There was a time when non-stick cookware was quite a rage. I too fell for it. In fact, the cookware that I bought immediately after my wedding were all non-stick. Needless to say, they lasted for less than a year or two. It ended up heavily scratched and the teflon coating had all peeled off. After this, I switched (almost) completely to cast iron, stainless steel and clay cookware.
But even now, my kitchen has one or two non-stick utensils because it offers convenience like no other. When you need to quickly fry a fish or make an omelette, you can’t help turning yourself to a non-stick pan.
But at the back of my mind, the fact lingers that cooking in non-stick has quite a number of health hazards. It is proven that the non-stick coating emits six harmful carcinogenic fumes when heated for just 5 minutes. The peeled off coating could also leave residues in the food. All these can cause numerous health hazards in the long run.
So began my quest for a safe non-stick cookware. I have experimented with brands like Prestige, Nirlon, Hawkins, Pigeon etc. They hardly had any problem in the initial days. But durability of the coating was definitely questionable. So, these brands are totally out of question. But on the positive side, I was able to come across a few imported brands, which are found to be durable and most importantly safe. But, they are pretty expensive.
So, let us take a look at them. Unfortunately, I do not have plethora of options to share. Just a handful of brands that are reputed and have received rave reviews from home cooks. Even though they are considered safe, the manufacturing process of nonstick coating has an adverse impact on the environment. Moreover, being an unregulated industry, there are a lot of grey areas that you may have to tread in your pursuit of best nonstick cookware.
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Safecook is one of the reputed offerings from Meyer that is comparatively safe
The Teflon non-stick coating is from US manufacturer Chemours is free of PFOA and other harmful chemicals like lead and cadmium. Unless you heat the pan above 260 degree Celsius, the coating will not decompose or release any harmful chemicals. Chemours also claim that even if the coating peels off, it is safe when ingested as it will pass through your body without being absorbed.
The base of SafeCook non-stick cookware is heavy gauge aluminum which offers good heat conductivity. As the surface is dimpled, you can cook in minimal oil and food comes off easier compared to other non-stick pans.
The outer surface of the SafeCook range is coated using Whitford range which again is highly rated.
The Teflon coating of this range is certified by EPA ( Enivornment Pollution Authority) and US FDA to be safe for cooking applications. Hence, it is definitely a range that you can buy with confidence.
Also, Meyer has incorporated StayCool Phenolic handles which doesn’t get heated up in normal conditions.
The SafeCook range consists of pans, sauce pot, Kadai and casserole. They are suitable for gas and electric stove tops. But a drawback is that they are NOT induction cooktop friendly.
If you can stretch your budget a bit more, then we would definitely recommend the Meyer Forgestone cookware range.
As the name suggests, appearance wise, it looks like made of highly polished stone. It definitely adds to your kitchen’s modern look.
Now, talking about the coating, the Forgestone range uses Whitford’s Eclipse coating which has lasted 70,000 cycle abrasion test which is far superior to others in the segment. So, it has far better resistance to scratches from spatula. The rigged interiors also facilitates easier food release.
The cookwares are also free of PFOA, cadmium, lead, nickel and arsenic. It also passes all safety regulations by FDA and European Food Safety Regulators.
As with the previous SafeCook range, it also has stay cool handles that remains sufficiently cool on normal usage. The glass lids are also tempered and shatter-proof.
Unlike the SafeCook range, this option has stainless steel base which is induction-friendly.
With 3 year warranty, it is definitely an option worth considering for those who are looking for safe non-stick cookwares.
Yet another option which is safe and highly durable, but also pretty expensive. The manufacturers claim that their Hi-tech Prism cookwares combine the goodness of non-stick and stainless steel cookwares to bring about the best in class.
The core is aluminum and then you have an exterior layer of 18/10 grade stainless steel, which is food grade stainless steel that is highly durable. On this layer of stainless steel is a honeycomb structure of non-stick coating made of Whitford’s Eterna coating. Whitford claims it to last 10 times longer than other premium non-stick brands.
The base of Hi-tech Prism cookware is induction friendly and the glass lids are shatter proof too.
Overall, it is a pretty expensive product. But considering the high quality coating and durability, it is totally worth the money spent.
Yet another option that is expensive, but incredibly durable too. In fact, Circulon provides life-time warranty on manufacturing defects. They also claim that their non-stick cookwares last for decades. the interior coating from Chemours is so durable that it is scratch resistant and even metal spatula can be used on it. But on the other hand, the terms and conditions of the warranty state that scratches are not covered under it.
You get both hard anodized non-stick cookware as well as Teflon coated non-stick cookware from Circulon. The rugged surface interiors facilitates quick release of food and reduces abrasion on the lower areas too.
Conforming to the manufacturers claims about durability, various users report that they have been using the utensils for years without any problem.