Want to get rid of your Teflon but don't know how to shop for safe cookware? In this Ultimate Guide to Safe Cookware, I walk you through the options for outfitting your kitchen with safe cookware and bakeware that will help your family stay healthy.
Note: These safe cookware options are not listed in order of preference or safety — I recommend any and all of these options. Also, I am using affiliate links in this post. You can order any of these items on Amazon. If you order via my links I will earn a small commission. Thank you for supporting my blog.
Why You Need to Ditch the Teflon Now
Okay, so what's so bad about Teflon? I can explain why you need to dump all your Teflon with just one word: fluoride.
Fluoride causes acne, cysts, cancer, diabetes, cavities, bone loss, menstrual cramping and other hormonal problems. My assistant was able to completely eliminate her migraines (which she used to get on a weekly basis) by getting all of the fluoride out of her diet.
It's not easy to avoid fluoride, since it's in almost everything. Food that is not organic is sprayed with fluoride-based pesticides. Grapes, raisins and wine from California are especially high in fluoride, and kombucha and tea are loaded with fluoride.
One of the worst sources of fluoride is the Teflon we cook with. According to a study from 1975 published in the Journal of Dental Research, Teflon or non-stick cookware and bakeware increase the fluoride in your food by up to 3 times. (Source)
It's hard to avoid exposure to Teflon when eating out, or eating processed, packaged foods, since Teflon is used in most restaurants and food processing. However, most of us eat at home the majority of the time, and when eating at home, you should avoid using Teflon for cooking.
Read more about the dangers of fluoride here.
Read more about the top sources of fluoride here.
Types of Cookware I Do Not Recommend
The following types of cookware and bakeware are not recommended.
1. Teflon (non-stick cookware) – Teflon increases fluoride in the food by 3 times. This is one of the biggest sources of fluoride in our diet. It's very hard to get rid of the fluoride after it's stored in our bones and tissues (kidney, brain, breasts, ovaries, prostate) — because fluoride has a 20-year half life. Everyone should throw out their Teflon immediately.
2. Aluminum – Like fluoride, aluminum leaches into food during cooking. I'd like to skip the Alzheimer's disease, thank you very much!
3. Copper – Many nutritionists say that many of us are too high in copper (copper toxicity). Best to avoid.
4. Anodized Aluminum (Calphalon) – Many people say anodized aluminum is safe because the aluminum is coated and won't leach. However, I've heard horror stories like this one — someone who only had a saucepan for 8 years. Cast iron and enameled cast iron will last you a lifetime, so I don't see the point in buying Calphalon.
Types of Safe Cookware I Do Recommend
I recommend 7 kinds of safe cookware and bakeware. These are the pots, pans and baking dishes I use in my own kitchen and feel confident recommending.
These are not listed in any order of preference or safety. Some of these types of safe cookware are very expensive, and others are extremely inexpensive (YASSS! Under $20 for a roasting pan!)
1. Stainless Steel – Good, affordable, all-purpose cookware for everyday use. Will last for years and even decades… but it does degrade over time so maybe not for generations.
2. Cast Iron – Good, affordable, all-purpose cookware for everyday use. Will last for generations.
3. Enameled Cast Iron (Le Creuset) – More expensive but extremely durable and will literally last for generations. I also love the colors!
4. Glass – Good, affordable, all-purpose cookware.
5. Granite Ware – Extremely affordable, extremely lightweight. I love my granite ware roaster (so easy to lift in and out of the oven).
6. Silcone – Not perfect, but much better than using aluminum or Teflon. See how I use silicone in my kitchen below.
7. Clay – You can buy clay pots and roasters, and I love my clay rice cooker!
How To Ditch the Teflon: The Ultimate Guide to Safe Cookware
Here are the 7 types of safe cookware and bakeware I recommend with links to order on Amazon.
Stainless steel cookware is light-weight and good for most every kind of cooking. I use my stainless steel pots and pans for everything from soups and stews to frying eggs to boiling water. There really isn't anything you can't use it for.
Stainless steel does degrade over time. Most people can use the same set for a lifetime, but it probably will not last for generations like cast iron or enameled cast iron will.
Cast Iron is fantastic. I have 4 or 5 cast iron pans in different sizes. I use them every day for everything from frying eggs to frying steaks. The only thing you don't want to use cast iron for is acid-based foods like tomato sauces and stews.
Cast iron will last for generations. It's also a lot cheaper than enameled cast iron.
I'm a huge fan of Le Creuset and have been collecting it for a decade now. It is, hands down, my favorite cookware.
The best way to save money on Le Creuset is to buy it at your local outlet store. They have them around the country. If you go to the outlet, ask them to show you the “seconds”. These are pieces that might have small dings or tiny scratches. Most are hardly noticeable. And you can save around 50-75%.
I always buy the Le Creuset seconds at the outlet store. In fact, I have a standing deal with my husband… every time we go to the outlet store, I get to pick one item each time we go to the outlet (which is usually like once a year). This is a way to build your collection over time.
Over the past couple years, things were very rough for us financially, so I would only pick something like an oven mitt or dish cloth. But I always got something. I love, love, LOVE my Le Creuset.
Pyrex baking dishes are wonderful. I use them for lasagnas, casseroles, and brownies.
I also love the glass storage containers that you can use to store food in the fridge and then directly reheat in the toaster oven. We never use the microwave anymore.
My Granite Ware roasting pan is super light-weight and very inexpensive. Only $19! And you can fit a whole chicken in it.
Make sure you only buy Granite Ware that says “made in the United States”. There are cheap knock-off available but they are not safe to use. (And this is already super cheap!)
I use Silpat baking mats to line my aluminum cookie sheet pans with. You can find stainless steel sheet pans, but if you have aluminum, you should use silicone liners.
Silicone is safe to use up to 428 degrees Fahrenheit.
I also use silicone waffle molds instead of a Teflon-lined waffle maker.
I love my VitaClay Rice Cooker! I set it and forget it, and it makes perfect rice every time.
There are other kinds of clay cookware you can buy as well, from roasters to bread pans… I haven't tried any others yet.
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