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One basic staple you’ll find in most kitchens is a nonstick pan. These pans are there for you whether you’re flipping morning eggs, searing tuna, or making a classic grilled cheese sandwich, making them one of the most versatile pieces in your cupboard.
Nonstick pans have been around for a long time, but older pans made using polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the substance used in Teflon pans, have some drawbacks. PTFE and other per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) help keep food from sticking to pans, but they’re also “linked to an increased risk of several cancers, including testicular, thyroid, and kidney cancers. When heated at very high temperatures, they could also release fumes that could produce flu-like symptoms in adults,” Kelsey Kunik, a registered dietitian, tells POPSUGAR.
It’s essential to make sure to never use a nonstick pan that’s scratched to minimize your exposure to these substances. But you can also seek out PTFE-free nonstick pans for extra peace of mind. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites for all types of kitchens and chefs ahead.