We Tested Xtrema Cookware: Here is Our Review

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Written by The LeafScore Team


The LeafScore Team

This article was written as a collaboration by the LeafScore editorial team.


Xtrema is a truly non-toxic cookware brand that has the testing to prove its products are 100% free of forever chemicals. We tested the all ceramic Xtrema cookware set in our home test kitchen, here is our review.

Table of Contents
  1. What we like
  2. What could be better
  3. What types of cookware does Xtrema make?
  4. Final thoughts
  5. Answering reader questions about Xtrema

Xtrema is a top choice for non-stick skillets, ceramic cookware, and all green cookware. Why? In short, because the products are high quality and totally free of “forever chemicals” like PFAS, PFOA, and PTFE, with the third-party testing to prove it.

Unlike less durable brands like Caraway and Always Pan, Xtrema products are built to last. This is the type of cookware that you can use for generations if you treat it right. The issue with Xtrema isn’t durability or toxicity, it’s convenience. When we have used Xtrema pans and dutch ovens, they don’t conduct heat as well as some other types of cookware, which means they aren’t always great for fast meals like eggs, or pasta.

Further, if you just bought a fancy new induction range, Xtrema cookware isn’t compatible without special equipment.

Staff Tested

Xtrema® Cookware Set

Highlight: All-ceramic, fairly non-stick cookware that is oven-safe, microwave-safe, and dishwasher-safe. Third-party tested for leaching of toxic chemicals.

Overall Score
Durability Score
Toxicity Score
Sustainability Score
User Experience Score
Transparency Score

Coupon alert!

Xtrema is offering LeafScore readers 10% off their purchase using coupon code LEAFSCORE at checkout!

What we like

  • Scratch-resistant (ceramic through and through!)
  • Third-party tested for leaching of lead, cadmium, PFAS and other chemicals of concern
  • Fairly non-stick (but not great for fragile frying)
  • Oven-safe, microwave-safe, and dishwasher-safe
  • Silicon handle/sleeve helps with safety
  • Lighter than cast iron
  • Big pots available!
  • Extremely high quality

What could be better

  • Heavier than ceramic-coated aluminum
  • Fragile (at high temperatures, for instance)
  • Not as non-stick as we’d like (or as other brands – Caraway, for instance)
  • Only available in black
  • Doesn’t work with induction cooktops
  • Doesn’t heat all that evenly
  • Some concerns over the presence of heavy metals (albeit not leaching)

What we like

Xtrema cookware is ceramic through and through, which makes it a great choice for use on gas and electric stovetops and ovens (not induction, though). Because it’s not made of metal, Xtrema is also a great option if you like to microwave food sometimes.

Because this isn’t just ceramic-coated metal but ceramic all the way through, you don’t have to worry about scratching off the coating and ruining your pan or pot. You can also use this cookware in the microwave and it’s dishwasher-safe too.

Xtrema even says the cookware is campfire-safe, but I’d be wary due to the potential for heat shock with pure ceramic.

Ceramic is fairly heavy, but these pots and pans are about 40% lighter than the equivalent sized cast iron. This makes them a decent compromise if you like the simplicity of cast iron but find the weight a struggle.

The company is very transparent about its testing, offering up-to-date (quarterly) test reports on its website. These tests show that Xtrema cookware does not contain forever chemicals such as PTFE, PFOA, or other PFAS, and does not leach lead, cadmium, or other heavy metals. This cookware is Prop 65 approved and has test results going back more than a decade.

Xtrema is pretty sure you’ll love its ceramic cookware but in case you don’t, it offers a 40-Day Trial. The company also offers a 10-Year Warranty, which is pretty impressive for cookware! Under this warranty, Xtrema offers to replace damaged items for 50% off the full retail price of the product. This covers breakage from thermal shock, i.e., if your cookware breaks while cooking at low to medium temperature.

Further, unlike Caraway, which is non-toxic, but not really built to last, Xtrema cookware, if properly taken care of, can be passed down to the next generation. Xtrema cookware, while not perfect, is beautifully crafted and of the highest quality.

Last, if you’re in the U.S., you can enjoy free shipping over $95 on Xtrema cookware.

cooking with xtrema cooware

We have used Xtrema cookware extensively in our home kitchen on a gas stovetop, and love it. Below, we have included some pictures of members of the LeafScore team (not Leigh, who is Vegan) making chicken curry with the Xtrema Wok.

Xtrema non-toxic cookware
Sautéing onions, pepper, and garlic in the Xtrema Wok.
Cooking with Xtrema cookware
The finished product.

What could be better

While we love the simplicity of Xtrema cookware, the all-ceramic nature of the product means it doesn’t work with the most efficient stovetops, i.e., induction. It’s also a lot heavier and not quite as non-stick as some other ceramic-coated products, such as the pots and pans from Caraway.

Xtrema cookware is also more fragile than ceramic-coated metal cookware or the original Pyrex CorningWare. This means you’ll want to be wary of thermal shock. To reduce risk of breakage, don’t put cold Xtrema cookware in the oven or on a hot element. Instead, warm it up gradually.

Similarly, don’t put hot Xtrema cookware under cold water or in a freezer as it may crack.

Xtrema could also do better in its packaging. Unlike Caraway, Xtrema hasn’t taken pains to remove all single-use plastics from its shipping materials. Sure, ceramic is a bit more fragile than metal coated in ceramic, but we’d love to see the company figure out a solution for more eco-friendly packaging.

We discuss Xtrema cookware at the 14:00 mark of this video.

What types of cookware does Xtrema make?

Xtrema offers a variety of ceramic cookware, including woks, sauté pans, sauce pans, Dutch Ovens, and more. The best value by far is the Xtrema 12-piece Cookware Set. This includes:

  • 1.5-Quart Stock Pot with Lid
  • 2.5-Quart Stock Pot with Lid
  • 3.5-Quart Stock Pot with Lid
  • 10-Inch Versa Pan with Lid
  • 4-Piece Red Pot Holder Set for Versa Stock Pots

we tested the 1o inch xtrema traditions skillet

What’s not readily apparent from pictures is the depth of the Xtrema skillet. Home chefs can use the pan for sautéing, frying, or even for boiling a smaller portion of pasta. The depth gives the pan quite a bit of flexibility.

If used correctly, these pans are built to last. However, they aren’t as non-stick as some competitors and you will need to add some cooking oil for a true non-stick experience.

The Xtrema 10 inch skillet with lid off on a gas cooktop in Jackson, WY. The pan is deep enough to boil pasta or to make Ramen. It’s a versatile product that would work well for singles as their only cookware option if living in a small space (we see you NYC).

Final thoughts

Xtrema built a reputation for its high level of transparency about test results, and for its longevity. Some of the shine has come off Xtrema in the past few years, due to the company’s response to criticism over alternative, independent toxicity testing using XRF.

Xtrema has changed how it markets its products and typically avoids saying that this cookware is ‘lead-free’ or ‘metal-free’. Instead, it falls back on the leach testing for its products, which consistently shows no leaching of dangerous chemicals, including lead, cadmium, and so on.

While newer brands, like Caraway (see our review) and Alva (see our review), get the slight edge for pure non-stick function, it’s likely Xtrema products will outlast them.

All in all, we recommend Xtrema cookware. It is less robust than cast iron or carbon steel, but arguably more versatile once you’re familiar with cooking with ceramic. If you have an induction stovetop, though, or are thinking of switching to induction in the next few years, check out Alva’s non-stick pans instead.

Xtrema® Cookware Set

Leaf Score

Highlight: All-ceramic, fairly non-stick cookware that is oven-safe, microwave-safe, and dishwasher-safe. Third-party tested for leaching of toxic chemicals.


Xtrema is offering LeafScore readers 10% off their purchase using coupon code LEAFSCORE at checkout!

Answering reader questions about Xtrema

Is Xtrema cookware higher quality than Caraway?

In some ways, yes, Xtrema’s ceramic cookware is of a higher quality than Caraway in that it will last for years and years if taken care of properly. Caraway cookware, while non-toxic, is more a product of convenience, both for the user and manufacturer. Xtrema’s pure ceramic cookware will very likely outlast Caraway’s ceramic-coated aluminum pots and pans. However, Caraway products are lighter and conduct heat on all cooktops better than Xtrema. And if you knock or bang Xtrema, there is a risk of it cracking or chipping.

Personally, I’d stick to well-seasoned carbon steel or cast iron for most cooking needs. These are truly non-toxic, about as non-stick as Xtrema, and much more durable and recyclable too.

What are your thoughts on the Lead Free Mama story about Xtrema?

Several of our readers have asked about the Lead Free Mama story on Xtrema, which shared the results of her home testing. We address those concerns here.

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  1. Hi, I just bought the Versa Xtrema pot based on your recommendations that this is safe. However, I just ran across several posts from Lead Safe Mama on how toxic this cookware is and the greenwashing this company is doing. I would love your take on this as I rely heavily on your site for safe, non-toxic brands!
    Thank you, Cathy

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