What do you mean it’s not Teflon??

A Comprehensive Guide To Non-Stick Cookware

Comprehensive Guide to Non-Stick Cookware

Are you wondering about the ‘kind of Teflon’ on your nonstick cookware?

Teflon, a non-stick coating brand owned by the company DuPont has become synonymous with non-stick coatings on cookware.  However, not all non-stick coatings are Teflon and if you are wondering or not sure about the coating on your cookware, this guide will help you figure it out.





Non-stick coatings for cookware are typically flouropolymer plastic (PTFE) based or silicone based.  Pots and pans are usually coated with PTFE coatings, while Silicone based coatings are mainly used in kitchen utensils and bakeware.

 

With the recent publicity about the safety of PTFE based non-stick cookware, there has been a spate of Ceramic based non-stick cookware on the market (also called ‘healthy cookware’ because ceramics are free of PTFE and PFOA).

 

Firstly, what is Teflon, PTFE and PFOA?

Teflon is the brand name for a plastic product called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) is another chemical that is used in the process of making PTFE.  It is NOT the same as PTFE.

 

PFOA is burned off during the process and no significant amount remains in the final product.  Previously, all nonstick coating manufacturers used PFOA in the manufacture of nonstick.  However, PFOA is considered a pollutant and a toxic substance and now, under the stewardship of the Environmental Protection Agency, most of the reputable non-stick coating manufacturers are producing coatings made without PFOA.   This includes Teflon.

 

So when you see a cookware advertising ‘PFOA’ free, it usually means the PTFE was made without the use of the chemical PFOA in the manufacturing process. [Tweet This!]

 

Is PTFE/Teflon safe?

Ordinarily, Teflon is an inert substance and even if a piece of nonstick flakes off and ends up inside you, it will simply pass through your system.   You might be interested to know that because of its non reactive nature, Teflon is even used in joint replacements!

 

Only when it is heated to a high temperature like 500 degree F does Teflon start to deteriorate and release fumes which have been found harmful for birds and cause flu like symptoms in humans.

 

In ordinary use, pans are not usually heated to such a high temperature.  So in a nutshell, yes, Teflon or PTFE is safe as long as you are diligent about not heating an empty pan or cooking on too high a temperature.

 

The objective here is not to take a stance for or against PTFE or Teflon.  It is to provide information so you know what you are getting and can see through the marketing clutter of different manufacturers.

 

So in most cases:

  1. Unless it specifies ceramic or silicon based non-stick, non-stick cookware contains some form of PTFE or related plastic compound.
  2. When they say ‘it’s not Teflon’, they are right.  Teflon is a brand name.  But in most cases it will contain some form of PTFE.  Yes, even Swiss Diamond.
  3. And when they say PFOA free, it means that particular chemical wasn’t used in the manufacture of PTFE.  But it’s still PTFE.

 

If PTFE is a concern for you, there are several ceramic options available (see below).  Keep in mind that ceramic based non-stick coatings have been found to be much less durable than plastic based coatings.

Update 2016: For our complete review of the safety and durability of Ceramic Coated Cookware, read our article Ceramic Coated Cookware Safety Secrets Noone Will Tell You.

 

Here is a list of nonstick coatings that your favorite brands are using.

PTFE based:

1. Manufacturer:  DuPont

Brand name of non-stick coating: Teflon

Popular Brands that use it: T-Fal, Jamie Oliver by T-Fal, Tramontina, IKEA cookware

 About the coating: DuPont’s line up of non-stick coatings in order of increasing price and durability is as follows.  Also including popular brands that use it.

Teflon Classic  – for occasional cooks who need convenience.  2 layer coating, minimum 25 micron thickness.  Popular brands include Tramontina Everyday(R), Mainstays Non-Stick Cookware, IKEA KAVALKAD series and GRILLA grill pan.

Teflon Xtra – for convenience in regular use.  3 layer coating.  Popular brands include Tramontina Select

Teflon Select – for busy cooks who need everyday durable performance.  3 layer coating, minimum 35 micron thickness.  Popular brands include TeChef Art Pan, IKEA SKÄNKA series.

Teflon Platinum – for quality oriented avid cooks who use and abuse their cookware a lot.  3 layer coating, minimum 40 micron thickness.  Popular brands include TeChef Blooming Flower fry pan or 11″ Wok

Teflon Platinum Plus – for avid cooks who want the ultimate in non-stick durability, scratch resistance  and performance.  50% more scratch resistant than Teflon Platinum.  Popular brands include IKEA 365+ and MEDALJ series.

Other special Teflon® coatings:

Teflon® with Radiance Technology – induction compatible, for busy, everyday cooks

Teflon® with Infinity Technology – for busy, everyday cooks

Teflon® ScratchGuard Ultra – scratch resistance for avid chefs

Teflon® Professional with MetalGuard – scratch resistance for avid chefs

Teflon® Professional – most durable nonstick coating, designed for professionals with high standards.  Popular brands include  IKEA FAVORIT and STIL series.

 

2. Manufacturer:  DuPont

Brand name of non-stick coating: Autograph 2

Popular Brands that use it: Circulon Hard Anodized, Anolon Hard Anodized

 About the coating: DuPont’s top of the line non-stick coating, designed for ultra durable performance and non-stick release.

 

3. Manufacturer:  Whitford

Brand name of non-stick coating: Eterna

Popular Brands that use it:  Cuisinart DSA-11 Dishwasher Safe Hard-Anodized Cookware

 About the coating: Whitford’s highest quality non-stick coating.  They claim it is the world’s longest lasting non-stick.

 

4. Manufacturer:  Whitford

Brand name of non-stick coating: Excalibur

Popular Brands that use it: Joyce Chen Pans, Helen Chen Pans, Cuisinox.

 About the coating: Usually for stainless steel application.

 

5. Manufacturer:  Whitford

Brand name of non-stick coating: Eclipse

Popular Brands that use it: Rachael Ray Hard Anodized, KitchenAid Hard Anodized.

 About the coating:  It is a reinforced coating, engineered to outlast all other reinforced coatings (according to the company) and is applied in 3 layers.  Company gives it a 10 out of 10 overall rating.

 

6. Manufacturer:  Whitford

Brand name of non-stick coating: QuanTanium

Popular Brands that use it:  Cuisinart Hard Anodized Cookware

 About the coating:  Reinforced with titanium.  Company gives it an 8 out of 10 rating.

 

7. Manufacturer:  Whitford

Brand name of non-stick coating: Xylan

Popular Brands that use it:  Joyce Chen woks, Helen Chen woks

 About the coating:  For the budget cookware.  Company gives it a 4-6 out of 10 rating.

 

Ceramic Based:

1. Manufacturer:  WEILBURGER Coatings Germany

Brand name of non-stick coating: Greblon

Popular Brands that use it:  Ozeri pans, Healthy Legend, Joseph Strauss

 About the coating: Ceramic based non-stick coating

 

2. Manufacturer:  Thermolon Corporation

Brand name of non-stick coating: Thermolon

Popular Brands that use it:  Zwilling J.A. Henckells Thermolon coated cookware, GreenPan

 About the coating:  a ceramic type of coating that is based on Sol-Gel technology. Sol-Gel means materials formed from small inorganic (mineral) particles suspended in Solution that Gel together to form an inorganic matrix.  Apart from being PTFE and PFOA free,  it is highly temperature resistant (up to 450°C), no toxic fumes released when over-heated and is extremely hard.

 

3. Manufacturer:  Wellman Engineering

Brand name of non-stick coating: EcoLon

Popular Brands that use it:  NeoFlam

 About the coating: a ceramic-glass reinforced Nylon coating.

 

For a more in-depth analysis of Ceramic coated non-stick cookware, click here

This list is by no means exhaustive and I will keep adding to it.    So keep checking.  Or let me know if there’s a particular set you are trying to figure out.

Other Related Pages:

Cookware Reviews

How to Choose the Best Cookware – 7 guidelines

Pressure Cookers – Myths, Mysteries and Common Mistakes!

84 Responses to What do you mean it’s not Teflon??

  1. Miguel says:

    Any words of wisdom regarding the various types of stoneware, such as Stoneline, The Rock/Starfrit/Heritage, Flavorstone, Stone Earth, Stonetec, etc? These claim to be stone-based linings that are PTFE and PFOA free, and to be more resistant to heat than ceramic coatings.

    Separately, what do you think of DuraPan on Curtis Stone cookware?

    Thank you very much for sharing all your research and insights.

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Miguel,
      I am not sure these ‘stone’ cookwares are PTFE free. PFOA free, yes.
      From the Stoneline website:
      “The Stoneline coating consists of very tiny particles of stones which make the surface extremely hard. In a complex process the stone particles are combined with the non-stick coating.”
      As far as I know, this non-stick coating mentioned above is a form of PTFE. Not that I have anything against it but in all my research, I have no reason to believe it is anything but. The patented stone reinforcement makes it extra hard and extra strong.

      As for DuraPan, I believe that coating is Quantanium, which is a PTFE nonstick coating made by Whitford. The company itself gives the coating an 8 out of 10 rating. So a fairly durable nonstick coating.

  2. Josie says:

    What is TOTAL® Food Release System features PFOA-free?

    It states it’s also safe and Dupoint Free

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Josie, TOTAL® Food Release System is the patented nonstick system for Circulon non-stick cookware. You can read more details on my review here.

      I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but Circulon cookware does use a Dupont non-stick coating called Autograph. Most, if not all non-stick coatings are now made without the use of PFOA as per the EPA stewardship so that should not be a concern.

  3. Rebecca Cudlipp says:

    Do you know which kind of non-stick coating is on the Cuisinart 6 quart Multicooker? (Slow cooker)

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Rebecca, to the best of my knowledge, the coating on the Cuisinart multicooker is Xylan by Whitford. In case you are wondering, Xylan is a ptfe based coating, very much like Teflon.

  4. C Singleton says:

    still not sure about something…got a rice cooker/steamer called Aroma…called re the Teflon-looking coating inside as I have a bird. They said it is made without PFOA. Does this mean it is safe for my pet? Since it is enclosed was wondering if that made a difference…the aluminum ones I have tried tend to stick and/or burn rice on the bottom.

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      The nonstick coating is likely a kind of ‘teflon’, i.e. PTFE which, if heated to high temperatures, particularly when empty, can release fumes that are harmful for birds. In normal usage, the coating is safe as you are not burning off the plastic ptfe compound. So in my humble opinion, if you use the pot carefully and don’t overheat it you should be ok. As an extra precaution, keep the bird in a separate room, just for your peace of mind. I hope that helps.

  5. Rebecca says:

    Hello, Do you have any information on the All-Clad NS1 nonstick cookware set? It only states PFOA free on the William Sonoma website.

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Rebecca, the nonstick coating is a 3 layer PTFE-based coating which is made without the use of the chemical PFOA, much like all reputable brands these days.
      I hope that helps!

  6. Tom says:

    Could you compare the surface durability of Scanpan and Circulon or any other induction non-stick pans suitable for metal utensils?
    I am changing to induction and have had the same set of Scanpan for 11 years with items replaced by their excellent warranty.

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hello Tom, I don’t think you can go wrong with either Scanpan CTX (induction compatible) or Circulon Infinite if you’re looking for an induction compatible set. Both have high quality, durable non-stick coatings which will give you years of use – Scanpan with its patented ceramic titanium infused non-stick formulation, and Circulon with its top of the line 3-layer Autograph coating. I know of users who have had the same Circulon pans for years and they still work great. Same with Scanpan. It just comes down to personal preference at this point and since you’ve enjoyed Scanpan for 11 years, I would suggest that might be the better choice for you.

  7. Gwen says:

    I’m a self taught beginner cook and I’m cooking everyday 2-3 times a day for my family. I need a really high performance, durable, and safe non-stick cookware set. Which brand do you recommend and why? Thank you much.

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      hi Gwen, i don’t know if you got a chance to check out my top 3 picks for nonstick cookware on this page . As a further shortlist, my personal favourite from this list is Rachael Ray, based on value and durability. You can see how it performed better than other non-stick cookware in the grinder test in this review. I hope this helps. Good luck with your wonderful cooking!

  8. Joe says:

    Excellent information. I’ll stay with my
    Stainless steel though. ;)

  9. BT says:

    Hello, i came across Titanium Cookware Collection (made in Germany) while researching for those without toxic chemicals. They claim to be non-PFTE, -PFOA, and -PFC. Though they sound like the safest amongst several I’ve been researching, i don’t know too much about titanium – what are your thoughts? Also, they are VERY PRICEY, but if it means paying a lot up front for something that will be better for my family in the long run, then it may be worth paying that cost up front as opposed to paying large sums to doctors and hospitals if we end up sick from chemicals in our cookware. I just want to find out more though about titanium and any other thoughts you may have about this particular brand. Thanks!

    http://www.titaniumcookwarecollection.com/

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      hi BT, their website does claim there is no other non-stick surface other than titanium (which is inert and non-toxic). The prices and other users experiences seem to suggest the claims are valid. Seems like a high quality, durable line of cookware. Good luck with your decision!

    • lucky says:

      my titanium wok is very thin metal cost about 150 dollars and is a silver gray color as were all titanium camping plates and cup I saw. Why this company has a titanium coating only and it’s black I do not know but it is suspicious.

  10. Steve says:

    Hi, Great info thanks. What about “Infinite Circulon hard anodized with steel base”? Does the steel base mean that no aluminum comes into contact with the food, only steel?

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Steve, thanks for visiting! Yes, you are correct, the stainless steel base fully encapsulates a core of aluminum which doesn’t come into contact with food. The Circulon Infinite hard anodized is one of my favourite picks in non-stick cookware. You can read my full review here

  11. JW Jarrett says:

    Hi There. We just purchased BergHOFF’s Eurocast fry pan, which the manufacturer says is PTFE and PFOA free. It is a cast aluminum pan with a ceramic & titatanium non-stick coating. It cooks like a dream. Just wondering if you’ve tried it or know anything about it. Thanks!

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi there, I haven’t tried it but if this is the one which has Ferno ceramic, they are correct in saying its ptfe and pfoa free since it is a ceramic based non-stick coating. So far, it has received very good reviews by users and your comments validate that. All the best with it!

  12. Kristen says:

    Thank you so, so much for all your diligent work in answering my question. I never heard back from Whitford, so I was happy to hear that you had. I got nowhere with Cuisinart, either by phone or through their “Contact Us” email address. Amazon was not able to help me. I had even spoken with them again after receiving another email to contact them about the matter.

    I decided to return the product. I will have to find one with ceramic plates or just buy 2 separate products for my stove – one grill & one griddle. I would never take the risk.

    I honestly can’t thank you enough for all your help. I am so glad that I found this site. I will be referring to it often. I have already recommended it to several friends.

    Hopefully, the information you received will help others who have similar questions. I definitely learned quite a bit, mostly from this site (and you, in particular).

    Thank you again for all your time, hard work, and genuine concern about finding an answer to my question. It was very important for me to get an accurate answer and I know you understood that.

    Kristen

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      You are so welcome, I am so glad I was able to help and your kind words make it so worth it!
      warm regards

  13. Wondwosen says:

    What does that mean by 2 or 3 layer?. Or are there 2 or 3 kind of layers to apply. How can we diferenciate the 1st, second and third?

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Wondwosen, you don’t really need to differentiate the layers, just make sure you buy a good brand. The number of layers of non-stick is one of the determining factors in the quality of a non-stick coating. Better quality cookware has 2 or 3 layers, sometimes up to 7, which gives the non-stick better durability.

  14. Kristen says:

    Thank you so much for all the time you spent answering my question. I thought it was just me but now I see why I was confused. You explained it very well! Until I get a definite answer, I am not going to use it. It’s not worth taking the chance with my birds.

    I spent over an hour yesterday researching after I wrote the message. I did come across the same types of information that you did. I’ve read that Xylan can be made from PTFE or silicone. And I also, like I said, read your responses to all the questions above. The confusion came in because the other questions regarding Xylan were in reference to cookware or bakeware. This Griddler seems to be in it’s own category.

    Thank you in advance for any additional information you can find. I will also try to continue to contact them as well. Thank you again for such a detailed and prompt response. I really appreciate it!
    Kristen

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Kristen, I heard back from Whitford for this specific product. Pasting below, but essentially it IS ptfe based….
      So we have our definitive answer. I will forward the email to you in its entirety too.

      “Thank you for contacting Whitford. The Xylan Plus system used on the Cuisinart GR-4NR 5-in-1 Griddler is a PTFE based system.

      Xylan is the umbrella trademark for most of our products, and was the first brand offered by Whitford. It has become the world’s most extensive family of coatings and can be silicone based or PTFE based. In this case, a PTFE system was used, most likely to meet a specific performance requirement.

      The Xylan family of coatings is designed to suit a wide range of applications, offering one-, two-, and three-coat options, with a coating option for virtually every price and performance level. Xylan can be used for cookware, bakeware, small electrics and any other housewares product that needs a nonstick coating.”
      Suzie Eberhardt, Whitford Corporation • Associate Retail Marketing Manager

  15. Kristen says:

    Hi, I just purchased the Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler. The model number is GR-4N. I did research and it said the plates were free of PTFE. I purchased from Amazon and read all the information on the product. I read everything that came with the Griddler (manual, etc) from front to back or cover to cover.

    I called Cuisinart. The Cuisinart rep said the non-stick plates are free of PTFE and made of “Die Cast Aluminum with a coating of Xylan”. The quotes are her exact words. I am extremely concerned about harmful chemicals and fumes because I own 2 parrots.
    I saw all the prior posts about Xylan, but I am still a bit confused. The Cuisinart rep told me that the Griddler is free of any PTFE. However, I read that Xylan contains PTFE. I am confused!

    Can you please clarify this for me? Does Xylan contain PTFE? Is this Griddler safe to use if I have parrots? Again, I was told the non-stick plates are “Die Cast Aluminum with a coating of Xylan.” Is this product safe to use if I have parrots? I am very concerned and afraid to use it until I know. I am only concerned with whether it is safe to use if I parrots anywhere in the house. This is the actual link to the product if that helps.
    https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B016B40XT6/ref=twister_B01AZ3TSHM?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

    Thank you! And thank you for all the helpful information on this page, as well as on the links you provide.

    Kristen

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Kristen, this is quite interesting and I totally understand your concerns about your parrots but I don’t have a definitive answer. In the past when I’ve contacted Whitford about Xylan, I was told that Xylan for cookware is PTFE based but they also make Xylan for bakeware in which case the non-stick release is provided by silicone.

      If they are telling you that this griddle is PTFE free, then it is very possibly that this uses a silicone based Xylan for non-stick but I wouldn’t be 100% sure and there is always a chance that the rep who told you just didn’t know the difference.

      I will make an attempt to contact Whitford and see if I can get a definitive answer but till then I would advise you to err on the side of caution.
      Thanks for reaching out and here’s to hoping we can get a clear answer!

  16. John M. Loghry says:

    Hi, I’m a husband so understand I know practically nothing when it comes to the Kitchen. Here’s my problem: While my wife was at work I put her Rachael ran frying pan on her glass top cooking range with a jar of honey that had turned to sugar, I put about 2 inches of water in the pan and turned it on high inner circle burner, then I forgot about it and left to go get my wife from work, we returned home some 3 hours later to find the house full of smoke, the stove on, and the pan dry with honey in the jar and in the pan burned to a crisp. My wife says throw the pan away, she said it’s ruined, I can’t visibly see anything wrong with it, should I throw it away, return it to the manufacturer or just keep it?

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi John, thanks for submitting a very interesting question!
      In a nutshell, I agree with your wife. In 3 hours, the non-stick coating would have all but vapourized, leaving a plain aluminum pan. Mind you, it is hard anodized aluminum and won’t leach into food but what’s probably left of the coating is a burnt plastic and you don’t want to risk that contaminating your food.
      At least that’s my two cents worth. Good luck!

  17. anonymous says:

    Thank you for the information.

  18. T. Booker says:

    What about Calphalon cookware?

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi there, if you’re asking if Calphalon nonstick cookware has a PTFE (Teflon) coating, the answer is yes. They use their own proprietary PTFE formulation which is applied in 3 layers. I haven’t been able to determine what brand of ‘teflon’ but nevertheless it is like Teflon.

  19. What does X Teflon mean ?? is it a harder surface than when it says just Teflon being highly sensitive to plastics I would like to know. I understand the high temperatures are dangerous but that wouldn’t happen in a bread making machine Thankyou for your help this is what is stated on the Panasonic Bread Maker SD2501

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Lorraine, I haven’t heard of Teflon X, and the list of Teflon line extensions in the article above is a pretty comprehensive one. It could be referring to Teflon Xtra, which is just one level above Teflon Classic, the basic coating.

      The thing to note is that the different qualities of the Teflon brand are based on 1. Number of layers of nonstick coating 2. Thickness of the coating. The number of layers and thickness of the layers improves the durability of the nonstick but it is still plastic and will behave the same under high temperatures.

      In the case of a breadmaker, you are right, high temperatures are unlikely so in that sense you really have nothing to worry about. However if you have other sensitivities to plastic then I leave that to you to decide what is best for you.

      Thanks for stopping by, I hope I was able to help a bit.

  20. AP says:

    Thank you for creating a useful site with good information. Getting kind of tired of reading through all the misinformation and FUD about this topic from people who think being good at cooking suddenly makes them material scientists.

  21. Melinda Hofecker says:

    We’ve a fine parrot in the household now, so I bend over backwards not to have any PTFE in the kitchen wares. Trouble is, I was gifted a Bundtlette pan from Nordicware. It’s an older model, (not pictured on the website). It looks like 6 small Bundts, the coloring is black. I’ve never used it, not knowing if it contains PTFE. Could you help?

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Melinda, I am not personally familiar with these pans however if you check the website for Nordicware, they claim that all non-stick their bakeware is free of PTFE and PFOA. According to them, “an entirely different formulation is necessary to release sugars (associated with baking) than proteins (associated with meats and dairy)”.

      If you are still unsure, you might want to call their customer service line to get confirmation as I’m sure you want the peace of mind of knowing your pet is safe.
      I hope that helps!

  22. Irene Stankus says:

    I am looking for information on Excalibur.

  23. Bree says:

    I bought a cookie sheet from Gourmet Pro David Burke Commercial Bakeware that is steel coated in Xylan.

    On the Xylan seal is a green leaf that reads “made without PFOA and PTFE”.

    Your article says Xylan has PTFE and is a mediocre non stick surface.

    Thoughts?

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hello Bree, thanks for your question.
      The Xylan in the article refers to Xylan for cookware. And the non-sticks rating is directly from the company Whitford. Now, to answer your question, the company also makes Xylan for bakeware, however in this case, the nonstick release is provided by silicone, not PTFE. So that is why your bakeware has the label which reads made without PFOA and PTFE.
      I hope that helped clarify!

  24. Wai Yee Wong says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for such informative article.

    Have you had or got more details on Neoflam and it’s non-stick-ceramic coating?

    I switched from teflon to ceramic non-stick cookware, and most of them after some use lost the non-stick capabilities and made cooking more challenging.

    After your write-up I’m reconsidering teflon or neoflam, but I’m just concerned about the durability.

    Do you have any advice?

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Wai Yee Wong, thank you for your comment!
      Neoflam with its Ecolon coating is a decent pan and starts out with great nonstick properties, but in my research I found that like all other ceramic nonstick coatings, it wears off soon enough.
      Personally I am a fan of using a basic teflon pan for my nonstick needs. A good basic teflon pan has a nonstick life of 1-2 years which, in my books, is ok! I also find Scanpan a good choice, its pricier but lasts longer (with proper care). You can read my review here. I hope that helps.

  25. Janet says:

    I just bought a set of Olympia Xylan pots and pans. I am worried about this product’s toxicity. Is it aluminum and is it toxic to cook with even at low heats?

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Janet, thanks for stopping by.
      I don’t think you need to worry too much. Almost all coated cookware is aluminum based. Xylan is applied mainly to aluminum cookware and steel cookware in the case of woks. In all likelihood your pans are aluminum based. The coating Xylan, like any other PTFE based coating is fine up to medium temperatures so you really shouldn’t worry as long as you use the pans with proper care.

  26. Ryan says:

    I have a Xylan plus (double coating according to Whitford’s website) which also has an icon label on it saying ceramic. Is this one a PTFE based or ceramic based coating. Or if what they mean by ceramic, is for the outer surface of the cookware that touches the stove top?

    Also I’d like to note that I cannot find any Whitford label or name on it.

    Is this Xylan plus sauce pan a cheap Chinese imitation of Whitford Xylan?

    Product name is Ecko Fuego
    Distributed by WORLD KITCHEN, LLC
    Made in china

    Thanks alot!

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hello Ryan, Xylan is the umberella brand for the non-stick coating made by Whitford and Xylan plus refers to 2-coat and 3-coat applications of Xylan. The non stick release on Xylan coated Cookware is definitely provide by PTFE. I don’t know this brand but the ceramic on your pan most likely refers to the outer surface.
      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that helped!

  27. M says:

    What about non-stick baking pans, such as EKCO’s “Baker’s Secret” or “Eckoloy” brands? Do these contain and potentially release flouride compounds? Thanks!

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hello M, I’m not familiar with EKCO or Eckology but many of the bakeware from the brand Bakers Secret has a silcone non stick which means its free of PTFE.

  28. Lorraine StCharles says:

    I am using The Rachel Ray Brand pots specifically the 8 qt hard enamel covered pasta pot……
    It actually came with a warning about having the PTFE in it and being careful around pet/esp birds…..it does not say anything about being free of PFOA and I was curious on what you could actually cook in it because of not going over 500 degrees..for exaple I would like to make sauce in it and meatballs….plus if I use it for pasta boing it for at least the avg of 10 min what is the temp then ….very scary we also have an infant in the house !

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Great question Lorraine.
      According to my findings, the use of PFOA in non-stick coatings, including the one on Rachael Ray pots, is limited to the process by which non-stick coatings are applied and there is not much left with the final product. Additionally the use of PFOA should have been phased out by end 2015 as per the Environmental Protection Agency’s stewardship program. So i would put that concern to rest.

      As for PTFE and high temperatures, as an easy guideline, think of this: water boils at a temperature of 212 F. Which means your boiling pasta would be around that temperature. And most other cooking is also done at temperatures well below the PTFE breaking point of 500F.

      So it is reasonable to assume that as long as you are careful and not leaving an empty non-stick pan on the stove for an extended period, there is little risk of the PTFE coating breaking down and emitting harmful fumes for birds… or babies!
      Hope that puts your mind at ease!

  29. kim says:

    i was given a Ninja 4 in 1 for a gift. It is lovely and I love how it cooks. But can’t find out WHAT the insert is made of… do you happen to know? This appliance can heat to high temps (pretty sure up to 500 as it works as a fryer too…) so would you suggest trading it in for something ceramic (like an old school crock pot?)

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Kim, its really a personal preference between non stick and ceramic.
      The insert in this product is metal if I’m not mistaken, which means the non-stick coating is likely to be some form of PTFE. The temperature limit for using the Ninja 4 in 1 is up to 425 F. PTFE or Teflon doesn’t deteriorate till it reaches 500 F. So unless its really a personal preference or a major concern for you, I would suggest you are quite ok using this cooker. Let me know what you think!

  30. Sue says:

    I am thrilled to find your very informative site!

    I am wondering about Tramontina brand cookware. They are the only brand lately that I have found that say they are made in the USA, but it seems you have to be very careful when shopping sites like Amazon to read the fine print as some of their products are made in Brazil and assembled and packaged in the USA, but it’s difficult at times to determine or understand what the cookware is actually coated with.

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Sue, I’m glad you found the information useful!

      The other brand I know of that’s made in USA is All Clad (except for the lids).

      As for non-stick coating, I don’t know which line of the Tramontina cookware you are considering as they have several. However, as a general rule of thumb, if its an aluminum pan with a non-stick finish, you can be rest assured that the non-stick release is provided by some form of PTFE (aka a kind of ‘Teflon’).

      Hope that helps!

  31. Heidi says:

    Thank you for the thorough information!
    I generally do not use non-stick in my house, but my husband accidentally purchased baking sheets for me that are coated. We are having a difficult time finding the type of coating that is used on them. They are Chicago Metallic’s Commercial II dual coated non-stick small cookie/jelly roll pans.
    After a call to the company, we were told that the coating is proprietary (so they won’t tell us exactly) but stated that they are PFOA and PTFE free. Can you tell me more about them?
    Thanks so much!

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hello Heidi, thank you for the comments! While I’m not too familiar with that brand, here’s what I’ve been able to find out.

      These particular Chicago Metallic pans are made with aluminized steel with a non-stick coating.

      Most, if not all, metallic non-stick bakeware is made non-stick with some form of PTFE coating.

      According to their literature, they use a ‘coil coating’ process which means the rolled metal is coated evenly at peak temperatures with a high quality PTFE coating. Each pan is then formed from a quality-assured coil-coated roll.

      So to answer your question, it is very likely some form of PTFE that is coating those pans and the customer service rep was misinformed. Chicago metallic does offer an un-coated line but this is obviously coated.

      Check this info I found: http://www.greenfieldworld.com/2006ecatalog/all%20vendors/chicagometallic.pdf

      Hope this helped!

  32. Deena says:

    Hello,
    Thank you so much for this great site.
    I have been researching all kinds of slow cookers/crock pots being sold to date. The reviews on them seem to be varied.
    I am considering buying the Cuisinart MSC 600 3 in 1 multi slow cooker.
    I live in Canada and was told by Conair/Cuisinart Canada that this product’s non-stick aluminum vessel insert is a Whitford product.
    I was told by Cuisinart staff that they could not disclose what the material is made from as a result of privacy issues.
    I find rather frustrating and upsetting. To me that is just not acceptable.
    We consumers should be privy to this kind of information. It is quite apparant that this kind of information is very hard to obtain given all the time I have spent on this.
    In fact the customer service rep I spoke with did not readily know about the cooker’s non-stick finish…… put me on hold to find out from someone else and came back with the privacy issue statement.
    I am not trying to copy and make a slow cooker pot. I am just a consumer interested in getting one…..who wants to be assured about the lining’s safety. Anyway that is what I was told.
    However, she did tell me it is BPA free. She never mentioned lead free but I would imagine it is (hope so)!
    I contacted a manager at Whitford by email and was told that they would get back to me to CONFIRM that it is a Whitford coating vessel by another staff member who knows all about it.
    I was told though that it definitely does have PFTE but no PFOA. Told that PFTE is definitely safe!
    I haven’t heard back from Whitford as yet after a couple of weeks of waiting for the confirmaltion.
    Also told by a customer service rep at Cuisinart that this 6 quart cooker is being discontinued in the US but not in Canada to date. This concerns me as well. Why?
    I see that it is still being sold in the US on Ebay, Amazon etc. etc. and yet no mention of it being a discontinued product.
    I was curious what will be taking its place in the US once all cookers have been sold, wrote to Cuisinart US and never heard back from them!
    I like the fact that this slow cooker has the saute/brown feature that one cooks right in the cooker itself and is not an on the stove cooking pot I read could crack??
    Albeit heard this cooker’s lining has been known to bubble and flake off even with careful use of the non-stick finish but not harmful if one consumes some of these particles.
    Are you familiar with this particular slow cooker and what your opinion is especially about the vessel itself.
    I could look into cookers that have the Ceramic based non-stick coatings that perhaps have Sol-Gel technology given you mentioned it seems a safe product.
    I read unfavourable reviews on ceramic type pots that they are not as durable, known to crack etc. Also Wondering if some may contain lead,
    To reiderate, my main concern is worrying about having harmful chemicals leach into the food being slow cooked.
    I am not sure I will ever be satisfied with a slow cooker given my concerns about PFTE etc. etc. However, perhaps you can allay some of them.
    Thank you

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hello Deena, first of all, thank you for taking the time to read this article and to comment on it.

      Now to your concerns about chemicals leaching. Most non-stick coatings have PTFE. That is a given. To the best of my knowledge PTFE (aka Teflon) is an inert substance if ingested by the body and will pass through harmlessly. So personally I wouldn’t be worried about that.
      My concern would be durability. In my experience, after some time, ALL non-stick pans I have ever owned stop working. They either peel or wear out. Given that a slow cooker is on for hours at a time, it is very possible this would happen sooner in a non-stick coated slow cooker.

      So if non-stick coating leeching into food is an issue with the Cuisinart slow cooker you are looking at, I wouldn’t be worried about it. On a separate note I’ve always had a ceramic slow cooker (with no non-stick coating) and really, have had no issues with durability or cracking or clean up for that matter. I hope this helps. Let us know what you decide.

  33. Simon says:

    Hi just bought a set of CROFTON (Aldi) chefs collection ‘professional’ range,but a little disappointed to see Whitford Xylan only getting a 4/5 out of 10 as theyr pans retail at £16.99 each. They are also Aluminum based and would like to know how ‘safe’ Aluminum is nowadays as thought this product was banned at one stage in cooking vessels?

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Simon, you will find that most coated cookware is aluminium based and to the best of my research, there has been no definitive health hazard with aluminium cookware. Also because of the coating, food doesn’t come in contact with aluminium anyway so I wouldn’t be too worried.

  34. Akemi Y says:

    I have been doing an extensive research on fry pans, and I am still not sure.
    I found 2 that I am wondering if is safe to use or not.
    They are 1. New T-Fal hard titanium non-stick coatings, sans PFOA/Plomb/Cadmium, recyclable product, made in China 2. Ipac (passione italiana) graphite non-stick ceramic with Exdura Green II ceramic coating, PFOA/PTFE free, made in China.
    Thank you for your response.

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Akemi,
      I am not a big fan of coated ceramic simply because they have not found to be durable. Also there is also some reports of lead or cadmium leechig from non-stick coatings on ceramic, though if you read my review of ceramic coated cookware (Click here) I’ve found those claims to be largely unsubstantiated for established companies operating in the USA.

      Titanium on the other hand is one of the highest quality non-stick coatings and while its made of PTFE, my research says that PTFE (Teflon) if ingested, is inert and passed through the body harmlessly.
      So my vote would be the Tfal Titanium. Thanks for reading and I hope that helped!

      • Tony Manero says:

        Cookware Advisor, I’m not a scientist and realize you are trying to be objective, but keep tis in mind . . . . the product manufacturer don’t disclose the latent (long term) harm of their products for business reasons.
        PTFE, as a complex compound, is essentially “boiled off” and ingested — no one has an idea what “new” form PTFE has become (even steak & chicken, after cooking, is molecularly changed) — why wouldn’t PTFE aft 300-400 degrees? The great “new car” smell is chemical compounds being released — how people covet this smell is beyond comprehension. Like PFOA (see below), PTFE is found in hair samples.
        Therefore, I don’t agree with you that PTFE passes through the body – – no one on the “consumer” side has the money or resources to boil PTFE, ingest it, and look for it in small quantities in human urine, feces, sweat, etc. which is the only way it is discharged from our bodies (all food is used by the body or kept as fat, tissue, etc.).

        With PFOA, we know it’s bad, and has been suppressed by manufacturers — Dupont and others have scientists who job is to dispel any position against PFOA (a group of “merchants of doubt” made famous in the Climate Change area.) The scientific evidence is that it is NEVER discharged – – hair samples prove that PFOA doesn’t pass through the body.

        The basic issue is not that whether it is “safe”, but whether we “eat” it in a quantity that knowingly caused us harm (carcinogen), and whether it is used in a way that causes environmental harm (like fertilizer run-off to drains).
        Let me mention another “teflon” matter — cell phone electro magnetic radiation. It is WELL ESTABLISHED that cell phone EMR (same principle as high voltage transmission wires), that EMR causes damage to your facial skin cells as you hold the phone against your ear — but in small exposure times, you body will regenerate. People using their phone (as a phone, not a play thing) for long periods will suffer more damage than they can overcome (like sun exposure to skin). The FCC requires every phone to be registered showing i’s radiation pattern and output tests – you can google your phone for the registered pattern.

        • Cookware Advisor says:

          Thanks for your comment Tony. I’m not a scientist either, and like you said, try not to take sides or start a debate. All I do is research, compile and present available information. In this case info that is pertinent to cookware and cooking with that cookware.
          I do appreciate and welcome your input and point of view though. Thanks again.

  35. Jeff Schurdell says:

    Tramontina Lyon cookware says that it is a “four layer ceramic reinforced nonstick”. The literature that comes with the pans shows an aluminum base covered with three different ceramic layers and then a (food contact) “food release nonstick topcoat” – what is that? It looks / feels like PTFE. Does a ceramic nonstick topcoat look/feel like PTFE? I am trying to find non PTFE cookware that is still nonstick. Thanks for this informative article.

  36. Moe whalen says:

    I have a Martha Stewart collection of non-stick of porcelain enamel cookware, with no info about its chemical makeup? How do I find out this info re: safety?

  37. Lauren Saphire says:

    Follow up to my previous comment:

    I shared the article with my parents and we are having a tough time finding out about their circulon pots and pans. My best guess is they are from the late 90s. My mom says it is just anondized and the rings that make it “non-stick” whereas I believe there is a coating on there (that I am seeing flake off slightly). Any insight? Would Calphalon (I believe they manufacture circulon?) give me more information directly?

    Thanks again!

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Lauren, thanks for the information link and your question. Circulon pots are made by Meyer, who also make Anolon, Rachel Ray, Faberware to name a few. They definitely use a coating which is made by the same company that makes Teflon (R). According to the company, its a much harder, more durable, 3 layer coating. And yes its hard anodized as are most non-sticks.

      The nonstick coating is applied in a unique “Hi-Low” ring design that reduces surface abrasion by allowing only a portion of food and utensils to touch. That’s the reason for the rings so I would say you are right, its ALL coated! Hope that helps.
      I’ve found Meyer very helpful in answering questions in case you want to call and get more information, just Google for their phone number.
      Warm regards!

  38. Lauren Saphire says:

    I came across this website after doing research on the pans my parents have (circulon, bought in the late 90s). What prompted the research was the following article that I thought you might enjoy and might want to link to. Chemicals extremely similar to PFOA are now being used instead, which means that this cookware STILL might not be much safer. It’s up to everyone to decide what is right for them, but I definitely believe everyone should have the correct information to base those decisions on. Thanks for all the time and research.

    http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/welcome-to-beautiful-parkersburg/

  39. Michel says:

    Hi there, I liked this article, it is simple and comprehensive.
    I don’t use any coated cookwares, I use only stainless steel ones, but when it come to muffin pans , it is hard or impossible to find stainless steel.
    I have a cheap muffin pan which has a chrome color paint , like metal car paints . My question is that paint or coating a PTFE please? otherwise I have to buy an expensive ceramic coated pan, like US pan brand.
    Thank you

    • Cookware Advisor says:

      Hi Michel, its hard to say without seeing the pan but I doubt if its paint. It could be an aluminium pan if it is a metallic color.

  40. Manny says:

    thank you for your valuable contribution. I am concerned about Calphalon Contemporary…they only say PFOA free, so based on your article, it is PTFE. I just want something safe…Calphalon is not specific as to what they use…I have gone everywhere but not able to use the name of the coating. Your help will be much appreciated. Manny

    • admin says:

      Hi Manny, you are correct, it is a form of PTFE. I haven’t been able to determine if it has a specific brand name but it is Calphalon’s own proprietary non-stick formulation which does use PTFE, as do most, if not all non-stick formulations. PTFE has proven to be harmless and inert in the human body so in my opinion, safety is only a concern if you heat these pans to over 660F which doesn’t happen in the normal range of cooking, frying or baking.

  41. Sam says:

    This is extremely helpful, I haven’t been able to find such a comprehensive explanation anywhere about non-stick coatings. It seems that most good non-stick pans have some sort of PTFE coating then.

  42. Mimi says:

    Thanks for asking Lillie Pans made with Thermolon (Green Pans) do not coinatn Teflon, which has been proven to be fatal for birds. All the research looks good that Thermolon is safe, but the technology is so brand new, there may be things they just don’t know yet. To be on the safe side with your bird, keep him away from the proximity of any possible fumes when you are cooking, and don’t heat your pans above 450 degrees. There are also some good discussions on some of the bird owners blogs. Hope this helps.

  43. admin says:

    Thanks Franchesca, glad you liked it!

  44. Franchesca says:

    Great post, really enjoyed it!
    — Franchesca

    http://www.bigconceptdesigns.com

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