Reader Weigh-In – What do you use to cook?

Do you have a cupboard full of non-stick cookware?  I sure do.

I know they’re pretty, but the non-stick coating is a big hazard to our health.  Non-stick made cooking life easier, but, in my opinion, it’s not worth the health risk!  One of the big changes cancer patients make is to their cookware, because we can ingest a lot of toxins just from the cooking process.

According to Dr. Mercola, when “your Teflon pot or pan reaches 680 degrees F (which takes about three to five minutes of heating), at least six toxic gases are released. At 1000 degrees F, the coatings on your cookware break down into a chemical warfare agent known as PFIB.”

These perfluorinated chemicals, or PFOAs, are linked to thyroid disease.  People with a high dose of PFOA’s in their blood have double the risk of thyroid disease.  It has also been linked to a 60% – 154% risk of infertility!   The EPA says these chemicals pose developmental and reproductive risks, and have also labeled them as a likely carcinogen.  Nice.


Finding a good alternative can be challenging.  I’ve been researching, and haven’t decided on anything yet.  Can you help us decide?  We’re planning to save up for a few months and then purchase a few individual pieces that I will get a lot of use out of (and that will hopefully last a long time!)

What do you use as an alternative to non-stick cookware?  Stainless steel?  Ceramic?  Something else?

By the way, this is a great article on how to keep food from sticking when you cook without the use of Pam or non-stick.

Thank you!

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  • Jessica

    I made the switch a few years ago to completely non-toxic cookware and have never looked back. I have bought vintage cast iron (my griddles are my favorites and are fabulous – you want vintage to avoid the toxic chemicals that are used these days for make the “finish”). I also use Le Creuset dutch ovens (have two sizes), and I use corning ware glass pots that I purchased on ebay. The cast iron and glass pots are very inexpensive cookware items to get and the le creuset are an investment, but worth every penny to me. I hope this helps!

  • Renee N.

    This was the topic in my home just last night! My husband and I put ALL of our toxic stuff in a box in the garage and pulled out the set of glass vintage Vision Corning Ware that my mom gave me years ago. All this time I had these glass pots/pans and kept thinking I’d never use them because they were so inconvenient. Really I should’ve been thanking my mom. I’ve cooked in them probably 4 times since yesterday and they seem to be doing well. However, I do plan on getting a couple of stainless steel stock pots and maybe a lead-free enamel-coated cast iron dutch oven (Le Creuset is too expensive for me… maybe one day).

    BTW, found you from Sarah’s Monday Mania link up!

  • Stacy

    We upgraded to hard anodized aluminum cookware and love it! No coating to flake off, it goes from stove top to oven and it cleans very easily (no dishwasher but still extremely easy to clean). Also, it allows for healthier cooking-no sprays or oil needed to saute anything.

  • Jill

    If you are wanting to stay in a fairly small budget, Costco’s stainless steel pot and pan set is a good deal, and they are decent quality as well. Also, you can get cast iron pans for a good price at Walmart. Sam’s Club has some nice enamel-coated cast iron dutch ovens for about $40, which is WAY less than the $300 or so you can pay for similar dutch ovens (I got one for Christmas–by my own request :-), and I love it). I too decided a while back to ditch my non-stick cookware, but unfortunately shortly after that, my mom bought me a full set for Christmas! I have them in boxes in the garage, but I think I’ll be yard-sale-ing them this spring.

  • padmaja

    Consider switching to 18/10 steel cookware as it does not react with food and is easy to clean and store – can throw in the dish washer and easily stacks and not heavy weight – my favorite is Kirkland brand from Costco – also I think cheapest there.

  • Lauren Hairston Collado

    My husband and I were given a set of non-stick cookware when we first moved in together and we absolutely hated it! Everything stuck anyway and the coating peeled off, which is totally disgusting. We made the switch to All-Clad stainless steel pans and Le Creuset dutch ovens and gratins. I use a good amount of fat for any sautéing and deglaze the pan with stock or wine. We also have scrubby pads on hand. I love never having to worry about taking the coating off my pans. Bring on the wire whisks! 🙂

  • Jenny

    I use stainless steel (the kind that a magnet will stick to) and glass (Amber Ware/Pyrex) primarily…some ceramic,but it’s harder to wash. I stopped using my beloved cast iron when I became convinced of the connection between excess iron and cancer/infections.

    Of course, if you use enough butter and/or coconut oil….you don’t every need non stick anyway. 😉

  • Jennifer Lachman

    I havn’t used Teflon in a very long time because we breed birds and it is extremely dangerous to them. My favorite thing to cook with is the cast iron pan. My mother got it from her mother and I got it from my mom. It has been so well seasoned over the years that I don’t even need cooking spray. I wish I could find another one like it but I just can’t find the same quality.

  • Bethany B.

    We use 18/10 stainless steel and we (I really) love it! It’s simple, easy to clean and cooks nicely.

  • Jill

    Visting from the Barn Hop. I mostly use cast iron. You only need to keep it seasoned (which can be with just about any oil). And you don’t even need to clean it every time you use it. Plus, they can be used on the stove, in the oven, or even in a fireplace. Cleaning is a breeze if you keep them well seasoned. And they last for GENERATIONS making them very cost effective.

    I do keep some stainless steel pans on hand for tomato based dishes like spaghetti sauce, which I find get tinny tasting in cast iron.

    I got rid of my Teflon cookware years ago and don’t miss it a bit.

  • Jennifer

    This is something that’s been on my mind lately also! It’s such an investment, but I know it’ll be worth it. I’d like to get a good cast iron skillet, and Le Creuset has a whole line of different types of pans that I’ve got my eye on.

  • Michelle

    I have used Teflon in the past, but when my husband seen an artical on it, we switched to stainless steel and cast iron.

  • Janise

    We own seven pots and pans total. Four (a saucepan, two medium size soup pots, and a very large frying pan) are stainless steel and three (small frying pan, medium frying pan, dutch oven) are cast iron. We default to using the cast iron for everything we can. It is SO wonderful, nothing sticks ever and they are SUPER easy to clean. We have the stainless steel for our larger pot needs. Cast iron gets cumbersome as it gets larger, so heavy. I rarely use my cast iron dutch oven, just because it is so heavy, hard to maneuver out of the cabinet, onto the stove and then in the sink while washing. So I would recommend a combination of stainless steel and cast iron according to your needs.

  • Holly @ Faithful Womanhood

    Hi, Sarah! We three out our non-stick and switched to using stainless steel about 2 months ago and we LOVE it! If you live near a Sam’s Club and have a membership (or have a friend who would let you borrow theirs), we bought the Cuisinart 14 piece stainless steel set with aluminum core (deep inside so aluminum cannot leach with scratching) set there for $150. It was the best budget stainless steel cookware set I could find and the quality is very, very good for the price! We have had no issues with our cookware set. As long as you use enough oil/fat on the bottom of your pan, stainless steel is easy to clean. It is also energy saving because you don’t have to put your burners on high, medium will do just as well.

  • Alea Milham

    I like stainless steel and ceramic pans. The only non-stick pan I use is an electric skillet, but it states that it is free of dangerous chemicals…homwever I still sorry about it. Thanks for sharing this with the hearth and Soul Hop.