Toxins are present almost everywhere we look in our kitchen, and choosing the safest cooking utensils is more important than you think.
When your goal is to cook healthy foods and, in return, keep your family safe, avoiding Teflon-coated utensils is another essential factor.
These toxic items are sneaky, hiding under name brands and “BPA-free plastic” labels.
The bottom line is, only certain materials are genuinely safe.
Using the wrong cooking utensils can leave traces of metals and toxins in your food, a real downer considering how hard we work to be healthy and eat right.
But where to even start? Are my current utensils polluting my food with bizarre chemicals without even knowing?
Well, you’re in the right place because that’s what we’re addressing here!
First, we’re going to cover the cooking utensils you should avoid at all costs and why.
Second, their non-toxic counterparts you should be using.
And lastly, our roundup of the seven safest non-toxic cooking utensils!
By the end of this article, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to make the right purchasing decisions.
If you’re short on time, use the table of contents below to jump to the section you need!
Table of Contents
Toxic Cooking Utensils to Avoid
Before we get to our list of the safest cooking utensils, let’s first discuss the toxic utensils you should steer clear from!
Aluminum Cooking Utensils
It would be best if you avoided aluminum utensils and cookware for a couple of reasons.
First, food prepared with aluminum cookware or utensils can absorb particles of the material.
These effects include hyper-acidity, peptic ulcers, indigestion, gas, skin problems like eczema, dandruff, and chronic inflammation of the intestine.
Second, aluminum can end up in your body by cooking with non-stick coated aluminum pans, especially when preparing acidic foods.
These pans, when worn out, can leach aluminum particles into your meal.
It’s best to avoid aluminum cookware and cooking utensils altogether to prevent these ailments!
Nylon/ Non-stick/ Teflon Cooking Utensils
Nylon cooking utensils are everywhere. In fact, there’s a good chance you have some in your kitchen right now.
But, is nylon a healthy kitchenware material? Not exactly.
The first big issue associated with nylon cooking utensils is its heat-resistance or lack thereof.
Unlike stainless steel or silicone cooking utensils, nylon’s melting point is much lower. It can range depending on the epoxy hardeners used.
Generally, nylon will start to melt around 400℉. Although food doesn’t usually get this hot, your cookware does.
You can start to imagine the issue here, being petroleum-based particles melting off and leaching into your meal.
Secondly, nylon is known to crack easily and splinter, risking ingestion if the particles get into your food and allowing food to get stuck and rot in the cracks.
Third, plastic utensils come from petroleum. This is a non-renewable resource, and plastic will not biodegrade—bad news for the environment.
For these above reasons, you should steer clear from nylon cooking utensils and choose one of the following materials instead!
What is the Safest Material for Cooking Utensils?
The safest material for cooking utensils is generally one of the following options. These materials are:
- Stainless steel
Let’s take a quick look at each!
1) Stainless Steel Utensils
Stainless steel is a favorite due to three main factors; safety, sustainability, and durability.
First, stainless steel is hygienic and non-porous.
As a result, it does not harbor bacteria on its surface. It is easy-cleaning, and prevents flavors and odors from being absorbed.
Compared to other forms of steel, stainless does not rust due to the nickel and chromium present. The chromium oxide layer protects the steel and prevents rust and corrosion.
Second, stainless steel is a sustainable material.
Unlike most plastics, stainless steel is easily recycled, without any degradation in performance.
This sustainability makes it an excellent choice for the environment.
Third, it is incredibly durable!
It’s no mystery that stainless steel can hold up to tremendous amounts of abuse.
This ties into sustainability because a quality stainless steel utensil can virtually last forever, saving you money and further protecting the environment.
- Hygienic and non-porous surface
- Non-reactive with foods
- Easy cleaning/ low-maintenance
- Extremely durable – can last forever
- Can scratch non-stick surfaces
- Gets hot to the touch
- Can be expensive for high-quality brands
2) Silicone Utensils
Silicone is a synthetic rubber polymer created by combining silicon with carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and sometimes other trace elements.
Silicone utensils are quickly becoming a trendy option for a couple of main reasons.
First, silicone is a very flexible, soft, and non-stick material.
For this reason, silicone is a breeze to clean after cooking and keeps your family safe if you have small children running around.
Silicone makes some of the best non-scratch utensils that protect your pots and pans with such a soft texture.
It is a significant benefit over stainless steel.
Second, unlike plastic, these BPA-free kitchen utensils are inert and stable.
Meaning, they can be exposed to very high heat up to 600℉ and freezing temperatures down to -40℉ without leaching out any chemicals.
- Made from natural, non-toxic materials
- Very soft and flexible (won’t scratch pans)
- Non-stick and easy cleaning
- Inert during extreme temperature exposure
- Doesn’t get hot to the touch
- Sometimes contains fillers (watch for low-quality brands)
- Can stain and retain some food odors if not cleaned properly (happens mainly with acidic foods like tomato sauce)
- Although recyclable, not every recycling center deals with silicone
3) Bamboo Utensils
I can write a book on all the attractive benefits of bamboo utensils, but for now, I’ll address the top three!
First, bamboo is biodegradable and incredibly eco-friendly.
The bamboo plant is technically a grass and grows at high-speeds.
The plant remains unscathed even when cut. It will regrow very quickly, certain species growing at the breakneck pace of 36″ inches in only 24 hours, making it very sustainable!
Second, bamboo is a very hygienic material.
Bamboo is naturally antimicrobial and does not absorb water as much as wooden utensils can.
From this, bamboo is less likely to warp and crack than wooden utensils and is stain and odor resistant.
However, you should note that bamboo can still absorb small amounts of moisture, so it’s recommended you hand-wash over the dishwasher.
Third, bamboo performs!
Bamboo is surprisingly sturdy compared to its wood counterpart while being extremely lightweight.
Not as durable as stainless steel, of course, but much lighter, more comfortable to maneuver, and it won’t scratch your non-stick cookware!
It also will not get hot to the touch like steel can.
- Highly sustainable and renewable
- Very affordable
- Hygienic and antimicrobial properties
- Lightweight yet very durable
- Doesn’t get hot to the touch
- Won’t scratch pans
- Resists moisture
- Although durable, they are not as strong as stainless steel and can still break
- Not dishwasher-safe
4) Wood Utensils
Wooden cooking utensils are durable, won’t scratch your cookware’s non-stick surface, inert, do not conduct heat (won’t get hot), and are naturally antimicrobial.
Like the others, you can safely stir any dish on any cooking surface without the risk of leaching nasty chemicals into your food.
However, we can see from above that bamboo utensils have wood beat for sustainability and strength, despite weighing less.
Bamboo also resists moisture better than wood, helping them last longer.
So why include wooden utensils on our list?
Wooden cooking utensils are a proven, time-tested option used for thousands of years.
I have clear memories of my grandmother using a wooden spoon to stir her homemade gravy as I anxiously awaited dinner as a kid.
Another point, some types of wood make for better cooking utensils than others do.
Teak wood, for example, has better resistance to moisture than many other kinds of wood.
This makes them some of the best wooden cooking utensils out there, and we’ve included a teak wood set below!
- Renewable (although slower than bamboo)
- Hygienic and antimicrobial properties
- Very durable
- Doesn’t get hot to the touch
- Won’t scratch pans
- Porous surface (absorbs water)
- Not dishwasher-safe
- Can stain
Here we can see how stainless steel, silicone, bamboo, and wooden cooking utensils are among the healthiest options that you can feel good about using.
All have their benefits and limitations, so having a mix of all four would be ideal!
Next, let’s look at seven of the safest cooking utensils.
7 Best Non-toxic Cooking Utensils
Now that we know which materials to steer clear from and which are safe, let’s look at 7 of the best and safest non-toxic cooking utensils!
Our research team vetted these options through the analysis of materials and thousands of customer reviews, ensuring they are some of the safest cooking utensils out there!
First, let’s start with stainless steel!
Best Stainless Steel Cooking Utensils
FineDine Stainless Steel Kitchen Utensil Set (10-piece)
The FineDine 10-piece stainless steel cooking utensils set is a very affordable option that gives you everything you need for prep, cooking, grilling, and serving.
You get a basting spoon within those ten pieces, slotted spoon, square slotted turner, ladle, skimmer spoon, potato masher, whisk, spaghetti spoon, tongs, and even a sleek utensil holder for storage!
Want to hang them up instead?
Convenient loopholes are built-in, so you can hang your utensils if you’re short on counter space.
These sturdy kitchen utensils are precision crafted using a solid piece of stainless steel with a comfortable heat-proof grip, ensuring ultimate durability and comfort.
Cleaning is a breeze as these are dishwasher-safe and come out gleaming like they’re brand new every time.
Check out this 10-piece set yourself and see the thousands of positive reviews on Amazon!
Home Hero Stainless Steel Kitchen Utensil Set (29 Cooking Utensils)
Are you looking to do a complete cooking utensil overhaul? Or maybe grab a housewarming gift for a loved one? This deluxe Home Hero stainless steel kitchen utensil set is the perfect option!
This set is the full package containing everything from stainless cooking spoons and spatulas to can openers, measuring spoons, and more!
Like the previous set, each piece is machined from a single solid chunk of high-quality stainless steel with comfortable heat-proof handles added.
Of course, a loophole is present to hang your cooking utensils, letting you conserve counter space.
The tongs and spatula have flexible BPA-free silicone heads to prevent scratching and help add grip.
Here is everything included:
- Egg whisk
- Slotted turner, non-slotted turner, & extra-wide Asian turner
- Garlic press
- Tea strainer
- Cheese knife
- Pizza cutter
- Bottle opener & can opener
- Potato peeler & potato masher
- BBQ/ kitchen tongs
- Soup ladle
- Grater & strainer
- Four measuring spoons & four measuring cups
- Slotted draining spoon
- Serving spoon & pasta server
All pieces are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup!
Not happy? Home Hero offers a full 2-year warranty to ensure your satisfaction!
Go ahead and release your inner chef without spending an arm and a leg with this 29-piece set!
Safest Silicone Cooking Utensils
HomeHero Silicone Cooking Utensils Set (8-piece)
This non-toxic silicone cooking utensils set from Home Hero features food-grade silicone utensils with acacia wood handles!
The beautiful wood and silicone combination will not get hot to the touch, will not melt or warp like plastic utensils, and last for many years.
This set includes a solid spoon, slotted spoon, soup ladle, pasta server, solid turner, slotted turner, round spatula, and spatula.
You will effectively protect and preserve your cookware’s surface with these utensils since the silicone heads are soft and non-scratch!
For storage, simply hang your cooking utensils using the conveniently added hanging holes.
For cleaning, although moisture resistant, it is recommended you hand-wash to extend their lifespan (due to the wood).
Home Hero’s silicone utensils with wooden handles have earned thousands of positive reviews on Amazon. Check them out!
Oxo Good Grips Tongs
Oxo crafts their Good Grips tongs from food-grade silicone with high-quality stainless steel handles.
The soft, non-toxic silicone heads provide grip on foods and make it easy to handle delicate items like fish, scallops, or asparagus with precision.
Its perforated head helps with straining juices and oils from food and is rounded to assist in scooping.
Speaking of scooping, the flat head with thin and flexible edges will glide beneath your food with ease!
Convenient thumb rests are built into the soft, non-slip handles allowing you to maneuver your food like a pro.
For cleaning, hand-wash, or simply toss in the dishwasher!
If you have any issues, Oxo will repair or replace your silicone tongs without hesitation.
Best Bamboo Cooking Utensils
The majority of bamboo utensils online are very similar, so we’re left to find the highest-rated, best bamboo cooking utensils based on consumer feedback.
This 6-piece set fits the bill with a solid 5-star rating among thousands of customers at the time of writing this post!
Riveira 6-piece Bamboo Cooking Utensil Set
This 6-piece set of bamboo cooking utensils is 100% organic and designed to make cooking even easier!
Included are slotted, solid, and turner spatulas, making flipping omelets and mixing ingredients a breeze!
Also included are slotted and solid bamboo cooking spoons for preparing sauces and tasting soups. Lastly, a cooking spork for multi-purpose use!
All the basics for the majority of your cooking needs at a remarkably affordable price!
Similarly to silicone, the premium non-stick bamboo will not scratch your cookware and cleans easily, preventing stuck-on foods!
Furthermore, they are lightweight and easy to hold, reliable, naturally stain, odor, and moisture resistant, preventing mold!
For cleaning, you should hand-wash to ensure longevity.
If anything happens to your bamboo utensils, Riveira’s included lifetime warranty will take care of you!
Safest Wood Cooking Utensils
Oxo Wooden Spoons
This 3-piece set of Oxo wooden spoons are an affordable, classic, and non-toxic alternative to plastic utensils.
Included in this set are large beechwood spoons, slotted and solid, and a wooden turner.
Oxo uses a solid piece of all-natural beechwood to craft these spoons. Beechwood is a hardwood with high density commonly used to make flooring, furniture, veneer plywood, and railroad ties.
Translation, Oxo wooden spoons will hold up to all your cooking needs!
Although strong, they are gentle enough to protect your cookware’s non-stick surface.
For storage, a loophole is present in each handle, allowing you to hang your spoons conveniently for easy access.
For cleaning, Oxo recommends you hand-wash your wooden kitchen spoons.
Mondayou Teak Wood Cooking Utensils Set
This set of non-toxic cooking utensils from Mondayou lends you five high-quality cooking spoons and spatulas crafted from a solid piece of teak wood!
Included are a teak wood spatula, wok spatula, wooden salad fork (spork), strainer spoon, and soup ladle.
Teak wood cooking utensils help even the scoreboard with bamboo.
They are one of the most robust and most weather-resistant hardwoods, often used for outdoor furniture.
Because of its high oil content and tight grain, teak wood utensils are naturally resistant to water, warping, and cracking, thus improving safety and longevity.
Additionally, teak’s oil content gives it an appealing high-gloss look, adding some classic flair to your kitchen!
For storage, Mondayou conveniently drills loopholes in the handles for hanging.
For cleaning, you should hand-wash your teak kitchen utensils to maximize longevity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are aluminum utensils harmful?
Aluminum cookware and utensils are highly reactive with acidic foods such as tomatoes, vinegar, and citrus. While there are conflicting reports on aluminum’s safety, we know that too much of it can cause unpleasant side effects. Therefore, it’s best to avoid aluminum utensils if possible.
Are silicone utensils toxic?
Silicone utensils are a durable and non-toxic alternative to plastic. This material has a higher melting point than plastic, is chemically stable under extreme temperatures (won’t leach materials into your food), and does not release any odors or toxic fumes during cooking. It’s also very soft and child-safe!
What is better nylon or silicone utensils?
While both are non-scratch and great for protecting your non-stick cookware, silicone utensils are more desirable for three main reasons:
- Silicone is a non-toxic, inert material that will not leach out chemicals under extreme heat like nylon.
- Speaking of heat, silicone can withstand up to 600℉, while nylon will melt around 400℉.
- Silicone is non-stick and easier to clean.
Which stainless steel is best for cooking?
Stainless steel with good corrosion resistance will not rust or pit when exposed to moisture and foods. The most common type used for cookware and cooking utensils is 304-grade. This steel contains high levels of nickel and chromium to help prevent oxidation, especially with salty foods.
Are bamboo cooking utensils dishwasher-safe?
Bamboo utensils, although more water-resistant than wood, can still absorb moisture and crack in the dishwasher. Because of this, it’s advised you hand-wash your bamboo products after use, rather than tossing them in the dishwasher.
What kind of utensils to use with non-stick cookware?
Always avoid using hard, abrasive cooking utensils like stainless steel or cast iron and instead choose bamboo, wood, silicone, or nylon. All four of these are soft enough to protect your cookware’s surface from scratching. However, nylon can melt at lower temperatures and leach chemicals into your food, so it’s best to stick with wood, bamboo, and silicone utensils.
What is the best type of wood for cooking utensils?
The best type of wood for cooking utensils are durable types that are dense, fine-grained, and have closed pores. Fine-grained wood helps to reduce moisture absorption and cracking/ splitting. There are many kinds of woods to choose from, including walnut, cherry, maple, alder, beech, olive, rosewood, sycamore, teak, and many more.
Preparing and eating healthy foods is one of the most important things we can do to feel good and keep our family safe and healthy.
It isn’t just about the foods we eat, because how we prepare them is equally important.
Because of this, you should always opt for non-toxic materials and choose the healthiest kitchen utensils you can.
In this post, we laid out 7 of the safest cooking utensils to use that help you steer clear from toxins and get the most out of your meal!
Now that you have your non-toxic cooking utensils, you might be wondering, “is my cookware itself is toxic…?”
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