Nutrition Articles

Healthy Cookware and Bakeware

What You Need to Know about Teflon, Aluminum and More

My late maternal grandmother was the kind of grandmother who set the bar. She could whip up an outfit for me on her sewing machine in less than a day. Her cookie jar was always stocked with homemade chocolate chip cookies. And of course, her grammar was superb.

She did have one habit though that annoyed me to no end. If ever I expressed a liking for something she owned, like a vase, a bowl, or a piece of furniture, she grab a blank sticker, write my name on it, and stick it to the item. “There,” she’d say, “now you can be sure you’ll get it after I die.” The last thing I wanted to think about was her not being around anymore. A few years ago that’s what happened though, and I wound up with a Griswold skillet and Dutch oven—my grandma's cast-iron cookware that I later learned were highly sought-after collectibles. But there’s no way I’d ever sell these family heirlooms, because besides being sentimental, they’re also one of the healthiest types of cookware available.

If you’re searching for the perfect cookware, or worried about the health hazards you've heard about aluminum or Teflon, check out this list of pros, cons and real facts about the many types of cookware on the market.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • My paternal grandmother did the same thing re: having us put our name on things we wanted to inherit after she was gone. At the time, I didn't like to think of her someday beign gone, but it did make the dispersing of her estate much easier since everyone already knew who was getting what. - 12/12/2014 3:55:20 PM
    I am a fan of cast iron, as well. Cast iron pans last forever, and it gives the food such a lovely crispyness. However, they are heavy for cooking! I have found that stone frying pans that is lighter and doesn't require oil for cooking. Try out Ozeri Stone Earth Pan or Swiss Diamond. There is another post on how to choose the healthiest and safest cookware at : http://www.stonef
    ookware/ - 12/7/2014 8:13:31 AM
    Aluminum element has an effect to make us get a slower reaction and we should really not take in too much aluminum element. There is another post about how to choose the safest cookware at : http://bestcookwa
    -cookware-set-guide/ - 8/6/2014 8:41:01 PM
    Well, I have also see a post says that we would get a slow reaction if we use the aluminum cookware too much at https://doquwucu.
    Is that true? - 7/1/2014 7:57:42 PM
    I just like cast iron cookware and I think Stansport Cast Iron 6 Piece Cookware Set is good. See:bestcookwares
    - 5/15/2014 11:34:43 AM
  • I bought a "ceramic" waffle iron and it smells like plastic just like Silverstone and Teflon did. I suspect real ceramic cooking materials are quite expensive.

    I like glass and stainless steel. I can't use cast iron because of my smoothtop stove. I never thought about it until after we purchased it. Our stainless steel set was a wedding gift 35 years ago. It still looks great but I didn't know you shouldn't use SOS pads on it! EEK! - 3/25/2014 9:40:57 AM
    i have a cast iron griddle and I love it. It's the next best thing to not frying your food...hubby loves when I cook with it. - 3/25/2014 9:05:28 AM
  • I am a cast iron cookware junkie, I own 29 different pieces of cast iron cookware. I also use copper bottom and aluminum bottomed stainless steel cookware. I am another who prefers stoneware for all in the oven dishes when possible, the alternative is cast iron for oven cooking. - 2/13/2014 1:46:13 PM
  • LINMAR2004
    Is cast iron practical on a smooth top stove? ty - 1/21/2014 6:18:33 AM
  • OK article but I do NOT believe that chromium or nickle can leach out of stainless. It is ALLOYED with the steel. - 7/31/2013 9:09:03 PM
  • I also love my cast iron that was handed down to me. The best thing you can do to your cast iron is to season it before you use it. Put a small amount of good quality olive oil on the pan and put the pan in the oven at a low temp. about 100 till it is on good and starting to look shiney.

    Best of luck cooking Deni - 7/15/2013 3:13:55 PM
  • I am a fan of cast iron, too. Last forever, and it gives the food such a lovely crispyness. Yes, it is heavy, but it doesn't leave rings on your counter if you dry it first! I have an amazing cast iron wok that is so light, and sounds like a bell when you stir the food: magic. - 6/7/2013 1:12:34 AM
  • I love my cast iron pans. I also got mine from my grandmother. I miss her and all the delicious meals she made in those pans. It's a shame that I never appreciated them when I was younger, but now I cherish the memories. Thanks for the blog. - 12/12/2012 10:05:44 AM
  • This was informative for items used on the range top.

    I don't see STONEWARE anywhere on this list. That's all I use in my oven for baking cookies and cakes, roasting turkey, and heating frozen pizza or home-made fries. There's nothing that can compare to the outcome when I make it on a stone! - 4/24/2012 11:16:47 PM
  • I'm 45 yy, and I love my cast iron but only if I can buy the pieces from a thrift store, an estate sale, and a few select pieces from ebay because it's already 'well-seasoned', and the items that I've seen in stores just don't seem the same! Growing up, I would watch my foster mom use hers for frying chicken, early-morning ham with red-eye gravy, and/or cornbread. Right now, I have one big cast iron skillet that has seem some abuse (left it with family who let it soak after scorching spaghetti sauce in it and brought it to me with some of the sauce still stuck to it..ugh), but I'm working on it! (I'm also working on building my cast iron collection up again..I've got low-iron anemia so of course, any- and every-where I can get a boost of iron is more than okey-dokey with me!)

    My every day cookware pantry consists of a bit of everything: Calphalon, CLUB (courtesy of ebay! I love those but only the ones with the rings on the bottom..don't really care for the smooth bottoms as much), other no-name aluminum/stainles
    s steel, and of course, a Dollar General Store special which honestly..that term "you get what you pay for" -- it could've been coined specifically for this set. $12 for 7 pcs: a skillet, a small saucepan, a medium saucepan, a 'Dutch oven' (and I literally roll my eyes when I say it -- or type it) and three lids...Having recently moved into a new place, I needed a set of cookware, like, immediately and, budget-conscious woman that I am, I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money and figured this little set would serve me fine until I had saved up some funds for a set from Wal*Mart..BIG mistake..I mean..HUGE!! The first time I used it, I made some chicken'n'dumplin
    gs in the D.O., and upon washing it, I noticed the coating was already cracked & peeling! The first time I used the little skillet for turkey bacon'n'eggs, I noticed the saaaame exact thing! Needless to say, I splurged a bit and bought a $40 Calphalon skillet from Macy's (had a gift card, otherwise, I probably wouldn't have!) I love that's sturdy, and it a... - 5/29/2011 12:52:52 PM

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