in the following. Here you will learn about the types of cookware that do not use this coating.
One of the best alternatives to cookware without Teflon is ceramic. This material in coating is one of the most popular of all. What is it made of? This coating is composed of hardened clay that is completely without chemicals like PTFE. It is introduced in creating cookware with nonstick properties.
Ceramic is a noble choice because of its non-chemical activity. As it is a natural component, it is also eco-friendly. It does not release fumes that would otherwise lead to disease like cancer. Ceramic coating is first with inorganic liquid that is then converted into a gel before applying to the surface of materials like anodized aluminum. It is done by spraying it into layers.
Excessive heating will not lead to the leaching or releasing of any chemical into the environment or food. This unique feature is what makes ceramic coating one of the most popular nonstick coating alternatives to Teflon. The only downside is that ceramic isn’t the most durable of all. It has the tendency to break or crack. And with excessive scrubbing, it will lose its nonstick properties in time.
What makes this nonstick is its ability to repel or resist water. So when liquid hits the surface, it will just rebound. It will also not leave traces or lead to the sticking of food into the surface. There are different types of nanoscopic surface layers used in cookware with the most common bases including Silica nano-coating, Carbon nano-tube structures and Zinc oxide polystyrene and nano-composite.
They are gel-based materials that can be applied to the cookware through dipping the metal or spraying it with the gel material. It is not only used in cookware, but such gel-based materials have also found their way to other applications like in the windshield of a car.
This material is another common nonstick alternative to Teflon. You will find these coatings in different and modern nonstick pans. However, it has specific heat stability. You should only use it for temperatures not going beyond 572 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically, ovens aren’t using temperatures as high as this range.
It has unique properties like not reacting with food and drinks. You will also not have to worry about any dangerous fumes being released into the air from this material. Many sources also claimed that silicone is very safe that it has low toxicity and is easy to clean. But then, it also has a lower thermal stability. Silicone does not release bad odor that can affect food flavor, quality and taste. Overall, silicone is a safe and quality alternative to cookware that uses perfluorooctanoic acid.
Enameled Cast Iron coating
For many home cooks and chefs that want their cookware more durable, they go for enameled cast iron cookware coating. Through the years, enameled cast iron has gained its popularity worldwide for its excellent heat distribution and even heating.
Another good thing about it is that you don’t have to spend much time in the cleaning process, as it is easy to clean and maintain. You will not also have to worry about any seasoning issues.
Enameled cast iron has an inner coating that makes it nonstick. It can also help in preventing iron from leaching or being released in the food that you’re cooking. Also, the enameled version is also known for being available in different colors to match any kitchen style and decoration.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coating
Polytetrafluoroethylene is a wax-like substance that possesses low friction coefficient, so it is very slippery, making it a clear choice among manufacturers of nonstick cookware. After years of its introduction, it’s later named and trademarked as Teflon. However, you should treat it as recommended and not use it to more than 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Or else, it can release toxic fumes containing fluorocarbons and others.
IV. Top 8 Best Non Stick Pans Without Teflon
1. Scanpan CTX 8-Inch Fry Pan
One of top picks in the category for nonstick pans without Teflon, the Scanpan CTX Fry pan is yours if you are looking to cook the perfect eggs and pancakes and reduce the use of oil and butter. This model is also ideal for those who are on a diet, too, because food will not stick to the surface even if you use less or no oil.
It is with the features to like including its multiple layers that makes it more durable. In addition, this construction makes for an even heat distribution, allowing for faster cooking.
In addition, this pan is metal utensil safe, so it can be used for it in addition to wooden or bamboo spoons and spatula. You can also find it easy to clean because it is dishwasher safe.
It is also a high quality nonstick pan for its elegance and performance. It can match all kitchen styles for its satin finish along with its stainless steel exterior. This model also comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Check it out if you like to use a pan with all these features.
2. GreenPan Lima Ceramic Non-Stick Covered Frypan
The 12″ Ceramic and Covered nonstick pan is by a reputable brand known for the performance and quality of its pots and pans. This model is one of their best offerings so far. It is not just affordable but also with heavy-duty features.
The gray pan is large enough for cooking for your family, guests or yourself. In addition, it can help keep your loved ones healthy because it doesn’t contain toxic chemicals and compounds. The ceramic non-stick is also known for its good heat retention. While it does not heat up fast, it can keep even heating and maintain it after cooking.
It is the healthy choice because it is PFOA, PFAS, cadmium and lead –free. Even so, you can rely on the nonstick surface to last long. It will not peel or blister unlike other coatings. You don’t also have to worry about harmful fumes to release in the air even at high temperatures. For reliable and fast cooking results, the CW0004157 is made of a durable construction.
3. DaTerra Cucina Ceramic Pan with Natural Nonstick Coating
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to nonstick cooking, you should check out the pan that works wonders when it comes to the performance it can deliver while maintaining its mission of promoting healthy cooking. With it, you don’t have to use too much oil in cooking because food will not stick to the surface.
Choosing it, you can also cook on electric or propane, among the others. It can help you cook effortlessly even on a glasstop, too. You can achieve great health because it does not contain any harmful compounds or chemicals. There are no poisonous substances to get to your food. It does not just maintain the flavor of the food, but it also does not leech any harmful compounds to what you’re cooking even using high heat.
The pan with the natural coating is with four layers of nonstick coating. You can count on its rapid heating that can reach up to 450 degrees. You will not also have to worry about its coating peeling off even if cooking acidic foods.
4. Tramontina 10-Inch Ceramica Fry Pan
If you’re shopping around for a nonstick pan without cadmium, lead, PTFE or PFOA, you should consider the Tramontina 80110/043DS Style. It contains no harmful compounds and chemicals that would otherwise be released into what you’re cooking.
In addition, this pan is with a soft and stay cool stainless steel handle, allowing for more comfortable and easier grip. For easy storage, this product also has a hang hole that also allows organization. You will also like that this pan is easy to clean and maintain for its nonstick properties.
In addition, this quality also allows for quick food release. Now, you can cook eggs and pancakes without worries about them sticking onto the surface. Plus, you can be certain that this pan is versatile enough for use in electric, gas or ceramic cooktops. It is also ideal for oven use for its heat tolerance up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Finally, this item is backed by a lifetime warranty for added peace of mind in your purchase. You might want to check it out if you want a more satisfying purchase.
5. Chantal Steel Ceramic Coated Fry Pan
Finding a safe nonstick to use is easier if you know of the Chantal fry pan! The nonstick pan with a 10-inch cooking surface is ideal for use on all types of cooktops including induction, and that is thanks to its magnetic induction construction.
The Coated Fry Pan is also a durable pan for its multiple layers of construction that adds to the resilience of the cookware for home or residential use. It is also design with ergonomic, easy to grip and stay cool to the touch handles, allowing for easier and better control of the pan on a stovetop.
This item is also designed with rim that can reduce the spillage of food on its sides. Now, you don’t have to worry about food dripping. The Chantal SLIN63-20C is your ideal choice when it comes to browning chicken breasts or frying eggs. It is also perfect for sautéing vegetables or searing fish fillets. You will definitely love the versatility of this pan. Plus, you can use it in the oven for its high heat tolerance up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. GreenLife Soft Grip 12″ Ceramic Non-Stick Open Frypan
The CW000524-002 is another top choice if you’re looking for a nonstick pan without Teflon. This 12-inch pan is with the great features that you might appreciate. For one, it has an elegant and classic appearance plus Turquoise color, matching any kitchen decoration and style.
The open and nonstick fry pan is another decent choice for those looking for a durable and eco-friendly pan. It has a ceramic coating material that does not release harmful substances or chemicals into food even when used at high cooking temperatures. The GreenLife also comes with soft and stay cool to the touch bakelite handle, one of the things making it unique.
With its safe nonstick coating, you can also look forward to easy food release. In this case, you don’t have to worry about delicate food from sticking into the surface. With such feature, you don’t also need to think about any difficult time to clean the mess later. This item is also dishwasher safe. Overall, the Thermolon nonstick pan is one of those you might want to consider for its elegance, durability and performance.
7. Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan 3-Piece Set
Another top choice to consider when looking for nonstick without Teflon is this Green Earth pan. It offers you and your loved ones safe cooking because it does not contain any harmful compounds and chemicals like APEO, PFOA and PTFE. With it, you can be sure of healthy cooking, too, because it helps reduce the amount of oil, fat or butter.
This product is made of Greblon ceramic that is safe ceramic coating that contains no NEP and NMP, among other chemicals, too. It is also designed with textured surface for allowing even heat distribution. This element in the design also improves the nonstick performance of this item. And even with high temperature, this pan will not release harmful fumes in the air.
In addition, this item is easy to clean and is scratch-resistant, enhancing the durability of the cookware. When it comes to abrasion resistance, it is also tested to keep up, and that’s thanks to its innovative design and construction. It also has comfortable to grip handle that will help you cook on and maneuver it easier.
8. GreenLife Soft Grip Ceramic Non-Stick Open Frypan Set
This fry pan set is another to look into when comparing your options especially if planning to buy a set. It comes with two pieces of fry pans, one seven inches and the other is 10 inches. This model comes in an elegant and lovely turquoise color that can match any kitchen design and decoration.
Cleaning up this item is a breeze, and that’s thanks to its nonstick coating. More so, this item is dishwasher safe, making it easier to clean.
You can also have peace of mind that it does not contain harmful chemicals that would otherwise affect the health of your loved ones. This item does not contain lead, PFOA, PFAS and cadmium.
The item is also made more durable for its reinforced body. It also adds to the style and decoration of your kitchen. In addition, you will not have a hard time using it because it has soft grip handles. With it, you can maneuver the pan easier for added comfort. Overall, the Thermolon item is one of the clear choices if you want a solidly performing and reliable set that will last through the years.
Can I use metal utensils on nonstick?
No, you shouldn’t. It will scratch and degrade the quality of the cookware. You should use only silicone and wood, among others but not metal. You might also want to use bamboo spoons or nylon spatulas on it. It also is understood that you should not use metal tongs on the nonstick cookware.
Can I clean it in the dishwasher?
This is a good question. You should not clean it using a dishwasher even if it can be cleaned there. Nonstick pans do best with hand washing. You just need gentle soap and warm water to clean it. After all, nonstick pans are easy and simple to clean. You don’t need to use dishwasher for it.
Also, you must check for any specific instructions from the manufacturer for any special cleaning needs if there are.
What’s safe heating temperature?
One of the main problems of nonstick cookware is heat tolerance. They are sensitive to high temperatures, which can affect their quality. For example, the cookware can be bad when used beyond recommended temperatures that can also lead to health problems. It will not only deteriorate the nonstick surface, but also affect the longevity of the cookware.
For example, one source also revealed that Teflon would release toxic gases at a temperature of 680° F. Some of them include some carcinogens.
In order to prevent the problem, you must not use your cookware beyond suggested safe levels.
When should I replace nonstick pans?
Nevertheless, nonstick deteriorates in time. It will also be lost over time. If you notice excessive peeling, cracking or flaking, you should replace the cookware. Do not use damaged pans, as those components on the surface can get into food and cause health issues to your loved ones.
Is it bad to use cookware when it shows flaking issues?
Yes, it is. If you notice flaking in the cookware, you should stop using it. Or else, you or someone in the family might swallow a chip. While this is not enough to cause a health issue because it will pass through your body, it is better to be safe.
How can I use the nonstick without Teflon safely?
Check and follow the guidelines as specified by the manufacturer in the user manual. Also, you can go back and refer to the tips we’ve mentioned earlier. In all cases, you should also avoid cooking on high heat with your nonstick pan. Just use low or medium heat when cooking.
Certainly, using the best non stick pan without Teflon is a great help because of its benefits. With it, you can reduce the use of oil, fat or butter in cooking, meaning lesser risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Using one, you will also be able to cook many types of foods because it is a versatile cookware. It can also allow for easier cleaning and maintenance as well as quicker food release when compared to cookware without nonstick properties.
Hoping the information that we’ve presented today has helped to find the right nonstick pan without Teflon. So again, choose one based on the features that you’re looking for including its size, price and materials. Good luck and happy cooking!