How bad is nonstick for you really? There are a lot of opinions on that. I personally choose to avoid it considering that some studies show that the chemical, PFCs, found in nonstick, has been linked to lower birth weights (1), abnormal thyroid hormones, inflamed liver, and a weakened immune system (2). If you breathe in fumes from overheated nonstick, you can develop “Teflon flu,” named for the flu-like symptoms you get from it. My understanding is that companies phased out the much-hated PFOAs in 2015, but still contain PFCs.
That said, it’s probably fine if it’s not heated above a certain temperature. The problem is, that is far easier to do than you’d think. It’s advised not to cook above medium heat when using nonstick, and to avoid cooking things like steak on it. A study found that the pan cooking steak over high heat reached a high temperature in under ten minutes. If you are heating oil in a light weight pan, it can also reach too high of temperatures within 2 ½ minutes. (3)
So when I was looking to buy a long desired toaster oven (we had a used one from a friend for a while that finally quit), it was with some dismay that I realized that almost all of them were coated with nonstick. While I wasn’t planning on using them over 500F, I was cautious considering how easy it was to overheat a nonstick pan. I wondered how high of a temperature the sides of the toaster oven really got considering how close they were to the heat source. I felt uncomfortable with that, and so wanted to avoid it. We needed a toaster oven desperately as we would be living without an oven for over six months, so I buckled down and did some homework on the topic.
Before I go any further, I’ll say that while I’ve included Amazon affiliate links, this post is not underwritten by any company, and I purchased my toaster oven myself. I just wanted to share the good news about this nonstick-free toaster oven that has met our needs so well!
Because we were going to be using this toaster oven a lot it needed to be large, hold up to daily use, NOT have nonstick, and heat evenly for baking and toasting. It was a high order, and I almost gave up but low and behold I found one!
At the time that I was researching, the Breville Smart Oven were getting rave reviews everywhere online. And I’m not going to lie. Even when I found out that the interior was nonstick, I still wanted one. However, in the end, I wanted to have an appliance that I was comfortable using every day, and kept looking.
That’s when I found that one brand, Waring, had several toaster ovens that did not use nonstick in the interior. However, not all of them got good reviews on Amazon. But their newest (at least at the time) was not only large enough for my needs, but also got great reviews. Plus, it was much, much cheaper than the Smart Oven. So I crossed my fingers and ordered one. This is the one I ordered: Waring Pro Digital Convection Oven.
I have been super happy with it!
It does everything that I wanted it to – it bakes well, it toasts well, it doesn’t have nonstick, and it is solidly built. Even though I now have a full sized oven again, I’m still using it all of the time. It does toast slower than a regular toaster, by the way, but it toasts well. This is unusual for a toaster oven. Plus, you can put up to 6 slices of bread in the toaster oven, so this is great for large families.
We’ve been using it for about seven months or so now, and even though I now have a large oven to use again, I still use it just about every day.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for toaster ovens without nonstick:
- “Stainless steel” toaster ovens are usually talking about the exterior, not the interior.
- We typically think of nonstick as being dark, but apparently some nonstick finishes look shiny and more like stainless steel than our dark baking pans. Never go simply by appearances but double check with the company that it is truly NOT nonstick.
- It can be hard to track down the interior materials of a toaster oven. Sometimes the best thing to do is to go to the company’s website and look at their Q and A page. If the information isn’t there, then sending them an email is your best bet. (I sent emails to Waring and to Breville about their toaster ovens interior).
For example, I have heard rumors that this Cuisinart Convection/Steaming Toaster Oven has stainless steel interiors, which would be great! It’s much more expensive, but if you are an avid baker (perhaps of sourdough), you would certainly enjoy the baking/steaming option on this unit. But before I would buy it, I would contact the company directly to double check on the interior, as I couldn’t find it explicitly mentioned.
I’ve been very happy with my purchase. I’d love to hear if there are other brands that you’ve found that are also free of nonstick!
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Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. My family has pet birds and Teflon fumes are so toxic to birds that it can make them very sick, or even kill them! (Think canary in a coal mine–the miners knew to evacuate when the canary stopped singing because that meant the bird had died from exposure to toxic gases.) My birds live in the dining room, right next to the kitchen. I’m going to look into this.
You’re so welcome! I also hadn’t thought about the nonstick aspect of toaster ovens until recently – despite owning them for years.
How safe is Silicone when implants are dangerous and the body heat is only 98.6 degrees. Ovens get a lot hotter. I don’t even use silicone bake wear
I contacted KitchenAid about my toaster oven, model number KCO222. Their representative told me that this oven does have a nonstick coating, but that it is silicone based and specifically tested to be safe for birds. In fact, she brought up birds before I even mentioned that was why I was asking about it. Yay!
I recently purchased this same KitchenAid toaster oven and have spent the last 4 days trying to offgass the toxic fumes. I have run the oven in cycles several times a day and have washed down the racks but it doesn’t stop the toxic fumes. Absolutely intolerable.
I have parakeets and have been offgassing with windows wide open (although it still permeates the house). I don’t believe Kitchenaid. These fumes are making me have headaches and nausea — how can it be safe for birds? I am worried already about mine although I have them upstairs away from the kitchen. I may ask to see their research on birds. I wonder how that was conducted??
I am returning this oven and hope to replace it with the Waring oven recommended above or another nontoxic one.
I am putting as much time into finding a healthy appliance as buying a car.
Best wishes and keep those birds safe.
Thank you for the information. its hard to trust any company now.
Debbie thank you for this information. I have a bird too and I have been researching this very important question. I will look into this Kitchen Aid toaster oven today.
FUMES WILL KILL THEM IN A MATTER OF A COUPLE OF MINUTES. THEY CANNOT BE SAVED.
Thanks for this post! I’ve been using my toaster oven more often since clearing my countertops (including my regular toaster) for a less cluttered look. And I do take it up to a very high temp often (450). I never thought about the nonstick aspect. Hmmmm…
I think in the past I always figured it was the same type of material that was inside regular ovens. Not so, unfortunately. And I also use mine frequently. They are so convenient!
I LOVE my toaster oven and have had one for as long as I can remember in my 43 years of living (my mom always had one in the kitchen as well)! However, out of ALL the toaster ovens I have owned,I never thought about the non-stick factor!! I will be replacing mine now that I read this post. Thank you for all you do to spread good, sound, healthy information!
So glad you found this information helpful!
I don’t use a toaster oven anymore, but sure could use some advice on a electric rice cooker with nonstick and I’m looking for a good ceramic frying pan since we threw away the Teflon unit we had.
We use the VitaClay rice cooker, (Afflink) which has a clay insert instead of a metal one. It’s working well for us!
Thank you for all the wonderful info. It is crazy how hard it is to find clear and honest information on healthy cookware!!! Appreciate you for sharing your experience!
Just looked into the Vita Clay rice cooker, and have you seen the reviews on it? Makes me a little concerned.
Any update since you’ve purchased?
Thanks for the helpful post. I’d like to buy a toaster oven, and use the microwave less, or not at all. How do you cook leftovers? My baking dishes and glass dishes all say, “not for use in a toaster oven.”
That’s a great question! True confession: I haven’t been double checking everything I put in my toaster oven to see if it’s safe or not. I’ve used my Borosilicate glass bakeware in it and so far so good, but I can’t say I’d recommend it to others unless the company verified it to be toaster oven safe. (I suspect it’s a liability issue.) I’ve also used a stainless steel muffin tin, and stainless steel cake pans can be used in this large of a toaster oven too. Instead of using the aluminum tray that came with the toaster oven, I’ve been using this small enameled pan. For leftovers, I either place them on the enameled pan and reheat in the toaster oven, or, depending on the dish, heat it up on the stove top with a little fat or broth.
Hi KimiHarris, I am wondering why you chose to use Borosilicate glass bakeware? Is it because it’s thin? I have tried thicker bakeware and meats don’t reheat as nicely as with the thin toaster oven pan that I have had for years and could potentially be aluminum. In looking for a non, no-stick muffin pan I came across the info that toaster ovens themselves have Teflon. Ugh
It should be noted that toaster ovens and countertop ovens are NOT the same.
It just occurred to me that my gas stove is covered in Teflon.
What gas stove is this. Did they tell you
I usually avoid digital ovens because of the annoying beep they make either setting it and/or when the timer is done.
Is there a volume adjustment setting or better yet, a way to disable the beep completely?
I haven’t tried yet, but I think that there is a way to manually remove the “sound” aspect of this toaster oven. I believe there may have been a Q and A on Amazon about the beeping sound and how to remove it. 🙂
I enjoyed my Waring toaster oven until I discovered the following:
Splatters from broiling bake-on into the interior immediately and I couldn’t remove most of them, even immediately after cooking. No way to get any of it off. Waring customer service said that there was nothing that could be done about that.
Secondly, the interior is aluminized steel. Aluminum is potentially quite hazardous to human health (I don’t know about birds on that point). If cooking on aluminum foil creates health hazards, I don’t know why aluminized steel would not.
Finally, I was so tired of using an oven with a fried-grease coating on the interior (2 yrs of burnt splatters), I bought a second one of the same model. Less than a year after purchasing it, I set it to Broil and smoke that smelled like burnt rubber started coming out of it. I contacted Waring and after some back and forth they said that I could exchange it under the warranty, but I would have to ship it to them. The cost to ship it was $150.
So, you can consider the warranty fairly meaningless.
Nothing is perfect!
And what did you replace it with?
what did you end up going with ?
I find it outrageous that companies charge nearly double for ovens WITHOUT nonstick coatings. Why not use enamelled interiors like REAL ovens?
Thank you for this great info! Glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks about nonstick interiors and the health concerns.
You saved me a lot of research time!!
Thank you for this great info! Glad I’m not the only “nutjob” who doesn’t want nonstick on my toaster oven. (:
Not sure why most people don’t question this sort of thing but so glad you did my research for me.
So glad I read your review!! I had just purchased the Breville Smart Oven in Amazon (yes, I was also soooo wanting it for a long time), and when I went to open the box the first thing I read is the warning from the California Proposition 65 saying “This product contains chemichals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm”. The funny thing is that they also mention: “Applicable to California residents only”, but I’m just going to assume that it will affect my family as well even though we don’t live there (being a bit sarcastic here…) No need to say, this baby will go back where it came from…
Long story short, it immediately clicked me that the cause could have been the non-stick interior, and started a frentic online search for a not non-stick oven, which is how I found your blog.
Thanks to your suggestion, and since I also like Cuisinart products, I narrowed my choices down to the Cuisinart Steam And Convection Oven. I just called their customer service and confirmed that this is their ONLY oven with not a non-stick interior. I also took the opportunity to provide feedback to their lady in customer service telling her that many of their customers would blindly prefer to clean the oven interior old-fashion way, rather than putting their family’s health at stake, and to please extend their choices of not- non-stick. I’m hoping someone out there can hear us…
So, thanks to you for your suggestions and thanks to the State of California for the awesome steps towards a healthier world and making it mandatory to provide that information in their consumer products.
Hi, did you find out what the interior material of the cuisine art toaster oven is? Stainless steel or ? Thanks!
Having researched all day, what i can say is this: Waring uses aluminized steel on one product instead of Teflon. The ceramic coatings in place of Teflon are essentially, well, Teflon beads, in the Kitchenaid model. And the only one that is Teflon free, besides a $555.00 real professional oven, is… the Cuisineart Steam and Convection Oven. How frustrating, and sad… when all i wanted was something clean, safe, functional, and cheap (or inexpensive) !
I have an African Grey parrot and I’m looking for a safe toaster oven or a similar product.
Would you bee so kind and share your findings in more detail?
I also have an African grey parrot and am very concerned about this issue. I will not buy something that will kill her, but I really would like a good, safe oven.
Just called Cuisinart about the steam-convection oven. No non-stick materials and stainless inside and out! So glad I don’t have to return it!
Thank you Salt, this is super helpful and I’ll be strongly considering this oven!
Is this the same oven you have? I want to confirm before buying!
I can’t find anyone selling the Waring toaster oven. Every site states out of stock or discontinued.
Does anyone know if any place is still selling them???
Oh man! It does look like the model I have isn’t available anymore. It looks like this is their new version of what I have. http://amzn.to/2eTmqkf
When I follow your link to the Breville, I get to a product with a nonstick interior. I wonder if Breville makes a different product without nonstick?
I am disgusted with all these companies making these garbage non-stick interior coated ovens so I took things into my own hands.
I got the Breville Pro oven, took it all apart and had the interior walls sand blasted down to the stainless steel surface.
Details please on how you did this!
Hello! Did any of you by any chance confirm with the manufacture that this KitchenAid KCO275AQ is also aluminum free?
I have a parrot and I’m looking for a toaster/over, that’s teflon free.
Has anyone heard of the Rosewill RHTO-17001. It’s supposedly stainless steel. Reviews on Amazon say it’s PTFE/PFOA free.
Thank you so much for your article. I cannot find an oven that suits my needs and I’m curious what oven (regular size wall oven) you ended up purchasing?
Hi, I wish the waring oven was available. Black and Decker says they have a ZINC coating in their toaster ovens. This replaced the Teflon. Anyone know if zinc is safe for humans, cats and dogs? I can’t find much online. ????
They began using zinc after the ban on Teflon. Wondering why no other sites, like this one, haven’t discussed the zinc coating. I did check EWG but no info there.
Did you ever find out??
I just purchased a waring pro WTO450, 4 slice countertop toaster oven. I thought the interior was supposed to be stainless, but when it arrived I tested it w/ magnet and the magnet stuck – not stainless. I called Waring Pro and asked and representative said it was aluminized steel (thin coat of aluminum on a steel sheet). There has been a movement away from aluminum in cookware, which may or may not be warranted, but in this case the food is not in contact with the aluminum, so I’m okay with it. Waring Pro also said that Waring quit making these units (the entire line) 4 years ago + keep the receipt – warranty based on date on receipt. They are only doing commercial units now (more money, but an option if no plastic in interior is important enough…). I bought my unit from ebay seller – reconditioned, w/ warranty. When I was shopping, there was another top contender – Muella from Austria – reported to have no nonstick coating on interior, but there were a few comments in reviews about it being under powered and maybe more important to me a few comments that the door fell off or would not close after a few uses – cheaply made. As far as I can tell there are no other units without nonstick interiors at the moment. There is another site, similar to this one that also has info about “no plastic interior” ovens: nontoxicforhealth.com. That site suggests that Roswill, hOmelabs, & Black & Decker all have options (and skeptical that Black and Decker is being truthful in their claims of their toaster oven interiors.) When looking in stores, most (all that I checked) counter top toaster ovens had a “slick” interior surface = non-stick plastic coating. Stainless or Aluminized steel is less slick. Slick = nonstick & any nonstick is some sort of a plastic coating. One comment (I believe on amazon) said that he dissasembled a Brevelle and sandblasted the interior panel to remove nonstick and reassembled. I don’t believe he actually did that, but if he did it would indeed eliminate the plastic on the interior of the oven, but would also make for a rusty interior – raw steel without an sort of protection (non-stick plastic coating, or aluminumized).
Do you have another option for a Teflon free toaster oven? The Waring Pro no longer exists–anywhere. Please let me know.
I would also like to know!
It’s been a while, and I hope you and your family are well! This is kindof a random comment on a really old post – but I remember reading this back in the day and came back to it because we currently need a toaster oven and I don’t know how to find one that’s all stainless steel inside.
The Waring oven you bought is no longer current, but looking at what they do have now- it’s between $500-700. A lot more than I was hoping for (though I have found Waring is a good brand that usually has a higher price on appliances).
I was curious if that’s about what you found them to be (granted prices could have simply jumped more in 4 years), and/or if you have any knowledge on good options these days, that aren’t aluminum or non-stick inside.
Thanks so much, and a Happy New Year ahead!
As I understand, stainless steel can be either magnetic or non magnetic. I don’t know if either one is less toxic or not?
A few years ago Dr Mercola had listed a scale of the worst toxic to the inert. I seem to recall that stainless steal was not exempt but was minusculely toxic. Close to inert. I’ll see if I can find it.
Thank you so much for all the work you do. It is silly challenging to make healthy choices for our families.
From what I can tell, this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B097B8MD73/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 seems to have no nonstick finish, and safe materials. Am I missing something?