Best Healthy And Safe Cookware in India

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When I moved in to a new home along with my husband, I bought all non-stick utensils without being aware that it could be detrimental to our health. Good sense prevailed a few years later and I changed all my pots and pans to healthier alternatives.

best healthy safe cookware India

So, you may think, what are the healthier alternatives to non-sticks. We shall get to that it in a while. But first, for the uninitiated, let me explain the ill-effects of using non-stick utensils.
Most non-stick utensils are made of a carcinogenic chemical called PFAS(perfluorooctanoic acid) which emits harmful fumes. It is said that within 5 minutes of heating non-stick pan, six toxic gases are emitted. Overheating these pans and scratches make it even more prone to leaching PFASs.

So, now for the list. Below, we explain the benefits of each type of cookware, tips to maintain them and some of the best picks you could choose from.

You may also like our article On Best Frying Pans In India

Best Healthy & Safe Cookware

Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware leaches iron in to the food, thus supplementing you with your daily iron requirements. It last not for years, but for decades and are quite versatile too. If seasoned properly, they are practically non-stick too.
On the flip side, it requires a little more maintenance than mere washing with soap. It is heavier compared to the regular utensils you use in a kitchen and as it retains a lot of heat, if careless, you could burn yourself with it or worse break your leg if you drop it.

If you are a first-time user, then it is better to buy pre-seasoned cast iron cookware as seasoning might not be easy for novices.

The main thing you have to take care of while using cast iron cookware is never leave it wet as it may rust. After washing, dry it off and apply a thin layer of oil always (a silicone oil basting brush would be very useful for applying oil). If you find food starting to get stuck on to it while preparation, then apply a thin layer of oil and heat it on a low flame for about 10-15 minutes to enhance seasoning. You can check out our article on How to season Cast Iron Cookware to know more.

When you start using iron pots, you may find a slight difference in the food taste due to iron leaching. But once it is completely seasoned, there won’t be any significant taste difference. Also, you will start getting used to the taste.

At our home, we have a 11 inch kadai for making dry vegetable dishes. We do fry papad in it as well. In addition, we have one tawa for frying fish, one for making dosa and chapati and one smaller kadai for making appam. My MIL gave the 11 inch Kadai. It is decades old and honestly, I don’t apply oil or give any extra care than a regular utensil because after years of usage, it has been so well seasoned and become practically maintenance free.

Below are some of the top picks you could have a look at.

Rock Tawa 11 Inch Kadai

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Rock Tawa 10.5 Inch Iron Skillet

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Rock Tawa Dosa Pan

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Earthen Pots

My mother always says that fish and meat prepared in clay cookware (handi) are more nutritious and tastes a lot better. I completely agree. Being porous, the clay pot absorbs moisture and circulates it back, thus helping fish and meat retain its moisture and juiciness. Due to slow heating property of clay pot, minimal nutrients are lost during cooking too. On the flip side, you will have to be extra careful while using clay pots as they are quite prone to breakage.

While buying clay pot ensure they are unglazed as the coating in the glazed ones are found to contain harmful elements like lead, mercury etc. Even if you buy unglazed clay pots, soak it in water for 2-3 hours so that impurities, if any, gets washed away.

After every use, allow the clay pots to come down to room temperature and then clean it with running water and soft sponge. Do not add water to hot pot as it could create cracks in the pot.

Now, for the top picks. Alternatively, you can buy them from the local market too.

Mitti Magic Kadai

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3 Set Mitti Magic Pots

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Stainless Steel Utensils

Choosing stainless steel utensils is harder than you think. Stainless steel has different grades like 302, 304 etc. and a pair of numbers like 18/10 or 10/0 referring to the composition of chromium and nickel in the alloy. Below we explain the important role these metals play in durability.

Chromium binds oxygen to the surface of the utensil and prevents it from rusting. Nickel too plays an important role in preventing rusting—however higher level of nickel could be detrimental to health and a very low level could affect the durability of the utensils making it susceptible to rusting.

Though expensive, it is best to buy 304 grade stainless steel utensils which contains chromium and nickel in 18/8 composition ( 18% chromium and 8% nickel). This grade of stainless steel also has at least 50% iron and less than 0.8% carbon too. Also, they are much more durable than a regular stainless steel cookware.

No matter what kind of stainless steel cookware you buy, it is not completely pure.  Rather, a layer or copper or aluminum (high conductors of heat) is sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. This is done as stainless steel generally is a poor conductor of electricity. This layering helps improve conductivity and durability.

Stainless steel cookware with  coppe core is considered superior as they conduct heat far more evenly. But they are quite expensive and rare in Indian market. Most of the brands in India sell stainless steel cookware with aluminum core.

You may also like: Best Pressure Cookers in India that are safe and durable

Now, for some maintenance tips. Before first use, fill the stainless-steel utensil with water and keep it overnight so that any excess metal on the surface gets washed away.

High quality stainless steel cookware are practically inert. So, you can even cook acidic food with tomato and tamarind without worry of damaging the utensil or ruining the dish.

Also read our article on maintenance tips for stainless steel cookware to know more.

Now, for the top picks. As you can guess, it is not possible to visually assess the grade of stainless steel used in a utensil. Hence, it is important to buy 304 grade stainless steel from reputed manufacturers who have a long standing. Stahl, VINOD Stainless Steel, Bergner, Meyer and Alda are some of the reputed brands available online in India.

Alda Tri-ply Stainless Steel Sauce Pan

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Alda Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Casserole

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Vinod  Stainless Steel 304 Grade Fry Pan

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Bergner Stainless Steel Wok With Lid

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Bergner Stainless Steel Casserole With Lid

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Bergner Stainless Steel Fry Pan With Lid

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45 Comments
  1. I need your advice on hard anodized cookware. I’m so confused which metal is the best for a frying pan. I don’t want to go for cast iron and steel burns the food. So please advise.

    • Hi,
      I want to change to stainless steel.
      I am confused with normal, 3 ply and 5 ply.
      Also between bergner and Meyer.
      Pls advise.
      Need advise for dry vegetables and gravy dishes like chicken.
      Also which brand stainless steel cooker to buy.

      Found your article very helpful. So please guide

      • Bergner is definitely a good option. 3 ply is good enough… 5 ply is more expensive and you don’t really find anything especially better for the extra price.

        As for stainless steel cooker, have found Hawkins to be a better option.

    • Hard anodising is basically a hard coating over aluminum that makes it non reactive and stable. As of now there are no proven studies stating any harmful effects of hard anodised aluminum cookware. Though many say it is scratch and peel proof, from my personal experience I have seen the coating wear off after a long period, post which it should be discarded.

      Actually cast iron is one of the best options for frying pans. As you said you don’t want to opt for it, you can also try carbon steel.

      • Hi….. Wt is life span of steel cooker , tawa and utensils for how many years we can use any steel utensils

        • Hi, I think it depends on the brand and of course the way you handle it. At my house, I have a Hawkins steel pressure cooker that I have been using for almost 7 years and never had to change even the washer. Similarly my in laws have pressure cookers that are 15+ years old which just had no complaints except occasional washer changing. They have steel and iron Kadai which are decades old. On the other hand, I have bought utensils from not so reliable brands which lasted less than even 2 years also. So, you can’t really say for sure…

  2. Do you know if the rock tawa is lead and cadmium free? I’m unable to find any claims on that.

    Also any reviews on Meyer and Lodge brand?

  3. Is it safe of using Tri-Ply Stainless steel cookware

    • Yes, tri ply stainless steel cookware from brands like Stahl, Meyer etc has a layer of aluminum sandwiched between high quality food grade 18/8 stainless steel. So food comes in contact only with the steel and hence its considered safe. They are comparatively heavier, but also durable and facilitates uniform heating.

  4. Hi, How do you rate Brass kadai with respect to health and safety?
    In general, what is best pan for cooking acidic food (like cooking vegetables wtih salt and other spices)?

  5. Needed to know if any good ceramic cookware which are safe to use

    • Ceramic cookware are generally considered safe to use in the US and other western countries where safety regulatory bodies like FDA are strict. In countries like India, where there aren’t really such strict enforcement, manufacturers could use second quality ceramic coating which can leach Cadmium or Lead to the food when the cookware is heated to high temperature.

  6. Which is the best utensil to make tomato gravies and sour food.

    • Hi, you could try Clay cookware. If you make tomato gravies and sour food just occasionally, you could even opt for stainless steel cookware.

  7. Hi, I need to buy tawa/fry pan for dosa/uttapam/paratha but am not sure which one I should buy. I am confused between: Meyer’s Ciculon Origins [Lifetime warranty], Meyer’s Forgestone [3 years warranty] and Meyer’s Anzen [Ceramic-1+1 year warranty].
    Because cast iron has so much hassle to take care to season it whereas these 3 products of Meyer’s are hassle-free so it will save lot of time.
    I would really appreciate if you can advise me which one is best for health.
    An early reply is highly appreciated.

  8. Hi nice to have come across ur article, my question is I am contemplating to buy tri ply sauce pan , sauté pan , kadai n casserole…. from stahl should I go ahead or is Bergner a better brand in quality than stahl?

    • Hi, Stahl cookware are a bit heavier than the Bergner ones, and hence a bit better. Otherwise they both are more or less the same.

  9. Hi,

    I keep coming back to your article while shopping for kitchen utensils. Just switching from aluminium and non stick to stainless steel and cast iron and find your article very helpful.

    I ordered Stahl frying pan and bergner kadai both 24 cm however I found Stahl to be heavier thus not much sticking of food or heat spots. Bergner one is okay too but do you feel the base of the kadai is pretty small and causes food to stick. I am thinking of exchanging it and going for a Stahl. Have you used it? Is it’s base wider than bergner ?

    • Yes, as you said Stahl is heavier which results in more even cooking and lesser sticking to the bottom…

  10. Hi, amazing article…any recommendations for pans for frying fish?

    • Hi, you could use a cast iron pan. We use it at our home. It might use up a bit more oil compared to non stick. Also ensure that the oil is heated up sufficiently before you put the fish else it might stick to the bottom.

  11. Hi,

    Thanks for replying to my previous question. I have a another one to ask .. which tawa do you recommend for cooking chapati and paratha. I don’t want to go for the cast iron one though as it’s not going to be easy for helps at home to maintain it each time they cook. I checked hard anodised ones on Amazon (hawkins, prestige, alda) but most of them had negative receives like roti sticks on them. Which one would you suggest or have used yourself.

    • We use a Hawkins anodized chapathi tawa ( https://amzn.to/2AwVUey). What we found is that if its heated up well, chapathi doesn’t get stuck. But otherwise it does. We have been using it since a year. More that sticking, what I found as a negative is that its a bit hard to clean the tawa. You need to use steel scrub and apply a bit of force to remove the burnt residues.
      Alternative is Cast iron tawa. But since you don’t want to go for it, non-stick is the option available.

  12. Meyer is too costly can……..is alda brand trustworthy..??????

    • Alda is good. But comparatively lighter than Meyer. Agree Meyer is expensive. You could also take a look at Stahl cookware ( https://amzn.to/2AAaNgj ). Personally, have been using them and quite satisfied.

      • Hi. Am very confused on what pots and pans to buy. We have been using aluminium kadai for veg. And an anodised pot for the non-veg curries. Non-stick as u say is not a great option at all. Can u pls suggest alternatives to all of the above. A recommendation for roti and dosa tawa too wld be of help. Also, why is aluminium kadai becoming unpopular? Also, what do u think of ikea pots and pans?

        • smarthomeguide July 21, 2020 at 6:54 am

          Aluminium is generally considered unfavourable for health, as aluminium leaches into food and can cause many health conditions in the long run. Anodised pots are good as long as its coating doesn’t peel off. You could opt for cast iron or stainless steel utensils instead. For dosa, cast iron tawa is a good option.

  13. How about honeycomb dosa tawa ? By Alda

  14. I am confused between stahl, alda & bergner budget no issue but required good one . For day to day use and specially dosa

    • For kadai, Stahl would be a good option as it’s heavier and heats evenly. For frying pan, Bergner is pretty good. For Dosa it’s best to opt for cast iron tawa.

  15. Thanks for the information, but still confusion as I see brands mentioned by you is very costly. Can you advice indian brands specifically Kadhai for Indian subji and curry and tawa for rotis and Dosa.

    • Stahl is an Indian brand. Their products are really good too. Alternatively, you could look at Prestige and Hawkins too.
      As for cost, triply stainless steel cookware are generally more expensive than ordinary stainless steel cookware. But they are of better quality and with proper care, far more durable too.
      As for dosa tawa, you could look at cast iron options from Rock Tawa. They are also durable. But being cast iron require more maintenance.

  16. Hello, I am looking for a large non stick Kadai for daily use. It’s our go-to utensil for cooking everything. Can you please suggest a healthy and safe brand / model for the same (Preferable honey comb base which is metal spoon friendly and easy to maintain) Stay safe, thank you

    • Hi, The best option matching your requirement probably is Berner Hitech Prism Kadai- ( https://amzn.to/2YmFJdd ) It comes with high quality non stick coating on 3 ply stainless steel, whereas most brands have non stick coating on aluminum. The manufacturers claim it to be metal spoon friendly. Even so, we highly recommend that you use wooden spoon. Options from The Indus valley- ( https://amzn.to/3iJ4TKC ) made of neem wood are good

  17. Berger argent triply stainless steel Kadhai (24cm, 2.5ltr) or Stahl triply stainless steel artisan kadhai (24cm, 2.5ltr) which one will be a wise choice?

  18. Which is the best Meyer select or Meyer Japanese steel or Myer tri ply ? I am confused to buy

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