To help narrow the field, we’ve compared some of the top non-toxic cookware brands to let you know their performance in our real kitchens.
Our Place Always Pan
The Always Pan: This pan has an exclusive non-toxic and nonstick ceramic coating made without potentially toxic materials like PFOAs, PTFEs, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, toxic metals, and nanoparticles.
And it comes with spatula and custom stainless steel steamer basket. It has a sturdy aluminum body for fast, even heat and a modular lid that lets off steam when you want to (and lock it in when you don’t). This 10″ pan has a 2.6-quart capacity.
Pros: It’s compatible with all cooktops (including induction), and has a nesting beechwood spatula with an integrated spoon rest.
My favorite thing about this pan is the spruce steamer that fits inside perfectly. We use it at least once a week to steam dumplings and bao buns.
Cons: The bottom and sides of the Always Pan get stained pretty quickly (especially on the lighter colored ones) and while it is very easy to clean, it’s impossible to keep it looking pristine.
So, you do have to accept that it will look “well loved” pretty quickly. We use our pans very frequently (nearly daily) and for me, they start getting build up inside the nonstick pan that I can’t get rid of within one year.
I have had my oldest one for about two years and it doesn’t have any chips. Essentially, I wish they looked brand new for longer, but functionally, they really do last.
Special care instructions: These pans are very easy to care for by hand washing. They are recommended for medium heat (not high heat) and you are not supposed to put them in the oven or the dishwasher.
Overall rating: Overall, I am a huge fan of this pan! I love it so much that in our vacation home in Missouri, it’s the only pan we have there—and it truly is all we need.
Caraway Fry Pan
Caraway Fry Pan: This Caraway pan uses a mineral-based coating that won’t leach toxic materials into your food, and it releases up to 60% less CO2 when produced compared to traditional nonstick coatings.
Naturally slick pans require less oil or butter for cooking and less scrubbing for a spotless clean, and their coating doesn’t include potentially toxic materials like PFOA, PTFE, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, or toxic metals.
Pros: These pans are the most aesthetically pleasing and easier to clean than the Always Pan. This fry pan is also less expensive. Overall, I think this is my top choice.
The thing I like most about these pans (I have the cream color) is that you can clean the bottom side (NOT the cooking surface, but the bottom of the pan) using Bar Keeper’s Friend when it gets brown.
I love that there is a solution to keep them looking fresh and new. I have been using this pan for about one year, and it’s lasted really well and still looks (and functions) like brand new.
Cons: Honestly, I don’t think I have a con to list. The only thing is I will say is that I splurged on the set and I mainly only use the fry pan, so in hindsight … I really only needed the fry pan.
Special care instructions: Similar to the Always Pan, you are only supposed to cook on low and medium heat, you need to hand wash the pan, and you are not supposed to put it in water right after you cook (let it cool first).
Overall rating: One hundred percent love mine and recommend.
GreenPan Fry Pan
GreenPan Fry Pan: Engineered for high performance, these 8″ and 10″ are coated with diamond-reinforced Thermolon Minerals and ceramic nonstick surfaces for healthy cooking, as well as easy release and clean up.
Constructed with heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum, the pans have even heat distribution and oven-safe stainless steel handles with corrosion-resistant gold finishes.
The pans are highly heat-resistant and will not release toxic fumes, and the coating will not blister or peel. They’re also free of PFAS, PFOA, lead and cadmium.
Pros: It’s great to have both sizes of this pan for cooking, as I use them simultaneously quite a bit (eggs in one, bacon in the other, etc.). The gold handles and color choices also make them stand out from any other pans I’ve owned, and they are super easy to clean.
I also love that you can put these pans right in the oven, as they are oven safe up to 600° (which you can’t do with other pans like the Always Pan), so it’s easy to sear something like fish or meat and then transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking.
This pan is also safe to use with metal utensils (which is nice if that’s all you have), but I still use wood or silicone when I can to “baby” the nonstick coating a bit. This pan can also be used on gas, electric and ceramic stovetops.
Cons: The pretty color on the bottom of the pan will start to brown over use (especially on a gas stove), but the pan still looks pretty overall, even with some discoloration on the bottom side.
The off-white inside of the pan will also probably brown some over time (I can see it starting to happen a little after several months), but the speed of discoloring will probably correspond to how much you use them.
I love the built-in spoon rest and the pour spout of my Always Pan, so I do miss that when using these pans, and I wish the pans came with lids. But, you can buy lids separately, if desired.
Special care instructions: Make sure to allow the pan to cool before washing. The pans are dishwasher safe, but hand washing is recommended. The manufacturer also discourages the use of cooking sprays with these pans, which is fine for me, but may be a downside if that’s what you like to use.
Overall rating: Overall the user experience of these pans really is great (they have really good reviews online, and I can see why). The nonstick lives up to its name, they are easy to clean, the ability to put the pan in the oven is also a huge plus, and they also happen to be really pretty.
Great Jones Fry Pan
The Great Jones Fry Pan: This 10.25″ nonstick frying pan is made with a non-toxic ceramic coating that’s healthier for both you and planet Earth. Large Fry is great if you cook often for a group or simply want to enjoy a large personal pancake.
It’s safe for all stovetops (including induction) and it has a welded handle with no screws, rivets, or seams to trap food or unwanted bacteria. The pan is also free of PTFE and PFOA chemicals.
Pros: Of all the nonstick pans I’ve tried, this one performs the best in my opinion (Emma speaking here). I’ve made stir fried rice, sausage patties, fried eggs, and lots of other things in my Great Jones Fry Pan and it’s been amazing. Since food truly doesn’t stick, this also means the pan is very easy to clean.
In addition to working SO well on the stove top, you can also pop this pan into the oven up to 500°F. The pan (compared to others a similar size) is lightweight and the handle is comfortable to hold/move.
Cons: Although the Great Jones Fry Pan is certainly not ugly, it’s not my favorite looking pan. I prefer the look of my Always Pan, but I do think this one performs better.
The lids are sold separately. Maybe this doesn’t annoy anyone, else but I think it’s a bit silly. I still bought a lid though, so I guess the joke’s on me.
Special care instructions: Although their website does say you can wash this in the dishwasher, so far I have always washed by hand. It’s so easy to do when a pan is truly nonstick.
Plus, I feel this will help the nonstick coating last longer. But it’s good to know it’s OK if one morning I open our dishwasher to see my partner has loaded this pan in the night before. No biggie!
Overall rating: After trying this pan, I became a true believer. I have already bought a Great Jones Fry Pan for a friend as a housewarming gift.
Note about nonstick cookware: Even though these pans are “non-toxic,” we highly suggest only using them as long as the nonstick cooking surface is in good condition and isn’t chipping or wearing away in areas.
If the pan’s coating is starting to disintegrate or is damaged, then the nontoxic promise of the pan could be compromised and it is time to replace it. These pans are not meant to last forever.
So, there you go! An honest review of the top pans the internet has to offer and how they hold up to our everyday lives. Hope this helps make your pan buying experience a little easier to know which one is right for you!