Want Non-Stick Results But Without Toxic Teflon or Price Tag of All Clad? Here's How!

Did you know that non-stick pans are most often coated with Teflon? Teflon is a toxic chemical that makes your food slide off the pan easily and makes cleanup a breeze. This was a boon for time-pressed people everywhere.

Unfortunately, when you cook with Teflon non-stick pans, toxic fumes go into your home and toxic chemicals can leach into your foods when cooking. These toxins then go into your fat cells and have to be processed by your liver. Over time, if you are exposed to too many toxins, it can be like the final straw that breaks the camel’s back. This is where health challenges could occur.

The good news is that your body has miraculous healing capabilities and if you take even small steps to choose better products, your body will feel so much better!

If you want to feel your best, one of the easiest steps you can take is to avoid toxins in the products you use in your home. The kitchen and bathroom are two areas where you can really reduce toxins and relieve your body of all the work it has to do to detox.

So let’s start by talking cookware! What types of pans to use is an often-asked question. The favorites in the health world are often Le Creuset (enamel-coated cookware) or All Clad (stainless steel cookware). What stops many people from purchasing these products is their high price tag.

How to Choose if Different Recommendations Cause Confusion

One thing to be aware of is that there are many dissenting opinions on the healthiest materials with which to cook. Experts can argue all day because just about everything, even glass, can leach some toxins into food.

What’s important to know is that you can pick the best of the healthy options for you personally and trust your body to be healthy and strong. In other words, choose a healthy option and trust your body, rather than stressing out about tiny gradients of one thing being “better” or “healthier” than another. Stress is one of the worst things for your body, so choosing a healthy option that feels good to you and fits your budget — and then trusting your choice — can be the best step you can take!

Why I Choose Stainless Steel

  • The jury is still out on green non-stick pans. Green non-stick pans tend to have a safer, ceramic coating. However, the experts are saying that they tend to wear out fast, need to be hand washed and are not always truly non-stick. You also must use only medium heat. I know people who have used high heat and had a toxic-smelling odor fill their kitchen.
  • Cast Iron Pans are heavy and can leach too much iron into your food – while there are many fans of cast iron pans, with good reason, they are very heavy and some people don’t like working with heavy pans. Others avoid these pans because they can leach iron into your food.
  • Le Creuset Pans are heavy and not budget-friendly – I have some older clients in their 70’s and 80’s who don’t want to lift heavy, hot pans and lids. This is one of the drawbacks of Le Creuset. While they are an excellent option if you don’t mind their heft, they are not non-stick and they are often out of the average person’s price range. If you can get them on eBay or on sale and don’t mind the weight of them, they are a fantastic option! Use the same tricks for cleaning up stainless steel and cleanup will be a breeze!
  • 18/10 Stainless Steel offers many benefits – While some experts will argue that stainless steel, glass and other materials still leach something into foods, it is generally recognized as a great, healthy choice for cookware. 18/10 non-corrosive stainless steel is a great option because it’s a higher quality. While stainless steel could release trace amounts of iron, copper, manganese and nickel, most experts feel the amount of these minerals the body typically needs are safe and less likely to be an issue with 18/10 stainless steel. However, if you have an allergy to nickel, you may want to avoid stainless steel entirely, just in case.When I was researching which pans to purchase, I went to professional chefs for advice. Top chefs often use stainless steel because they are affordable and they allow great cooking results for a wide range of foods. Pro-chefs also say there is no reason to spring for All Clad when you can get good-quality 18/10 stainless and try-ply stainless for less.

Here Are Some Great Stainless Steel Pan Options

  • Cuisinart Braising Pan: Braising is great for slow cooking game meats or less fatty cuts of meat like beef shanks or lamb shanks. It’s also great caramelizing vegetables or fruit. I use my braising pan for making these crowd-pleasing cardamom carrots.

What About Easy Cleanup?

Here’s how to clean up your stainless steel pans easily and with little elbow grease:

  • Cook on lower temperatures. Chefs do this when using stainless steel because stainless steel performs better on lower temperatures. Set your stove to a low to medium setting. Cooking lower and slower makes your food easier to digest as well.
  • Eggs and animal proteins, for example, are hard to digest and harder on your body if you cook them at high temperatures or over cook them. Cooking low and slow and taking them off the heat while the eggs are just softly cooked or removing hamburgers while they are rare or medium rare is so much easier for your body to digest. Overcooked or burned animal protein can be so hard to digest that it acts like a toxin in the body. So treating your stainless steel pans well means treating your body well too!
  • When you cook low and slow, food doesn’t stick to the pan and cleanup is a breeze!
  • If you do happen to overcook something or you forgot and used too high heat and you have a lot of sticking or burned food on your pan, allow the pan to cool to a safe temperature and run some hot water from your faucet into the pan. Add some soapy water. If that doesn’t allow you to easily scrape off the stuck on food with a spatula, you can allow it to soak overnight or clean it up right away by putting it back on your oven’s burner on low heat.The combination of low heat and soapy water (fill the pan up at least half way) can unstick even the most stuck on food! Eggs are a great test and probably one of the biggest reasons people like non-stick. Now you can allow the pan to heat up and run your spatula easily through the stuck on food to get it off. After the pan cools, sponging up the last bits of stuck on egg should clean it up easily and quickly.

Omelette & Pancake Non-Stick Tip

If you are making omelette or pancakes and worried they will stick…

  • Put some butter or coconut oil in the skillet and let it melt to cover the whole bottom of the skillet.
  • On low or medium low heat, add the omelette or pancake batter. Allow it to cook until you see bubbles form.
  • Once you see bubbles forming, put your spatula (preferable stainless steel and thin) under the omelette or pancake and lift a bit around the edges to see if it comes up easily. If there is any sticking as you test the edges, let it cook a bit longer. Once the edges are no longer sticking, put your spatula a bit more under the omelette or pancake and see if it comes up easily. Once it does, it’s time to flip!
  • As long as your heat is on low, you will get the same non-stick action you get from a non-stick pan. It may take more patience and a little practice, but it does work beautifully!

So there you have it. A healthy cooking option that is easy on your budget, easy to work with and easy to clean!


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As a coach, writer and recovered former executive, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle when over-scheduled. In my journey to radiant health, I created a whole health system of eating, exercise, renewal and recharging -- a roadmap toward health & vitality. I empower clients to create their own whole health systems, in their own unique ways. I have seen amazing results in working with my clients!