Robert is a self taught kitchen cook. Follow his journey from a fast food junk food diet to a eat fresh masterful cook. Eat well, Live Well
Finding the Best Nonstick Ceramic Cookware
So you are looking to replace your toxic Teflon cookware with healthy “green” nonstick cookware. You have heard about the PTFE and PFOA-free cookware and you want to know what the best option is for you. Let me be the first to congratulate you for thinking healthy! But let me warn you that the market is filled with many poor quality products that will only serve to disappoint you. Be smart and learn which cookware set is right for you.
Look no further. The Healthy Legend Weilburger 11-piece set is your best choice. At $230.00, many of you will look at this as too expensive. (I did too!) However, after building an extensive spreadsheet of features, pros and cons, reviews and prices, it was an easy choice. The manufacturing quality of Healthy Legend cookware is superior to many higher priced products and customers consistently rate this cookware as 5-stars. A nice 8-piece cookware set is also available for $170.00.
Price Tag: $230.00 (11-piece set)
Review Update 2017 - Copper Chef
Copper Chef Pans
Like most niches, the ceramic, non-stick cookware market changes on a regular basis. The latest entry is the much-touted Cooper Chef pans. After one look, we know these pans are junk. Let us count the ways.
- They are made of aluminum and painted to look like copper.
- The aluminum construction is poor by cookware standards.
- The cookware suffers from the biggest complaint in this niche market.
“The non-stick surface does not last.”
- They are inexpensive. In the cookware market, "You get what you pay for!"
Conclusion: Do not buy!
Budget Set: T-Fal WearEver
Say money is tight and your budget cannot afford the Healthy Legend set. Where do we go from there? Great news! T-Fal makes a PTFE- and PFOA-free cookware set that is only $100.00. Unlike most of the budget nonstick cookware, the WearEver Pure Living ceramic cookware receives excellent customer reviews and in my opinion has a very stylish design. However, remember the Golden Rule with most consumer products: You get what you pay for! The WearEver cookware will probably not satisfy serious cooks, but is an excellent choice for the everyday kitchen.
Price Tag: $100.00 (10-piece set)
Mid-Range: Emeril All-Clad
As the Goldilocks fairy tale goes, the girl finds the baby bear bed is “just right.” The Emeril All-Clad Nonstick ceramic cookware set ($175.00) may be your “just right” solution. The cookware is well manufactured, professionally styled and carries the Emeril name. Many reviewers absolutely love the cookware but mention the handle tends to get hot when cooking. I appreciate the steamer insert that comes with 12-piece set. As a bonus, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Price Tag: $175.00 (12-piece set)
Review Update 2017 - Calphalon Select
Calphalon Select Ceramic Pans
We were fortunate to find a 50% off “open-box” deal on these pans. After using these pans for over a year, most of the set retain their whiteness. Only the two heavily used ( daily use ) pans show wear and tear. The Calphalon pans are well constructed and have comfortable, easy grip handles. Our only true complaint is the big lid handles which do not fit well in our lid drawer.
Conclusion: Good Buy - Look for Sales!
High-End: JA Henckel Spirit Thermolon
Several years ago, the legendary German knife producer J.A. Henckels entered the cookware market. Their Spirit Thermolon Ceramic cookware is one of the highest-quality sets on the market. Henckels attention to the manufacturing process shines through on these pans. The look and feel is pure professional. This is the only stainless steel set reviewed here, and is designed to be the last cookware set you will ever buy.
Price Tag: $400.00 (10-piece set)
What Is "Green" Cookware?
So-called “green” cookware is fairly straightforward. Teflon, the traditional nonstick coating, has been declared toxic. DuPont agreed to eliminate the use of Teflon in cookware by 2015. Cookware manufacturers began replacing Teflon with a PTFE- and PFOA-free ceramic-based coating in 2006 but here is where the “green” picture becomes unclear. Many of the manufacturers use cheap and low quality methods of applying the ceramic coatings. Some people argue that poorly made pans are more unhealthy than Teflon. In addition, the ceramic coating breaks down at a lower heat than Teflon, meaning cooks must use lower temperatures to prepare their food. What all of this means to the everyday cook is that green cookware is healthier but also requires more care than traditional Teflon pans.
Healthiest: Xtrema by Ceramcor
Xtrema Video Demonstration
According to some health experts, any metal-based cookware is unhealthy. Aluminum, stainless steel and cast iron pans all have health risks. Ceramcor makes 100% natural ceramic cookware with no metal. The Xtrema products are rather expensive (a skillet with a cover is $130) and does not have the wide variety of pan options that other cookware sets offer. However, for those wishing to achieve the ultimate in healthy cookware, then choose Xtrema.
Price Tag: $400.00 (24-piece set pictured above)
Brands to Avoid
If nothing else, the infomercials featuring Orgreenic products introduced most of us to the “green cookware" revolution. We have seen the flying egg and the burnt cheese demonstrations. And with such a low price, millions of these pans were sold. Only one problem: They do not last. Review after review claims the same issue: "After 3 months the pan is worthless". Also, many consumers had serious issues with Orgreenic customer support.
Faberware Earth Pan II
At $135.00 and with a quality name behind them, one might expect the Earth Pan II from Faberware to be better. Unfortunately, these pans have not fared well in customer reviews on Amazon, Epinions or Buy.com. Sites like Good Housekeeping and America’s Test Kitchen grade this line as below average. With so many choices at nearly the same price, why bother?
The Aeternum was the first set to be widely marketed through the retail distribution chain. You can find their products at Bed Bath and Beyond, Macy’s, and Kohl's as well as at megastores like Walmart and Meijers. In fact, many grocery stores now sell the Aeternum line. The distinctive white interior is appealing. Unfortunately, these pans suffer the same flaw as the Orgreenic product: They do not last. With a $130.00 price tag, we recommend avoiding the Bialetti.
This is a classic example of corporate “Product Name” tomfoolery. Cuisinart has two lines of “green” cookware: The GreenGourmet set ($200.00) and the Greenware set ($140.00). We really liked the GreenGourmet product. However, the Greenware product is poorly constructed and belongs with the Orgreenic, Earth Pan and Bialetti. I would suggest avoiding the Cuisinart brand altogether because of the naming issue. The risk is too high that you may not receive the right product.
Off-Brand Cookware Worth Trying
As I researched this article I ran across a few off-brand products worth mentioning for the adventurous consumer.
- Tramontina Gourmet Porcelain. Headquartered in Brazil, the Tramontina group operates a manufacturing plant in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. If you want Made in the USA products, try Tramontina.
- Beka Chef Eco-logic - Headquartered in Belgium, Beka offers high-end cookware that has appeared in several serious "foodie" blogs.
- Denmark Tools for Cooks - Low cost Ceramic Cookware only available from Bed Bath and Beyond. Reviews have been very positive.
With so many brands and small nuances, the nonstick-ceramic-cookware market is difficult to navigate. Every manufacturer claims to be the healthiest, to be sturdiest, to be the most durable...in short to be the best. Hopefully, I have provided you with valuable insight.
© 2013 Robert Loescher
Chef Jess Pike on February 15, 2018:
Do not buy the Wearever coated baking pan with foldable handles. After 3 use's the coating peels off and pan rusts making it no longer food safe. Attempts to get warranty or replacement from WearEver is useless both support and corporate just give you the runaround and will not offer a suitable replacement product. The implied warranty is not worth the ink its written with.
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on November 12, 2017:
I am sure Scan Pan cookware is high quality and warrants the higher price tag. However, I would look at the JA Henkels Thermolon line. This is the only cookware I reviewed that is made of steel, not aluminum.
Caleb on November 08, 2017:
What do you feel about scanpan? Is the high price worth it?
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on March 26, 2017:
Magali...To be honest, I find the pans from Green Pan to be junk. If you want something in the budget category, try the WearEver pans from T-FAL. Every once in a while, I find the Calphalon ceramic 10-piece set on sale for $99.00 USD. Buy those if you find them on sale. Skip the Green Pan stuff.
Magali on March 26, 2017:
Hi, I'm looking for new pots and pans set. What do you think about the Soft Grip Ceramic Non-Stick 11-piece Cookware Set from GreenPan?
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on January 30, 2017:
Excellent question JM. I poked around a bit and discovered that JA Henckels has added to their line of ceramic cookware. They now have the Spirit Titanium and SOL Ceraforce collection. I hate when companies do this. None of the photos appeared to have that "thinner sparkly" look you describe. Here is my thinking. 1) JA created a set just for a store (like Macy's or BB&B) with a slightly different look. 2) They created a lower grade (better price point) version of Thermolon. 3) The 2016/2017 models have a different look & feel.
My suggestion: Closely inspect the packaging for naming differences. I purchased my Thermolon in 2014 when Henckels only had one collection of ceramic cookware. Still performing well!!!
josiemae on January 30, 2017:
Hi I wanted to ask about your Zwilling Spirit collection. I ordered one 8 " skillet to see how we liked it. Which we did so then wanted to order a larger one so ordered the set which was an 8" and a 10" but the coatings on them look totally different from the first one. Called the company and they said its the same just made to look different for different buyers. The original one is a thicker creamy light grey color where the set of two is a darker thinner looking sparkly coating. I was hoping maybe you could shed some light on this as I am trying to decide if I want to keep the set or send back. Thank you jm
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on November 28, 2016:
I looked at the Food Network set when it first came out two years ago. The "look and feel" was fabulous. The weight was very good. The bottoms of the pans are well constructed. My only complaint are the "high" handles on the glass lids. They don't fit in my lid drawer. I would lean more towards the Simply Calaphon series. I recently purchased the 11-piece set for a friend but kept the griddle for myself. ( I needed a new griddle! ) I happen to find last years 11-piece set on-line for $100 USD. Other sites sell it for over $250. Poke around on the web. You might find a great deal like I did.
Rachyl on November 25, 2016:
Would you recommend the food network ceramic cookware? Thanks!
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on July 27, 2016:
Casa...Thank you for the challenging question. I wish I could give you one simple answer. Given all your parameters I am going to suggest the Tramontina Gourmet Porcelain line of pans. These pans are made in Italy and assembled in Wisconsin. (USA!!!) Careful though. Tramontina does make cookware that originates in China. Stick with the Gourmet Porcelain line. I own the Chef pan and use it as my Wok when I cook stirfry...which is often. Another suggestion would be shop at bargain, closeout stores. I found a gorgeous 12 in tri-core aluminum fry pan with a lid for $10 USD. Also, look at the Clearance area on the BB&B website. I have found Cat Cora and Gordon Ramsay pans for as little as $20...Tri-core aluminum with lid. However, the BB&B clearance site is "hit or miss". You have to visit often to find awesome deals.
Casa on July 27, 2016:
Wow, now I'm more confused than ever! I have a TINY kitchen and only cook for myself, so am looking for a 4-5 qt., healthy, oven proof, has a lid, non-stick would be nice, use for everything, budget friendly, not made in China, won't scratch, kind of pan. Thought I found it with the Copper Chef 5 pc. Deep 9.5 in. pan at BB&B for $74.99, and then I read the reviews%[ Then I found a Gourmet Living 5 qt. ceramic saute pan with copper finish & lid for $39.99 at ShopKo, which sounded great, but I couldn't find anything about it when I Googled it?! I know I want it all, but I'm old. It seems like healthy options are also the expensive options.
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on July 17, 2016:
Great question. Roichen is similar to Xtrema by Ceramcor. Roichen is completely ceramic, not just ceramic coated like most of cookware sets shown in my article.
Luiz Guilherme on July 14, 2016:
What about Roichen cookware?
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on February 03, 2015:
I don't follow the manufacturers directions when it comes to oils. If my recipe calls for olive oil or grapeseed oil or whatever, I use the whole amount contained in the recipe. But I have a built-in excuse for this behavior --- I am a Man. LOL
Debra Allen from West By God on February 02, 2015:
I finally got into the ceramic cookware. It think it is just called Green and it is the best that I have ever bought. I also burn stuff in mine. I do still use cooking sprays in it even though it says that you do not have too. I got reid of all my teflon toxic cookware about 6 months ago. Thanks for the review!!
Oh another reason that I got it was because it had flat bottoms which is the only kind of cookware that I will use on my glass stovetop range.
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on February 02, 2015:
Funny you should ask. This is the set of pans I bought for my own kitchen. Over the last 4 months I have treated these pans rough. I put them in the dishwasher. I cook on high heat. I burn sauces. So far they have held up well. They are light. The handles are comfortable. They clean up easily. The only complaint so far is a little bottom damage on one fry pan from scraping on the thick cast grates of my stovetop.
mamamikks from Dubai, UAE on February 01, 2015:
Any feedback on the the Calphalon line?
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on December 30, 2014:
Mira, Ecolution is a "pretender". Many companies are labeling their pans as being "Green" or "Eco-friendly". I discuss this in my latest HP article on ceramic cookware. In the case of Ecolution, they do not use ceramic material to coat their pans and the "Eco" part of their name comes from their website where they encourage their customers to recycle their old pans...after you buy THEIR pans of course. :-) If you looking for an economical ceramic set of pans, go with the T-FAL Wearever series.
Mira on December 29, 2014:
I am wondering about Ecolution not stick cookware...it says pfoa free.
I wrote to the company to find it if it was cadmium free and have not heard.
They use a water process they say for the non stick coating.
Wondering if you know anything about this brand.
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on December 29, 2014:
Where might some of our fellow readers find "roichen" pots and pans?
peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 16, 2014:
I bought roichen ceramic pan and pot
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on August 30, 2014:
It is not surprising that the T-FAL pans were the lowest cost pans I reviewed. I feared including these pans in my recommended list but let's face it...not all of us can afford expensive pans. All the low cost pans in this article seem to get about 5 or 6 months of use and then you throw them away. I constantly keep my eyes open for good deals on the low cost pans. Just this week my local grocery store put up a display of Bialetti 10 inch pans for $9.00 each. I bought one.
Annie on August 29, 2014:
Thanks for your reply.
But how in the world does Farberware only last you 3 to 6 months?
I have had some for years..and I do Allot of cooking. Although I do not use high heat very often..(have a gas range). I also never put my cookware of good knives in the dishwasher.
I'll take a look at the Tramontina & Zwilling.
Although if it's heaving, I can't use it anymore..Starting to have a wrist problem!
Annie89 on August 28, 2014:
Are any of the ceramic or stainless cookware you have mentioned to buy, are any made in the USA?
Walterll on August 28, 2014:
I bought the T-Fal ceramic and after 5 months of use it became worthless. everything sticks now and requires 20 minutes of cleaning for just one pan . Very disappointed.
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on July 11, 2014:
Annie...Thanks for your insightful comments.If you are looking for a 1) lightweight, 2) ceramic, 3) made in the usa pan, I would suggest visiting the Tramontina Website. Their "Gourmet Porcelain Enamel" collection is perfect for you. Be careful though when buying Tramontina pans from on-line sources. Tramontina has half a dozen different "collections" and you can get easily misled by on-line retailers. Walmart and Costco sell Tramontina products but none of these stores carry the "Gourmet Porcelain Enamel" collection. I encourage you to visit the Tramontina website first and see the different "collections". Some are heavy. Some are not BPA free. Identify which collection you want to try. Then go shopping!
A lot of people like the Faberware line of cookware. I have always found Faberware to be poorly crafted. I usually get about 3 to 6 months use out of Faberware pans and then throw them away. Last Christmas, Zwilling put their Spirit collection on-sale. (40% off the normal price) I bought two fry pans. Used them ever since. High heat, low heat, in the oven, everywhere. They are by far my favorite pans in the kitchen. Only my 100 year old cast iron fry pan (inherited from my Grandmother) is more near & dear to my heart.
As always...Cook Well, Eat Well, Live Well.
Annie 89 on July 09, 2014:
I bought the WareEver ceramic cookware.
This is BPA, Cadmium, PTFE and PFOA-free
I called the company and that is what they told me.
The problem is, its made in China, the box is made in the USA, which has fooled some people to think it is made in the USA, not so.
That said, I do love the WareEver Ceramic cookware.
Although I use coconut oil , and never use a high flame. I also do Not stack my cookware on top of each other..I hang allot of it, and I have a big pantry.
I have a ton of Calphalon Commercial cookware, some none - stick, some not..That said, its getting to heavy for me, and I don't like to use Cookware that has BPA etc..
I have also started to go to thrift shops to buy Farberware stainless made in the USA, and Revere Ware copper bottom made in the USA..
That cookware you have to use a low heat, or everything sticks.I personally like the Farberware better.
But the Farberware Company does not answer ANY phone calls. They want you to use the internet, or write them..To me that is Not customer service. It Sucks.
Robert Loescher (author) from Michigan on April 29, 2014:
Funny how the marketing people at the different companies have a hand in the design of the cookware. So far after a year of using ceramic I love the "ease of cleanup" feature the best.
Neha on April 27, 2014:
The most interesting and noticeable thing about all the ceramic cookware is its attractive appearance and stylish. They have appealing glaze and are available in wide range of decorative vibrant colors. Because they have impressive prints and styling they are widely picked. Known for all sorts of cooking the ceramic cookware set is the best place you will have for your family’s health.