After decades of thinking eggs were cholesteral-yeilding death bombs, breakfast fans around the world rejoice in the discovery that they are actually good for us! Woot woot. But while we make up for lost egg-eating time, let’s not celebrate too hard. Because, as it turns out, the pans we’ve been cooking our eggs in might be filling our bodies with toxic chemicals.
Now, I’m no doctor, nor am I a scientist, but I am a mom. And after some informative (yet scary) doc-viewing, I have done some of my own research on the topic of nonstick cookware. I don’t know about you, but joke as I might, I don’t actually want to poison my family.
Sure, nonstick coatings make our cooking and cleaning experience less messy but at what price? Did you know that some nonstick coatings have been linked to certain types of cancer? Many companies include poly and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their nonstick seals, which release perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) when heated. PFOA is a possibly carcinogenic chemical that has been linked not only to cancer but to behavioural disorders, early puberty, infertility, and lower birth weight in newborns. Cancer.org states that Teflon-coated pans are safe, which is somewhat reassuring, but for those who want to err on the side of caution, this post is for you.
If you want to feel 100% safe, perhaps nonstick cookware isn’t for you. EWG suggests opting for stainless steel or cast iron pots and pans instead. But, since many companies have been on a mission to create safer nonstick options, I have set out to find the healthiest available on the market. I spoke to friends and doctors, and I scoured the internet for the best nonstick cookware options available to us, here in Canada.
Eight nonstick pans you can feel good about
GreenPanGreenPan is a Belgian brand that makes nonstick, non-toxic aluminum-based (deemed safe by Health Canada) cookware coated with Thermolon, a ceramic nonstick layer derived from sand. These products are free of lead, cadmium, PFAS, or PFOA and are heat resistant up to 450°C, so they won’t release toxic fumes when overheated. Did you know that most nonstick pans should never be used beyond a medium heat? I didn’t realize this and have been stir frying in my nonstick pans at extremely high heat for years. Yikes.
GreenPan’s Lima 12-inch Hard Anodized Nonstick Ceramic Covered Fry Pan, $55 at Bed Bath & BeyondGreenPan
Cuisinart GreenGourmetCuisinart’s GreenGourmet line uses a ceramic-based nonstick surface called Ceramica, with a coating free of PTFE and PFOA. The Green Gourmet line is designed to achieve better heat conductivity than other nonstick pans, which means they reach desired heat temperatures using less energy. They are oven and broiler safe, though hand wash only. I did see a review complaining it was a challenge to maintain low heat with the skillet, so keep that in mind.
Cuisinart GreenGourmet 30cm Skillet, $70 at Crate and Barrel.Cuisinart
ScanpanScanpan comes to us out of Denmark. Their cookware is made with a unique Green Tek nonstick surface, a proprietary ceramic titanium coating that is scratch-resistant (you can even use a metal spatula) and free from PFOA and PFOS. Scanpan uses recycled pressure-cast aluminum for better heat distribution and retention than many other aluminum pans. They are dishwasher safe and oven safe. Ideal for oven to table dining.
Scanpan Professional Nonstick 12.5-inch Fry Pan, $198 at Bed Bath & BeyondScanpan
Ozeri Green EarthOzeri’s Green Earth pans are coated with Greblon, a German-made nonstick coating free from both PFOA and PTFE. This time-tested coating is ceramic based as well as scratch-resistant and boasts zero harmful chemicals. Ozeri offers pans that have either a smooth surface or a honeycomb textured surface which allows small air pockets to develop beneath the food, enabling its nonstick qualities. Safe for use at high temperatures, Ozeri Green Earth pans are easy to use in the kitchen and suitable for all stove tops, including induction.
Ozeri Green Earth 12-inch Textured, Ceramic Nonstick Frying Pan, $67 at Wayfair.caOzeri
WearEver Pure LivingWearEver Cookware introduced the very first widely accepted aluminum products; its roots can be traced back to 1888 when a young US inventor, Charles Martin Hall, came up with an inexpensive way to smelt aluminum. Their current day Pure Living line offers nonstick aluminum cookware with a PTFE, PFOA, Cadmium free ceramic coating. They have a heavy gauge aluminum base and soft silicone handles, are dishwasher and oven safe, and scratch and stain resistant. Plus they are suitable for use at extremely high heat.
WearEver Pure Living Nonstick 10.5-inch Frying Pan, $40 at Amazon.caWearEver
Gotham SteelThe Gotham Steel interior surface is made of high-grade titanium and ceramic and is dishwasher safe. According to user reviews, food slides off easily only requiring a bit of butter or oil. This pan is lightweight, PFOA, PTFE, and PFOS free and is safe for both stovetop and oven use. Metal utensils get the green light with these pans, as the coating doesn’t peel or flake off easily. This pan can be purchased online (BOGO) through the Gotham Steel site.
Gotham Steel 9.5-inch Pan, $40 CND at Gotham SteelGotham Steel
EcolutionEcolution offers up the latest in healthy pots and pans with its Bliss Line’s version of non-toxic, nonstick cookware. The Ecolution Bliss Fry Pan features a durable, water-based ceramic coating free from PFOA and PTFE. It claims to be suitable for all stove tops, including induction ranges, but reviewers have said otherwise, so if you’re seeking induction compatible cookware, please investigate further. Ecolution cookware comes in four colors: black, white, grey, and red.
Ecolution Bliss 11-inch Fry Pan, $78 at Amazon.caEcolution
Heritage The RockQuebec brand Heritage The Rock, offers aluminum-based cookware with a reinforced rim. This line of pots and pans is dishwasher and oven safe. The interiors have a 3-coat nonstick system which is PFOA-free. The Rock pans are extra thick which helps with heat distribution and the surfaces are coated with Rock Tec, a unique surface treatment that uses small metal pellet impact technology to modify the surface, making them durable and tough, like a rock.
Heritage The Rock Classic 10.25-inch Fry Pan, $130 at Hudson’s BayThe Bay