The Best Non-Toxic Cookware (Comparison Guide + Reviews!)

There are so many different types of cookware on the market these days. They are always popping up on our Instagram or Pinterest feeds, and it can be hard to know which ones are really worth it.

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.

Whether you like to cook stir fry, delicious brunch items, burgers, or fried rice at home, having a great nonstick pan is the key to easy cooking.

From the all-popular Always Pan to the Caraway Fry Pan, Great Jones Pan, and GreenPan Fry Pan, here’s our honest review of how each one holds up at home.

non-stick pans on a stove

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.

fried egg in a non-stick pan

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!

Love to cook? Check out Emma’s Kitchen Must-Haves and browse our cooking archives for hundreds of recipes!

  • I just wanted to also sing the praises of Caraway. I bought the Caraway pans back in 2019 when they were first released, and it was such a good purchase! I got rid of all of my other pans because the 4-piece Caraway set covers all of my needs. 3 years in, they’re still nonstick. I got the perracotta color, and my fry pan has some staining on the outside because it started out as my most-loved pan. The trick to keeping them stain-free is to quickly wipe off any sauce that runs over the edges as soon as it happens – don’t let it sit. They’re soooo easy to clean! Also, because they’re all ceramic and metal, they are safe to put in the oven which is really handy when you need to take something from oven to stovetop – no need to transfer to a different pan!

    I have one CON for the Caraway (and this probably applies to other ceramic cookware, too), and it’s that they are HEAVY! I cannot physically hold the saute pan in my left hand to transfer food to a plate – I have to either scoop/spatula onto the plate, or attempt to hold in my right hand and transfer food with my left (I’m right-handed, obviously, so it’s clumsy for me). My boyfriend is strong enough to one-arm the saute pan, but it’s not easy for him, either!

    Even so, I completely recommend the Caraway set. If you’re outfitting a new kitchen, the 4-piece set can totally cover your cookware needs. It would also be a great gift for a college grad moving into their own place, or anyone else starting from scratch.

  • oh my gosh THANK YOU FOR THIS! my favorite pans are my lodge cast irons. i prefer them over nonstick and they’re so eco friendly because a well cared for cast iron can last lifetimes! i believe minimalist baker has a great post on cast iron care. if i ever need a nonstick i’m def going with caraway.

    i bought the always pan and it was a horrible experience. it arrived just loose in a big box with a random sheet of bubble wrap thrown in. i ordered it straight from their site! it has bubbles on the knob and was scratched and dented and looked cheaply made. i contacted them to return it and they were so weird about it but eventually refunded me. had to go to the post office to mail it back and wait until the received it to get my money back. honestly one of the biggest purchase letdowns because this pan was so overhyped. for the price i’d much rather have something with a sturdier exterior!

    the steaming baskets were a big selling point for me because i love the TJs freezer dumplings, but they’re so easy to just cook in a cast iron by throwing on a lid. haha

  • I have the always pan, but primarily use my Le Creuset cast iron pan as it’s amazing and really easy to cook with. Also although they’re pricey, they last for a really long time. My mom has my grandmother’s Le Creuset that she bought 60 yrs ago and it still works great!

  • To tell the truth, i pay a great attention to cookware and I try to approach selecting cookware in a thorough way. I absolutely agree with you that a great nonstick pan is a necessary kitchen appliance because it can get you out of many difficulties in cooking and make it more pleasant. Nonstick pan has a great deal of advantages, but it is important to find a truly decent and high-quality model which will perform all stated functions. I think that Caraway Fry Pan is a perfect model because it combines all necessary and has unique distinctive features. It is really difficult to find a pan which is so close to perfect, but this one is definitely close. From my point of view, it is the most optimal variant if you are looking for a pan with non-toxic coating because it can truly meet all your needs and the price justifies the quality. I really want to purchase this pan!

  • I have to add my two cents, The great jones fry pans I bought were horrible. I bought them before Xmas this past year. They are not nonstick at all despite being very careful to cook on medium heat, using wooden utensils, hand washing with a no abrasive. The nonstick coating literally only lasted for a handful of times over the course of 1.5 months… I barely cooked in them. I could not cook eggs in these pans without using a lot of oil and even then the whites got horribly stuck. I bought them after reading many glowing reviews similar to the one above. I chose these pans because they were a bit more affordable and I liked that they had a stainless steel exterior that I could scrub and keep clean. I think the always pan and caraway pans are absolutely stunning but I have a gas stove. I used to be a professional cook and and know I wanted a pan that I didn’t have to baby. I knew just by looking at those beautiful colored pans they would get scratched, chipped, scorched from the regular wear and tear of normal everyday cooking on iron grates. I am a sucker for beautiful aesthetics like anyone else but I did not want to spend a lot of money on pretty pans only to have them look destroyed. For years I have been using the T-fal nonstick pans because they work well (for about a year) and are cheap. But I liked the idea of a nontoxic nonstick coating and was willing to invest a bit more money if that would mean a safer coating and pans that lasted longer. After reading many reviews I bought the large and small fry great jones pans and their respective kids during a Black Friday sale right and finally received them right before Xmas. It cost maybe about $140 total. They were not worth it. I don’t mind paying more for quality but these pans did not live up to the hype and I have a really hard time believing this review. These pans are not nonstick. I couldn’t cook eggs or salmon in this pan without them sticking horribly and it was very difficult to clean them (lonnnnng soaks as you cannot scrub them with anything abrasive). I am just relieved they refunded me the full amount, BUYER BEWARE. If you are a serious cook, I highly recommend the Zwilling Madura Plus 10 inch nonstick skillet. In comes in all black or a nice charcoal gray. It is on sale at food52.com for $70. I ended up replacing my great jones pan for the Zwilling and it is AMAZING. Nonstick slick coating with a flared lid. It is dishwasher safe but hand washing recommended. It has a more durable coating and can handle metal utensils but still better to use wood or silicone. “ PFOA-free multilayer DuraSlide Granite nonstick coating—which, by the way, is roughly 40 times more durable than traditional PTFE coatings—along with a magnetic base that makes it induction-compatible. Its abrasion-resistant, water-based lacquer is safe to use with metal utensils, too (but we recommend reaching for wood or silicone to prolong its lifespan).”

    I don’t usually get this worked up over pans but I feel like all of these internet brand pans are really making ppl fall for the beautiful aesthetics and are super expensive. If I wanted to buy a disposable pan that I would have to get rid of in a year I would stick with my T-fal pans..which incidentally do work great, are way cheaper but tend to wear out with constant use. I have a cast iron which I love but it’s very heavy and as a full time working mom I want something lighter for everyday use. For something longer lasting that looks great and only a bit more expensive the Zwilling pan is so far holding up great. Do not fall for the hype of these beautiful cream and pink colored pans!!!!

    https://food52.com/shop/products/2554-zwilling-madura-plus-nonstick-pan

    • OMG my experience was very similar to yours except instead of the great Jones pan, I got the always pan… TWICE. I wanted to be sure I gave it a second chance in case the first one I got was a dud. I made sure to baby them and follow every rule they had for it… still ended up sticking HORRIBLY both times. Ugh. After so much money spent, all I had was a (semi discolored and a little chipped) decorative pan. Hubby and I cook fresh for every meal and we couldn’t afford to not have high functioning pans. Thankfully, and this is the biggest pro and redeeming factor I will mention, Our Place has great customer service and gave me a full refund after my two bad experiences. I took that money and went with scanpans. It’s been about half a year to a year and they are still performing perfectly! They don’t look very cute, but I’m okay with that because the function is definitely above and beyond. Anyone looking for a nontoxic, professional grade pan, check them out 🙂

  • Which pan would you recommend for high heat? My partner has a tendency of ruining my non-stick pans 😂 thanks a lot!!

    • All these pans recommend medium to low heat since the heat gets evenly distributed faster so I would try to curb the high heat habit and keep it to medium! That’s as high as I’ve ever needed to go for searing etc.

      Laura

    • Try cast iron, like Le Creuset… once well seasoned the surface will be close to non-stick.

  • This was helpful as our current pan has warped and no longer cooks evenly. Probably my fault as I have a habit of sticking our hot cast iron pans immediately under water to make them easier to clean. Doing the same to my non stick is probably how it warped. If I was the only cook in the kitchen I would only use cast iron. It’s truly non toxic. But my partner uses non stick. She’s getting a present soon from this list!

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