You might think finding the best non-stick pan is a piece of cake but you couldn’t be further from the truth…
Why is that, though?
Well, one of the problems with non-stick pans over the years has only recently come to light and it’s the presence of PFOA, a potentially harmful substance that’s best avoided.
The first thing to make clear is that Teflon itself is not the issue. The risk comes from the raw materials (PFOA) used to make it. Today, we’ve got a selection of 12 outstanding non-stick pans with PFOA-free. So you can get the best results in the kitchen without any health concerns. We’ll double down on this health issue in more detail shortly.
Before our reviews and guide, we’ll first highlight our 3 overall picks:
Our #1 Pick: Calphalon Omelette Fry Pan (Hard-Anodized)
For a non-stick pan free of PFOA and ideal for omelettes as well as much, much more, our overall winner is the Calphalon. You’ll get a perfect combination of price, performance and a safe, effective coating from a brand you can rely on.
Runner Up: Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick 8-Inch Shallow Fry Pan
This item will instantly add to the lovely look of your kitchen especially if you would hang it. The pan is made from durable hard-anodized stainless steel, which adds to its heavy-duty performance. You can pass this cookware to the next generation and use it for decades of cooking.
Best Budget: Tramontina Non-Stick Fry Pan
If you’re operating on a tighter budget, Tramontina come to the rescue with this wallet-friendly non-stick pan available in a range of sizes with a lifetime guarantee to ice the cake. For non-stick cooking at its best and safest at a remarkably keen price-point, this non-stick pan is the obvious choice for bargain hunters.
Table of Contents
I. What is Teflon?
Teflon itself is a synthetic chemical comprised of fluorine atoms and carbon. First synthesized way back in 1930, it’s formally known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Because of its inherently non-stick nature, the frictionless surface it provides is ideal for cooking with little oil making it a healthy method that also leaves minimal mess.
II. PTFE (Teflon) or PFOA ‒ Which Is Worse?
Despite these advantages, there’s been a growing body of media coverage online and in the press about the dark side of PFOA, one of the components of Teflon. We’d like to clear up some of the confusion that abounds here and to put your minds at rest.
Well, the first thing to make clear is that Teflon itself is not the issue. The risk comes from the raw materials used to make it.
PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as C8) is a man-made acid used in the manufacture of Teflon and other chemicals which are compounds of flour and carbon.
The American Cancer Society conducted assessment on the impact of PFOA in two ways:
- Animal testing
- Human impact by means of statistical sampling
The results of this testing show that PFOA is potentially carcinogenic to animals and humans
In fact, PFOA has recently been ranked by PFOA as the second leading cause of cancer in Group 2B by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Although PFOA was used to produce Teflon, the researchers did not find PFOA in Teflon non-stick pan. In their study, the American Cancer Society pointed out that Teflon was not a cause for cancer.
III. Is Teflon Safe?
Teflon has long been used as a highly effective non-stick coating for fry pans and other cookware so what’s the problem with this substance?
However, there’s some research that recommends Teflon should not be used at high temperatures between 260 and 650 degrees Celsius because it can damage the layer of adhesion leading to chest tightness and shortness of breath.
Beyond this, all Teflon products nowadays are completely PFOA-free so you don’t need to worry about that. Also, research has made it plain that Teflon cookware in general has never been a significant cause of PFOA-exposure.
So, we can see from this that Teflon itself is not poisonous. It’s practically inert so does not react with other substances or produce toxicity.
Thing is, we’re always inclined to err on the side of caution so we’ve sourced a selection of a full dozen PFOA-free non-stick pans. That way, you can be absolutely confident that you won’t be at any kind of risk when you’re cooking. PFOA is not just potentially carcinogenic but also linked to a range of health issues from liver disease and kidney disease to thyroid disorders and even lowered birth rate. All of this combines to make it essential not to use cookware containing any PFOA at all and with our choice of non-stick pans, you can make sure of that.
We’ll get straight down to business right now with 12 of the best PFOA-free non-stick pans before rounding out with some handy hints to make your life in the kitchen even easier.
IV. 12 Best Non-Stick Pans Without PFOA (PFOA-Free)
1) Calphalon Omelette Fry Pan
First up in our best non-stick pans with PFOA reviews is a very flexible fry pan from Calphalon allowing you to cook a full range of dishes safely and easily.
Pre-heating is safe thanks to the non-PFOA coating that will keep you safe from Teflon flu while making certain your food won’t be caked all over the pan either.
The sweeping curves don’t just look great but also ensure all your food stays in the pan rather than cascading over your cooker. And the triple-layered non-stick surface, as well as being completely safe, also lets you use less damaging oil while confidently whipping up some eggs that won’t smear all over the pan.
Stay-cool handles let you ramp up the heat without worrying about burning yourself and once you’re done, you can pop this omelette fry pan in the dishwasher without a headache.
A lifetime warranty removes any reason not to add this neat pan to your kitchen armory.
- Design: Flat bottom and sloping sides giving you maximum versatility for cooking everything from omelettes through stir-fries
- Safety: Pop it in the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and slip it in the dishwasher for cleaning for a safe, rounded experience
- Build Quality: Aluminum highly durable while non-stick coating makes cooking a breeze
- Certainly not the cheapest pan on the market but among the very best
2) Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick 8-Inch Shallow Fry Pan
The old style shallow fry pan of Le Creuset is another to consider when shopping around for a nonstick pan. It is aesthetically pleasing that suits any kitchen design and decoration. This item will instantly add to the lovely look of your kitchen especially if you would hang it.
The pan is made from durable hard-anodized stainless steel, which adds to its heavy-duty performance. You can pass this cookware to the next generation and use it for decades of cooking.
The shallow fry pan also has a nonstick surface, allowing you to cook healthier meals for your loved ones because you can use less oil when cooking. It also allows for easier cleaning, giving you additional time for your family.
It also has a stay cool handle, keeping cool on the stovetop and is also riveted, ensuring its strength to last.
This item is oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and dishwasher safe, too. In addition, this product can work on induction stovetops.
This cookware also comes with lifetime guarantee, adding to your peace of mind.
- Healthier meals and less oil in cooking
- Ideal also for induction stovetops
- Lifetime guarantee
- Oven safe 500 degrees F
- Dishwasher safe
- Gradually decreasing nonstick properties over time
3) Tramontina Non-Stick Fry Pan
While marketed as a commercial-grade pan, the Tramontina slots neatly into any home kitchen and you’re spoiled for choice on the sizing front.
As with all the fry pans we review today, the coating is slippery enough to keep your food where you need it but completely safe with no questionable PFOA.
The only minor drawback is the fact this pan is only safe in the oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit but that’s still more than hot enough for most reasonable needs.
Crowning a rock-solid product is a no-nonsense lifetime warranty showing you how the manufacturer stands behind this pan. After all, they don’t expect to lose out on the deal so you can buy with complete confidence.
- Interior: Non-stick coating is free of PFOA while still highly effective at preventing any food catching on
- Sizing: Nice choice of sizes from 8-inch through 14-inch with a great value 2-piece available as well
- Handle: Silicone sleeve slips off for east cleaning and it’s ergonomic enough not to blister up your hands during those long frying sessions
- Oven-safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit which is not quite as strong as some of the competition but still fit for purpose
4) ScanPan Classic Fry Pan
Rounding out our PFOA-free fry pan reviews, we’ve got the enduringly popular ScanPan which might not be particularly cheap but certainly doesn’t stint on build quality or performance.
With little difference between most fry pans, a great deal comes down to brand loyalty and personal preference. The ScanPan stands above much of the competition, though, since it’s not only aggressively non-stick but also lends to consistency and balance without any chance of the material scratching up either.
The only thing that really falls in the minus column with this frying pan is the price but if you’ve got a more fluid budget and appreciate the finest cookware, we’d argue this PFOA-free pan represents superb overall value. Check one out today and start cooking more easily tomorrow.
- Coating: Hits all main bases with no harmful materials and a non-stick coating infinitely better than stainless steel
- Scratch-Resistant: It’s no use having a non-stick pan if it picks up too many scratches and the coating is compromised and the
- ScanPan staves off even tough utensils and keeps your pan pristine
- Warranty: The lifetime guarantee is always a benchmark of the very best non-stick pan and a show of confidence from the manufacturer
- Pricey but still exceptional overall value
5) All-Clad Non-Stick Fry Pan
If you’re looking for maximum value with getting stiffed on the performance front, choose from a pair of 2-piece sets from All-Clad and you’ll get the best of both worlds.
Oven-safe to a whopping 500 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll have all bases covered in the kitchen whatever you’re rustling up.
Build quality is first rate with durable stainless steel rivets ensuring the handle won’t come loose over time and hard-anodized aluminum giving you a top-tier cooking experience.
Coating, as with all the pans we review today, is free of PFOA while non-stick so you won’t face any messy clean-up. Although dishwasher-safe, the manufacturer recommends hand washing so we’d suggest you stick to this for best results.
Suitable for pretty much any type of cooker and coming in at a very reasonable price-point, we’d urge you to pop this pair of pans on your shortlist if you’re looking for a user-friendly fry pan from a brand you can rely on.
- Value For Money: Comes in a choice of 2 sets (8-inch/10-inch or 10-inch/12-inch) for complete flexibility at a price you’ll love
- Handles: Contoured for a great grip and riveted for longevity
- Multipurpose: Works well with all cookers from induction stoves through halogen and ceramic hobs
- Not available as single pans
6) Cuisinart 622-36H Chef's Classic
The Cuisinart 622-36H is another top rated product in the category that deserves a second look. It is loaded with the features, such as the Quantanium® non-stick interior. It allows for healthier cooking that requires less oil.
It is also a large skillet with a 14 inches size, letting you cook on a larger surface. This model also has a strong and easy grip helper handle, adding to its ease of use. The black skillet also has a good design that looks elegant and pleasing no matter the decoration of your kitchen.
This product also has a hard-anodized exterior that works even better than stainless steel when it comes to durability. In addition, this item can offer professional performance for is dense and highly resistant overall construction.
This product is also oven safe for up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and can be used on a wide range of cooking surfaces, such as stovetop and oven. It also has tapered rims that can get rid of drips while you’re pouring.
- Top rated in wok and stir fry pans
- Hard-anodized material for strength
- Quantanium® non-stick interior
- Wear resistant and dense material
- Can be used for stovetop and oven up to 500 degrees F
- Nonstick surface may flake
7) Tramontina Ceramic Fry Pan
The ceramic coating is Teflon-free and also missing any potentially harmful elements that can at best cause headaches and sickness, at worst serious health problems. Tramontina has your back and your food won’t end up slathered all over the sides either.
If you’re tired of the standard-issue cookware colors, you’ve got 4 muted and attractive colorways to choose from to brighten up your kitchen.
Whether you’re cooking with gas, electric or ceramic glass, this pan copes with everything and, if you’re in any element of doubt, the lifetime warranty should take any niggles away from your buying decision.
- Bargain Price: If you’re hunting for a cheap frying pan that won’t fall apart after a few weeks, the Tramontina is priced to fly off the shelves
- Colors: Comes in a selection of pastel colors rather than the usual black or gray so coordinate with your kitchen easily
- Super-Safe: No PFOA, PTFE or cadmium in the fantastic non-slip ceramic surface so cook with total confidence
- Only oven-safe to 350 degrees Fahrenheit which is a disappointment
8) Rachael Ray Non-Stick Skillet
If you fancy bringing the celebrity chef into your home kitchen, there’s no substitute for Rachael Ray’s impressive range of cookware, this non-stick skillet standing proud in a stable of top-notch products.
Whether you choose the 2-piece set in smaller sizes (9 ¼-inch/11 ½-inch) or the bulkier 14-inch single pan, you’ll get an ergonomic primary handle along with the trademark helper handle to simplify those labor-intensive stir-fries.
Made from the hard-anodized aluminum pretty much standard on non-stick pans, you’ll get a winning combination of a lightweight pan that’s built to give you years of happy service. Rivets keep the handle solidly in place and the supplementary helps you when it comes to both cooking and moving your pan off the heat.
If you want a reasonably-priced non-stick pan that’s PFOA-free and capable of streamlining your cooking duties without letting you down, we can’t recommend this Rachael Ray skillet highly enough. The added bonus is you can ramp up your supplies with other pieces from the wider Cucina collection with everything designed to look great together.
- Aesthetics: Pan looks subtle yet striking but not a case of form over function
- Construction: Hard-anodized aluminum for maximum lifespan and first-rate performance up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Lid: Glass lid gives you further scope with your recipes
- Doesn’t work with induction cookers so bear this in mind before committing to purchase
9) Anolon Non-Stick French Skillet
The bulk of non-stick pans come with the precise same construction and limited range of features – after all, this is by nature a simple product. The key differentiating factor with this Anolon skillet is the nicely flared rim that promoted dripless pouring and keeps your food nicely contained even if you’re whipping up a storm of a stir-fry.
This pan might feel a little lightweight but for many that’s a selling point and you won’t feel burdened down. Despite not being the heaviest pan on the block, you won’t dip out on durability since it’s fashioned from hard-anodized aluminum.
Heat distribution is beyond reproach and you’ll get none of those hot or cold spots that can spoil an otherwise carefully prepared meal.
The only thing to watch out for over time with this pan is warping. A few disgruntled users have complained about this but the pan we tested seemed robust enough for this not to be a serious issue. Check out the Anolon for a compact and safe alternative to Teflon.
- Sides and Rim: Sloped edges with flared rim make cooking easier and decanting your food onto plates a breeze
- Coating: Safe, non-stick coating is Teflon-free and remarkably easy to clean
- Build Quality: Robust enough to last for years without being so heavy that it weighs you down
- Some reported issues with warping
10) Swiss Diamond Non-Stick Fry Pan
Next up in our Teflon-free non-stick pan reviews is something slightly different from Swiss Diamond…
Not content with the normal PFOA-free alternative to Teflon, this pan is made with particles of diamonds laced in. This renders clean-up a breeze and the texture is such you can cook without needing oil, ideal if you’re on a diet or following a restricted eating plan of any kind. Cleaning the pan just needs a splash of soapy water rather than endless scrubbing and your eggs will slide straight out onto the plate without ever getting caught on.
The base is designed to be perfectly flat which promotes consistent heat distribution while also helping with balance.
For fans of Swiss precision who want something that makes a real conversation piece as well as the best omelettes, why not treat yourself to this outstanding non-stick pan?
- Heat Limit: Capable of withstanding up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven, this gives you the freedom to get creative in the kitchen
- Materials: In a refreshing change from the norm, this cast aluminum pan looks and feels great
- Diamond-Reinforced Non-Stick Coating: Cook happily oil-free thanks to the PFOA-free coating laced with real diamond particles
- Extremely expensive so not for everyone
11) GreenPan Lima Ceramic Non-Stick Fry Pan
Ceramic is arguably the best non-stick surface if you’re looking for something free of PFOA, lead, cadmium and PFAS. GreenPan serves up the excellent Lima fry pan delivering all of this and more in 3 sizes to suit.
The most versatile of the bunch is the 12-incher we tested. It’s made from anodized aluminum like the majority of these frying pans and comes in gray or bronze so you can mix and match with your kitchen décor.
Contoured handles give you outstanding grip even when you’re vigorously wok-ing up a stir-fry and the rivets mean it’s built to stay the distance, too.
The only minor snag with this otherwise flawless fry pan is the fact you’ll be limited to handwashing it. If a dishwasher-friendly pan is a must, check out one of the other non-stick pans we review. If you don’t mind a little elbow grease, there are few better choices in a crowded market.
- Coating: Fantastic ceramic coating with no PFOA or other potentially harmfully contaminants in a premium, non-stick finish
- Lid: Glass lid allows you to see what you’re simmering without breaking your stride
- Consistency: Build quality helps with heat conduction and eliminating hot spots meaning you’ll get first-class results whatever you’re cooking
- Handwash only so not for dishwasher fiends
12) GreenLife Non-Stick Ceramic Fry Pan Set
If you want to inject a splash of color into your cookery, GreenLife’s nifty non-stick pan comes in turquoise, burgundy or lavender to brighten up your cookware.
You’ll get no damaging lead or cadmium in this top-tier pan and the non-stick coating is highly effective as well as safe.
Build quality is a complete winner with the aluminum also highly stain-resistant and finished in those eye-catching colors instead of bland black or gray.
Once you’re done cooking, there’s a hole on the handle to simplify storage and you can pop your pan in the dishwasher to save your time scrubbing.
For a non-stick pan that’s safe, strong and looks the part, you’ll struggle to find a better non-stick Teflon-free option on the market.
- Handle: Soft-touch, ergonomic handle made from Bakelite also stays cool even under heavy punishment
- Coating: Thermolon ceramic coating free of all harmful agents and non-stick for optimum performance
- Heat Conduction: Reinforced aluminum construction for consistent cooking every time with no annoying hot spots
- Limited maximum oven temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit
V. Tips To Cook Safely With Non-Stick Pans
Studies have shown non-stick pans are generally non-cancerous and non-stick Teflon, as long as it’s produced after 2013, is also safe in and of itself. However, if manufacturers use PFOA raw materials, even small doses can increase the risk of cancer so how can you limit these risks to your family?
We’ll finish up today with some tips to cook safely with non-stick pans so you can stay safe while still enjoying all the convenience these nifty fry pans bring to the table.
Keep an Eye Out For Damage To The Pan: If the anti-adhesive layer on your fry pan is in any way compromised, you need to be ruthless, throw it away and invest in a new one. Not only will you no longer get the effects of the non-stick layer, it could present safety risks too.
Don’t Heat Up an Empty Pan: If you have no food, water or oil in the pan, never leave it to heat up. Pre-heating is fine, just don’t do it with a bare pan
Avoid Overheating: Teflon and other non-stick materials can produce toxic gases when the temperature breaches 500 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 260 degrees Celsius). Most normal cooking duties shouldn’t call for you to operate outside of these safe parameters so play it safe and make sure not to overheat your pan
Don’t Use Metal Utensils: When you’re stirring your food in the pan, use either wooden or plastic utensils and never metal. This will preserve the integrity of the non-stick surface and prevent damage that will cause you to need to replace your non-stick pan
Store Sensibly: When you’re stashing your cookware away, don’t overlap pans if at all possible. If you do need to stack them together due to limited space, you can use soft paper like linen or tissue to avoid scratches. This might seem tiresome but it’s not as much of a pain as needing to replace damaged fry pans
Sidestep Non-Stick Cooking Spray: It might seem like a smart move to double up by using non-stick cooking spray in your non-stick pan but it really isn’t and here’s why… This spray tends to build up in the pan over time and the residue won’t burn off when you’re cooking. This happens all over the pan but particularly at the edges. Instead, use whole fats, cooking spray or shoot for a pan that allows for oil-free cooking
Don’t Forget To Season Your Fry Pan: This is a common mistake and one that’s easily remedied. Seasoning your pan has two advantages Firstly, it will make it last longer. Also, your food will taste better. Just rub in a little oil before using it and you’re good to go with minimum effort and maximum reward
Don’t Rely Too Much on The Dishwasher: Don’t get us wrong, it doesn’t harm to occasionally pop your fry pan in the dishwasher as long as it’s labeled safe to do so. The problem comes with the harsh detergents that can break down the non-stick coating over time. When possible, wash your pan by hand and use the dishwasher from time to time. That way, you’ll save yourself ongoing effort while also preserving the lifespan of your pan
We very much hope this look at PFOA-free fry pans has given you plenty of food for thought. And, when you come to cook that food, it won’t end up all over the bottom of the pan either.
The key takeaway from today should be that Teflon itself is not a serious problem but the PFOA found in it prior to 2013 certainly could be. If you’ve got any older pans hanging around made before that point, it’s well worth throwing them away and investing in something new and safe. After all, you can’t put a price on health, particularly not when you’re talking about cancer, liver disease and kidney disease as possible consequences.
With Teflon today, you’re in safe hands but with plenty of serviceable alternatives like ceramic, why take the chance?
It’s also worth paying close attention to our safety tips so you can cook up a storm without worrying about potential health implications.
Come back soon as we’ve got plenty of products lined up from cookware to coffee machines and much, much more. With the holiday season behind us, we’re fully fired up to make sure 2019 is the year you can make your shopping that much easier thanks to our brief but informative review coupled with all the information you need to make your buying decision the easiest thing in the world not a crippling headache!