Are you looking for quality Teflon-free non-stick pans?
Although Teflon is no longer made using PFOA, a chemical linked to illnesses, it can still off-gas at extremely high temperatures.
So, if you’re trying to avoid this substance, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, I reveal the best non-stick pans without Teflon. You’ll learn why these pans are the best and how they compare to pans made with Teflon.
Use the links below to navigate the guide:
- What Is Teflon and Is It Unsafe?
- Best Teflon-Free Non-Stick Pans: Comparison Chart
- All-Clad FusionTec
- Made In Carbon Steel
- Lodge Cast Iron
- Bottom Line: Which Teflon-Free Non-Stick Pan Is the Best?
Teflon is the branded name for the substance Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). It’s the material that coats the interior of non-stick cookware to make it slippery and prevent food from sticking.
Many years ago, PTFE (including Teflon) was made with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
According to authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency, PFOA persists in your body and the environment, and exposure is believed to be a factor in several severe illnesses.
Fortunately, when studies began uncovering the risks of PFOA, manufacturers, including Teflon, stopped using it to make non-stick coatings. All non-stick cookware made since 2013 is PFOA-free.
In other words, today’s Teflon non-stick pans are safe. In fact, researchers from the American Cancer Society have reported no long-term scientifically-proven risks when cooking with PFOA-free non-stick pans.
That said, there are still reasons to avoid Teflon.
When a Teflon-coated non-stick pan is heated over 500°F for long periods, it releases harmful fumes that can cause respiratory distress. That’s why most non-stick pans have a maximum oven-safe temperature of 450°F to 500°F and come with a warning to cook on medium to low.
Additionally, Teflon scratches and wears down over time. Most non-stick pans made with Teflon need to be replaced within five years.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the best non-stick pans without Teflon.
Swipe to view the entire chart on mobile.
|Caraway||GreenPan||GreenLife||All-Clad FusionTec||Made In Carbon Steel||Lodge Cast Iron|
|Cooking Surface||Ceramic non-stick||Diamond-infused ceramic non-stick||Diamond-infused ceramic non-stick||Ceramic enamel||Seasoning (carbonized oil)||Seasoning (carbonized oil)|
|Base Material||Aluminum||Hard-Anodized Aluminum, Forged Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Carbon Steel||Aluminum||Steel||Carbon Steel||Cast Iron|
|Oven-Safe Temperature||550°F||600°F||350°F to 600°F||500°F||1200°F||500°F|
|Induction Compatible?||Yes||Depends on collection||Only one collection||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Design||Vibrant colors with rounded steel handles||Thick walls, colored exteriors, and steel handles||Bright colors, soft-grip handles||Black interior, colored exterior, steel handles||Steep walls and flat handles||Black, thick walls, and short handle|
|Where It’s Made||China and India||China||China||Germany||France||USA|
|Price||$$$ (Caraway, Amazon)||$$$ (GreenPan, Amazon)||$ (GreenLife, Amazon)||$$$$ (All-Clad.com, Amazon)||$$ (MadeIn), Amazon)||$ (Amazon)|
|Top Reasons to Buy||Food doesn’t stick, modern design||Diamond-reinforced non-stick coating lasts longer||Lightweight construction, low cost||Durable construction||High heat tolerance, natural non-stick surface||Superior heat retention, low cost|
|Top Reasons to NOT Buy||Prone to chipping||Expensive, only lasts a few years||Lacks durability, poor heat retention||Food sticks, expensive, heavy||Requires seasoning, food sticks more than ceramic non-stick||Requires seasoning, heavy, slow to heat|
Caraway is a New York-based cookware startup that makes visually stunning Teflon-free non-stick cookware.
Caraway pots and pans are available in multiple colors, such as cream, sage, marigold, and black. They have a glossy finish and polished stainless steel or gold-tone handles.
The body of the cookware is aluminum, and instead of Teflon, the non-stick coating is made of a smooth mineral-based non-stick material derived from sand.
Caraway is one of the best non-stick pans without Teflon because:
- Its ceramic non-stick coating closely mimics the performance of Teflon.
- It has an oven-safe temperature of 550°F, while Teflon maxes out at 500°F.
- It won’t release harmful fumes if overheated.
- It’s induction-compatible, while many Teflon non-stick pans are not.
- Based on my testing, he heats up faster than several brands that make Teflon non-stick pans, including T-fal, Anolon, and Calphalon.
However, there are downsides to consider:
- While ceramic non-stick releases food better than stainless steel, it’s not as slippery as Teflon.
- It also wears down and loses its slickness much faster than Teflon.
- Caraway claims it’s better for the environment because it releases up to 60% less carbon dioxide during production. However, ceramic non-stick pans don’t last as long as Teflon pans, so the actual environmental impact is up for debate.
- It’s expensive, especially for cookware that only lasts 1-3 years.
- While the exterior colors are eye-catching, the paint chips easily, and the pans won’t look new for long.
GreenPan, owned by The Cookware Company, is the pioneer brand of ceramic non-stick cookware.
They introduced the Teflon alternative, Thermolon, in 2007 and have continually refined and expanded its formula. GreenPan holds over 150 patents for its cookware and boasts an in-house testing lab.
Thermolon is a Teflon-free ceramic non-stick material infused with diamonds for added durability. It’s used on all GreenPan cookware and has different formulations, such as Infinite8 and Diamond Advanced.
GreenPan has nearly a dozen cookware collections, each with unique base materials and designs. The base of the pans is made of the following materials:
|Hard-Anodized Aluminum||Paris Pro, Valencia Pro|
|Forged Aluminum||Swift, Hudson, Rio|
|Fully-Clad Stainless Steel||Venice Pro Noir, Chatham|
|Carbon Steel||Merten & Storck Carbon Steel|
|Steel Core Enameled||Merten & Storck Steel Core|
GreenPan handles are made of various materials, including stainless steel, gold-tone, soft-grip Bakelite, and silicone-wrapped steel. There are also multiple color choices for the exterior.
GreenPan makes some of the best non-stick pans without Teflon because:
- Thermolon is a diamond-reinforced non-stick coating that lasts longer than most ceramic coatings.
- It prevents sticking like Teflon but won’t release harmful fumes if overheated.
- Some collections are safe in the oven up to 600°F.
- According to my tests, it conducts and retains heat similar to much more expensive brands like HexClad and All-Clad.
- There are several collections to choose from and a variety of constructions.
However, there are several drawbacks to consider:
Our Favorite Products in One Convenient Place
Want to see all the products we recommend in one convenient place? Visit the Prudent Reviews Amazon shop to browse a handpicked selection of our favorite cookware, kitchen knives, appliances, and more.
As an Amazon Associate Prudent Reviews earns from qualifying purchases.
- GreenPan is one of the most expensive ceramic cookware brands, while Teflon non-stick pans are available at all price points.
- Although it lasts longer than lower-cost ceramic cookware brands, it will eventually need to be replaced.
- Over time, the ceramic coating loses its food-release qualities.
- GreenPan collections made of aluminum are not compatible with induction.
GreenLife is also owned by The Cookware Company. It’s the sister brand of GreenPan, designed for more budget-conscious cooks.
The base of GreenLife pans is either recycled aluminum, hard-anodized aluminum, or stainless steel. They use the same Thermolon diamond-infused Teflon-free coating as GreenPan on each pot and pan.
Most GreenLife pans feature soft-grip Bakelite handles, but there are also collections with stainless steel handles.
If you like color, you have multiple options, including red, turquoise, pink, yellow, black, lavender, and more.
GreenLife is excellent Teflon-free non-stick cookware because:
- It’s less expensive than most ceramic non-stick options.
- The recycled aluminum pots and pans are lightweight and easy to maneuver. The 12-inch Soft Grip fry pan weighs only 2.3 pounds.
- If you need to get a meal cooked fast, the thin walls of the recycled aluminum pots and pans allow for quick heating.
But before you buy Greenlife, consider these downsides:
- While it’s attractive, the aluminum cookware is not as durable, and the thin walls make it prone to warping.
- It can’t match the durability and longevity of quality Teflon-coated cookware.
- The collections with Bakelite handles are only oven-safe up to 350°F.
- According to my tests, GreenLife pans don’t retain heat well.
If you’re on a budget and looking for non-stick pans without Teflon/PTFE, GreenLife cookware is a good choice. However, it lacks heft and durability, and due to its poor heat retention, it isn’t the type of pan you’d want to use to cook a steak.
John Ulam, an experienced metal crafter, founded All-Clad in 1971. Although All-Clad is best known for its premium American-made stainless steel pots and pans, they’ve released new, innovative collections in recent years.
FusionTec is one of the brand’s latest offerings. It’s made of a thick steel core with a glossy Teflon-free ceramic coating on the exterior and interior. You can choose between an onyx, rose quartz, or platinum-colored finish. The handles on all pots and pans are stainless steel.
Although this cookware isn’t technically non-stick, it’s chip and stain-resistant. And with the right amount of oil, it won’t stick as much as other materials, like bare stainless steel.
All-Clad FusionTec is one of the best non-stick pans without Teflon because:
- It’s heavy and sturdy (you never have to worry about warping).
- It retains heat longer than thin-walled Teflon-coating non-stick cookware.
- The durable ceramic coating resists chipping, scratches, and stains.
- The coating lasts longer than ceramic non-stick coatings (like GreePan’s Thermolon) and is easy to clean.
- All pots and pans are induction-compatible.
- Since food sticks to this coating, it’s ideal for searing and fond development.
There are downsides to consider before buying FusionTec:
- The collection is still new (introduced in 2020), so it’s not a proven choice.
- It’s the most expensive Teflon-free non-stick option. All pieces cost over $100, some over $200.
- The surface isn’t as smooth as Teflon or ceramic non-stick. Food will stick if you don’t preheat the pan and use enough oil (you need to treat it like stainless steel to prevent sticking).
- The cookware is large, bulky, and heavy. The 9.5-inch fry pan weighs 4 pounds, which is double the weight of most pans that size. If you prefer lightweight pots and pans, don’t buy this collection.
Overall, All-Clad FusionTec pans are hefty, durable, and Teflon-free.
Made In Carbon Steel
Although their non-stick pots and pans are coated with Teflon, the carbon steel pans are Teflon-free and stick-resistant.
These pans are made by pressing a heat-treated flat circle of carbon steel into shape. The handles are stainless steel and attached with rivets.
Made In’s carbon steel cookware is an ideal swap for Teflon because:
- It can withstand higher temperatures than Teflon-coated cookware. While you can’t heat Teflon beyond 500°F, Made In carbon steel pans max out at 1200°F.
- It won’t release toxic fumes if overheated like Teflon.
- Because of its high heat tolerance, you have more flexibility with heat sources. It can handle ovens, broilers, grills, and campfires.
- The cookware will outlast any Teflon option. It can last a lifetime with proper care.
- The more you use and season it (here’s how), the more non-stick it becomes.
But before you replace your Teflon non-stick pans with Made In carbon steel, there are some downsides to consider:
- Carbon steel is not a true non-stick material. Although it can produce a non-stick surface over time when properly seasoned, it doesn’t have the instant food release Teflon offers.
- Teflon is easier to clean and maintain. Carbon steel requires extra care. For example, you’ll need to season it periodically, wash it by hand without soap and dry it immediately.
- Cooking acidic foods will strip away the seasoning, making the pan more prone to sticking. You don’t have this problem with Teflon-coated cookware.
- Carbon steel is more expensive than most aluminum non-stick cookware.
If you’re looking for cookware that can last a lifetime and don’t mind the upkeep of seasoning, Made In Carbon Steel is one of the best Teflon-free non-stick pans.
Lodge Cast Iron
Lodge is an American brand with over 125 years of experience producing ultra-durable cast iron cookware. Based in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, the company founded by Joseph Lodge makes pots and pans of all shapes and sizes, from skillets to Dutch ovens.
Lodge makes its cast iron from a proprietary mix of pig iron, steel, and other ingredients. The molten mixture is poured into sand molds to give the cookware its shape.
Cast iron is not a non-stick material, but like carbon steel, it transforms into stick-resistant cookware when properly seasoned.
If you’re looking for a non-stick pan without Teflon, consider Lodge cast iron for the following reasons:
- It can handle much higher heat than Teflon, and you can use it under a broil and outdoors over an open flame.
- No matter how much you heat it, cast iron will not release toxic fumes like Teflon.
- It’s one of the most affordable brands, cheaper than most Teflon-coated cookware.
- The more you use it, the more it mimics the food release of Teflon.
- It’s pre-seasoned, so it is ready to use when you buy it.
- Since the walls are thick, it retains heat better than aluminum Teflon-coated non-stick cookware.
- It is naturally induction-compatible.
- It’s one of the best-selling products across all categories on Amazon.
However, there are some downsides to consider:
- Lodge pans are heavy. This is not the best option if you want to flip and swirl food around while you cook.
- It has thick walls that take longer to heat than most Teflon-coated pots and pans.
- You need to season it periodically to produce a cooking surface similar to Teflon.
- You must carefully wash it by hand to avoid removing the seasoning. And sometimes, stuck-on food is a challenge to remove, requiring tools like a chainmail scrubber.
- Lodge cast iron has a rough bottom. It’s not ideal for glass stove tops because it can scratch or crack the surface if handled roughly.
Although Lodge cast iron is not technically non-stick, a well-seasoned pan can mimic the performance of Teflon without the chemicals.
The convenience of Teflon-coated non-stick cookware is undisputed. It’s easy to use, clean, and maintain.
However, it can release fumes when overheated and doesn’t last as long as materials like carbon steel and cast iron.
The best non-stick pans without Teflon are ceramic non-stick (Caraway, GreenPan, and GreenLife), carbon steel (Made In), and cast iron (Lodge).
Before you choose one, let’s recap the key points:
Caraway features a glossy sand-derived non-stick coating and a vibrantly colored exterior. The aluminum base is induction compatible and has a higher maximum oven temperature than Teflon-coated non-stick pans. Overheating will damage the coating, but it will not release toxic fumes.
GreenPan wasthe first brand to make ceramic non-stick cookware. The Thermolon ceramic coating is made with sand and emits less CO2 than Teflon during manufacturing. The coating is reinforced with specks of diamond, making it one of the most durable options on the market. However, it also has a high price tag and will eventually lose its non-stick qualities.
GreenLife is one of the most affordable ceramic non-stick options. The recycled aluminum base is lightweight and easy to use but also prone to warping. Like Caraway and GreenPan, food will begin sticking to the pan sooner than it would with Teflon.
All-Clad FusionTec is made with a thick steel base coated in ceramic enamel. It’s technically not non-stick, but it’s easy to clean and resists stains and scratches. The main downsides are that you need to use oil or fat to prevent sticking, and it’s extremely heavy.
Made In Carbon Steel offers excellent heat retention and can tolerate much higher temperatures than Teflon. But it requires more maintenance and needs to be seasoned tomimic Teflon’s non-stick performance.
Lodge Cast Iron requires extra maintenance (like carbon steel) but keeping it well-seasoned results in a surface similar to non-stick. Despite being one of the most affordable types of cookware, it can last forever since it’s uncoated. The downsides are that it’s heavy and heats up slowly.
Bottom line — Teflon and other PTFE non-stick pans aren’t dangerous when used correctly. But if you’re worried about overheating or want a more durable pan, several alternatives offer similar performance and superior longevity.
Learn more about each option at the links below:
- Caraway: CarawayHome.com, Amazon
- GreenPan: GreenPan.us, Amazon
- GreenLife: Greenlife-Cookware.com, Amazon
- All-Clad FusionTec: All-Clad.com, Amazon
- Made In Carbon Steel: MadeInCookware.com, Amazon
- Lodge Cast Iron: Amazon
- The 5 Best Alternatives to Non-Stick Pans
- How to Make Any Type of Pan Non-Stick (Step-by-Step)
- Why Does Food Stick to Stainless Steel Pans? (And How to Prevent It)
- Stainless Steel vs. Non-Stick Cookware: What’s the Difference?
- Why Does Food Stick to Non-Stick Pans? (And How to Prevent It)
- Best Lightweight Cookware: Top Brands Reviewed
- Carbon Steel vs. Non-Stick Cookware: 10 Key Differences
- Ceramic vs. Teflon Cookware: What’s the Difference?
- Hard-Anodized vs. Non-Stick Cookware: What’s the Difference?
- How Long Do Non-Stick Pans Last? (When to Replace Your Pan)