Great starter or upgrade set. Built to last. Exquisite design that’s beautiful without being flashy. The set includes 1-quart and 2-quart covered saucepans, 5-quart covered casserole, 8-inch and 10-inch frying pans, 3-quart covered skillet, and a stainless steel steamer.
Some buyers wish they were heavier.
Beautiful mirror-polished finish with copper band detail that adds sophistication. Designed to offer fast heat conductivity. The set includes 1-quart covered saucepan, 2.5-quart covered saucepan, 7-quart covered stockpot, 8-inch frying pan, 9.5-inch frying pan, and 2.5-quart covered sauté pan.
Pans need to be “seasoned.”
Made of PFOA-, PFA-, PTFE-, lead-, and cadmium-free ceramic for convenience and peace of mind because it won’t ever release toxic fumes. Features QuiltSmart nonstick technology so you can cook with less fat and oil. Made-to-last aluminum construction.
Some small design flaws.
The signature Thermolon Diamond Advanced healthy ceramic non-stick coating is infused with diamond and free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium so it can’t release toxic fumes even if it gets overheated. The coating is durable and also metal utensil safe.
More fragile than it should be.
Comprehensive 10-piece set. Includes skillet, grill pan, saucepan, braising dish, roaster, and dutch oven with nonslip lids. Enameled cast iron is nonreactive, has no chemicals to transfer to food. Nonstick properties need only a little fat or oil when properly heated. Durable heirloom quality.
Quite expensive. Heavier than other materials.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Whether your current cookware is wearing out or you’ve decided to upgrade your kitchen, a new set of healthy cookware can help keep harmful chemicals and materials out of your food.
The nonstick chemicals that make cooking and cleaning some metal cookware so easy can leach into food, potentially causing either short-term illness or major health problems down the road. In addition, wooden cutting surfaces can harbor bacteria and be difficult to clean thoroughly. But there is plenty of cookware made of safe materials that are easy to care for too.
Don’t let your healthy choices stop with the foods you choose to prepare. A set of healthy cookware made of stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, or other materials can protect you and your family from harmful chemicals.
What we eat has a huge impact on overall health and well-being, and because chemicals from cookware can leach into food, choosing safe cookware is crucial.
Some materials that have long been used in cookware can lead to illness even if the cookware is used properly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the nonstick chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) can “affect reproduction, thyroid function, the immune system, and injure the liver.” Unfortunately, PFAS, which include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), are used on many nonstick pans due to their ability to resist heat and oil.
The popular nonstick coating Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene) is easy to cook with and clean, but it’s made of PFAS and may have similar health concerns. It can release toxic fumes in high temperatures. While PTFE may be generally safer than PFAS, it’s best to avoid this substance if possible.
Though popular for cooking because it heats evenly, copper is a heavy metal that can cause illness if it leaches into food. Copper cookware should be lined with a safe material.
This material absorbs liquids and odors and is easily damaged. Cracks and scratches in wooden cutting boards can harbor bacteria even if you clean them thoroughly. Wooden cooking utensils are less likely to become damaged and can help to protect your healthy cookware from scratches.
While you should avoid scratching or overheating nonstick cookware to prevent the release of toxins, you don’t need to take as many precautions with healthy cookware.
Just like shopping for any cookware set, you want to consider the design, number, and variety of pieces you need. In addition, consider the materials that would work best on your range and how durable the set needs to be.
Each type of healthy cookware material has advantages. If you can, purchase pots and pans of a few different materials so you can use the right cookware for the right foods.
Stainless steel is one of the most popular materials for cookware for a reason. It’s sleek and timeless, and most foods don’t stick to it. In addition, it’s difficult to damage and easy to clean. Stainless steel heats evenly, and most types work on an induction range.
Cast iron is a classic choice. Not only is cast iron free of chemicals, but it also adds a healthy amount of iron to your food. While caring for cast iron involves seasoning and scrubbing, it will last for generations. However, cast iron heats unevenly and cools slowly.
Enameled cast iron has most of the advantages of cast iron but without the need to season it. In addition, it comes in a variety of colors besides black. While the enamel provides a safe nonstick surface, it can lose its effectiveness over time. Enameled cast iron also can be expensive.
Aluminum does a good job of distributing heat, and these cookware sets are inexpensive. Anodized aluminum helps keep the metal from leaching into acidic foods. However, some aluminum cookware is coated with a nonstick layer that could leach PFAS into food. Aluminum also scratches easily.
Ceramic is a popular coating on metal cookware. While this is a safe nonstick option, it can be scratched by metal utensils. Ceramic-glazed cookware should be avoided because it can contain lead that can leach into food.
In addition to healthy pots and pans, you might want to replace a few other items in your kitchen to keep your food free of chemicals and bacteria.
Cutting boards: Even when wooden cutting boards are cleaned properly, there is always the risk of bacteria lingering in the wood. Plastic and glass are your best options for cutting boards.
Utensils: Many of the materials in healthy cookware also work well in utensils. However, you don’t want to scratch your pots and pans, so consider buying a silicone or wooden kitchen utensil set.
There are many sturdy stainless steel cookware sets available for $100 to $200. These include a variety of items, but they might not contain all the pieces you need. Some ceramic and cast iron sets are also available at this price.
Healthy cookware sets that cost from $200 to $400 are made of a variety of materials and include all the pieces a typical kitchen needs. Some of these sets also include utensils.
Spend $400 or more and you can find cookware sets that include a wide variety of pieces that will last a lifetime. You can expect to see well-known brands at this price, but know that you might pay more for the brand name.
It is generally safe to use dish soap on your cast iron cookware, but it isn’t always necessary. Sometimes just wiping out the pan will suffice.
A. Acidic foods can damage aluminum pans and might remove the seasoning from cast iron pans.
A. A crack can be difficult to clean and become a home to bacteria. Similarly, rust flakes can be harmful if ingested. If you can clean off the rust, your pots and pans will be safe to use. Otherwise, it’s best to dispose of rusty or cracked cookware.
A. If the pots and pans are significantly scratched, it would be a good idea to get rid of them, but don’t throw them in the trash. Teflon is harmful to the environment. A local recycling center might be able to process your Teflon-coated cookware.
A. It can be. Nonstick cookware performs as its name indicates, but you might need to scrub healthy cookware a bit harder to remove oil and grease. Just be aware that abrasive sponges can damage materials like stainless steel.