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Is bakeware really toxic?
If you have had a chance to read my Non Toxic Cookware post, then you probably have a pretty good idea that, yes, bakeware too can be toxic. Thankfully not all bakeware is made of toxic ingredients and there are some really great choices out there for options. Here are a few materials to look out for when trying to avoid toxins in your bakeware.
1. Teflon (PTFE)
The most common non stick substance out there is Teflon (originally made by the company DuPont). Teflon contains the chemical Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). What makes it so popular to use for bakeware is that it is non-reactive, non-stick and stain resistant. Sounds great – that is until you read the fine print on the toxins it’s releasing every time you use it!
While DuPont claimed that Teflon was safe under certain circumstances, the EWG took a closer look at this back in 2003. They reviewed studies that dated back as far as the 1950’s and showed that Dupont knew for quite some time that Teflon released harmful fumes at even low temperatures. They also knew that it could cause acute illness.
Even scarier is that Teflon was first made using the chemical PTFE, but in the 1950’s they started adding Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), or C8, to it to help alleviate some of the lumpiness from just using just PTFE. However, this produced an even greater toxic substance overall that can accumulate in the body over time.
It has been linked to many diseases, from cancer, liver disease, thyroid issues and growth issues. It is present in the air and water. Those who worked and lived in the area where it was made were exposed at high doses that created significant health issues, from birth defects in babies, to cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, and high cholesterol. Thankfully, PFOAs were taken out of Teflon back in 2013.
As PFOAs were phased out, they were replaced by a chemical called GenX, which is very similar in structure to PFOA (they are in the same family of chemicals called PFAS).
However, GenX is nearly as toxic to people as what it replaced, according to an Environmental Protection Agency study.
Bottom line, anything with Teflon needs to be avoided! And, you should look for PFAS-free, not just PFOA as there could be many other chemicals (GenX for example) still in that bakeware.
Aluminum is affordable, readily available and a great heat conductor. Potentially a great resource when making bakeware. Wrong! Aluminum is also a soft and highly reactive metal that can leach into your food.
It must be known that aluminum has been consistently placed in the top 200 health-jeopardizing toxins by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
It is also a known neurotoxin that can inhibit up to 200 biological functions and it has been suggested that there may be a link between it and neurodegenerative diseases (like Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s, etc). Aluminum is bio-accumulative, meaning it will accumulate in the body over time! Not only that, but aluminum cookware has been found in simulated cooking in a lab to release cadmium, copper and arsenic into food as well. (source)
Unfortunately many different types of cookware and bakeware are manufactured with lead, including glass and ceramic (including both pure ceramic and ceramic coated) cookware. The lead is there for a reason – to make a product that is more rigid. Or, in other words, less likely to break and have more shock resistance. But, you guessed it, lead is likely to leach into your food! There is a laundry list of potential health effects from either short or long term exposure to lead that includes anything from headaches, abdominal pain, depression, miscarriage, etc. But especially scary is the effect lead can have on babies and children.
Even low level lead exposures in babies can affect behavior and intelligence.
This isn’t a complete list by any means of all the toxic substances found in bakeware. But I hope to emphasize that because toxic substances like these can be found in cookware, it is all the more reason to research and invest in bakeware that is known to be safe. I am going to discuss in depth below my favorite non toxic bakeware brands!
What are the best types of non toxic bakeware?
Thankfully there are many options for non toxic bakeware. And many of my options are from the same brands that I get my cookware from! Here are the types of bakeware I feel good about using for my family:
- Stainless Steel
- Ceramic Coated
- 100% Ceramic
- Cast Iron
Best Non Toxic Bakeware Brands
If you’ve read my Nontoxic Cookware Post then you know my love for 360 cookware runs deep!
There isn’t a safer option out there when it comes to stainless steel in my opinion. Of course when it comes to their bakeware options they have got all the best as well! What really makes 360 bakeware unique is it’s even heating throughout. Here are the 360 bakeware options I have tried.
Cookie Sheets– You won’t have to worry about burning cookies with a 360 cookie sheet! I’ve been using their baking sheets for years and can attest to their overall performance. I have the small and larger size and love them both. You get the crispiness of the cookie on the outside while getting the chewiness in the middle- perfection!
Jelly Roll Pan– I’ve used this for so much! From baking brownies, bars of any kind, bacon, roasting veggies and cookies on here too. This is the most versatile pan! Again, what I’ve noticed is the even baking it provides, no random hot spots.
Loaf Pan– I got this last year and let’s just say we became fast friends! I couldn’t believe the difference I saw using the loaf pan from 360 versus a glass loaf pan. The difference was so obvious! It is the best for breads. Often with my other loaf pan I would find the edges would be done, but the center wouldn’t be. Not so with the 360 pan! You get an even bake all around, without burning on the edges. Great for all kinds of breads but even meatloaf! I also love the handles on the loaf pan. I had never seen that until I used a 360 loaf pan and now I never will go back! It makes getting it in and out of the oven without ruining the bread so easy.
9×13 Bake and Roast Pan– This is another pan I’ve had for several years and love. It’s another pan that truly is so versatile. From making casseroles in it, to sheet cakes, cobblers, brownies, coffee cake, so many things I’ve used it for! It also works great for roasting big batches of veggies. It also has handles which makes it so convenient for pulling in and out of the oven without ruining anything. This would be a great gift for any newlywed!
Pie Pan– I never had a legit pie pan until 360 and wow I am in love! I used a small glass dish that I realized after using the 360 Pie Pan did not compare at all. This really takes any pie to the next level. I also love making quiche in it. The overall larger size and high sides really help with getting just the right crust. The even heat distribution from the 360 stainless steel really comes in handy when baking pies. I will have this forever!
Pizza Pan and Cake Pans– I just got a pizza pan from them and cake pans. I haven’t used them but will be sure to update my post when I do! I can’t wait to test them out. I’ve read rave reviews about both, that I’m sure they both will live up to the hype!
Let me first share a little information on Caraway Cookware ceramic pots and pans and what makes them so special. They are made using a mineral based coating that doesn’t leach into your food. They also emit 60% less C02 than traditional non-stick coatings. They first start with an aluminum and stainless steel base and then cover it with the mineral based coating. The mineral coating is free of lead, cadmium and teflon. As with most ceramic pots and pans it is a mineral-based coating made of silica, oxygen, binders, and color pigments.
Half Bakeware Set- I have one of their best sellers, the half bakeware set. It includes 5 pieces of bakeware. An 18×13 baking sheet, 10×15 baking sheet, 12 cup muffin pan, 9×13 rectangle pan and a storage cube for everything.
18×13 Baking Sheet- This baking sheet is great for really anything. From cookies, to brownies, rolls, so many options. It is nice how things don’t stick to the surface but slide right off. Really makes it nice for cleaning. I haven’t had any staining or chips on it.
10×15 Baking Sheet- This baking sheet is nice because it’s a little smaller and really makes it easy to bake something smaller and easy for storage. I find I grab this one more just because it’s easier to handle and clean! This would be great for someone who has a smaller space in an apartment. I use it just like I use the larger size- cookies, brownies, rolls- anything you want.
12 Cup Muffin Pan- This has been nice for baking muffins or cupcakes. I tend to make muffins more often. Although once in a while I’ll make cupcakes and my kids love it! What I love about the muffin pan is how easy it is to get muffins out without a muffin liner. It really makes cleaning so much easier! It acts as non stick without the crazy toxic chemicals.
9×13 Rectangle Pan- This is great for making brownies, rice krispies, cobbler, sheet cakes, cinnamon rolls, rolls- haha, clearly all the ways I’ve used it! The one thing I don’t like about it is that I’ve found it can get scratched easily and then the coating comes off. It literally got scratched the first time I used it. I had made rice krispies for an event and then people were cutting them with a knife and the bottom surface got scratched. I am more careful now, but I kind of don’t like how careful I have to be with it. I’ve found I only use it for things I don’t have to cut now.
Storage Cube- This cube really makes it nice for storing all the pans easily. Then you can store the cube in your cupboard and grab whatever pan you need out of it.
While I have tried Xtrema cookware years ago, I hadn’t tried out their bakeware until recently. This is a 100% pure ceramic bakeware line. This line is truly clean to its core. It is nonreactive and won’t leach out so many of the common toxins such as heavy metals, glues, coatings or dyes.
I was super excited when they came out with their bakeware line! I’ve tried a handle of their pans.
Muffin Pan- First I love that this is dishwasher safe! All the mamas said- yes! I was surprised how well I loved this! If you have ever used Xtrema cookware then you know there is a learning curve to it. I guess I thought maybe it would be similar for their bakeware. I really love the small size. It’s half the size of a traditional muffin pan but I like that. It makes it easy to put in the dishwasher or bake a small pan of muffins. I find I’m usually making some sort of paleo muffins which don’t yield that many muffins anyways, so I’m able to fit the whole batch in 6 muffins and just make large muffins. They are super easy to clean if I don’t put them in the dishwasher and I love how they don’t scratch. That’s the one thing with Caraway I don’t like is I’m always concerned about scratching them. The only downside would be if you really wanted to have 12 muffins- since this only enables 6.
1.5 Quart Loaf Dish- This loaf dish is great for all the breads. It’s easy to clean too and dishwasher safe. I love how my bread hasn’t stuck easily in the loaf pan. I do grease them first with butter or coconut oil and they slide right out. The cooking is pretty even on the loaf dish too I’ve noticed. The one thing I wish they had was handles like the 360 loaf pan. It makes it so much easier to handle I’ve found. I do like that I can freeze this pan too, makes it easy to put in freezer after baking.
Rectangular Baking Pan- This is definitely a pan I would recommend! You will get so much use out of it. It really comes down to the size. I find I will make bars in it and put them in the freezer since it’s freezer safe, protein balls, brownies, chicken, veggies, lasagna. Really the list is endless. With its convenient size and the fact you can bake with it, freeze and put it in the dishwasher it really makes it so user friendly.
This is a more budget friendly alternative to have on hand. You can find it fairly easily too. I have read that heating silicone can potentially be an issue but they haven’t researched it enough to have concrete evidence. I don’t use it enough with heat so I’m ok with using it. But if you were using it consistently day in and day out I might consider having another option as well.
Silicone Donut Pan- I’ve had this donut pan for over a year and love it! It really makes baking donuts so easy. They pop out nicely after baking. You can even use them for muffin recipes too! Super easy to clean as well and dishwasher safe. Get it here.
Silicone Baking Mats- These are easy to clean and keep your pans looking fresh. I used to have them and used them a lot. However, one got damaged and since then I haven’t replaced it. You can use these instead of using parchment paper. Get it here.
Silicone Muffin Liners- I have had these for years. They are great for muffins in place of muffin liners. I don’t use them as often anymore because they are kind of a pain to clean in my opinion. I just use bleach free and chlorine free muffin liners mostly, or just don’t use a liner too. Get them here.
I’ve used cast iron for a long time. It was the first nontoxic cookware that I switched over to years ago. People have been using cast iron for generations. It really is multi-functional too.
Cast Iron Skillet- This is what I have and have used for years. You can really use it for so many things, especially when it comes to baking. From biscuits, rolls, cinnamon rolls, brownies, quiche, pie, and breads- there’s really no limit. It’s fun to think you can even take your cast iron and use it over an open fire as well! The downside to cast iron is you can’t put it in the dishwasher. You actually don’t want to use soap on it at all. Just a scour pad and some salt to clean it. They also tend to be pretty heavy to pull in and out of the oven. But they are more budget friendly and you can find them pretty much anywhere cookware is sold which makes them super accessible. Check out the cast iron pan I have here.
Budget Friendly Nontoxic Bakeware
When it comes to bakeware there are some options that are more budget friendly. They might not be top of the line like some of the brands I mentioned above but they don’t have some of the heavy hitting toxins like Teflon either.
Stainless Steel Pans- These pans I have had for years from Amazon. They have held up great. They are 100% stainless steel and are not made from aluminum. They’re also free from Teflon too. You can get a 2 piece set for around $32!
Anchor Hocking Bakeware- I’ve also had glass bakeware from Anchor Hockings for years. I love Anchor Hockings specifically because they are made in the U.S.A and are lead free. A lot of glass can actually contain lead still, especially if made overseas. You can get a loaf pan, 8 inch square pan, and a 5 quart pan for $23 on Amazon! Another great budget friendly nontoxic bakeware option. Get it here.
Silicone- Silicone is another great option when working with a budget. You can get muffin pans, silicone cake pans and more on Amazon for great prices. Get it here.
Cast Iron- Getting a cast iron skillet can really save you some money. Not only can you use it for baking but also cooking. It’s so versatile and can last a long time. You can get a Lodge cast iron from Amazon for around $20.
What type of bakeware is the safest?
In my opinion the safest type of bakeware out there is stainless steel and Xtrema Bakeware- which is a pure ceramic. I really love using 360 Bakeware and Xtrema because I know what the product is specifically made out of and I love how they perform. The baking is even and really elevates all my baked goods. I also love how easy they are to clean.
What’s your favorite non toxic bakeware?