Food | Cookware

Xtrema Cookware

Listen to my interview with Ceramcor Founder Rich Bergstrom.

My #1 choice for healthy cookware, these Xtrema pots and pans are 100% ceramic, through and through–made only from natural minerals, clay and water. No metals are in this ceramic cookware. This lead-free high-tech all ceramic glaze is easy to clean and does not leach lead or any other toxic metals (see lab tests on website). The extremely hard ceramic cooking surface cannot be scratched by metal utensils or steel wool but I recommend wood utensils when cooking with Xtrema. Because the ceramic material holds heat exceptionally well, you can save energy by cooking at lower temperatures. The attractive and versatile cookware lets you take the food from the stove to the table and then to the refrigerator for storing leftovers. This is the cookware I use every day for almost everything I cook. NOTE: This cookware is lightweight and extremely easy to clean, however, I wouldn’t call it “nonstick.” Eggs will stick unless you spray your cookware with olive oil after the pan is heated on a low temperature for 3 minutes (see the video on the web site on How to Cook Eggs).

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Revol Porcelain Cookware

Culinary porcelain cookware made in France from 100% environmentally friendly, natural components. Contains no heavy metals (lead, cadmium) or toxins. Inherently non-porous and nonstick. “We have been passionately making our own clay and enamels for 247 years… We have passed down from generation to generation a unique set of skills that allows us to create extremely high-quality products.”

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Staub

Cast iron cookware with high-quality “adhesion-free” porcelain enamel finish, made in France. Cadmium-free and lead-free. “The Staub journey begins in the Alsace region of France. Rich in history, food and craft, the area is renowned for hearty one-pot recipes and fine enameled ceramics. With as much attention as the Alsatians applied to perfecting the one-pot meal, Staub’s founder set himself to perfecting the pot itself. The grandson of a cookware merchant, Francis Staub designed his first enameled pot in an old artillery factory in 1974, merging cast iron’s utility with the latest technology available.”

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SaltRox

A pink Himalayan salt cooking plate, manufactured to the safe for cooking, grilling, and baking. This plate enhances and seasons your food with before and during the cooking process. No need for cookware—you heat the slab of salt and cook food directly on it.

 

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Vita Clay

Vita Clay slow cookers are the only brand that I know for sure does not have lead in the glaze of their pots. Their pots have no glaze at all and they work very hard to ensure their products are made from chemical-free natural clay. I called Vita Clay and talked with them about the clay they use. Their pots are made from zisha clay, which is a famous Chinese clay, known for its purity. It has been used for centuries to make teapots because zisha teapots are treasured for their ability to enhance the flavor, aroma and texture of tea. Zisha clay is also structurally strong without glazing and does not crack when subjected to large and sudden temperature differences. Vita Clay pots are certified lead-free by SGS and are also tested by the FDA.

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ManPans

Unique cookware designed to be green, made in the USA. While designed to save energy in cooking and transportation, it also has a nontoxic “two layer sapphire/quartz-like natural mineral finish permanently bonded to our tough aluminum pans. It will not flake, chip or rub off and is metal utensil safe. In fact the finish is so tough that you can rub a coin on the surface and not only will you not scratch the finish, the coin will get worn down!” It’s “stick-resistant” which means it’s not nonstick so sometimes oil or butter will be needed, but it’s easy to clean. I have one of these pans and have been using it for about a year. I can’t cook eggs in it without butter, but I can cook almost anything else fat-free. The pan itself is made from anodized aluminum, but it has their special finish, so no aluminum gets in the food. My one consideration about the pan is that it is extremely lightweight, which might be a big benefit for you, but I like heavier cookware.  But it’s on my shelf and I use it on a regular basis.

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Cook on Clay Flameware

Flameware cooking vessels made with a “flameproof” clay that is designed to withstand extreme temperatures. These pots can go directly from the refrigerator to a hot oven and back again without cracking. Can be used on the grill and stovetop. “We make flameware pots for slow food aficionados, lovers of fine food, appreciators of quality kitchen tools, cooks, chefs, and everyone who enjoys the pleasures of cooking and eating. We believe that beauty does not belong on a shelf, and that cooking and serving in handmade pottery brings connection and beauty to the simple act of sharing a meal with family and friends.” Flameware pottery stays hot longer requiring less energy and “does not leach metals or other chemicals into food or the environment.” Microwave and dishwasher safe. Baked-on foods can be removed by simple scrubbing with soap and water.

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Chantal Cookware

Chantal’s original line of enamel-on-steel cookware and new enamel-on-copper “provides a chemical free, energy efficient, naturally stick resistant way to cook on any stovetop, including magnetic induction. Its non-porous surface makes it the ideal choice for healthy cooking. All Chantal cookware is specifically designed to go from freezer to stove to table and then directly into the dishwasher.” Some pieces available at a discount at amazon.com.

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Chantal Pure

Bakeware and mixing bowls made of high quality ceramic stoneware “fired with a clear natural glaze, free of coloring agents. This process reduces the environmental impact by up to 50%. Slight imperfections add to the beauty. Chantal ceramics are ideal for baking, serving and storing. The non-porous glaze will not react with foods or flavors and they are safe for use in the freezer, microwave, oven and dishwasher. All Chantal ceramics are lead and cadmium safe and meet FDA and CA Prop 65 requirements.” Some pieces available at a discount at amazon.com.

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Miriam’s Earthen Cookware

Listen to my interview with Miriam’s Earthen Cookware Founder Miriam Kattumuri.

Hand-thrown unglazed terracotta clay cooking pots that can be used on the stove or in the oven. “Our cookware is made from terra-cotta clay – a rich and potent matter that is naturally occurring on the surface of the earth. It is composed of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium etc, which are essential to our body. And these minerals are bound together so perfectly in nature, that they do not react or leach into the food being cooked in them….The clays used to create our terra cotta pots are carefully selected and strictly controlled to ensure that they are lead and cadmium free. Clay by itself is a pure ingredient of nature just like rain water. It is made up of various minerals essential to the body, contained in perfect proportions. Human activity however may contaminate the top soil, which is why we use clay from two to three feet underground and harvest it from less populated areas and lake and river beds. This clay then undergoes testing to ensure that it is pure. MEC pots are not glazed because we strongly believe that nature is beautiful just the way it is…Clay pots cook food with far-infrared heat (FIR). This type of heat is unique to clay cooking and helps carry spices and seasoning much deeper into the food, giving it that extra special touch in flavor. An added advantage is that this feature also helps you reduce the use of salt…Clay pots retain heat better than any other cookware. Their immense heat-retaining capacity helps food stay hot longer, saving the need to heat and re-heat. Food stays warm for upto 5 to 6 hours. Also, since they retain heat so well, you can safely turn off the stove 5 to 7 minutes earlier than you usually do and rest assured that your food will be cooked the same, and taste better…Clay vessels have the unique quality of locking in all the steam and vapor that evaporates during cooking, thereby retaining all the nutrients of the food. The added advantage is that when this locking in of steam and vapor happens, the food gets cooked in its own oils and liquids.”

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GraniteWare

“America’s favorite porcelain on steel cookware, for 125 years…” Complete selection of bakeware, roasters, pots and pans…even dishware. It’s very inexpensive and sold in many hardware stores.  “The porcelain on steel cookware of Graniteware is superior to chemical non-stick surfaces. Inert and composed mainly of glass, the porcelain is odorless, tasteless, and will not interact with food. Created from sand [and natural clay], the porcelain coating is sustainable and, ultimately, renewable. The steel, encased in the porcelain, does not oxidize and will not interact with the cooking or taste of your food.” A majority of the pieces are made in the USA, check with the manufacturer for an exact list.

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Le Creuset Enameled Cookware

This cookware was created in 1925 when a casting specialist and an enameling expertrecognized an opportunity to improve the versatility of cast iron cookware by coating it in a porcelain enamel glaze. And it’s been a favorite of cooks worldwide ever since. The interior surface that touches the food is essentially made from glass, and does not leach anything into the food. No lead is used in the making of the interior surfaces. According to customer service, ” Colors such as dune, black, Caribbean blue and all non bold colors do not contain any lead outside.”

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Visions Cookware

Visions has long been one of my favorite cookwares. It is made from a proprietary glass-ceramic material doesn't leach into food. Because you can see right through it, you don't have to remove the lid to monitor cooking, thus saving energy. Visions wasn't available for a while, but it's back. New pieces are pretty expensive, however, there are quite a few pieces of used Visions cookware on eBay at very reasonable prices. I buy pieces when I find them at thrift stores and flea markets.

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Romertopf

Clay bean pots, casseroles, and roasters in many sizes (the largest roaster holds a 17-pound turkey) for easy, efficient, healthy cooking. Clay pot cooking seals in nutrients and cuts down on the need for added fats.

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Pyrex

Pyrex glass cookware and bakeware in a wide variety of sizes and shapes–even a glass roasting pan. Silica (a compound found in quartz and sand) is the main ingredient in making the heat-resistant glass, then "eight ingredients are added and some broken glass". So while it doesn't contain recycled glass bottles, broken glass within the factory is recycled back into the pot. Pyrex is durable (so it can be reused for years without breaking or chipping) and it saves energy (Pyrex glass rather than reflecting oven heat waves, thereby reducing cooking time over earthenware, porcelain or enameled dishes).

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Cuisinart GreenGourmet Cookware

My #1 choice for cooking eggs, this cookware is made of aluminum with a 70% recycled steel handle and a safe, petroleum-free ceramic nonstick finish. I have two of these pans and use them mostly to cook eggs. The finish is so nonstick I would call it "slippery," in fact, I have had food slip right out of the pan while pushing it around with a spoon, so I usually flip the food now instead of using utensils. (This link goes to the 12-piece cookware set, but the page has links to other individual pieces.)

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Cameron Multi-Roaster

I had to look long and hard to find a roasting pan big enough for a turkey that did not have a non-stick finish. This one is not only not nonstick, but it has a wonderfully useful design. The pan has a large oval shape with high sides that hold heat in, and a rack with handles that makes it easy to pull out whatever you are roasting. The lid is flat, so it doubles as an oval skillet, baking dish, or serving dish. The handles are ingeniously placed on the side of the lid, making it easier to fit into my oven. The one drawback is that it is made from stainless steel, however, I generally use it to roast turkeys and chickens on the rack, so the food doesn't come in contact with the steel.

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