Larisa Begs Alison to Stop Using Teflon & More

All cookware isn’t created equal.  Listen in as we break down the pros and cons of the most common types of cookware and as Larisa gives her best shot at prying the non-stick pans out of Alison’s hands.

Links Mentioned in the Episode:

  • Drink Recipe: Peach Bellini
  • Follow us on social (Instagram, Facebook) to check out our products of the month, stay on top of giveways, and just see what we’re up to!
  • Earth911 Recycling Search for responsible disposal of old cookware.  If disposing of non-stick pans, call to ensure they have the resources to remove the coating.


Cookware The Good The Bad Thoughts/Recommended Brands
Teflon or Other Non-Stick
  • Easy to cook on
  • Non-stick and easy to clean
  • Affordable
  • Larisa does not recommend any Teflon or non-stick cookware
  • PFOA-free on a label does not make it Teflon technology, however any non-stick surface that is not ceramic, silicone, etc. is a polytetraflouroethylene (PTFE) and contains toxic fumes
Ceramic Coated
  • Non-stick and easy to clean
  • Affordable
  • Chips and scratches easily
    • Material will flake off in food
    • Often aluminum underneath enameled surface
  • Short life span
  • Can’t easily find out what makes up the coating
  • If you choose to go this route, don’t use metal kitchen tools that will easily scratch the surface
  • Watch for chipping
  • Don’t buy anything that doesn’t explicitly tell you about what makes the coating and ensure there aren’t heavy metals (lead)

Recommended Brands:

Pure Ceramic
  • Guaranteed no heavy metals; no lead
  • Scratch resistant
  • Long life span
  • If dropped, it breaks
  • Heavy
  • Not good for searing
  • Expensive
  • Only somewhat non-stick
  • Larisa recommended!

Recommended Brands:

  • Xtrema – Use code SaveX10 for 10% off
Stainless Steel
  • Durable
  • Moderately priced for long life span
  • Doesn’t rust
  • Not non-stick
  • Extremely small amounts of nickel can leach into food; only an issue for those with nickel sensitivity
  • Larisa recommended!
  • Recommend using silicone and other non-metal cookware utensils to avoid scratching and preserve the life of the cookware

Recommended Brands:

Cast Iron
  • Leaches iron which is a mineral many people have a deficiency in; may also be a con if you have too much iron
  • Non-stick
  • Long life span
  • Initial prep
  • Can’t cook acidic foods without impacting the seasoning of future food
  • Not allergy friendly as allergens may not be completely removed when cleaning the cookware
Recommended Brands:

Enameled Cast Iron
  • Non-stick without the need for traditional cast iron cookware prep
  • It’s pretty!
  • Does not leach iron; may also be a con if you’re iron deficient
  • Expensive
  • Glaze can contain heavy metals
  • Podcast Correction: You can cook acidic foods in enameled cast iron!

Recommended Brands:

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  1. We’re currently on the hunt for new cook wear. We currently use teflon. I knowwww we need to switch. What is your FAVORITE?
    Is something like this not so good?
    I’m overwhelmed with the choices/prices etc.

    1. Hi Tina! I agree – it is overwhelming. The link you noted is what I would classify as ceramic coated in our chart above. It will likely only get you through about a year of use because once the coating starts to chip, and it will, there is aluminum underneath which you want to stay away from cooking on. If your goal is to buy a set and to stay somewhat reasonable in price, my advice would be to go stainless but know that it is not a non-stick choice (my recommended brands are noted above). If your goal is safe non-stick then I recommend slowly buying specific pieces, because they will be at a higher price point, and going with something like an enameled cast iron. Go piece by piece starting with the cookware you use the most. You can also throw in regular cast iron pan in there which is very cost effective, just takes a bit of adjustment to get used to, but given the weight and care it wouldn’t be my choice for having all cookware in that material. I hope this helps! Absolutely happy to answer any additional questions for you!

  2. Hi Larisa and Alison – I am a recent follower of your podcast and love it! So practical and fun. The episode on pots and pans was exactly what I was looking for and has finally encouraged me to start transitioning away from non-stick.

    Wanted your suggestion – we cook a lot of omelettes and scrambled eggs in our house. What pan do you use for this? Would an enameled cast iron work? I’ve tried ceramic non-stick and wasn’t happy with the pans (agree they don’t last). And traditional cast iron sounds like a pain to clean (plus not sure about iron taste with eggs, LOL).

    Also have you heard anything about carbon steel? I know Lodge has a line of them… my wok is carbon steel and apparently it also develops a non-stick patina over time.

    Thanks for any input! Really appreciate it. Oh, and if Alison wants any easy vegetarian Indian recipes, let me know, I have ton! Indian food cooked at home is sooo much better and healthier than what you get in restaurants. You basically need a few standard spices which go in everything 🙂

  3. Have you heard anything about Caraway? I received a coupon and it prompted me to finally work on some cookware replacements.

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