Reader Question: What’s the Best PTFE-Free Cookware in Australia?

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Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

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Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.

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Most of our readers are based in the U.S., where there’s plenty of excellent non-toxic cookware available. If you’re in Australia, however, pickings are slim indeed. Here’s the best PTFE-free cookware in Australia.

Alva and Caraway are two of our top choices for non-toxic cookware, including PTFE-free non-stick frying pans. The trouble is, these aren’t available in every country.

A Leaf Score reader got us thinking about international options for cookware with the following question:

Hey Leigh! Wondering if you have a recommendation for Australian readers? Alva cookware isn’t available here and they don’t ship to AUS either. Caraway will ship to Australia, but comes in at over AUD$500 

Ally

First, the bad news. Ally, there’s very little good cookware available in Australia that’s non-toxic and non-stick. I searched high and low and almost everything has PTFE. 

The handful of non-PTFE options I found all come from brands that are small, new, or have limited information on materials and processes. It’s impossible to tell what goes into making these pans, meaning there’s no way to determine their safety.

The good news is that there are still some options for safe, non-toxic, sustainable cookware in Australia.

Here are my top choices, including cast iron, carbon steel, stainless steel, and one ceramic non-stick option. If any readers find any other Australian cookware brands worth investigating, get in touch!

Our top picks for Australia

1

Solidteknics Cookware

Highlights: Wrought iron and nickel-free stainless steel cookware made in Australia using a single sheet of metal. No rivets or welds to worry about, and no PTFE or other toxic chemicals. Lifetime warranty and made in Australia!

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The only cookware brand I’ve found that is Australia made and owned, Solidteknics offers wrought iron cookware that looks fantastic! It also offers gorgeous stainless steel cookware, although this is made in Germany.

All of the items are induction compatible and work with all other cooktops.

The big selling point of Solidteknics is that the pans are one-piece, meaning they’re made from a single sheet of iron or steel! Not surprisingly, the founder of the company is a mechanical engineer and enthusiastic cook who was sick of PTFE pans and other, less durable cookware.

The non-toxic pans come in several sizes and styles and are beautiful, robust, and great for conducting and holding heat. 

Wrought iron

The AUS-ION™ collection is made from Australian iron, meaning that for Australian consumers it has a much smaller carbon footprint than pans made in the U.S. or elsewhere. 

As with all cast iron cookware, you can season the pans to create a mostly non-stick surface. 

Non-nickel stainless steel

The Solidteknics stainless steel collection is also special in that nöni™ is made with ferritic, non-nickel stainless steel. This is better than the cast iron cookware for acidic foods and is also great for dishes you cook more slowly.

The cookware conducts heat well enough though to sear a steak and is magnetic, meaning it’s suitable for induction cooktops. The nöni™ collection is also dishwasher safe.

The downside of nöni™ is that the stainless steel is made in Germany, due to no stainless steel manufacturing remaining in Australia.

2

Lodge Cast Iron Cookware [Staff tested]

Highlights: Quality cast iron cookware made in the US. PTFE-free and robust enough to last many lifetimes.

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Made in the US since 1896, Lodge cookware is a premium cast iron collection entirely free of PTFE. These heirloom pieces are solid, sustainable, and will last several lifetimes. 

The downside is that they’re heavy to ship, so your best bet is to find cast iron cookware at a thrift store! Strip the seasoning and treat any rust and then season again for safe, non-toxic cookware at a fraction of the cost.

Our experience with Lodge cast iron cookware

The Leaf Score team loves Lodge cast iron! We have several pieces in near constant use, including a Dutch oven, cast iron skillet, and grill pan. These have all lasted many years, are easy to use and maintain, and look great.

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I adore my Lodge Dutch oven. The lid also makes for a handy extra skillet when needed
Lodge cast iron skillet
Lodge has been making durable cast iron cookware for a very long time

If buying new, check out Lodge on Amazon Australia.

3

Made In Steel Clad collection

Highlights: A wide variety of stainless steel cookware with smart design features, ergonomic handling, and very fast, even heating. Beautiful, durable, versatile cookware. Made in the U.S., and a bit pricy in Australia.

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Made In offers a variety of cookware collections, including some with PTFE. As such, you’ll want to check listings carefully before purchase.

The Steel Clad collection tends to be a good choice as it is well made, durable, and attractive. The ergonomic handles make for easy maneuvering on the stovetop and the cookware works with all heat sources, including induction.

Made In is also available in Australia, though in a limited range and with a hefty carbon footprint thanks to its US manufacturing site.

4

Xtrema® Cookware Set

Highlights: Pure ceramic cookware in a range of sizes and styles. Somewhat non-stick, PTFE-free, and made in China.

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Xtrema is one of our top choices for cookware at Leaf Score and is available in Australia. This pure ceramic cookware is made in China, meaning it has a relatively low carbon footprint if shipped directly to Australia.

Xtrema cookware is non-toxic and somewhat non-stick, though not great for fragile frying. 

The cookware collection includes skillets and fry pans, woks, and bakeware. There’s even a teapot!

Downsides of Xtrema pure ceramic cookware include not being able to use these items on induction cooktops. They’re also very heavy and you’ll need to take care not to scratch the surface or expose the pots to sudden temperature changes.

Our experience with Xtrema cookware

The Leaf Score team has tried several Xtrema cookware items, including the wok and skillet. There’s lots to love about Xtrema, but also a steep learning curve when cooking with pure ceramic.

Be careful of thermal shocks and knocks to these pots and pans. And use a decent amount of oil as they are not fully non-stick.

Xtrema non-toxic cookware
Cooking with Xtrema cookware
5

De Buyer Carbon Steel Mineral B Wok

Highlights: Quality carbon steel cookware available seasoned or bare. Made in France, lighter than cast iron, and easier to ship worldwide.

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Carbon steel is another great choice for non-toxic cookware. Lighter than cast iron, carbon steel is less expensive to ship and associated with fewer carbon emissions. 

The downside is that carbon steel tends to lose its seasoning faster, so be prepared to season frequently. 

Our advice with the Mineral B collection from De Buyer is to buy it pre-seasoned as it can be quite tricky to season the pans well initially.

De Buyer has been making carbon steel and other cookware in France since 1830. It uses metals from local mines and finishes the pans with French beeswax for protection. 

6

Zwilling Spirit 3-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware

Highlights: Durable, ergonomic, 18/10 3-ply stainless steel cookware with snug tempered glass lids and dripless pouring rims. Induction-compatible, with fast and even heating and excellent heat retention. Very affordable!

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Zwilling offers a limited selection of its cookware in Australia, including the stainless steel, induction compatible collection without PTFE. Some Zwilling items do feature PTFE non-stick surfaces though, so check listings carefully. 

Zwilling cookware tends to be very well made, with smart designs that are ergonomic and easy to use across all stovetops and in the oven. The 3-ply construction offers excellent heat conductivity and retention and we really like the snug fitting glass lids that help seal in heat and moisture and let you see how your food is doing.

Zwilling cookware is also more affordable than many other cookware options, even in Australia. This is likely due to economies of scale, given that Zwilling is part of a huge cookware company.

7

All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel 12 Qt. Covered Stock Pot

Highlights: Luxury stainless steel cookware that works with all cooktops. Light, but with great heat conductivity. Very expensive compared to other options.

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All-Clad is an American cookware company that offers a wide range of pots and pans. Some have a PTFE non-stick coating, but many are 3-ply or 5-ply stainless steel and non-toxic.

All-Clad as a reputation for durability and excellent heat conductivity. The designs are typically quite ergonomic too, as well as being attractive.

Some of the pans have a copper core, but most have an aluminum core. 

All of the cookware is made in Pennsylvania, meaning there is a significant carbon footprint associated with delivery to Australia. However, through Amazon Australia, many All-Clad products offer free delivery. 

7

Homi Chef Nickel-Free Stainless Steel Cookware 

Highlights: Made with nickel-free stainless steel (21/0), this cookware is very energy efficient, great for induction cooking, and free of PTFE. Made in South Korea and China.

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Homi Chef cookware is made in South Korea and China, which gives it a slightly lower carbon footprint for delivery to Australia compared to goods made in the U.S. or Europe.

This longstanding cookware company has been around since 1998 and offers stainless steel pots and pans that are free of nickel. That makes them suitable for folks with a nickel allergy or concerns about reproductive toxicity, carcinogenicity, or other health impacts. 

If you tend to cook a lot of acidic foods over long periods of time, nickel-free stainless steel is a great choice for cookware. 

Homi Chef’s cookware is 21/0 stainless steel, meaning it has 21% added chromium but no nickel. The result is a metal very resistant to corrosion and with excellent heat conductivity. It’s also very magnetic, making this a good choice for induction cooktops. 

The smart designs include flared rims for easier pouring, riveted handles for durability, and a mirror polish finish for easy cleaning and care (the pans are dishwasher safe!).

Check goods on arrival

We’ve given Homi Chef a ⅘ leaf rating because there are some customer reviews suggesting quality control isn’t perfect and some pots and pans arrive with dings and warps.

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