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7 Safest Non-Toxic Slow Cookers To Cook Without Worry

Discover which slow cookers are crafted from non-toxic materials to help you cook deliciously and without worry.
7 Safest Non-Toxic Slow Cookers To Cook Without Worry

This Article is 100% Organic: Written and Researched by Real Humans.

Slow cookers are the unsung heroes of the kitchen. 

It’s the culinary equivalent of a private chef. It’s there for you when you have a mountain of work to do but still want a home-cooked meal. 

It’s forgiving – you can toss in random ingredients and magically turn them into something delicious – who knows what’s happening in there? We don’t ask questions. What we do ask questions about here at Zestain is the materials these helpful kitchen tools are made of. 

While slow cookers themselves are not inherently toxic, concerns have been raised about the materials used in some models. Some slow cookers use ceramic inserts that may be glazed with materials containing lead or cadmium, heavy metals that can leach into food during the cooking process. 

Some slow cookers feature non-stick surfaces, potentially releasing harmful PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) or PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) compounds if scratched or damaged. 

So, how do you choose a safe slow cooker that aligns with your eco-friendly kitchen? We’ll break down what to look for and seven of the best options on the market below. 

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How We Choose These Safe Crock Pots?

Who knew there was danger lurking in our beloved countertop kitchen helpers? Choosing a safe slow cooker or crock pot involves a few factors.

Material Safety

First and foremost, we looked for crock pots crafted from materials known for their non-toxicity, such as stainless steel inserts, which are inherently safer than those with pesky non-stick coatings. Products explicitly labeled as lead-free and PFOA-free were sought after to mitigate the risk of chemical leaching into food.

Functional Safety

Additionally, we looked for models that offer safety features and are easy to clean. This includes models with secure lid locks, automatic shut-off functions, and interfaces that are intuitive to navigate, ensuring a safe and practical user experience in the kitchen.

Full List of Non-Toxic Slow Cookers

1
Vitaclay 2-In-1 Organic Clay Stock Pot And Multi-Crocks
Product image by Vitaclay Chef
Best clay

Vitaclay 2-in-1 Organic Clay Stock Pot and Multi-Crocks

  • Materials: Organic Unglazed VitaClay
  • Price point: $$

Not only does the proprietary clay in VitaClay’s Organic Clay Stock Pot and Multi-Crock does not use any glazes or coatings, but the pot naturally intensifies flavor and texture while sealing in essential nutrients!

We also love this slow cooker for its versatility. This 7-in-1 cooker functions as a fast slow cooker, steamer, slow cooker, stock pot, hot cereal maker, yogurt maker, and low-temperature cooker! Basically, it’s a chef on your countertop and at 6 quarts, it is mid-sized and can take on most family meals without a problem! 

We wondered about the material because it is fairly uncommon in conventional cookers. Constructed from unglazed organic clay, this material is lead-free and doesn’t have the non-stick coatings guilty of potentially leaking chemicals into our food. 

2
Wolf Gourmet Multi-Function Cooker, 7-Qt
Product image by Williams Sonoma
Best overall
Best for big families

Wolf Gourmet Multi-Function Cooker, 7-Qt

  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Price point: $$$$

This one has a price point, which means you may have to add it to a special holiday list. However, the internet has sung its praises for versatility, its large 7-quart insert, and its nontoxic attributes. The Wolf Gourmet Multi-Cooker from Williams Sonoma is an innovative and versatile kitchen appliance that has a broad range of cooking options, from sauteeing to nailing the perfect rice. 

This multi-cooker is stainless steel, which means it doesn’t have the troublesome coatings associated with toxicity and is also resistant to rust and staining. Stainless steel is also non-reactive, meaning it won’t interact with the food you’re cooking. 

In addition, its removable stainless-steel tri-ply insert pan can be used as a Dutch oven or on any stovetop or oven!

3
Greenpan Elite 6-Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker
Product image by GreenPan
Best stainless steel

GreenPan Elite 6-Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker

  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Price point: $$$

Another great stainless steel option, the GreenPan Elite Stainless Steel Slow Cooker is celebrated for its proprietary Thermolon™ Volt, a lead, cadmium, PFOA, and PFAS-free ceramic nonstick specially designed for kitchen appliances.

Green Pan’s slow cooker comes with a removable 6 QT hard anodized pot, perfect for slow cooking, roasting, browning/sautéing, and even steaming. The pot’s diamond-infused ceramic nonstick coating offers excellent heat distribution and durability – a must for the higher price point. It’s also got a handy glass lid so you can watch dinner bubbling! 

4
Our Place Dream Cooker
Product image by Our Place
Most compact

Our Place Dream Cooker

  • Materials: Aluminum and non-toxic ceramic lining
  • Price point: $$

The Our Place Dream Cooker is proof that looks and non-toxic qualities can go together – like a dream! 

Its sleek, matte, modern design will have you swooning for an updated kitchen look – but it’s what’s inside that counts, right? In this case, what’s inside is not a PFOA or PTFE non-stick coating. Instead, the all-in-one design of the Our Place slow cooker has an aluminum inside with a non-toxic ceramic lining. 

The Dream Cooker is 6 quarts and large enough to cater to most family meals and gatherings. At around $199, the Dream Cooker isn’t the cheapest option on the market, but its non-toxic qualities, versatility, and stylish design definitely justify this splashy investment.

5
Instant Pot® Pro™ 6-Quart Multi-Use Pressure Cooker
Product image by Instant
Best multiuse

Instant Pot® Pro™ 6-quart Multi-Use Pressure Cooker

  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Price point: $$

Another popular option that is sweeping  ‘busy mom’ lists is the Instant Pot® Pro™ 6-quart Multi-Use Pressure Cooker. Why? Twenty eight smart cooking programs for one! But also a worry free BPA, PFOA, and PTFE-free cookware-grade stainless steel (18/8) inner pot that is also free from lead and cadmium. 

The Instant Pot Pro boasts an impressive range of functions. It acts as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, sous vide, sauté pan, rice/grain cooker, sterilizer, yogurt maker, food warmer, cake baker, and steamer, making it a multifunctional tool that can replace multiple appliances in your kitchen, saving space and potentially reducing clutter.

6
Greenlife Cook Duo Slow Cooker
Product image by GreenLife
Best extra deep slow cooker

GreenLife Cook Duo Slow Cooker

  • Materials: Toxin-free ceramic 
  • Price point: $

Can a ceramic coating still be non-toxic? The Healthy Cook Duo Slow Cooker answers the call with a PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium-free six-quart removable inner pot.

It’s fairly minimalist in function compared to some of the others but does the job well for basic meals. It comes in a variety of fun pastel colors, and it is programmable for up to 10 hours. 

7
Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker
Product image by Calphalon
Best for one family meals

Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker

  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Price point: $$

The Digital Sauté Slow Cooker boasts a sleek, modern aesthetic with a dark stainless steel finish that would complement any kitchen decor.

While the ceramic cooking surface is non-stick, it is free of PTFE- and PFOA chemical compounds making it one of the safest choices on the market.

With a smaller 5.3-quart capacity, the Calphalon slow cooker is perfect for one-pot family dinners and warming up leftovers. It’s also space and electricity conscious!

Comparing Non-Toxic Slow Cookers

ProductMaterialPrice PointOur Pick For
Vitaclay 2-In-1 Organic Clay Stock Pot And Multi-Crocks
Vitaclay 2-In-1 Organic Clay Stock Pot And Multi-Crocks​
Organic Unglazed VitaClay$$Best clay
Wolf Gourmet Multi-Function Cooker, 7-Qt
Wolf Gourmet Multi-Function Cooker, 7-Qt​
Stainless steel$$$$Best overall, Best for big families
Greenpan Elite 6-Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker
GreenPan Elite 6-Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker​
Stainless steel$$$Best stainless steel
Our Place Dream Cooker
Our Place Dream Cooker​
Aluminum and non-toxic ceramic lining$$Most compact
Instant Pot® Pro™ 6-Quart Multi-Use Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot® Pro™ 6-Quart Multi-Use Pressure Cooker​
Stainless steel$$Best multiuse
Greenlife Cook Duo Slow Cooker
GreenLife Cook Duo Slow Cooker​
Toxin-free ceramic$Best extra deep slow cooker
Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker
Calphalon Digital Sauté Slow Cooker​
Stainless steel$$Best for one family meals

Why Avoid Non-Stick Slow Cookers with Coated Inserts?

The gospel of good marketing tells you that having a nonstick coating is essential to avoiding messes with your cookware. The truth is that non-stick coatings often use a type of PFAS compound called PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene), which is also known by the brand name Teflon.

Non-Stick Coatings Can Leach Into Your Food

Teflon (PTFE) is commonly used in slow cooker inserts, air fryers, and other cookware. While its functionality is great, there are some inherent health concerns. 

Studies on animals conducted by the EPA have found that PFOA, a PFAS chemical previously used in Teflon, can cause harm to reproductive, developmental, liver, and kidney functions if it leaches into your food. 

As a result, manufacturers have begun using other PFAS chemicals, like GenX, instead of PFOA in non-stick slow cookers, which has also been rated poorly by the Environmental Working Group

Because of this, products are often marketed as “PFOA-free,” which might be misleading. According to the EPA’s toxicity assessment, even PFOA-free Teflon poses health risks similar to its original formulation. 

Should You Avoid Ceramic Crock Pots?

The safety of ceramic crock pots or slow cookers is a topic of ongoing debate. Most experts agree that as long as it’s purchased from a reputable company that is vetting rigorously by third-party safety standards, ceramic slow cookers or crock pots are safe. 

How Lead Can Seep from Defective Slow Cooker Glazes

While ceramic inserts are generally considered safe, some concerns have been raised about the potential for lead leaching from the ceramic glaze used in some pots, especially those that are handcrafted, damaged, or vintage. 

Why? Mass-produced ceramic cookware, including crock pots, are typically regulated and tested for lead, making them generally safe to use. However, ceramics that are handmade, imported, or older might not meet these safety standards and could potentially leach lead.

If the ceramic coating of a slow cooker gets scratched, the risk of lead leaching can increase. For this reason, it’s important to go the extra step and replace any ceramic cookware that’s chipped or scratched.

So, should you avoid ceramic crock pots? Not necessarily. If you choose a reputable brand and take care of your pot (avoid scratching the ceramic surface), it should be safe to use. However, if you’re concerned about potential lead exposure, consider alternatives, like stainless steel inserts.

How Do You Know if a Slow Cooker is Lead-Free?

Lead Testing Kits

You can use a lead testing kit to test your slow cooker for lead. The kit usually includes swabs that change color, typically to red, if there’s leachable lead present.

Manufacturer’s Information

Go back to the manufacturer’s information or their website. Look up the model number, and the information should include a “no lead” indication.

What to Look for in Non-Toxic Crock Pots

As you venture into the market for a new slow cooker, you’ll typically encounter two types of inserts: glazed ceramic and nonstick cast aluminum. Although stainless steel inserts are the preferable choice, they are the least common. In all cases, look for those that are lead and PFAS-free! 

Safer Coatings

Stainless steel is always the best option for slow cookers and kitchenware. It’s durable, doesn’t react with food, and doesn’t release any harmful chemicals when heated. 

Slow Cooker Alternatives 

If slow cooking isn’t your main priority, numerous electric pressure cookers come with a slow cook setting. Many of these also come with a stainless steel inset and perform just as well as a dedicated slow cooker.

Go Forth and Cook With These Non-Toxic Slow Cookers

Non-toxic slow cookers are a great investment for any home cook who prioritizes both health and convenience. When you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen, look for lead,  PTFE- and PFOA-free nonstick ceramic coatings, and ideally a stainless steel inner pot. So go forth and explore the culinary possibilities with these non-toxic slow cookers, knowing that you’re serving up delicious meals without compromising on safety or quality!

Alyson Lundstrom

Alyson Lundstrom

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Alyson is a recovering nomad with a degree in Environmental Science. She has had professional lives as a marine biologist, eco-entrepreneur, and community sustainability leader in the Caribbean, China, Mexico, and currently the less exotic, but always green, Washington State. She currently covers movements, brands, and humans as they pursue the elusive quadruple bottom line of people, profit, planet, and purpose.
Alyson Lundstrom

Alyson Lundstrom

Born in the Pacific Northwest, Alyson is a recovering nomad with a degree in Environmental Science. She has had professional lives as a marine biologist, eco-entrepreneur, and community sustainability leader in the Caribbean, China, Mexico, and currently the less exotic, but always green, Washington State. She currently covers movements, brands, and humans as they pursue the elusive quadruple bottom line of people, profit, planet, and purpose.

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