GreenPan Review: Are GreenPan & Thermolon Really Safe?
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In this expert GreenPan Review, you’ll discover whether GreenPan is safe and whether Thermolon is non-toxic, and if you should worry about the GreenPan lawsuit. If you are looking for safe cookware right now, you will definitely benefit from my Safe Cookware Guide.
Most of us will agree that non-stick cookware has made cooking easier. When Teflon became popular where I lived, people eagerly replaced their regular cast iron and stainless-steel cookware with Teflon cookware. At that time, we only took convenience into consideration, and hardly anyone thought about safety. Now, so many years later, I have a different point of view – safety comes first. Hence, I went back to cast iron and stainless-steel pots and pans and could not be happier. Stay with me to find out how I use cast iron and stainless-steel cookware to achieve a non-stick effect. But first, let’s talk about GreenPan non-stick cookware.
In this post:
- GreenPan Review
- Where is GreenPan Made?
- GreenPan Complaints
- Good GreenPan Reviews
- GreenPan Care & Use
- How to Avoid GreenPan Scratched & Chipping
- Is GreenPan Safe?
- Is GreenPan Non-Toxic?
- Does GreenPan Have Teflon?
- Is GreenPan PTFE Free?
- GreenPan PFAS
- What is Thermolon?
- Is Thermolon Safe?
- Thermolon vs. Teflon
- Caraway vs. GreenPan
- GreenChef vs. GreenPan
- HexClad vs. GreenPan
- Stainless Steel Cookware vs. GreenPan
- Cast Iron vs. Non-Stick Cookware
- GreenPan Lawsuit
- Why GreenPan lawsuit was most likely dismissed.
- Summary of the GreenPan Safety Review
- More Green Cookware Articles
GreenPan is one of the companies that claims to produce safe non-stick cookware, a better alternative to Teflon. Namely, GreenPan makes a variety of non-stick pots and pans described by the company as healthy ceramic non-stick cookware. In place of Teflon, they use Thermolon. Many of you have asked me about GreenPan, so I took time to investigate it. Let’s find out if GreenPan is safe (in my opinion) and see a new development in the GreenPan lawsuit. You will also learn how to use this non-stick pan without damaging its coating.
If you are new to my service, let me tell you where I am coming from.
Until well into my thirties, I had had no idea about toxins, chemicals, contaminants, and pollutants. After a hit-and-run accident, I had to reconsider every aspect of my life. On top of that, I was diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases but have recovered from one of them already. (Learn about my journey to health in my posts about breast implants and explant surgery.)
When I was expecting my son, I started researching the field of baby care products. Surprised to see long chemical names on baby body products, I was determined to find safe ones for my child. That gave me an idea to share my findings with other parents, and that was how my blog was born. See the steps I take and sources I use in my research on my Start here page. Now, back to the GreenPan review.
Where is GreenPan Made?
Doing my research into GreenPan safety, I contacted the company directly to ask them all the questions I had. And I really appreciate their elaborate replies.
To my question:
Do you make all products in South Korea or the Thermolon coating only?
Indeed, South Korea is the place where we make the Thermolon coating for our cookware. As for our ceramic non-stick cookware products, we manufacture them in our own factory in China. It means we control the quality and the standards of product manufacturing.
While the answer is reassuring, neither South Korea per se, nor the fact that GreenPan owns a factory automatically make Thermolon safe. In fact, read on to learn what the GreenPan lawsuit outlines about it. Also, I encourage you to contact manufacturers, too. As I see it, the more of us do that, the sooner the consumer market will change for the better.
Before we address the issue of GreenPan safety, let’s talk about its performance.
Personally, I have not used GreenPan cookware, so I cannot speak from my experience. However, the San Diego Consumer Network reports that within a few months of use, the cookware starts having food-sticking issues.
After going through numerous GreenPan cookware reviews, I present to you some common GreenPan complaints. These comments have been made in response to earlier versions of this article, and you can read them below.
First, some people report that the Thermolon coating dissipates, and the cookware stops acting as non-stick at some point. Check out the comments below.
GreenPan complaint about food-sticking issues #1:
GreenPan complaint about food-sticking issues #2:
Second, some people complain about an odor emitted from the GreenPan non-stick cookware. Here is an example:
Third, a person has complained about GreenPan coating coming off in the dishwasher and enveloping the other dishes. (The GreenPan website leans towards manual washing but says a dishwasher is okay if the cookware instructions specify so.)
Next, there is a complaint about plastic handles on Green pans emitting an odor while on the stove.
Finally, there is a complaint about GreenPan scratched coating:
To be fair, though, there are positive reviews, too.
Good GreenPan Reviews
Since my readers want to know both if GreenPan pans are safe and if they work well, I asked GreenPan about their cookware performance, too. Also, know that the GreenPan lawsuit is not about their non-stick cookware performance. Here are two of my questions to them, and their answers, quoted verbatim:
Does the Thermolon coating eventually come off with use?
Thermolon does not come off during normal use. However, if abused (e.g., impact or wrong use of utensils), any coating can become scratched or even come off in small areas.
How often do you recommend replacing your ceramic non-stick cookware?
Provided that the coating is intact (i.e., not exposing the metal), there is no reason to replace the cookware. Minor scratches are not a problem because the area of exposed metal is either extremely small or may not be exposed at all. However, if there are multiple or deep scratches, it would be advisable to replace the pan on a better-safe-than-sorry basis.
I believe it is important to follow the maintenance instructions to provide long life for your cookware. We will talk more about that in a bit. In the meantime, please read the good GreenPan reviews below.
Positive GreenPan review #1:
Good GreenPan review #2:
Positive GreenPan review #3:
Now, let’s discuss how to ensure GreenPan safety by using and caring for Thermolon non-stick cookware the right way. Also, it is good to know that the GreenPan lawsuit has nothing to do with the cookware care & use.
GreenPan Care & Use
Again, I believe it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure long life for your cookware. Therefore, consider what GreenPan says about care & use of their non-stick cookware.
Here are some more questions I posed to Greenpan, and their responses, quoted verbatim:
How should I care about my non-stick cookware?
Use low to medium heat, silicone & wood utensils, and oil or butter. To clean, use a soft sponge with warm, soapy water. Let it cool before washing and store safely.
What kind of oil should I use?
We recommend using butter or oils suited for frying with high resistance. Peanut oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or sunflower oil are good oils to start with. Unrefined oils, like Extra Virgin Olive Oil, are not suited for frying because they can start smoking and burning at relatively low temperatures. It can create a layer of carbonization on your non-stick coating resulting in the loss of non-stick performance.
Can I use oil sprays?
We don’t recommend using oil sprays, including aerosols, mist, and pump sprays. Small spray droplets heat up very rapidly and carbonize easily on the non-stick surface. This will leave a layer on the coating and will affect the non-stick performance of the pan.
Are GreenPan pots and pans dishwasher safe?
Most collections are, but hand washing is recommended. Check packaging or your collection’s page for care recommendations.
How to Avoid GreenPan Scratched & Chipping
Additionally, consider the following tips as GreenPan safety precaution measures against scratching and chipping of the Thermolon coating. I put together this list of “dos” and “don’ts” based on customers’ experience described in GreenPan reviews. Stay with me to learn about the focal point of the GreenPan class action lawsuit.
|Put it in the dishwasher.||Hand wash with a soft sponge and warm water if the pan is still hot, and cold water, if the pan has cooled.|
|Use metal utensils.||Use only wood or silicon utensils.|
|Cook on high.||Cook on low to medium.|
|Use an electric hand mixer to mash potatoes.||Consider using water instead of oil with lid on for steam.|
|Cook starchy food (potatoes, lentils, grains).||Remove all oils before washing with a dry paper towel. Use a clean paper towel with dish soap and wipe it again before adding water. Rinse.|
|Leave oils or anything burnt in the pan.||In case of the stuck burnt food, fill the pan with hot water and let it sit for several minutes.|
|Use any abrasives.||Let the pan cool down completely before washing.|
|Scratch during washing, drying, and storing.||When buying a pan, ensure it is chip-free as even a small chip can become big over time.|
|Use oil sprays and unrefined oils.||Use peanut oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or sunflower oil.|
Although these tips are helpful, I still encourage you to study the care & use and FAQ sections on the GreenPan website.
Is GreenPan Safe?
This GreenPan review would be incomplete without addressing the issue of Thermolon coating test reports. I was fortunate to get GreenPan test reports when they were disclosing them. Sadly, they informed me in December 2021 they no longer disclose their test reports. I consider that a major setback (but the GreenPan lawsuit is not about that).
According to the test reports provided before, both grey original and black diamond coatings were tested for a wide range of chemicals. The latter were found undetectable, except aluminum in one of the grey original coating reports. To clarify, “undetectable” means only that there are no findings over a certain reporting limit. In my opinion, the reporting limits used in these tests are small enough to be reassuring.
Here is my correspondence with GreenPan, again, set forth verbatim.
What agency performs the testing of GreenPan products?
How often do you perform the tests?
We follow best practice, which is for testing to confirm compliance with food contact regulations be done annually by an independent lab, for example, SGS.
How do your tests compare with the CA Proposition 65 test?
Our products fully comply with the requirements of Prop 65. For example, the test does not detect lead and cadmium.
So far so good, right? Let’s discuss the specifics of the Thermolon coating test reports in this GreenPan review. This will help us better understand what the GreenPan class action lawsuit is all about.
Is GreenPan Non-Toxic?
|Aluminum||– The detected level is 0.27 ppm in the grey original coating.|
– This measure is under the safety level of 0.6 ppm in drinking water (EWG).
– I do not find the detected amount of aluminum in GreenPan cookware concerning.
|Heavy metals||– The tests detected extractable amounts (potentially capable of leaching into food) of heavy metals versus total amounts. |
– In this case, the test shows how much of heavy metals will leach if you cook for 2 hours and the food is as acidic as 3% acetic acid.
– The total amount of heavy metals would be helpful to know if the coating came off and was ingested.
|Lead||– The detectable reporting limit is 0.01 mg/kg (0.01 ppm).|
– The FFDA recommended limit is 0.02 ppm.
– California Proposition 65 (which is stricter than the FDA) requires lead to be under 0.1 ppm before it triggers a warning label.
– The resulting level of lead in GreenPan non-stick cookware is non-detectable.
|Cadmium||– The detectable reporting limit is 0.002 mg/kg (0.002 ppm).|
– The recommended limit is 0.002 ppm.
– California Proposition 65 requires cadmium to be under 0.049 ppm.
– The resulting level of cadmium in GreenPan ceramic non-stick cookware is not detectable.
While I have no problem with the detected levels in the available test reports, I do not know how comprehensive the tests are. Without a full list of Thermolon coating ingredients, we don’t know what substances we should be testing for. We will talk more about this later in this GreenPan review.
Does GreenPan Have Teflon?
So, is GreenPan safe in my opinion? And what caused the filing of a class action lawsuit against GreenPan? Stay with me to find out the answers to these questions.
To start with the good news, GreenPan does not use the conventional non-stick coating brand-named Teflon, which is the trade name for polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
As mentioned above, GreenPan non-stick cookware uses Thermolon coating instead of Teflon, and we will discuss it later.
Is GreenPan PTFE Free?
While polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is not known to cause cancer, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), aka C8, is linked to kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, hypercholesterolemia, and pregnancy-induced hypertension (source).
This matters because PFOA is commonly used to make PTFE coating. It may also reduce fertility and lead to thyroid disorders (source). During cooking, PFOA releases toxic fumes and may cause inhabitants of the home (especially, babies, kids, and pets) to feel flu-like symptoms.
Unfortunately, “PFOA-free” does not automatically mean “safe.” Indeed, there are many other polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that can be used instead of PFOA. (See the next section of this GreenPan review.)
Check out this list of cookware tested by the Ecology Center in 2020 that contains polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coating. In my opinion (and in the opinion of the Ecology Center), it is best to avoid this cookware.
Also, the Ecology Center tested GreenPan Dover Ceramic Nonstick 8” Fry Pan and found no PTFE in it. So, the GreenPan class action lawsuit is not about PTFE, either.
To continue our discussion on GreenPan safety and its Thermolon coating in this GreenPan review, let us talk about PFAS.
What are PFAS? They are polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that can be used in cookware coating instead of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Namely, they include:
- perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)
- perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), and
- GenX chemicals.
According to the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, more research is needed, but PFAS may:
- affect growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children
- interfere with the body’s natural hormones
- lower chances of getting pregnant
- increase cholesterol levels
- affect the immune system, and
- increase the risk of cancer.
Nonbiodegradable, PFAS also build up in our bodies and only slowly reduce over time once exposure stops. As a result of their manufacture and the disposal of PFAS containing products, PFAS are common in water. (Read my Best Water Filter System post to learn how to check your water for PFAS.)
It is important to mention that on October 5, 2021, California signed into law the Safer Food Packaging and Cookware Act cosponsored by Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP). This makes California the 6th state since 2018 to ban toxic PFAS (so-called “forever” chemicals) in paper-based food packaging. Following the law, manufacturers must disclose PFAS in cookware or bakeware sold in California online by January 2023, and on the packaging by January 2024.
Does GreenPan non-stick cookware have PFAS? Keep reading!
What is Thermolon?
To create their non-stick coating, GreenPan uses a technology under the brand name of Thermolon. Later in this GreenPan review we will discuss what issues with Thermolon safety led to the filing of a GreenPan lawsuit.
In the meantime, to help you form an opinion regarding GreenPan safety, I present to you more of my correspondence with GreenPan, again set forth verbatim:
What are the Thermolon coating ingredients?
The Thermolon coating is made by a Sol-Gel process that results in forming a coating layer on the surface of the pan. This layer comprises mainly Silicon Dioxide (SiO2), which is the same composition as glass (or sand). There are some additional materials such as pigments that give the color. All the materials in Thermolon are 100% safe for use in food contact coatings.
To clarify, silicon, Thermolon’s main ingredient, is a product of silica (sand), one of the most common materials on earth. They also use silica to make silicone (with an “e”) by extracting silicon (without an “e”) and passing it through hydrocarbons.
For your information, hydrocarbons are organic compounds occurring in petroleum, natural gas, and coal. Because of them, silicone is not completely natural and safe in my opinion. Therefore, it is great that GreenPan non-stick cookware coating has silicon – not silicone – as the main ingredient.
Is Thermolon Safe?
Frankly speaking, I am not able to form an opinion, and therefore cannot give you a definite answer to this question in this GreenPan review. Simply put, I do not know the full composition of Thermolon. True, we know that Thermolon coating has silicon as one of its ingredients. However, the words “mainly” and “additional” in the GreenPan reply to my question above indicate the presence of other ingredients. I believe full lists of ingredients are necessary to gauge safety in general, and GreenPan safety in particular. Thus, in the upcoming section devoted to the GreenPan lawsuit you will see which characteristics of Thermolon can arouse concern.
As I mentioned above, I have no problem with the detected levels of aluminum, lead, cadmium, and heavy metals in the available GreenPan test reports. However, I do not know how comprehensive the tests are. Because we do not know all the ingredients, we do not know for what substances we need to see test reports.
For example, in the report for grey original coating, they tested for PFOA only. In the black diamond coating report, they tested for PFOA, PFOS, and fluorine.
It is significant that they tested for fluorine because all PFAS share a fluorine molecule. Thus, the absence of a detectable level of fluorine indicates the absence of all PFAS. So, the good news is that GreenPan black diamond coating has no detectible PFAS!
Thermolon vs. Teflon
For starters, Teflon is a brand name for traditional non-stick coating called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). It gained notoriety due to the potentially harmful substances used during its manufacture. For example, a commonly used in PTFE coating perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), aka C8, is considered a carcinogen. Additionally, it may cause flu-like symptoms, fertility issues, and lead to thyroid disorders (source).
Next, there are other polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), discussed in the GreenPan PFAS section of this GreenPan review, that can be used instead of PFOA. Hence, the claim “PFOA-free” does not equal “safe,” in my opinion.
As stated above, GreenPan non-stick cookware uses Thermolon instead of Teflon for their coating. Because its main ingredient is silicon (aka sand), many consider GreenPan non-toxic. (It is not that simple, though, as you will see in the GreenPan lawsuit section of this review.)
Further, Thermolon is made by a Sol-Gel process. Below is the description of the Sol-Gel process given in the abstract and summary of the Sol-Gel patent:
First, my concern is that we do not know which inorganic polymer is meant here because there are many. Some examples are polysiloxanes (silicones), polyphosphates, and sulfur-based polymers (source). And second, the sol-gel coating can still have a PTFE-based coating. Therefore, as consumers, we should keep contacting manufacturers no matter how “silly” our questions may seem to them.
Caraway vs. GreenPan
As of January 2022, Caraway website describes their cookware as follows:
I asked Caraway if their “non-stick ceramic coating” was Thermolon and made in Korea. They replied it was NOT Thermolon, though it was indeed made in Korea.
The good news is that on the website they say there is no PTFE (Teflon) coating in their non-stick cookware. However, in an ideal world, we want to see some proof of that especially when the ingredients or even the name of the coating is not disclosed.
In December 2020, Caraway disclosed their test reports that you can view if you sign up to receive my email. You will also learn about the safety of Ozeri, Always Pan, Zwilling, Blue Diamond, ScanPan, and about 20 other non-stick cookware brands. Plus, you will find out what my understanding of the test reports is.
Preparing for this GreenPan review, in December 2021, I asked Caraway for the updated test reports. Find out what happened by signing up to receive my email. Meanwhile, Tamara Rubin of Lead Safe Mama tested a Caraway pan for the total amount of heavy metals. Using XRF technology, she reports she found some lead and antimony in the food surface.
GreenChef vs. GreenPan
Discussing GreenPan safety, it is probably worth mentioning GreenChef and GreenLife. For your information, GreenChef, GreenLife, and GreenPan are sister brands of the same company called Cookware Company. And they all use Thermolon as non-stick coating. (Learn what other ingredients besides silicon Thermolon coating may contain in the GreenPan lawsuit section of this GreenPan review.) Both GreenChef and GreenLife say that most of their cookware is made from aluminum. GreenChef also has a coated stainless-steel cookware collection, and GreenLife specifies they use recycled aluminum.
In December 2021, I contacted GreenChef and asked them for their test reports. They responded that they would handle my email within 24 business hours, but I am still waiting. And GreenLife does not disclose their test reports. It is my assumption that being sister brands, they would have manufacturing processes and test reports similar with GreenPan’s.
As for GreenPan, I asked them about the metal underneath the Thermolon coating, and this is what they said:
GreenPan non-stick cookware has ranges where the metals are either aluminum, hard anodized aluminum, or stainless steel. The coating above the metal provides a complete barrier against migration of the metal (or any other materials) into the food. Therefore, there are no safety considerations as to the choice of metal of the cookware. It simply comes down to personal preferences and cooking habits.
HexClad vs. GreenPan
I have included HexClad in this GreenPan review because it seems to be quite popular. Comparing HexClad and GreenPan safety, let’s look at HexClad materials:
So, HexClad uses ceramic non-stick coating but does not specify the kind (there is no mention of Thermolon). Also, in the screenshot above they say their cookware is both PFOA and PFAS free. However, here they state that their pans are PFOA free but do contain some PTFE.
As for GreenPan and PTFE, I do not know about all their cookware, but the Ecology Center tested GreenPan Dover Ceramic Nonstick 8” Fry Pan and found no PTFE in it. So, the GreenPan lawsuit apparently was not about PTFE.
As you remember, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) can be made from potentially harmful substances such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), considered a carcinogen. Therefore, it is great that HexClad cookware is PFOA free.
However, other polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), and GenX chemicals can be used instead of PFOA. Hence, in my opinion, the “PFOA-free” claim does not automatically mean “safe.” Indeed, as we discussed in the GreenPan PFAS section of this GreenPan review, some concerns with PFAS are interference with the body’s natural hormones and increased risk of cancer (source). If, indeed, HexClad is both PFOA and PFAS free, it would be good to know what they use in the PTFE instead of PFAS. Also, it would do no harm to see their test reports. So, please, contact them!
Stainless Steel Cookware vs. GreenPan
Personally, I use neither Teflon nor Thermolon coated cookware. While Thermolon in GreenPan seems safer than Teflon, we do not know all its ingredients. (The GreenPan lawsuit may shed some light on that, though.) Therefore, I prefer stainless-steel and cast-iron pots and pans. When used properly, they can act just as well as ceramic non-stick cookware. In fact, stainless steel is the top choice of professional chefs.
For instance, we use Homi Chef, 360Cookware, and All-Clad non-toxic stainless-steel cookware even for fried eggs, and they slide off! The secret is to heat the skillet up before putting oil on it and then heat the oil before adding eggs. It takes my stainless-steel skillet about 4 minutes to heat up on medium and an additional minute for the oil to heat. Yours may need a different time span, though. Please, look at the instructions to your cookware. My lifehack is to spray some water on the heated skillet. If it turns into little balls that start dancing around, it is a sign for me that the temperature is right.
Additionally, when it comes to All-Clad, I use only stainless-steel cookware by All-Clad. They also have a non-stick cookware collection, but I do not care for that. For a comprehensive picture of existing cookware and safer options, refer to my Safe Cookware guide.
Cast Iron vs. Non-Stick Cookware
Of course, I can’t but mention cast iron pots and pans in this GreenPan safety review. I believe they are a great alternative to Thermolon coated non-stick cookware. It is important to keep them seasoned because that is what makes them non-stick. And an oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil, is the best for seasoning.
I really like Stargazer and Field Company, both of which produce safe non-stick skillets in the USA. Thus, Stargazer seasons their cookware with a blend of grapeseed, canola, and sunflower oils. And Field uses grapeseed oil.
Both Stargazer and Field skillets have smooth surfaces, not textured, which helps achieve a non-stick effect. Some other brands’ cast iron cookware has textured surfaces, which seems to make it harder to achieve a truly non-stick surface.
Please, keep in mind that overusing cast iron cookware can lead to increased levels of iron in blood. While our bodies do need some iron, it is possible to get too much of a good thing. Our practice is to use both cast iron and stainless-steel cookware.
Another reason I would not use GreenPan non-stick cookware has to do with allegations lodged in court. A lawsuit against the manufacturer of GreenPan Thermolon coated non-stick cookware claimed false advertising.
In September 2019, three law firms filed a class action lawsuit entitled Anna Saldivar v. The Cookware Company LLC (Case No. 5:19-cv-06014). (To learn what filing a class action lawsuit means, please read my husband’s description here.)
The class action questions GreenPan safety. According to the class action, GreenPan ceramic non-stick cookware contains several known toxins even though the company advertises its pans as “completely toxin free.” Specifically, the patent for Thermolon listed silane, aluminum oxide, tetraethoxysilane, methyltrimethoxysilane, and potassium titanate. Above all, the plaintiff says that these substances are known to cause health problems.
Doing a follow-up on the case for this GreenPan safety review, I came across this document (filed on December 15, 2020) on the Internet:
My husband, who is an attorney, reviewed the document, and reported as follows.
Why GreenPan lawsuit was most likely dismissed.
The document does not say much about what happened in the case. However, reading between the lines, I consider the following as the most likely scenario.
A plaintiff filed a lawsuit against GreenPan non-stick cookware maker as what is called a putative class action. This means that the plaintiff filed suit not only for themselves, but also on behalf of all others similarly situated. I can’t tell from this document whether a class was ever certified by the court, or how the class was defined. (An example might be, “All persons who purchased GreenPan Thermolon coated non-stick cookware between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019, who reside in California.”)
What is clear from the stipulated order is that the plaintiff and GreenPan agreed that the case should be dismissed. Importantly, the case was dismissed “with prejudice” as to the plaintiff, meaning that the named plaintiff (Anna Saldivar) cannot re-file the case. “Without prejudice” refers to any other person who might be a member of the class. It means that they could file their own case, even though Anna Saldivar’s case is being dismissed.
This tells me it is most likely that GreenPan settled with Ms. Saldivar by paying a certain sum of money. There is a chance the parties agreed that the plaintiff would dismiss the case with prejudice for other reasons, such as that the case lacked merit, but the odds of this are smaller. Of course, these are just my opinions based on a review of one document in the case.
Summary of the GreenPan Safety Review
In sum, I cannot say that GreenPan is safe in absolute terms. On the one hand, the available test reports seem to indicate that GreenPan Thermolon coating is safer than Teflon. But on the other, the GreenPan class action lawsuit mentions the ingredients in Thermolon that were not included in the test reports. Therefore, without knowing all the coating ingredients and their potential contaminants, it is hard to call the test reports comprehensive. Also, the latest available GreenPan’s test reports go back to 2020. In December 2021, they told me they no longer disclosed their test reports. So, we do not know if there are any changes in the ingredients of their non-stick cookware.
As for other ceramic non-stick cookware brands, I encourage you to contact them and ask for test reports. You can also sign up here to learn my opinions as to the safety of Ozeri, Caraway, Always Pan, Zwilling, Blue Diamond, ScanPan, and others.
Personally, I use stainless steel (Homi Chef, 360Cookware, All-Clad) and cast iron (Stargazer and Field) cookware. See other safe kitchen options in the Healthy Kitchen section of my shop.
It is also a good idea to reduce exposure to toxic PFAS in other areas of your life. For example, consider this effective water filter and this non-toxic makeup.
Feel free to book a private consultation and check out my e-books that contain truly valuable and unique information. And consider applying to join my Savvy Consumer Circle to practice non-toxic living with like-minded people.
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I have GreenLife cookware made with the same thermolon technology. Hopefully they are just as good! Do you know if there’s a difference?
Hi, Sheila: That is a good question. It would be interesting to see GreenLife’s test reports. Would you like to ask them for it? ~Irina
I bought two green pans several years ago and I have not experienced any issues with either one of them. They are being used almost daily especially in the winter when the outdoor grill is not being used. None of the coating has come of and both are still non stick as they were on the first day. Not sure what other customers are doing with their cookware but I have had no issues at all.
Hi Baerbel! I just got a greenpan set for Christmas and am nervous about ruining the coating. How do you clean your pans? Thanks!
I have had these for years. I hand wash mine with a soft sponge. It is really important to not left any oils or anything burn in there. If you do, the pan is basically useless. Everything will stick. Don’t put it in the dishwasher. Don’t use it on high. Only use wood or silicon utensils on it, and it should stay super non-stick for a long time!
I have their frying pan I’ve been using for years. I don’t abuse my cookware. No coating has come off my frying pan. Nothing sticks. I love this pan.
My boyfriend used an electric hand mixer to mix mashed potatoes in my Greenpan pot. after we ate i and cleaned up i noticed there were scratches all around the bottom of the pan showing the metal underneath the white coating. i threw away the remaining food inside. but I’m curious if what we consumed unknowingly first from the pan was toxic at all?
You can’t use metal on nonstick! That’s rule #1! An electric mixer is literally the worst thing you could possibly used in it!
Omg…i’ve made the same mistake. Did you guys have any health issue?
Thank you, Irina, for providing such useful information. I often wondered about GreenPan.
You are very welcome. 🙂 ~Irina
Thank you for this. I’ve been trying to find a new pan besides our cast iron & stainless steel. My husband loves making eggs in the morning & the cast iron just doesn’t make scrambled eggs the way he likes to make them. He’s been looking at ceramic pans but we haven’t been able to look into the safety of them. Might try one of these for him instead. Thanks again for all you do!
You are very welcome, Kendra! My pleasure. This is what I am here for. ~Irina
Are you saying these pans are safe?
What about Calphalon anodized is that just as good or is GreenPan better?
Hi, Vita: No I am not saying it is safe. I provided you with the information I have so you can decide whether this product is safe for you and your family. ~Irina
So what type of ceramic cookware (pots and pans) non-stick do you recommend?
Hi, Jennifer, I do not use any ceramic non-toxic cookware. I believe that cookware should be chosen based on a health condition. ~Irina
Thank you so much for looking into GreenPan!! We bought our first two pans over a year ago and I’ve really enjoyed cooking with them. They truly are nonstick and I felt good about their safety. However, I am not nearly as educated in the specific properties and chemicals found in most cookware items and the potential dangers as Irina. So many companies market their products as “safe” but fail to provide test results and/or ingredients to back up their claims. As a consumer, I feel very hesitant to believe companies claims of safety. When I emailed Irina, she recommended I contact GreenPan and ask for their test results. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a detailed email from them providing test results. But again, I’m not an expert in reading and understanding the information I received. While it looked good to me, I felt having Irina read over the results and investigate further would provide real verification and peace of mind to steer my decision to replace the rest of our cookware with GreenPan. Thank you again Irina! I will be buying more GreenPans 🙂
You are very welcome, Chelsea. Thank you for contacting GreenPan. ~Irina
Good morning Irina. I wanted to share with you briefly about my experience with GreenLife. I bought a set in 2014 and used it exclusively until 2017. The pan that I used the most lost all of its non-stick-ness by then. I don’t want to say for certain that this wasn’t user error though – I could have cleaned it with the wrong products? I believe that I used steel wool on it once or twice, but this was after food got so stuck to it that it was the most effective way to remove the food, which means that the nonstick coating was gone well before that. There were some small scratches on the it after the years as well, but nothing out of the ordinary. The items that I didn’t use multiple times a week still maintain all of their nonstick coating to this day.
Ashley, thank you for sharing this valuable information about GreenPan. ~Irina
Hi, I’ve had a green pan for several years…and as others have claimed…..it lost its non-stick ability after one or two things got burnt in it.
Never used more than a sponge to clean it, only wooden utensils not metal, but now that just wont work.
I spend more time cleaning it than using it. Quite disappointing considering the cost.
My advice to everyone is that non-stick pans are generally over rated and can in some instances be a health risk…..and I am now going to get rid of most of them and use either cast iron or stainless steel.
As a follow up on my above comment: I made a mistake. I actually have Green Life brand, not GreenPan. I had googled the GreenPan to make sure that it was the correct brand and it appeared that it was (we are moving so all our pans were boxed up). But I was unpacking some stuff tonight and saw the pans and they said Green Life on them. Sooo, please disregard my comment!
I have the green pan and the xtrema pans and le creuset also. My green pan is preferred for ease of not sticking and easiest to clean and least expensive purchase. Some of my le creusets I had to throw out (just gave up unable to clean) or they are scratched (lead concerns). Irina, what is your recommended preferred teapot.. is it still the staub? My le creuset teapot only lasted 1 year.
Le Creuset has a warranty on most of their pans…I would reach out to them and see if they will replace. One of my stoneware pots exploded, I sent them pictures, filled out a form and they sent me a replacement. Super quick & easy.
lecresut as cadimum in it buy stauinless steel
Could you post about your experience with the Xtrema cookware? I was looking at those too but they are very expensive.
A friend recommended the Green Oans and like Ashley I found food stuck terribly to them and that’s after I had used them less than20 (maybe less than 10 times). I used a sponge with a “safe” scrubby side because the food stuck worse than any other non stick pan. However I want to use pans that are SAFE and healthy so need advice.
Hi Irina, thank you for the post. I was looking at Green Pan on Amazon last year, but ended up buying Stone Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri. Do you have any insight as to safety of that pan? Also I’m curious what do you use at home? Thank you for all the research you are doing.
Hi, Kristine: I do not have any research into Stone Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri but I added your request to my list. Let me know if anybody else is interested in it. I use a combination of glass, stainless steel, ceramic, and cast iron cookware at home. You can read more about the different type of cookware here: https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/skinny-safe-cookware/ Let me know what you think. ~Irina
I have had a Greenpan set for about 2 years now and while I don’t use it exclusively (I use my stainless set a lot more) I do use it enough to know that nothing will ever be as good as Teflon eggs! Lol BUT when used with butter, they are good pans. They heat evenly and cook well. There’s some sticking and mine have discolored a bit from using olive oil, but apparently that’s not recommended. I guess I’m happy enough with the products as a Teflon alternative.
As for how they hold up… I’m not easy on my stuff and so far I have no scratches or chips. My utensils include silicone spatulas, bamboo spoons and whatnot, and the occasional plastic spoon. I may have even used metal serving spoons, but never to scrape food from the pan. They also clean well in the dishwasher.
Hi Kat. Can you please specify what you mean with “discoloration from olive oil”? So the coating of the pan discolored because you cooked too much with olive oil in it? And who said it´s not recommended? The manufacturer?
Olive oil has a very low smoke point…should not cook with Olive oil in a pan like this. When an oil gets to smoke point, it generates toxic fumes and free radicals which are extremely harmful to your body. There are better alternatives, such as avocado oil.
PPPPPPlease. Please please please do tell me more about how olive oil is bad for you. LOL
Olive oil is very good for you in most circumstances, but it does have a low “smoke point”, which is the temperature at which it begins smoking and the flavor changes. There’s some debate about what that impact that has health-wise, but regardless of health, it makes sense to use a different oil for very high-temperature cooking. For example, of you coat a pan with olive oil and bake it at 450, you’re going to get a lot of smoke in your oven. Keep the olive oil for sautéing, baking etc at lower temps.
Thank you for your valuable comment, Kat!
Thanks Irina for educating people on healthy options. Really appreciate your hardwork.
Are all greenpans safe as they have quite a few varieties. Something like this
Hi, Ramya: Yes, I know there are different types. As long as, it is GreenPan ceramic and nonstick, Thermolon coating is used that is described in my post. Thank you for clarifying. ~Irina
Irina, according to the article there are 3 types of coating beneath. Aluminum, Hard Anodized Aluminum or Stainless Steel. Apparently all are “safe”. Now I am thinking about the fumes that are emitted beneath while cooking, therefore I thought Stainless Steel would be the most safe or would, in your opinion, the coating beneath not matter at all? I was thinking to buy stainless steel, but these are the most expensive.
Also when it comes to their coating they have something called Ceramic Non-Stick enhanced with “diamonds”. At the time of your review. Did these pans also have that “diamond” coating? Is it safe? Because when looking at the frying pans on their website only one (I assume the oldest) doesn´t have this “diamond” coating. That pan is called “GreenChef” Profile. It wouldn´t be good if your article is based on the products that didn´t have that diamond coating, which were deemed safe, but then they added that diamond coating and now its unsafe. Please advise.
Thank you for letting me know. I have emailed GreenPan to get to the bottom of this. ~Irina
Hey Irina – Anything come of this? Thanks!
They have never replied. Let me follow up – thank you for the reminder. ~Irina
Have they responded?
Max, aluminum does not emit fumes during cooking—it would have to directly contact the food in order to be an issue, i.e. if the ceramic coating becomes damaged. The metal is not a coating—it’s what the pan is actually made of. Stainless steel and aluminum have different heat conducting properties, and this is why you would choose one or the other, depending on your budget and cooking preferences. The test results for the diamond coating are linked in the article above, and are at least as good if not better than for the original coating.
Thank you for this clarification. It’s nice to have one less thing to worry about 😮 ^_^
Hi Irina,I’ve been using Green Pans for 2 years now. I have gone through 3 sets using them daily. I use either ghee or avocado oil non stick spray. I use only silicon utensils and soft sponge scrubber when needed.I store them with cushion protectors between ea pan. When they are new they work great. They usually last 4 to 6 months before the sticking starts. That’s the most time I’ve gotten out of them so,Im switching back to stainless steel by Belgique. That set isn’t as sturdy as Belgique I’ve bought in the past so,I’m questioning if anything is made original quality anymore. I have just found out I have high levels of lead,cadmium,mercury and a few others. That makes it imperative for me to choose cookware carefully. The cast iron pans unfortunately for me are too heavy. The GreenPans are great if you can replace every 6 months. Otherwise find something else. Thank you for all your helpful research. It’s much appreciated!
Thank you for sharing your experience, Lisa! ~Irina
I bought a casserole sizedGreen Pan with Magneto2 version on Oct 2020. I was advised to clean it with soft sponge and warm water if the pan is still hot …cold water if the pan has cooled. I follow this routine and have been using the pan almost everyday. Its still in good condition and I am hoping that it will last longer given that it is good for cooking everything, washes well and is light enough compared to other heavy pans.
My question is—has anyone use the pan for baking in the oven? I have only used it on a gas stove top and have never put it in the dishwasher.
Thanks for your information. Indeed, this is very useful. By the way, may I ask for the good health of ‘SALADMASTER” which is made in stain steel at 316TL? If you are not sure, would you please send me some information for my reference.
Since, I am living in HK. I am using Staub of their cast iron. Your information of cast iron would be much appreciated indeed.
Looking forward to hearaing from you soon.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Bernice Leung (Ms)
Hi, Bernice: you might want to book a consultation with me. Thanks. ~Irina
I am curious about what you think about Saladmaster 316ti as well.
Hi, Lynnzi: I have not been able to get information from them to arrive at my conclusion. It seems to me that their sales representatives are not trained to know what the cookware is made of. And I have tried to make an appointment with a regional manager because it said they are the only ones who know but I could not. They seem to be very busy. ~Irina
Hi, my husband just bought a Greenpan and asked me (an environmental scientist) if its toxic. Everything you wrote was extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing their test results. Often companies just substitute one halogen for another or one known toxic chemical for one that has not yet been researched for toxicity. Then say they are BPA, PFOA, etc “free.” I wonder if there is any way to get them to tell you if it contains any halogenated hydrocarbons (ie chemicals with chlorine, bromine, or fluorine) as these can be endocrine disrupters.
when I ask sensitive questions like that, I emailed companies as a customer, not as a blogger. So as a customer, you have the right to voice your concerns. Please let us know what you find out. ~Irina
Did you reach out to the company? Wondering what you found out.
I am very curious as well! Cant find anything about it.
I’m looking to buy a GreenPan set but am confused since they all say they are made with aluminum? I know your report said the levels are low but if they are boasting to be safe, isn’t using aluminum a contradiction? Thanks for doing this website, it was super helpful!
Are you talking about the metal that under the coating, which can be aluminum or stainless steel? One of their two coatings (they have two types of coatings now) leaches 0.27 ppm of aluminum, which is way below 0.6 ppm defined as a true safety level in drinking water by the Environmental Working Group. Let me know if this helps. ~Irina
I bought a light-colored GreenPan about 5 years ago, and I’m very happy with its performance. There are no chips and it’s still quite non-stick. It has gradually darkened to largely black/brown from frequent use, which I suspect is analogous to the seasoning that takes place with a cast iron pan – an accumulation of cooking oils that gets backed on, right? From that, my thought is that it might be, if anything, safer now than when it was new because the food interacts mainly with this seasoned coating.
Thank you for your work.
Do you know about Greenpan Infinity? It is a version enhanced with diamonds… it seems great but is it really so?
They said there are only two types of coatings, and they have sent me test reports for both. The names vary but apparently, different retailers call them different things. Let me know if you want me to publish the test reports on the website.
It would be very useful if you could publish the test reports. I
haven’t decided yet which one to buy but I want to replace my ceramic coated aluminium pan from Tefal, it sticks and has many scratches…
Do you have any data regarding the radioactivity which is sometimes found in the ceramic cookware?
I will update the post now and include the test reports. As for radioactivity, it is possible (I have done a lot of research into ceramic implants); however, at some point, we need to draw a line; otherwise, we will get too overwhelmed, stressed, and paralyzed to do anything, which is counterproductive for our health. ~Irina
This is true. We should try to do our best without stress, enjoy life every single day…
Thanks for helping me out.
I wish you the best!
Still looking for the best non sticky pan…
What about Le Creuset Toughened Non-stick Shallow Frying Pan.
Do you know anything about the safety of their nonstick coating… they say lifetime guarantee.
I think I found about le Creuset nonstick
The Le Creuset nonstick stuff is not any better than Teflon. The coating is called Silverstone, and like Teflon, it is trademarked by Dupont. Both Teflon and Silverstone are fluoropolymer materials. Silverstone is a three-coat fluoropolymer that’s supposedly more durable than Teflon, but the studies done on birds and stuff I believe include all fluoropolymers.
Most of the Le Creuset stuff is enamel, which is safe, but the omelet pans and the stuff explicitly marked nonstick are not.
If you have other data, please share them with us.
Thanks a lot.
Hi, FLorina: yes – you are right, Le Creuset non-stick is a regular PTFE non-stick that I would stay away from. ~Irina
I’ve purchased GreenPans twice now (for a total of 4 pans) and have been disappointed both times. They work extremely well (non-stick) to begin with, but after heavy use, they have stopped being non-stick for me. I want to love them, I do! But sadly these haven’t worked out for me in the long term (~ 1-2 years).
I do so appreciate all your research and this blog. Keep it up! Thank you!!
Thank you for letting me know, Joy! It is important for me to know as I do not have personal experience with them. I use cast iron as non-stick. I think you said you found them heavy, right. ~Irina
Dear Irina, can you tell me if seasoning cast iron is not toxic for the food? I mean the oil that was very hot sticks to the pan providing a nonstick layer but it also has contact with the food, passes into the food… is that ok?
Yes, I believe it is not more toxic than fried food in general. In an ideal world, we don’t want to fry food. Does it make sense? ~Irina
Thank you so much for this information. Greenpan aside, what would be your top choices for non-stick cookware (for frying eggs and other such food items) that are safe?
Cast iron for sure: https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/right-use-cast-iron-pots-and-pans/ Thank you for asking, Akshay! ~Irina
I was recently given a slightly used Greenpan electric skillet by my mother. The nonstick is great! Now this is the only pan I use. Was worried about the safety of the coating, so I was led to you and am satisfied that it is safe to use. Thanks for your report.
Thank you for sharing, Louie! ~Irina
I have had my GreenPans that I bought from West Elm for years. They barely have any scratches at all. I even had a friend burn up one of the frying pans by frying at too high of a temperature – used baking soda to clean it and it looks like new again. I am shocked how durable and resilient these pans are. I’m very happy to learn they are not toxic. However I did use Caphlon non-stick in my 20s. 🙁
This is good to know. We all did imperfect things in our 20s and even in our 30s. 🙂 I am guilty of that. Focus on the things you are doing now. Thank you, Karlyn. ~Irina
Good information. Thank you for the research. I came out convinced to try GreenPan.
However, I came across this : https://www.sandiegocan.org/2016/05/03/the-disappointing-disappearing-greenpan/
Wanted to get your input on this.
Hi, Venkat: Thank you for sharing this. It is quite possible that the GreenPan coating comes off eventually. We do not use them but a lot of people are looking for a safer non-stick option, which is what it is. I’d love to hear from people who have been using GreenPan for over 6 months. Thank you, Venkat. ~Irina
Thanks for the information:)
I bought my green pans around 4 years ago and use one of them almost everyday, now it’s a bit scratched and discoloured
Just wanted to know if it’s still safe to use it..?
Hi, Nidhi: Does it still have a non-stick effect? It depends on what is under the coating. If it is aluminum, it is better not to use it. ~Irina
Thanks for your reply but I am still confused,
Now how would I know what is under the coating?
GreenPan provides that information on their product description pages. It is either aluminum or stainless steel. ~Irina
I’ve read your posts regarding Green Pans. I’ve searched for safe non-stick pans for awhile, and bought a set of Green Pans two years ago. They worked great so I bought sets for all my kids! However, after a while, they did not work as well, so I contacted the company and this was their response:
“It sounds like carbonized oil residue on the pan. The good news is you should be able to restore it! Fill the pan halfway with water and bring it to a near boil for about 2 minutes. Pour out the water and place the pan on a sturdy surface such as a wooden cutting board. Carefully use a Mr. Clean Magic eraser on the warm surface, and the carbon will clean away quickly. Please let me know how this works.”
I hope to do that soon, and I will let you know how it works! The main food that stick are eggs, especially scrambled eggs. I’ve used water, extra virgin olive oil, and vegan non-gmo butter in the pans, and nothing works. Most foods are fine, especially if you keep the pans on “low.” Now I just saute vegetables in water, and sometimes add a little olive oil afterwards for taste.
In the meantime, I purchased a Copper Chef Pan, PFOA / PTFE free. It works like a charm for eggs and everything! It cleans and wipes right out! I still need to compare the materials with Irina’s safe pan list, but these pans are far superior and quite amazing than anything I’ve ever used!! Nothing ever sticks!
Thank you, Carole, for sharing this. Please let us know what happens next. ~Irina
I bought a green pan back in 2008 when we lived in Switzerland. It worked well in the beginning but after a few months it became a nightmare specially for scrambled eggs. Food would stick to it and burn and cleaning was hard. I threw it out and never bought one again.
My pan didn’t last three months. After a very short time foodstuffs began sticking, particularly eggs and pancakes, which is what I mainly bought it for. After the last disaster trying to make breakfast I threw it out. Wouldn’t buy again, wouldn’t recommend.
I have had the GreenPan Chatham set from Bed Bath and Beyond for 13 months, and it has performed very well for the most part. I have been very careful with my cookware: I only use plastic or wood utensils, I never cook above medium heat, and I use felt pot protectors when not in use. The only issue that I have had thus far is with the 10 inch skillet. This is what we use most out of the set: probably 6-7 times a week since we have had it, and it is the only pan that has started to stick. I am working on contacting GreenPan about this now because it is still in warranty. Mind you, it is very minor sticking, but it is still sticking nonetheless.
Hi, We’ve used Green Pans for about 18 months- 2 years. Despite trying to be careful when stacking them in a drawer their coating has chipped and we will have to throw them out to be on the safe side (thanks for your investigations by the way). We also didn’t realise that you are not supposed to put any fat in the frying pan and to cook on low heat. Nobody told us this until we complained in John Lewis store about the state of the coating . We are going to stick to straight- forward pans with no coating in future.
Thank you, Irina, for all of this info! You’ve covered the safety thoroughly, so there’s really just the question of whether they perform or not. And sadly, for me it was a big NO. I wanted to share my experience after have 2 (TWO) of the same GreenPan Chatham 11″ Griddle… To Greenpan’s credit, when I shared photos with customer service, they sent me a new pan. However, the second pan did the exact same thing.
Basically they are amazing for about 10 uses of making 4 pancakes each. So a $50 pan successfully only made me 40 pancakes before it was no longer non-stick. Then the oil in the middle starts to carbonize and burn (even when I wipe away) and you’re left with a permanent sticky spot. I used exclusively refined coconut oil or avocado oil — both which have high smoke points — specifically because of what Green Pan recommends (see more below) and the stickiness still happened with both pans in about 10 uses. The corners of the pan (which get much less heat) are still perfectly non-stick. So making pancakes is difficult now because you have slippery edges and a middle that is sticking and cooking faster.
– They may work better for induction or electric cooktops which spread heat more evenly, but they *do not distribute heat well at all with gas stoves.* I always used the lowest possible setting on the burner but still the center gets way too hot and the edges I can almost touch with my fingers.
– I also feel like the starch in pancakes was part of the burning. As a plant-based eater, even the veggie sausages I cook are made with grains and lentils (aka starch) So i also suspect they designed these pans with meat, eggs and low carb veggies in mind, not more starchy foods.
For others asking about what oils to use in their Greenpan, this is what their website says, and is exactly what customer service told me as well:
“We recommend using butter or (preferably organic) oils suited for frying with high resistance. Peanut oil, coconut oil or sunflower oil are good oils to start with. Unrefined oils, like Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as healthy as they are, are not suited for frying because they can start smoking and burning at relatively low temperatures. Not only is this not good for your health, it’s not good for your pan.
**It can create a layer of carbonization on your non-stick coating resulting in the loss of non-stick performance.**
We don’t recommend using oil sprays, including aerosols, mist, and pump sprays. Small spray droplets heat up very rapidly and carbonise easily on the non-stick surface. This will leave a layer on the coating and will affect the non-stick performance of the pan.” – Greenpan website FAQs
GreenPan seems safe in reports but I really don’t like the smell when the coating is heated (not on high temperature or burning). What about your experience, have you noticed it?
We had the same experience — we’ve used greenpan for years, but then we moved to a home with an induction oven and the GreenPan magneto pans emitted a terrible smell — metallic/chemical. I was scared to serve food to my kids but I figured it was something about the induction oven because it was new to me. But after a year of use that is not the case — it’s not the oven. 🙁
I have had a set of GreenPans for over a year and they are still in pristine shape with no scratches or food stains. The secret is to use them on low heat (as the instructions say) and they work very efficiently on low heat so there is no need to crank it up. Also, never use metal utensils, don’t put hot pan under cold water (let it cool first) and use a little bit of oil versus pan spray. Simple tricks to keep your pans in top shape.
I have been using greenpan for about 8 months or so. I really love them! I started out by using the lima set and just ordered more during Black Friday sales. The only pan I ever had a problem with was one that I accidentally left on the burner on high heat so that was my fault. As far as taking care of them. I only hand wash them, I use wooden utensils, keep it on low to medium heat and when I am done cooking I move it to the back burner to cook down completely. I never put it under water before it is done cooling. I think following those steps helps a lot. Nothing lasts forever but so far I am very satisfied!!
We have purchased our GreenPan in April 2017, specifically Cambridge Ceramic Non-Stick Sauté Pan & Lid 28cm. This pan isn’t cheap and its priced £49 on the official website but you can find it for as much as £44 elsewhere, would post the name of the shop here but don’t want this look as advertising so just do a little web search and you’ll find it. One more downside is that it is a bit heavy. But anyways, now to the point..
I must say as far as the quality goes, we were very impressed by this pan (doesn’t stick, cooks well, washes easy, no coating is coming off due to heat exposure or cooking even after more than 2 years) and I repeatedly told myself I need to do a review of it online as I know that prior to purchase I read bunch of mixed reviews on GreenPan product range and had mixed feelings about buying one, so just wanted to share that THIS particular pan works.
Ironically, what brought me here today was that someone in our family has recently managed to leave a nasty scratch on the pan’s coating (we all blamed one another so not sure how it happened, my theory is someone hit it against the faucet tap during washin up) and I wanted to research whether it was 1. still safe to use and 2. whether more articles have been written on the safety of Thermolon since 2017 when I last researched it for health safety.
This article was quite big help to me, therefor a very big thanks to Irina for writting it. As our pan belongs to the Thermolon Infinity (diamond enhanced) range, too bad Irina didn’t get reply on her queries regarding these but that’s for another matter.
As far as my original intentions go, I now finally have the opportunity to share that as far as quality of the pan went we couldn’t have been more satisfied. So few tips on buying and carrin for one of these if you’re deciding/decided for one. When buying a pan, ensure it’s chip free, even smallest chip can become bigger over time with bit of bad luck. What I’ve actually done was ordered one, checked it, found a small scratch so I ordered another one, which was luckily scratch free and just returned the first one. Best done when returns are free of charge, in our case they were. If you can buy it first hand in a shop, even better as you can check it right there and then.
We never ever used any metal utensils, only wooden ones and we always used some oil altho recently I found out using a cup of water with lid on instead works just as well, the water won’t evaporate, heat and steam will soften ur veggies even quicker than oil, and to evaporate water just remove the lid once veggies are soft (don’t forget to mix occasionaly during this stage).
Last, don’t use any abbrasives, and they truly aren’t even needed. In any case some food burned and managed to stick to the surface, fill the pan with hot water and try again in few minutes. I never had a pan that cleaned so easily.
And be careful not to scratch during washing up, drying, and storyin so basically just ensure nothing hits or lays on the coating surface.
With all this care if you decide to go for this particular pan, it will serve you really well.
I hope this helps some of you, have a great day =]
I just want to echo what Date said above. I have similar experience, though I’ve only had it for maybe around 6 months. Previously i owned nonstick, I think, Teflon pans, but having done a bit of research, changed them all out with a set of Green Pan, sorry I don’t know the name of the set, I purchased it at Target, about $150.
So far, I absolutely love this set, cooks well, and cleans so easily. I’ve been using it daily, it’s like brand new. I do use various oils, including olive oil, and certain foods really stick, as others have already said, eggs, and I find fish also really sticks. I find that if I keep the fire low to medium, always use non abrasive spatulas , most foods don’t stick. The pans do stick and stuff are hard to remove at times, usually when my daughter cooks, it I would soak it with warm water and it usually comes off. I’ve also found keeping the pan on low flame with water, then gently scrub with the spatula works as well.
The reason I got onto this site today is because I found one of the pots have several tiny spots where the coat came off and was checking to see if it’s still safe to keep. My daughter again, cooked the other day, so I think she’s the culprit. This is a very informative, well researched piece. Thank you Irina! I appreciate people like you who do this kind of work, since most of us are too busy to do all that research as well as not having all that scientific/technical knowledge to make sense of what companies claim. I just signed up for your newsletter. Looking forward to learning more.
I have used Greenpan for several years now. I’ve noticed that every year I have to replace my pan because eventually I can’t get it clean/smooth so then everything sticks to it. I take good care of my pans and always use oil, but I do it at least one a day if not twice. It’s a good price point so I don’t mind replacing except it’s more trash in the landfill, which I don’t like. I am about to buy a stainless steel saute pan to use for most dinners, but for eggs and certain items having non-stick is great.
I bought GreenPan Chatham 5-Qt. Ceramic Non-Stick Sauté Pan & Lid along with Valencia Pro 8″ & 10″ Ceramic Non-Stick Frypan Set from Macy’s 8 months back.
Though my Frypans are woking nicely, the surface of Sauté Pan is not as it was initially, every time food sticks to the pan in the middle around 5″ diameter, I feel the middle part got protruted and its not flat anymore.
I have been using GreenPan for many years and have tossed out many pans. But this is because of user (me) error. All my GreenPans are bought from Costco except for one wok which I bought from overseas when I was traveling.
I found out the secret to the long life of the pan is to use medium heat, not heating too long with no oil or food and definitely let it cool before cleaning (uses sponge or the scrubbing pad that’s safe for fine glass ware and I made sure it’s quite worn out before I use that scrubbing pad).
In the past, I have been using mainly dish soap but these days, I use hot water to rinse off the oil/ food particles before dish soap (when applicable).
Also, I do add oil to cook any food and uses mainly extra virgin olive oil.
So far I have been using the latest set of pan for the past 4 months and it’s working well.
I have used Thermolon coated fry pans and they have performed well for many years. I cook using low heat and clean them after cooling down. I always have something in the pan when the pan is heated. The coating has held up nicely. I do use butter when cooking.
That’s good to know. Thank you for sharing it, Kevin! ~Irina
My cream colored Green pan is over a year old and it has lost a little of its non-stick ability, Having said that it still cleans very easily and is a pan I like to use. I found that preventing a build up of oil residue especially when frying or sauteing is very important. I clan mine with a sponge and soap most of the time but if onions or things leave burn marks I have to use a Dobie pad and some elbow grease. When I do that the non stick is greatly improved. It is one of the better or best non stick pan I have used over time. Certainly better that the Henckels pans that lost all of their non stick in 6 months and are no only usable for things that are boiled or cooked in water.
I didn’t understand about PTFE thing. I read this article, which says teflon contains it. Can you ellaborate?
Hi, Anna: I am not sure what your question is. Could you clarify? Yes, Teflon and PTFE are basically the same thing. ~Irina
Hi, Anna: I am not sure what your question is. Could you clarify? Yes, Teflon and PTFE are basically the same thing. ~Irina
NO coating is safe – period! Use stainless steel or iron, and that’s it!
I’ve been using GreenPan for five years give or take. All but one skillet have retained their non-stick properties. The one that failed was their most inexpensive level, it’s still usable but eggs or potatoes tend to stick.
The trick I’ve learned to maintaining the surface…wipe out with clean dry paper towel to remove all oils before washing. Then I use a clean paper towel with dish soap and wipe it again before adding water to the mix. Rinse and done.
I’ve been using a greenpan from costco for a couple years and it’s my favorite pan. Only now is there even a slight amount of food sticking after nearly daily use.
Been using a set of Green Pans (Rio model) purchased from Target for about two years. Non-stickiness was amazing at first, noticeably declined after a couple months. I’ve been careful to only use non-metallic utensils, but I have used the scrubber side of a sponge/scrubber pad because hey, it wasn’t coming off any other way. I would imagine the scrubber erodes the surface a bit, but not sure how else to clean them. My most often used pan is the small frying pan. It shows significant removal of coating material. Hoping it came off while washing, and not cooking. Recently bought all cast iron and FarberWare stainless to replace this set because of the material erosion.
I’m not sure what the deal with mine are…but others on Amazon are noting the same issues, so I really don’t think I’m alone. And mine are going in the trash today. My plastic handles on all my Green Pans are melting/burning when I cook, no matter how small a flame I attempt to use, and the problem has doubled in the second month (I’ve only had them 2 months)…it used to be that I could put a super small flame, and place the pan nearly off the front of the stove with the handle facing out (REALLY unsafe) but that would delay the start of a terrible melting plastic noxious odor filling my whole kitchen – just long enough to make my eggs. But this week it’s only a minute or two of heat and the smell starts, and it’s so intense others are smelling it all over the house and I’m unable to stand and cook. Something is definitely not right and I’m tossing them.
Telling customers it’s user error is not acceptable. I have never in my life had pans that required this much coddling not to self-destruct. You should be able to place a pan at the center of a burner and cook on low-med-or high without the handle breaking down and filling the air with noxious fumes.
Purchased the Green Pan at Costco around 2017. These pans are manufactured with a surface that is “cobbled.” These “cobbles” make cleaning much more difficult, as any food that gets into the gaps of the “cobbles” has to be scrubbed out. Heating properties of these pand for certain types of food that contain sugars will create an even more difficult cleanup. The real issue with the pan is that the ceramic along the tops of the “cobble” depressions are a form of extruded surface, and those surfaces bear the brunt of any stirring, turning with a spatula, etc, and they degrade. Even if you use only nylon or teflon, these extrusions degrade. I have a pan that has lost all ceramic on the top ridges of the “cobbles” after only 2 years of usage which exposed the aluminum casting along the tops, kind of like the top of a formerly peaked mountain that has been cropped off. These pans were never a good buy, never a good deal, and are possibly poisonous just like most all aluminum cookware. This company should recall and reimburse every customer who purchased this product.
You may want to update your post as late last year there was a class action lawsuit filed against GreenPan for containing toxins. It’s still questionable whether GreenPan is really safer than Teflon based cookware. Just like you said already – “substitutes are often as bad or even worse”
Hi, Logan: I updated the post with the information about the lawsuit. Thanks. ~Irina
Hello, I was going to buy a Greenpan and saw your post. Do you think they are not safe then? Thank you
Hi, Bibi: I don’t use GreenPan cookware but it is up for you to decide whether they are safe for your situation. Be sure to read the whole post. Thanks. ~Irina
What pans do you use?
Hi, Bianca: Stainless steel and cast iron. Feel free to check my Shop: https://ireadlabelsforyou.com ~Irina
I Purchased my green pen about nine months ago, and now it is starting to smell of a toxic chemical when I cook with it at a very low temperature. I’m throwing it out. There is definitely something in it that is toxic! I know that smell!
Hi Irina. Thank you for what you have done. I have x2 green pans and they are working well but I don’t fry in oil.
But can I ask is a normal stainless steel pan safe? And is a plain enamel pan safe to use? Thank you.
Hi, Dee, please read the safe cookware guide. ~Irina
This is a very detailed and through review. Absolutely loved it. We have been using GreenPan (Cambridge ceramic pan) for almost a year now. V happy!!
In India, there is limited availability of GreenPan products. That kind of forced me to look out for alternatives. Came across this brand – Meyer. They have Anzel series ceramic pans. Meyer appears to be a big corporation but surprisingly I was not able to find any in-depth product reviews. Do you have any feedback on Meyer Anzel ceramic pans. Thanks again!
This is what I found on Thermolon process.
The Thermolon coating is made by a Sol-Gel process. So what is Sol-Gel process, and what materials included in this process?
Sol-gel coating composition includes a colloidal suspension of hydrolyzed metal alkoxide particles in an organic solvent, is applied to bare metal such as aluminum and its alloys or to porcelain enameled metals or other substrates using a conventional wet application technique such as spraying. The sol-gel coating composition is then thermally cured at a temperature below about 500° C.
Source – https://patents.google.com/patent/US20030138661A1/en
A series of new non-stick ceramic coating materials prepared from organic-inorganic hybrid materials, including silica sol, MTMS, FAS and PDMS (Polydimethylsiloxane) using the sol-gel process.
Question For GreenPan:
Are the se materials really healthy when heated and react with aluminum and other organic metals?
1. Colloidal suspension of hydrolyzed metal alkoxide particles? What materials particles are in use?
2. Organic solvent – What materials this solvent is actually consist of?
3. What are those organic-inorganic hybrid materials like MTMS, FAS and PDMS (Polydimethylsiloxane)
4. Has GreenPan performed any tests to make sure titanium dioxide, and other sol-gel coating nano particles do not leach into food when heated above 500C? especially when react with acidic foods?
5. As these materials applied to aluminum for better heat conduction, how it reacts with aluminum at high(above 500C)heats?
Can you please ask GreenPan?
Hi, Anton: Thank you for looking into this! I highly appreciate it. I just emailed them with your questions. ~Irina
We have two GreenPans that we purchased at Target last year. I am not sure of the line, but they were one of the cheaper options. They developed scratches and gouges after a few months, despite us only using non-metal utensils and soft, non-abrasive sponges. I believe that some of this is due to food sticking, because the coating does become less nonstick after a few months, to the point that right now it’s not better than an aluminum pan we have. Currently researching better options because there are SO many complaints about GreenPan.
Looking forward to their reply.
Though I do not anticipate a breakthrough here. I compared best “organic” hybrid suspension coated skillets currently available.
My finding is astonishing and pretty simple to explain.
Every coated skillets is much more prone to release of harmfull suspension coatinting material into food due to a couple of simple reasons.
Coated materials are very thin, and much more prone to contraction and expansion, therefore damage, due to high low heat during cooking, vs solid metal skillets.
Coated materials cannot withstand exposure to over 500 degrees, by design.
Even as we cook outside of owen, usually skillet is exposed to temperatures much higher then 500, when we place stove top burner on high.
I bought a set of green pan . After cleaning them in my dishwasher, there was a coating on ALL my brand new glasses. Ugh. I returned the green pans and it’s been 2 months and there is STILL a smudgy coating on my glasses!
Hi Irina – Can you tell me if Green Pan has the chemical GenX? It is my understanding there is a new concern that companies are using the compound GenX which is basically has the same genetic make-up as the PFOA/ PFOS compound, but they removed the tail end of the PFOA/PFOS compound and renamed it GenX as a NEW compound. Do you know if Green Pan is made with GenX? I love my Green Pans and do not want to discard them – they work great with no complaints. Thank you for a great article. I am looking forward to reading your response and if you have any new information on GenX.
Denese: That’s the point I was making. When ingredients are not disclosed, we do not really know what the test reports should display. GenX is not listed on their reports. I will let you do further investigation into that. Please share what you find out. ~Irina
Did you find out if greenpan contains genx. Also I heard someone say that her air monitor went to the red highly dangerous zone when cooking with greenpan, although she thinks the non stick coating was damaged.
I’m debating between non stick coatings or an iron pan. Not sure which is safer? Or is there a better option?
Hi Gagan! We appreciate your interest! If you want to know the details that are not described in the post, you are more than welcome to book a consultation with Irina: https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/services/
I am in desperate need of the non-toxic fry pan for eggs. Can you recommend some good brands?
Hi, Teju: Have you considered cast iron? https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/right-use-cast-iron-pots-and-pans/ ~Irina
Thank you so much for your time in researching for us all 😁 I had thyroid cancer twice and making more non toxic change for me and my family. What company would you recommend buying pot/pans from. Is ceramic still better than stainless steel?
Hi, Soli: I am so sorry to hear about your cancer battle. Have you had a chance to read my safe cookware guide? https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/skinny-safe-cookware/ ~Irina
Just wandering which type of pan you decided upon, as being the safest option?
Hi Gagan! Thank you for your interest in our opinions! We mostly use stainless steel and cast iron pots and pans.
Hi I was looking at pan’s at Target and came across Green pan Minneapolis collection. I was looking at a 12 and an 8inch pan from them. The “safe” and “Toxin free” caught my eye. But I wanted to look a few things up before I used them. I guess my question to you is would you use these if you had to get new pans?
It’s so damn confusing all I want is a nice non stick pan to cook my eggs in every morning. Not sure why something like that has to be such a project. Every other pan I have purchased eventually starts to stick.
Is there a pan that you would recommend?
What do you think about the Our Place – Always Pan?
Hi, Sheryl: I reviewed this product in the Savvy Consumer Circle, a service for people who want to go deeper with healthy living: https://ireadlabelsforyou.teachable.com/p/savvy-consumer-circle Thank you for asking. ~Irina
I can’t find any test reports about Thermolon. May you do me a favor and send it to my e-mail?
Have you clicked on the links in the post? ~Irina
I just returned my green pan (bought from costco). The pan started to stick in a small spot. I followed the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning it with a magic eraser and then seasoning. Seemed to help slighly but then a huge area became non stick and it just was no longer non stick.
We don’t fry nor cook any meat nor do we use metal utensils…it IS possible someone was burning things and not cleaning properly but I think it’s the pan. May need to go to cast iron or stainless steel.
With two different Greenpan products, the nonstick coating became stick coating after a few months of recommended use (medium to low heat). Will never buy another.
My Greenpan is 6 months old and food sticks to it every time I use it. the very first time I used it the pan warped but I have ignored the uneven surface and continue to use it. Now I’m upset and would like to have my money back for this product
I don’t know about the safety of green pan but it is perhaps the worst pan I have ever owned. After 3 uses I can’t cook potatoes in it without them sticking. Waste of money and the food you try to cook in it.
Thank you so much for you report. Very helpful!
You are very welcome, Kate! Glad you found it helpful. ~Irina
I had Teflon pan that I really liked. Best pan I used for frying eggs on low heat. I have a couple small cast iron skillets but i can not get get eggs not to stick. I haves seasoned from 2 or 3 times but egges still stick.
Thank you for this article. It was extremely informative. Do you have any recommendations for non-toxic bakeware, particularly cookie sheets?
Hello, Tisha! Thank you for your feedback – we are glad the post was helpful! As for the non-toxic bakeware, check out these links: https://shrsl.com/38vtr and https://amzn.to/2LLNQey.
I just purchased a GreenPan and so far find it miraculous except for the slight smell (which I noticed but had to put my nose to it to really smell it).
I don’t use cast iron because it’s too heavy and can’t imagine it would work with eggs and a number of other things. Everything sticks immediately to the stainless steel my husband bought, even cooking soup in a pot. Also my husband won’t use the anodized pans, and after a time they are only a little better than stainless steel.
So, I am hoping that the GreenPan is safe and stays stick free. I suspect some of the problems with it are due to use and/cleaning. I can handle a fussy pan. The main concern is that slight odor.
Hello, Desira! Thank you for sharing your experience with GreenPan! We hope it will work for you!
The number one feature I am looking for in a pan is the flush rivet (or hidden). I stopped buying anything with exposed rivets due to food build-up. I wished all those 3 or 5 layers stainless steel pan (or non-stick) found a way to weld the handle or attach the rivets inside the layers so cleaning will be easy. I have all clads, cuisinart and Viking and I really really dislike the two rivets..
Great article, thank you. Honestly I don’t think ANY company is telling us the whole truth of what is in their products, and even if they did, we are scrambling to determine the long-term health effects of these chemicals. We simply do not know what the long-term effects on our bodies and the environment are. That’s why (and I was glad to see at the end of the article that you too) use only stainless steel and cast iron (I have some enamel cast iron too). They function brilliantly and are really the safest options we have. I don’t cook animal flesh or fluids so I rarely have an issue with sticking anyway XD
Hi, Nicholas! Thank you for your feedback!!
Wonderful post! It is very inspiring and informative content. Good work – keep it up!
I was looking for a pan to order as a gift to my daughter when I found your detailed article. Thanks for your effort and research. I started looking at de buyer brand then Viking, Hexclad, Greenpan and then your article lead me to HomiChef which I purchased via your link. 😰This was exhausting!
Hi Annette! Thank you for your feedback!! We are glad we could help!!