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What are the safest Bakeware and Cookware options?

What are the safest Bakeware and Cookware options?

safe bakeware


The safest cookware and bakeware may be a matter of opinion, but those opinions always revolve around just a few different types. You have to find out what’s best for your family.

Every home cook needs a great set of cookware and bakeware for preparing all those delicious creations. But even more importantly, the DIY chef needs to consider safety, durability, cost, and functionality when choosing which cookware to stock the kitchen with.

While I can’t be sure which type will be absolutely perfect for you, but I’ll touch on the pros and cons of all the safest cookware and bakeware on the market.

  1. Cast Iron Cookware

Regular cast iron is often well-loved for the stovetop. It does leach iron into your food, but that only helps most people’s iron levels. Enameled cast iron is a way to harness the conductivity of cast iron and yet be able to use some soap (although sparingly) and avoid the problem of acidic foods reacting with the cast iron.

Pros: We love the way cast iron leaves some foods nice and crispy, or with a caramelized finish. It offers superior heat distribution and retention when cooking. This material can easily and safely go from stovetop directly into the oven. Never wash cast iron pans with soap. Simply rinse and scour with these awesome stainless steel scrubbers, then wipe clean after each use. Cooking on cast iron can even add extra iron to your diet, which is helpful for people deficient in this mineral.

Tip: used cast iron pans are usually well seasoned and ready for use!


Cons: Many people don’t need extra iron that cast iron cookware will leave in your food. This includes men, people with a condition called hemochromatosis, and women who are not menstruating and losing blood every month. Our bodies don’t eliminate iron naturally (unless donating blood or menstruating regularly), and it can accumulate to toxic levels in some people. However, the iron leaches more into acidic foods and is also dependent on how well a pan is seasoned. Well-seasoned pans have a thin coating that makes them less reactive with foods.

In addition to the iron issue, if cast iron is not seasoned properly it can make foods stick, resulting in a more difficult cleanup.

  1. Enamel Coated Cast Iron Cookware

Regular cast iron is often well-loved for the stovetop. It does leach iron into your food, but that only helps most people’s iron levels. Enameled cast iron is a way to harness the conductivity of cast iron and yet be able to use some soap (although sparingly) and avoid the problem of acidic foods reacting with the cast iron.


Pros: Enameled cast iron doesn’t add iron to foods like non-enameled cast iron pans. These pieces are great for using on the stovetop or the oven. They offer better heat distribution and retention than the other safest cookware types and don’t react with acidic foods like uncoated cast iron. If properly cared for, enamel-coated pieces can last for generations.

Cons: These are also heavy since they’re made with cast iron. The finicky enamel finish can be hard to care for. Metal utensils will scratch it, and it will discolor and lose its luster if exposed to extreme temperature changes.

Some enamel-coated pans are made with cheap enamel that wears out and stains easily, and can also crack or chip off and end up in food. If enamel chips the pan is unsafe.

  1. Stainless Steel Cookware

There are some questions about stainless steel possibly leaching nickel, but it’s generally regarded as non-reactive, especially if you’re not storing acidic food in it. (So don’t put your tomato-based chili in the refrigerator still in the pot.)

Pros: Stainless steel is inert and will not react with food or alter the flavors of your dishes. They’re very durable and any type of cooking utensil can be used on stainless surfaces without worrying about scratching or ruining a finish. They’re lighter than cast iron pieces and easier to stack and store since there’s no risk of scratching/chipping surfaces. Also, Stainless can be heated to high temperatures,

Cons: They’re not completely non-stick, and need a little fat or liquid added when cooking to prevent food from sticking. Cooking results are highly dependent on the thickness of the metal. A thicker or bonded stainless steel pan will cost you more upfront, but is more durable and will last longer.

  1. Glass Cookware

Glass baking dishes and even pots are non-reactive, which means they won’t leach chemicals into your food. Score one for glass. They’re also great for storage if you can find some with lids, which saves dishes.

Pros: When you cook/bake in glass cookware, it will not absorb odors or flavors from whatever is being cooked in it. You can also be sure glass won’t react with foods you are cooking. Always be sure you’re using tempered glass, which is strengthened glass made for cooking/baking

Cons: Glass can be a tad heavy, and can break if dropped. Food can stick to the glass if it’s not greased well, and thermal shock is always a possibility – it can break if exposed to temperature extremes too quickly. There is a risk of shattering if a liquid is added to hot glass cookware or it’s set on a cold surface.

Beware: Some foreign manufacturers may use lead in the production of their cheap glass cookware. Generally, the glass brands made in the U.S. and Europe are the safest cookware options, but do your homework!

  1. Stoneware

Stoneware is also non-reactive and won’t leach chemicals into your food, and I have to give it a personal shout out for preserving many a cookie and biscuit in my house from the burnt bottom syndrome.

Pros: High-quality stoneware is completely non-toxic, safe, and can last forever if cared for. It heats very evenly and becomes nicely seasoned after several uses, creating a non-stick finish. Like cast iron, stoneware doesn’t need to be washed with soap but can be scraped, wiped, or rinsed well with water to clean. A good quality stoneware piece doesn’t absorb odors from things like fish.

Cons: Stoneware pieces are a little heavy and can break or crack if not cared for. It can also be one of the pricier types of bakeware. Some low-quality stoneware pieces can contain lead. Stoneware made in the USA and Canada is lead-free.

  1. Ceramic bakeware

Ceramic bakeware has a similar coating to enameled cast iron, and in both, you need to make sure it’s lead-free. Don’t use older enameled baking dishes as they may contain cadmium or lead, which can easily get into your food. When buying new, check with the manufacturer to ensure lead-free materials.

Pros: High-quality 100% ceramic cookware is non-reactive and non-toxic. Ceramics wear well over time, offer consistent heat, and can be put in a dishwasher. Surfaces don’t corrode and don’t require special seasonings like cast iron or stoneware. Any utensil can be used on ceramic cookware, and they can be used to store food in the refrigerator or even the freezer!

Cons: Ceramic cookware will be more expensive than most types of cookware. When purchasing, watch for low-quality glazes that contain lead. The lead will leach into food when the cookware is worn or scratched. Most U.S. made ceramic cookware should be safe, but do your research and only purchase 100% ceramic with lead-free glaze.

If you’re wondering which bakeware is considered unsafe (or controversial enough to avoid). When choosing the safest cookware, be sure to buy quality pieces from reputable companies like Papermi. This way you can find answers to your questions and take advantage of warranties if replacements are needed.

  1. Paper bakeware

Pros: Baking paper creates a thin airy layer between the paper and the baking sheet that helps control the temperature, and neutralizes hot spots. Nothing could be worse than flat greasy-looking cookies. The baking paper prevents cookie dough from spreading too much. Cookies baked on the baking paper slide right off the baking sheets. They allow the cakes to flip easily out of pans, without clinging to the bottom.
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