Your cookware is a vital tool for most of the cooking processes you will be handling in the kitchen. These tools are essential to our daily sustenance, so you must assess the kind of materials used to construct your cookware. Modern testing has shown that some of the materials and chemicals popularly used for cookware have signs of potential health risks.
This is because they are toxic and tend to react with your food ingredients; a prime example of such a chemical is Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene, PTFE), which can cause flu-like symptoms when ingested. Teflon reacts with food when overheated; healthy eating is critical to positive wellbeing; you need to watch out for chemicals and materials that can affect your healthy lifestyle.
Most nonstick cookware are prime candidates for toxic cookware since they are mostly made using Polyfluoroalkyl and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). When choosing quality cookware, it’s recommended to go for the best cookware set you can find in the market.
Safest Materials for Cookware
Securing the right cookware is simply about doing accurate research about its composition and safety levels. We recognize that it can be quite difficult and stressful for you to gather this knowledge, which is why we have provided some of the materials you can purchase without having to worry about any adverse health effects.
This is perhaps the most popular kind of cookware used in kitchens all over the world. It is certified as non-reactive cookware, limiting the chances of you ingesting harmful substances.
Stainless steel is a metal alloy with iron, nickel, and chrome, making up a part of its composition. Ensure the stainless steel cookware has a composition of 18% chromium and, at most, 10% nickel. Too much nickel in the cookware can result in leaching when cooking acidic food ingredients like tomato sauce.
Cookware built using stainless steel is incredibly durable, with enhanced resistance to rust and corrosion. Stainless steel can also distribute heat evenly over the surface of your cookware, making sure every part of your meal is properly cooked.
They are quite easy to clean and maintain with minimal effort; if you are going for stainless steel cookware, be sure to get a high-quality model with an aluminum core for enhanced heat conduction.
There are two kinds of ceramic cookware, the 100% ceramic cookware, and the ceramic nonstick cookware. Fully ceramic cookware is built using clay cookware, which has been exposed to high heat to kiln-bake into the final product. They can be quite costly, but they don’t leach or have any unsafe reaction with your food.
Some ceramic cookware are not entirely built using ceramic; another metal is used to construct the cookware, which is then coated with a PTFE-free nonstick material. The finish contains a ceramic base. This gives way to the ceramic nonstick cookware; the coating is applied on some cast iron, Aluminum, and cast iron cookware to provide an extra layer of durability to the nonstick feature.
Ceramic tends to break when used under very high and drastic temperature changes, so it’s best to store this cookware at room temperature to avoid any such scenario when cooking. Ceramic cookware is more eco-friendly, but there are consumer reports that it doesn’t conduct heat evenly across every part of the surface.
Cast iron is designed to last for a very long period; they can distribute and retain heat efficiently and evenly. Hence, your food can cook very well. Cast iron cookware is affordable and especially helpful to individuals who are anemic because it leaches iron into the food. However, if you are not anemic, then it’s recommended that you switch between other kinds of cookware to avoid excessive iron consumption.
Cast iron cookware is sold pre-seasoned, making them suitable for immediate kitchen use. It should be noted that they require special maintenance procedures to prevent any damage to their appearance.
They are not to be cleaned through a dishwasher, and detergent should not be used to clean its body. You can run hot water on its body to remove any food bits; a paper towel, dipped in a little oil, can be used to dry the cast iron body. This helps the cookware to preserve the integrity of its appearance against rust or corrosion.
This cookware is lightweight, inexpensive, and non-toxic due to its construction; aluminum metal is exposed to react with oxygen to create Aluminum Oxide. This process makes the resulting product very resistant to corrosion and abrasion. Hard-Anodized cookware doesn’t react with acidic foods and leaches any aluminum into your cooking food. The drawback to this cookware is that you must be cautious of chipping or peeling of the surface. Any damage to the surface leaves your food exposed to the Aluminum underneath the anodized layer.
America’s Test Kitchen Best Cookware Set 2020- Review of Top 10 Picks by Consumer Reports
1. T-fal E765SH Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick 17 Piece Cookware Set
This is a cookware set containing 17 essential pieces of kitchen equipment; this includes a square griddle, three saucepans, a deep sauté skillet, three fry pans, a steamer insert, a Dutch oven, and an egg wonder. The fry pans and saucepans each come in three different sizes to accommodate any cooking needs you have.
The cookware set is built using Hard-Anodized Aluminum; this makes it quite impervious to scratches and high temperatures. All the handles are constructed using silicon, which acts as a heat insulator for your hands’ safety when cooking.Heat won’t be transferred to your hands when the set is placed on a heat source like a stovetop.
The Aluminum ensures even distribution of heat to all parts of the cooking surface; the cookware is also nonstick without the use of any chemicals, just the anodized coating on the Aluminum.
The T-fal Ultimate cookware is dishwasher safe relieving you of the stress of handwashing; they can handle immersion in water without developing any damages on its appearance or functionality.
- Comes with tempered glass lids
- Safe for use with utensils and dishwasher
- Very durable and well-constructed cookware set
- Chemical-free and nonstick
- Most of the essential cooking tools are included in the package.
- Can withstand high temperatures up to 400⁰F
- Has a lifetime warranty
- Relatively expensive set
2. Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
The Cuisinart Multiclad Pro is an excellent cookware set constructed with stainless steel. It is a healthier alternative to Teflon; the cookware is very durable and certain to serve any kitchen for an extended period. The collection contains 12 kitchen tools, including pots, pans, and skillets, all of which are different in size and shape.
Stainless steel is an excellent heat conductor that can endure high temperatures of up to 550⁰F. Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set can retain its perfect condition over a long period of constant use; the exterior of the units has a brushed stainless steel finish that protects it against any rust.
There are tight-fitting stainless steel lids added for the pans and pots; each of the tools has a long handle for secure handling and transport when cooking. You can make use of the cookware set on any heating surface. They can be cleaned by hand washing with soapy water; you shouldn’t make use of a dishwasher to clean the set because it can result in corrosion. There is a lifetime warranty on the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro to insure buyers against any manufacturing defects.
- Durable and rust-resistant due to the stainless steel build of the set
- Lids and handles are added to the design.
- Can be used on any heating surface
- They can withstand temperatures of up to 550⁰F
- Evenly distributes heat to all parts of the surface.
- The set is not dishwasher safe.
- The lids are not transparent, so you can’t monitor the cooking food.
3. T-fal C515SC Professional Nonstick Cookware Dishware Safe Pots and Pans Set
If you are searching for induction cookware, then you need to consider getting this top-quality model by T-fal. The T-fal C515SC is a portable induction cookware set built using hard-anodized Aluminum; the material evenly distributes heat across the surface within a short period. The cookware set can be used in the oven or on a stovetop; the set can withstand high temperatures of up to 400⁰F. There are 12 pieces included in this cookware set, and the package contains an egg wonder, a steamer, a Dutch oven, saucepans, fry pans, a stockpot, a steamer insert, and nylon tools.
There are transparent glass lids with small handles on the top for easy maneuverability; the lids are made from lightweight, sturdy, and durable materials. The cookware set is dishwasher-safe due to the nonstick coating on the surface, making it easier to clean and resistant to rust. The coat is toxin-free. Hence, you don’t have to worry about any reaction with your food ingredients. T-fal C515SC Professional Nonstick Cookware Dishware Safe Pots and Pans Set has a limited lifetime warranty provided by the manufacturer.
- You can use a dishwasher to clean after use.
- The cookware set can withstand temperatures up to 400⁰F.
- The set is nonstick and resistant to scratches and peeling.
- Each of the sets has a heat indicator that tells whether it is properly heated.
- Riveted handles are integrated into the design of the set to provide a good grip.
- The frying pans don’t come with lids, only the pots.
- A bit pricey
4. WearEver 2100087606 15-Piece Ceramic PTFE PFOA & Cadmium Free Nonstick Cookware Set
Our next choice is the WearEver cookware set, manufactured in the U.S. using an aluminum build coated with a ceramic base. This 15-piece set contains fry pans, saucepan, deep sauté pan, Dutch oven, and a steamer insert. The kitchen tools included in the collection is enough to cater for your everyday cooking needs.
The cookware set is free of toxins or chemicals; PFOA, PFTE, Lead, and Cadmium are all absent from the set’s nonstick coating. This set is very durable as well as resistant to scratches and high heat conditions; the cookware can bear exposure to high temperatures up to 570⁰F.
WearEver 2100087606 15-Piece Ceramic PTFE PFOA & Cadmium Free Nonstick Cookware Set is also oven-safe up to a temperature of 350⁰F; any applied heat is evenly distributed across the surfaces of the cookware set. There are riveted handles added to the body of each kitchen tool in the set; this is to provide grip and comfort while cooking. The collection can be conveniently cleaned after cooking by using a dishwasher or simply handwashing any stains off the surface.
- Quality construction
- Free of toxins and chemicals
- Nonstick attribute
- Oven and dishwasher safe
- Even heat distribution
- Not suitable for induction
5. Rachael Ray 87630 Cucina Hard-Anodized Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set
Made from hard-anodized Aluminum, this cookware set is very durable and evenly distributes any heat on its surface. There is a PFOA-free nonstick coating on the surface of the set for quick and easy release of food. The cookware set contains a stockpot, saucepans, and a sauté pot, all of which come with their lids. That’s not all; you can also find a skillet, nylon spatula, and spoon in the package.
The lids are made using shatter-proof glass reinforced with stainless steel rims for support. The cookware set can be used on any cooking surface like a gas stovetop, but they are not suitable for induction cooking. The set is safe to use in an oven with temperatures as high as 400⁰F; the handles of the tools are rubberized to prevent heat transfer onto your hands when cooking. There is a limited lifetime warranty on the cookware set from the manufacturer.
- Shatter-resistant lids
- Chemical-free nonstick finish added to the design.
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Efficient and even heat distribution
- Rubberized handles for heat insulation
- Not dishwasher safe
6. GreenLife Soft Grip 16pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set
The GreenLife Soft Grip is a very healthy cookware set; the design features an aluminum body with a Thermolon ceramic coating on the surface. The coating is nonstick without any use of PTFE, PFAS, lead, or cadmium; there are soft grip handles on each of the cooking tools in the set.
Included in this set is a sauté pan, three frying pans, two saucepans, a stockpot, a stainless steel steamer, and four extra kitchen utensils. The cookware set is oven-safe up to a temperature of 350⁰F; they can also be used on any electric stovetop or gas stove but not for induction cooking.
The pots and pans have a thick aluminum base, which ensures quick and even heat distribution. You can select from color options of turquoise, black, and burgundy for your cookware set. The saucepans and pots have fitting and transparent lids to lock in the moisture of your cooking food. Every unit in this cookware set can be cleaned using a dishwasher without showing any signs of damage.
- Available in different colors
- Durable and sturdy design
- The nonstick coating is void of toxins and chemicals.
- Convenient and comfortable to use
- Dishwasher safe
- The handles are not very durable.
7. Good Grips Non-Toxic 10pc Set
This is a professional-grade cookware set that features three layers of nonstick coating for easy maintenance as well as the quick release of food. The nonstick coating is free of PFOA and any other harmful toxins that seep into your cooking food.
The package contains a saucepan, two fry pans, a sauté pan, a stockpot, and a casserole. All of these units come with covers except for the fry pans. The tools are built using hard-anodized Aluminum, which ensures high heat conduction and distribution to the entire cooking surface.
The cookware set can be used on all types of stovetops, but they are not compatible with induction cooking. You can make use of the set in the oven with temperatures of up to 390⁰F. There are handles fitted onto the pots and pans and constructed using cast stainless steel and heat-resistant silicone.
- Has three layers of nonstick coating
- Safe for use in the oven
- Superior heat conduction
- Professional-grade construction
- Relatively more expensive
8. Gotham Steel 20-Piece Cookware + Bakeware Set
The Gotham 20-piece cookware set is an incredibly versatile kitchen set that can be used to handle any cooking process you desire. This set contains stock pots, fry pans, steamers, saucepans, and even bakeware; it’s safe to say this set can cater for anything you wish to do in the kitchen. All the tools are coated with a Titanium Ceramic coating to provide users with nonstick cooking experience.
This coating is applied to an Aluminum body, which allows even distribution of heat across the surface. The cookware set can withstand temperatures of up to 500⁰F; toxic and harmful substances like PFOA, PFOS, and PFTE are not used in the construction of this cookware set. You don’t need to clean the cookware after use manually; you can just place the set into a dishwasher.
- Contains everything you need in the kitchen
- Made using a durable and scratch-resistant material
- The cookware set can be cleaned with a dishwasher.
- Can withstand temperatures of up to 500⁰F
- Not compatible with induction cooking
9. GreenPan Valencia Pro 100% Toxin-Free Healthy Ceramic Nonstick Metal Utensil Dishwasher/Oven Safe Cookware Set
The GreenPan Valencia Pro cookware set is an excellent package of essential kitchen tools designed and engineered with the safety and convenience of the users in mind. The set is made of an aluminum body coated with a nonstick ceramic finish; the coating is free of lead, PFAS, PFOA, and cadmium, making it a very safe cooking option. The base of the cookware contains magnetic particles for safe induction cooking.
This is an 11-piece set with three fry pans, two saucepans, skillet, casserole, and four lids. The cookware set can be washed using a dishwasher, even though it’s recommended that you hand wash the set. You can make use of the cookware set in the oven and broiler without damage; the pots and pans are safe under high temperatures up to 600⁰F, the glass lids can only withstand up to 425⁰F.
- Doesn’t release any toxic fumes when being used for cooking
- Safe for use in an oven, broiler, and induction stovetop
- Can be cleaned using a dishwasher
- Has a chemical-free nonstick surface
- Conducts heat quickly and evenly
- Expensive option
10. HOMI CHEF 10-Piece Nickel-Free Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Both professional chefs and amateur cooks can gain from the fine craftsmanship used to build this cookware set. The HOMI CHEF is constructed using high-grade stainless steel with a middle layer of pure Aluminum for enhanced heat conduction and retention. Stainless steel is a non-reactive and non-toxic material; it is very durable and resistant to corrosion, giving the set an extended lifetime use.
The cookware set contains three saucepans, a sauté pan, a stockpot, and two fry pans; each of the pans and pots comes with a lid. You can use the cookware set on gas, ceramic, induction, or halogen stovetop; the set is oven-safe up to a temperature of 400⁰F. The entire set can be cleaned by handwashing or using a dishwasher.
- Can be used on several stovetops including gas or induction
- Comes with a 6-year warranty
- There are riveted stainless steel handles fitted onto the pans and pots.
- Can be safely cleaned with a dishwasher
- Doesn’t contain any toxins or chemicals
- Not suitable with heavy-duty cooking
Consumers are getting more concerned about the toxicity of their cookware set, procuring the safest materials and brands is the best way to minimize any potential risks to your health. Cooking with toxic materials releases harmful gases and chemicals into your food, which is likely to cause severe health issues when ingested continuously. Be sure to take proactive steps today in ensuring that your kitchen cookware is entirely safe for cooking.