- 1 What is Teflon, PFOA, PTFE, and other Non-toxic Cookware Jargon?
- 2 Is There A Nonstick Pan without Teflon?
- 3 Buying Guide: Factors to Consider when Choosing The Best Nonstick Frying Pans without Teflon
- 4 Final note on Best Nonstick Pans
What is Teflon, PFOA, PTFE, and other Non-toxic Cookware Jargon?
PFAS is a chemical used in producing cookware (and other materials) with popular nonstick coating. They include Gen X, PFOA, and PFOS. However, PFOA is no longer used in making non-stick coating.
PFOA is a chemical (polyfluoroalkyl) that was formerly used in making PTFE-based nonstick coats for cookware. It was also used in making products (such as fabrics and carpets) that are resistant to water, heat, and stains including grease and oil.
But companies such as Dupont and 3M discontinued using it in their products due to public health concerns of being carcinogenic.
PTFE, commonly known by the Dupont brand name Teflon, is a coating used in making nonstick cooking pans and pots. It’s generally regarded as safe, but when you overheat a PTFE-coated cooking pan, it releases dangerous fumes that are harsh enough to kill a bird and hospitalize a human.
That said, cookware with PTFE coating is relatively safe to use. But it’s best you steer clear of this nonstick cookware.
Now, there’s no difference between PTFE and Teflon. PTFE is a man-made polymer that stands for polytetrafluoroethylene. While Teflon is just a brand name that historically had been referred to as the best nonstick pan. But times have definitely changed.
Gen X is another carcinogenic chemical that’s used as a replacement for PFOA. The toxic chemical is used in making PTFE which has adverse effects on the health of the kidney, immune system, liver, blood, and a developing fetus.
Is There A Nonstick Pan without Teflon?
Yes, there are nonstick pans that are Teflon-free, and the coatings include;
When you use ceramic pans, you can rest assured your cookware won’t leach any chemical (even when exposed to excessive heating) as they’re made of clay.
The clay is hardened and constructed as layers over anodized aluminum. This way, the material is non-stick, free of toxins, and durable.
However, they’re not the most durable materials since clay can crack, break, or lose its nonstick feature (when continually scrubbed very hard). For this reason they are not really considered the best nonstick pan.
Enameled cast iron is used in making very durable pans and pots.
Cast-iron cookware have inner coats that are nonstick, have excellent even heat distribution, and don’t leach any chemical toxin.
They’re easy to clean and a very good hygienic choice for cooking your delicious, crispy food.
The only downside a cast-iron pan has is its weight: it’s usually heavy. Otherwise, a cast-iron pan is one of the best Teflon alternatives.
Silicone is another safe coating for cooking. With skillets having this coat, you’ve got no fear of releasing any toxic chemical or fume into your food or the atmosphere.
However, they have low thermal stability and will hardly survive heat over 572 degrees Fahrenheit. The good thing is, ovens don’t usually heat food up to this temperature.
This makes silicone-coated pans one of the safest and best non-stick pans in the market.
Buying Guide: Factors to Consider when Choosing The Best Nonstick Frying Pans without Teflon
The very first consideration is the material that the non-toxic pan is made of.
As noted earlier, pans made of stainless steel are healthy for cooking. Also, aluminum pans don’t release dangerous fumes and don’t contain PFOA, PTFE, NEP, and NMP, etc. Their coating is mostly made of ceramic, and they’re lightweight, too.
Another good option or alternative to a non-stick pan without Teflon is the cast-iron pan. The major drawback with a cast-iron pan is that it’s heavy compared to the other non-stick pans.
These kinds of pans are durable and generally safe for your health.
Oven- and dishwasher-safety
If you cook at very high temperatures with your oven, you’ll want to pay attention to the degree of hotness your pot can withstand.
A lot of non-stick pans without Teflon are oven-safe at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Although, you’ll be better off with pans that can survive higher levels of heat.
Secondly, many non-toxic pans aren’t dishwasher-safe. This isn’t a problem, though, as you can easily clean them with warm soapy water. But if you plan on saving time and conveniently cleaning your cookware with a dishwasher, your choice should be anodized metal pans.
Another important factor to look out for is if the handle gets hot when the PTFE-free pan heats up.
As a rule of thumb, handles with silicone coats or a jacket are usually very comfortable to use regardless of how hot the cooking surface is.
You should also consider if the ergonomic design of the handle gives you a firm grip. Speaking of firm grip, we also publish an article on best Damascus kitchen knives having strong grip and beautiful sharp blades.
If you’re cooking for just yourself, you can make do with an 8-inch sized pan. However, when you’re feeding a family, you should consider fry pans of 10, 12, or 14 inches.
Pots and other cookware can elevate the appearance of your kitchen. So a colored pan or one with a glass lid or colorful handle can make your kitchen look more beautiful.
And if you prefer neutral tones, non-toxic stainless steel pans might just be your best bet.
Final note on Best Nonstick Pans
There are many non-stick PTFE-free pans today; however, the Misen 10-inch Non-stick Frying Pan clearly stand out as the best nonstick pan without Teflon in 2021.
Other noteworthy models include:
Cuisinart 625-30D 12-inch hard-anodized skillet (which has PFOA-free QuanTanium coating, a beautiful glass lid, and can withstand temperatures of not more than 500°F).
Anolon Advanced 10-inch French Skillet (a hard anodized aluminum pan with one of the best browning capabilities with strong nonstick properties).
All-Clad E785S264 HA1 Nonstick Skillet (2-piece dishwasher-safe hard-anodized pans that browns meat evenly, and can withstand temperature not more than 500°F).