Nothing is as frustrating as a pan that your eggs or pancakes always end up sticking to. And that’s why a non stick pan is so helpful in a modern kitchen.
Non stick pans vary in types. They can range from Teflon to natural ceramic coatings.
Of these coatings, Teflon is one of the most debated. While regulators allow it, there are safety concerns. If there is a suitable alternative, it is better to use that.
Stick around if you want to find the best non stick pan without Teflon.
What Is Teflon?
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is the active component of the nonstick coating branded as Teflon. PTFE is a synthetic chemical first made in the early 20th century. This chemical is used in the culinary world, as well as in the industrial sector.
Cookware may contain other nonstick coatings not branded as Teflon, yet if they contain PTFE, the concerns will be same.
Teflon-coated cookware provides a non stick and non-reactive surface. This makes it easy to use and clean. Being non stick, it is especially useful for frying eggs, flipping pancakes, and browning sausages.
Is Teflon Safe for Cooking?
Teflon coated cookware is regarded as unsafe above a specific temperature range. Always keep it below 260 °C (500 °F) to avoid the risk of it disintegrating into potentially harmful compounds.
Overheating Teflon causes it to release toxic fumes.
In fact, using a PTFE non stick pan around pet birds, can kill them.
There are also concerns about the safety of some new materials such as GenX included in Teflon non stick cookware. Since some of these chemicals are new, and replaced chemicals that are now banned, it’s reasonable to have a question mark around them.
What Is PFOA?
Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) is a chemical previously used in the manufacture of Teflon. However, in 2015 it was banned entirely due to concerns about its safety.
Today, all Teflon products are PFOA free, and anybody still talking about it is well behind the times. GenX is the new PFOA!
Unfortunately, too many products label themselves as “PFOA-free” or sometimes “lead, cadmium, and PFOA-free.” Personally I think this is meaningless – all cookware from a reputable brand will be PFOA-free—it has been banned of years.
If a cookware product page goes on about it being healthy and free of various things but doesn’t mention PTFE, there is a good chance the cookware has Teflon or something equivalent. This is the case even with some of the “healthier” pans.
Why use Teflon nonstick pans?
You don’t need a nonstick pan for everything. If your are going to boil water, for example, a stainless steel pan will do just fine.
Searing steaks? I like to use cast iron or carbon steel pans.
Yet, some things, such as fish, or eggs, are better cooked with nonstick pans. I know from experience that you can end up spending hours scrubbing fish skin out of a stainless steel pan. Not fun!
It’s also true that the best nonstick pans include Teflon pans.
So Teflon is a great choice for cooking some food.
Here’s the thing though: Cooking fish has so many health benefits. Do you really want to risk this even slightly? I mean it’s probably fine, but some how I’d rather use something else.
Well, when looking at nonstick cookware, there are other options.
Types of Non Stick Coatings That Don’t Use Teflon
Enameled Cast Iron Coating
Loved for its excellent heat distribution, easy maintenance, and even heating, enameled cast iron is the choice of many chefs and cooks.
Enameled cast iron pans contain a porcelain coating that renders them non stick, a widely sought out property in modern cookware. This coating also prevents iron from leaching into your food during cooking.
(Iron in your food is only dangerous if you have hemochromatosis or regularly cook for children under 6. For most people it’s a plus)
I also love that the enamel is available in different colors, which is a nice change from the typical black or grey cookware.
As always, ensure the enamel coating is safe.
A ceramic coating is one of the most popular alternatives to Teflon used by many of the best nonstick pans. Being a natural component, it should 100% healthy.
However, there is very little pure ceramic nonstick cookware on the market. Hence, it’s always prudent to look into what is actually included. Plenty of ceramic pans actually have PTFE when you dig deep!
How many people thought they were getting the best non-stick pan without Teflon, only to buy a pan with PTFE in?
Ceramic coated pans aren’t always the most durable. They can be prone to cracking or shattering when dropped or exposed to a sudden temperature change. There are also reports of ceramic cookware losing its non stick properties after a while.
Silicone is a durable and flexible alternative to Teflon cookware. You will commonly find silicone-coated pans in modern cookware, bakeware, and utensils. Although there’s not much evidence around it, it’s regarded as safe and non-reactive.
The main downside is its low thermal stability. You should never use it above 300 °C (572 °F).
The other downside is that it can be a little bit too flexible. If you are baking a square cake, you don’t want the sides bowing out. Unfortunately that often happens with silicone bakeware.
Silicone doesn’t come as an inner coating for a pan. This means that silicone cookware tends to be either bakeware or utensils. (Since you can’t expose silicone directly to the heating surface on the stove). I haven’t including silicone cookware in my search for the best non-stick pan without Teflon for this reason.
Yet, if you are looking for a silicone cake pan – check this one out.
Thermalon is a relatively new type of non stick material made from ‘natural materials’ and is PTFE free. As such, there isn’t much information about it; hence I can’t say for sure how safe it is.
The thing that I love most about it is its high heat stability (up to 450 ℃ (840℉), which I find more than enough for most oven uses.
This is a promising alternative to Teflon, that might even end up replacing PTFE.
With a superb ability to repel water, this is an excellent option for a Teflon free pan. Its coating is genuinely non stick and also relatively easy to clean.
Standard bases used in this coating include Zinc oxide polystyrene, Silica nanocoating, and Carbon nanotube structures.
How safe these materials are, is something I can’t say for sure.
One of the most natural looking surfaces is stone. It looks like something that might have been used in, well, the stone age.
But if you look closely at the product descriptions, most of these stone pans contain PTFE. To me, that means they are a form of Teflon.
There are exceptions to this, and there are some nice PTFE-free stone pans out there, like this one by Koche.
Things to Consider with Non Stick Teflon-free Pans
Health and safety is always the top priority when it comes to the best non-stick pan without Teflon. Yet it’s not the only thing that matters. Below are some of the things worth considering:
- Safe oven temperatures
- Compatible cooking tops
- Handles (are they cool to touch?)
- Dishwasher safety and ease of cleaning
- Utensils to use (can I use metallic tools?)
Best Non Stick Cookware Without Teflon
To help in your search for the best non-Teflon non-stick pan, I have reviewed some of the best PTFE free cookware on the market.
MICHELANGELO 10-Inch Nonstick Copper Frying Pan with Lid (Best Non-Stick Pan without Teflon)
The Michelangelo nonstick fry pan features a durable die-cast aluminum body crafted with ceramic and titanium coating. It thus conducts heat quickly and evenly with precise temperature control and no hot spots.
I also love that this 10-inch fry pan comes with a tempered see-through glass lid enabling you to keep an eye on your food for the perfect finish.
Its stainless steel handle is designed to provide a comfortable grip and stays cool during cooking. The pan additionally has an induction-compatible spiral bottom to work on gas, electric, or halogen stovetop.
My main concern is that the pan is a little convex, and the oil tends to form a ring around the outside edge. While I find this great for frying eggs, it may be a significant flaw to those looking for entirely flat bottomed pans.
I’m not too impressed with the whole “Dishwasher Safe – handwash recommended” business. Yet, in my experience, you can wash these sorts of pans as long as you are careful. Make sure nothing can touch the interior while it is in the dishwasher.
If you are looking for a similar but bigger pan, then the Michelangelo 12-Inch (30cm) Frying Pan with Lid & Nonstick Stone-Derived Coating is worth looking at.
- Beautiful ceramic interior
- Heats quickly and evenly
- See-through glass lid
- Induction friendly
- Oven safe to 230 °C (450 °F) (without lid)
- Genuinely non stick
- Dishwasher safe
- Handwash recommended
- Reports of the handle getting hot during cooking
Copper Chef 10 Inch Diamond Fry Pan with Lid (Best Oven Safe Non Stick Pan Without Teflon)
Oven fans, this 10-inch copper nonstick pan is for you. This non stick ceramic skillet is heat resistant up to 450 ℃ (840℉), allowing a seamless transition from stovetop to oven.
Plus, thanks to the diamond-shaped ridges on the pan’s surface, you’ll get that coveted heat distribution and the best non stick cooking experience.
Like all the products in this list, this beautifully made copper cookware is free from PTFE and other potentially unsafe materials.
This diamond fry pan is large enough to cook for your family and guests. If interested in a similar small sized pan, take a look at the Copper Chef 8” 8” Round Fry Pan, that boasts the same features at an even lower price range.
I like that the pan also comes with a tempered glass lid providing faster cooking and allows you to keep an eye on your food. The lid is made with thermal shock resistant technology, so it is ultimately durable with minimal chances of shattering.
- Oven safe up to 450 °C (850 °F) (without lid)
- Great value
- Tempered glass lid made with thermal shock resistant technology
- Diamond-shaped ridges for the ultimate non stick experience
- Even heat distribution
- Not metal utensil safe
Whether you are looking to sauté vegetables or sear pork chops, this is the perfect all round pan for you. Made from a Thermalon healthy ceramic coating, this pan is free from Teflon, so you can fry, sear, braise, and deglaze worry-free.
The pan additionally features a durable hard-anodized aluminum for maximum strength, scratch protection, and chip resistance. However, I still advise against using metal utensils to enjoy the ultimate durability.
Cleaning is a breeze with this pan as all you need is to wipe it gently with a sponge. I also love that it’s also dishwasher safe.
I like the drip-free edges that allow easy pouring and contain the food in the pan without messing up my cooking area. Its durable steel handles are oven safe and give you a secure grip.
- Oven and broiler safe up to 315 °C (600 °F)
- Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
- Metal utensil safe
- Suitable for all stovetops except induction
- Reports of the pan losing its non stick ability over time
- Not induction suitable
- No lid
Featuring superior European quality and Italian design, this 9.5-inch (24 cm) pan is built for heavy-duty performance even with constant and regular use.
Its 0.15 inch (3.7mm) thick aluminum base ensures even heat distribution and fast cooking.
As for handling, this ceramic-coated beauty also performs excellently. It features a comfortable silicone handle that remains cool even at high temperatures.
I like that this pan provides a perfect slope and generous depth, allowing effortless flipping. Cleaning this pan is also fast as it wipes easily with a sponge, and is dishwasher safe (just in case).
To enjoy its maximum performance and durability, I advise you to stick to medium heat and avoid metal utensils. Be careful if you put it in the dishwasher.
The only gripes I have with this pan is it doesn’t come with a lid, and there are reports of it becoming sticky after several uses.
- Oven safe up to 230 °C (450 °F)
- Dishwasher safe
- Cool-touch silicone handle
- Even heat distribution
- Easy cleaning
- Beautiful design
- No lid
- Reports of it losing its non-stick ability over time
- Handwash recommended
Koch Systeme 11 inch Copper Nonstick Frying Pan (Best Non-Stick Pan with Copper Style)
With a high capacity plus a superior ceramic and titanium interior, this pan easily tops in my list of the best PTFE and PFOA free cookware.
Everything slides off the superior non stick interior, which also makes cleaning a breeze.
I also love that the pan comes with a stainless steel handle that is easy to grip and a glass lid that allows you to monitor your food while avoiding a mess. The skillet is also suitable for use on all stovetops, including induction.
If you aren’t a copper fan but are impressed by the build of the pan, this Stone Earth Frying Pan by the same manufacturer offers superior performance in a different design.
- Genuine non stick interior
- Induction suitable
- Great capacity
- Dishwasher safe
- Oven safe up to 230 °C (450 °F)
- Easy to grip stainless steel handle that can resist high-temperature cooking
- The handle can get hot
- Handwash recommended
This classic enameled cast iron fry pan is a decent quality traditional pan. It looks pretty nice and stylish.
Cast iron isn’t for everyone, and you need to cook differently. It takes longer to heat up and longer to cool down. If you know what you’re doing, you’ll probably cook better food.
Otherwise, you need to practice.
The enamel surface doesn’t have any special chemicals or coatings. You might think this makes it safer. Perhaps it does, but it’s also a bit more sticky than some of the other pans reviewed here.
Unfortunately, another problem with enamel is it does tend to chip eventually. This pan won’t last forever.
- “Natural” non stick
- Cast iron itself is durable
- Even and efficient heating
- Beautiful look
- Lots of size and shape options
- Reports of the enamel chipping
- Porcelain enamel is a bit more sticky than other “non stick”
Best Non Stick Pan Without Teflon
I would choose the MICHELANGELO 10 Inch Nonstick Copper Frying Pan as the best non stick pan without Teflon. I love that its induction compatible, comes with a see-through lid and an easy to grip handle.
Best Oven Safe Non Stick Pan Without Teflon
If looking for a high-quality Teflon free nonstick pan that can withstand high oven temperatures, I recommend the Copper Chef 10 Inch Diamond Fry Pan with Lid.
What is the best non stick cookware that is non toxic?
Well firstly, Teflon, if used correctly, is almost certainly non-toxic. Always buy from a reputable manufacturer – companies aren’t allowed to sell toxic cookware these days.
If you want to avoid Teflon, then check that the cookware says it is “PTFE-free”. PTFE is the active ingredient for Teflon.
For a concrete recommendation, the best non-stick pan without Teflon is, in my opinion, the MICHELANGELO 10 Inch Nonstick Copper Frying Pan. Michelangelo also offer
Are there non stick pans without Teflon?
Yes there are. But make sure you check they say “PTFE-free.” “PFOA-free” is fairly meaningless as PFOA has been banned for many years.
Generally ceramic nonstick pans are a good choice – but some ceramic does contain PTFE.
I recommend the MICHELANGELO 10 Inch Nonstick Copper Frying Pan as the best nonstick pan without Teflon. If you want more options–read my guide above.
What is the safest non stick coating?
The absolute safest non-stick coating is none at all. A non-stick cooking surface is always more fragile and more likely to get damaged. Carbon steel pans are very safe for example, and if properly seasoned, aren’t very sticky.
What is the best alternative to Teflon?
Either PTFE-free ceramic cookware, carbon steel or cast iron is the best alternative to Teflon. PTFE-free ceramic cookware will be less “sticky” but won’t last as long as carbon steel or cast iron.
Carbon steel and cast iron, when properly seasoned, have a natural nonstick coating.
Don’t be fooled by manufacturer claims of a “PFOA-free nonstick pan”. PFOA is banned and no longer used in Teflon. Look for “PTFE-free” nonstick cookware.
Why is Teflon not banned?
Teflon isn’t banned because it is safe–if used correctly. The element of Teflon that was dangerous, PFOA, was banned years ago. Teflon pans are safe to use-just don’t overheat them or use metal utensils.
However if you want to be safe then buy ceramic PTFE-free nonstick pans from a reputable manufacturer.
Are Teflon pans safe now?
Yes Teflon pans are safe if used correctly. There were health concerns about Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) in the past but it has been banned since 2015. So any Teflon nonstick pan you bought after 2015 should be safe, as long as:
- It isn’t chipped
- You don’t heat it beyond 260°C (500°F)
- You follow manufacturer’s instructions
However recent concerns about GenX mean the absolute safest approach is to avoid Teflon nonstick pans. If you mush have a nonstick coating, the best nonstick pan is ceramic. I recommend the MICHELANGELO 10 Inch Nonstick Copper Frying Pan.
Does DuPont still use PFOA?
No. Chemours, the manufacturer of Teflon, and a subsidiary of Dupont does not use PFOA to make Teflon any more. It hasn’t done so since at least 2015.
However concerns have been raised about GenX which replaced PFOA. So the safest option for a nonstick pan is a PTFE-free ceramic pan.
Is Teflon banned in USA?
No Teflon is not banned in the USA. Chemicals previously used in Teflon have been banned, but Teflon has changed its formulation.
In reality some of the best nonstick cookware is made using Teflon, so it’s unlikely to ever be banned completely. If a chemical is banned, then a substitute is likely to be found.
If you want to avoid Teflon, the best nonstick pan without Teflon is, I believe, the MICHELANGELO 10 Inch Nonstick Copper Frying Pan.
What are the safest pans to cook with?
Cast iron, carbon steel and stainless pans are the safest pans to cook with. Unless you have hemochromatosis (iron overload) or children under 6.
If you are trying to avoid excess iron, Teflon non-stick pans are not dangerous if used correctly. Alternatively consider Teflon-free ceramic. I recommend the MICHELANGELO 10 Inch Nonstick Copper Frying Pan as the best nonstick pan.