To be honest, I never really thought too much about what pan I used when I was cooking. Not that I cook all that much mind you, but when I did, I really didn’t worry about the vessel I was cooking in, I just worried about whether the food I was cooking was healthy and organic. After doing a little research, I realized that some of the pans that I use on a consistent basis were in fact leaching chemicals into my food and even into the air. The exact opposite effect I wanted to have on my health. I knew that there had to be a healthy non-stick pan alternative out there that could take the place of my toxic old one.
Dangers of Conventional Non-Stick Pans and Coatings
I won’t bore you with a super long chemical list and all the possible effects, what I will tell you is you want to make sure you stay clear of conventional pans with non-stick coatings. Most of those coatings are made from chemicals that have been linked to hormone and cholesterol issues, and most dangerous, cancer. The high heat at which you cook with these pans is the real culprit. As with plastic, (read my article Three Easy Ways to Avoid BPA and BPS for more information on plastics) non-stick coatings break down when they are heated and release their toxins – into the air and into your food. These chemicals also don’t disappear from the environment since they don’t biodegrade. You will constantly be exposed to those chemicals over and over again.
Healthy Non-Stick Pan Alternatives
So, what is a cooking maven supposed to do? Lucky for you, there are alternatives out there on the market that work just as well, but don’t harm you or the environment. A healthy non-stick pan is a totally achievable goal.
Stainless steel is the most widely used healthy non-stick pan alternative. Make sure you get a heavy bottom pan that can withstand the high heat. Make sure to use oil or an oil spray in your pan to prevent sticking.
I like this one from Cuisinart. Good quality and will last you a long time.
Your grandma will tell you that cast iron is the way to go. People say that it is hard to season and it takes a long time for things to cook right in cast iron. So not so! Most cast iron pans now come pre-seasoned and only require a quick wipe to clean. Easy peasy.
I like this one from Lodge Logic. It’s super durable, and cheap too!
If you absolutely must have a non-stick surface, I like the ceramic non-stick versions from Green Pan. They are made without toxic chemicals and do a good job of staying non-stick.
There we have it folks. Three healthy non-stick pan alternatives to choose from to make your life just a little bit cleaner every time you head to the kitchen.
Let me know how your non-stick pan alternatives worked in the comments below.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I recommend these products because they are products that I personally use or companies that I have found trustworthy.