Ever since my husband ruthlessly destroyed my beloved ceramic-coated Caraway pan with a single swipe of steel wool, I’ve had my sights set on replacing it with another toxin-free non-stick pan. Unfortunately, anything labeled non-stick is likely coated with hormone-disrupting “forever chemicals” PFTE (Teflon), PFOS, PFOA, PFAS, and BPA—which leach toxins into food when heated. And while I’m a fan of using stainless steel to cook most things, the clean-up feels unmanageable when all I have is ten minutes max to whip up a scramble and get my ass out the door.
I loved my Caraway enough to give it a second shot, but the positive GreenPan reviews blanketing the internet got the best of me. The brand’s non-stick cookware and bakeware are coated with ceramic to provide a slippery surface without the need for artificial chemicals. Plus, GreenPan is a more affordable and widely available alternative to Caraway (you can find it at Target or on Amazon), with some reviewers claiming it holds up even better over time. After testing a GreenPan Ceramic Non-Stick Wok for a month, here’s how it stacks up to my Caraway, Teflon non-stick, cast iron, and stainless steel pans.
What Is GreenPan Cookware?
GreenPan’s non-stick cookware claims to keep toxins from leaching into your food. It uses multiple layers of tough stainless steel that’s finished with the brand’s own ceramic non-stick coating rather than Teflon, heavy metals, or other harmful “forever chemicals” (like PFOS) to achieve a non-stick surface.
Ceramic pans are often snubbed for being less non-stick than traditional Teflon, but my GreenPan is a solid bet for fried egg flips and stick-free fish. Plus, standing up to temperatures of 600 degrees, you can pop it directly in the oven or broiler. GreenPan recommends hand washing their pots and pans, but most are dishwasher safe—which is uncommon for ceramic cookware and extremely convenient in a pinch.
GreenPan has all kinds of sets and pieces to choose from. Its Padova 10-piece Cookware Set ($350) is most like the Instagram-worthy Caraway Cookware Set ($395) with more pieces at a better price point (the GreenPan site also regularly runs sales, so keep your eyes peeled for a deal if you can wait it out). The brand sells all of its pots and pans individually, too.
What’s Good About GreenPan?
Since my old Caraway was my go-to for cooking eggs, stir-fries, and veggies, I looked to Green Pan’s vast lineup to fill the gap. Although a frying pan probably would have been more practical, I opted for the Barcelona Evershine Ceramic Non-Stick 12” Wok. I figured the wok would be even better for the latter two, and crossed my fingers it’d suffice for scrambled eggs. It surpassed my expectations. Here’s why.
Toxin-free cookware that’s *actually* non-stick
The non-stick coating on GreenPan’s pots and pans is ceramic; so, unlike Teflon, there’s no worry of chemicals leaching into your food. The problem? Toxin-free cookware that claims to be non-stick isn’t usually as slick as Teflon. I put it to the test with a true wok staple—stir-fried veggies—and was impressed with how easily lightly olive-oiled broccolini and celery slid around the pan with a light toss.
If you’re thinking, well, woks are made for stir-fries—fair. But GreenPan’s wok exceeded expectations. The pan heats evenly, all the way up the tall, sloped sides, meaning everything cooks perfectly at the same time. My sizzling veggies refused to stick, even when I forgot them in the pan for a little too long. And when I tried my luck at cooking fish and eggs, the wok handled both with ease. A simple tap with a rubber spatula is enough to dislodge the edge of an omelet, with zero residue.
GreenPan’s cookware is significantly more non-stick than my Teflon non-stick. Bold statement, I know. And although my Teflon non-stick is several years old, cooking with GreenPan’s wok feels like I’m cooking with non-stick cookware for the first time in my life. It’s that good.
Easy clean up
Once you start using GreenPan, you’ll instantly understand why it’s so easy to clean. A swipe with a rubber spatula is enough to clear away any crusty egg bits or burnt cheese, so there’s hardly anything left to clean by the time you get to the sink. Once cooled, the wok cleans up in seconds with minimal elbow grease.
Like Caraway, gentle hand washing is recommended. Unlike Caraway, GreenPan cookware is dishwasher safe. The swift destruction of my Caraway pan has left me weary, however, so I’ve played it safe—opting to wash my GreenPan with a soft sponge to minimize scratching and accelerated wear and tear.
When I snagged the GreenPan wok, I had expectations for it to stretch far beyond a wok’s typical intended use. My biggest concern was that it wouldn’t cook everything I wanted it to, but it has handled everything I hoped it would and more. I use it to cook my eggs and sausage in the morning, heat up leftovers for lunch, and stir-fry veggies or make one-pan meals for dinner.
Although I typically crank up the stove to high heat, GreenPan recommends using its pans at medium heat for best results. I’ve found even on medium, my wok heats quickly, making it a solid choice for crusting meat without the stick. Is the crust as good as cast iron or stainless steel? Honestly, no. But on a weeknight when I want a good meal with minimal cleanup, my GreenPan gets the job done.
What’s Not So Good About GreenPan?
Won’t crust meat like a cast iron or stainless steel
Like any non-stick pan, GreenPan cookware won’t give meat quite the same satisfying crusty layer you get when searing a steak or chicken in a stainless steel or cast iron skillet. That said, unless I’m following Thomas Keller’s multi-day Masterclass on Cote de Boeuf to a T, it crusts meat and thickens up sauces well enough for me.
If you simply can’t say no to the perfect crust, stick to stainless steel. Cast iron pans can be just as detrimental to your health as the chemicals in a traditional non-stick pan, according to cardiologist, Dr. Steven Gundry, M.D. “It transfers loads of iron into your food, which is then transferred into your body when you eat. Iron ages us, so the last thing you want is extra iron in your body,” Gundry says.
Might lose its non-stickiness overtime
Reviewers on Amazon have warned wear and tear on GreenPan’s cookware can build up quickly if you don’t clean it with care. Ceramic cookware is prone to chipping and scratching, which is why the brand recommends cooking with silicone utensils over harsh metal spatulas or tongs.
The worst of the complaints is that GreenPan can lose its stickiness rather quickly, within three to four months of heavy use. That said, one Amazon reviewer swears by a tip on GreenPan’s FAQ, which suggests that buildup is normal and can cause your pan to lose its stick. But give your GreenPan cookware a once over with a melamine sponge when buildup starts to form, and it will be just as non-stick as day one.
At $350 for a set, GreenPan cookware isn’t cheap. However, in comparison to other popular non-toxic cookware sets—like Caraway ($395), Made In ($600), Great Jones ($495), and Our Place ($585)—GreenPan is the most affordable of the bunch. Plus, it feels like a small price to pay for a healthy cooking option that’s not leaching chemicals into every healthy meal you make.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for toxin-free cookware that’s actually non-stick, Green Pan’s line-up of pots, pans, and bakeware performs as claimed and stands up to heavy use. Though it’s not cheap, Green Pan performs better than more pricey brands like Caraway. Plus, it cooks everything from eggs to stir fries to perfection. That said, if you’re looking for flawlessly crusted meats and thick pan sauces, you may be better off sticking with classic stainless steel and counting clean-up as your arm workout for the day.