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If your aim is to eat healthier foods, it probably makes sense to cook them in healthier pots and pans, right? But this can be confusing when brands lure us in with big ‘eco’ and ‘green’ claims on the package, even when their cookware isn’t the safest or healthiest choice.
On a quest for truly healthier options – and armed with 40 years of combined experience in ceramics and glass – the Bergstrom family launched a company, called Ceramcor, and developed its signature line of non-toxic ceramic cookware, called Xtrema®.
In this brand spotlight, we’ll learn about the benefits of pure ceramic cookware and get a quick behind-the-scenes peek at Xtrema’s manufacturing process. If you’re still hungry after that, head over to my Q&A with Xtrema’s founder, Rich Bergstrom, where I was able to get answers to the more in-depth questions about ceramic cookware that I couldn’t easily find online.
What is Xtrema?
Xtrema is pure ceramic cookware, developed as a healthy alternative to traditional cookware, which can leach unwanted metals into your food.
In contrast to ceramic-coated cookware, Xtrema’s pots, pans, and kettles are 100% natural ceramic through and through. From the inner core to the outer glaze, they contain no metal, cadmium, lead, PFOA, PTFE, glues, polymers, coatings, dyes, or other harmful contaminants.
In addition to being healthier for our bodies, Xtrema cookware is also healthier for the environment. While metal mining, refining, and manufacturing pollute the environment, Xtrema’s ceramic cookware is crafted entirely from clay and earth minerals with no smokestacks or harmful fumes.
I wrote a more detailed article about why ceramic cookware is a healthier alternative to metal, but the quick low down is that pure ceramic cookware, like Xtrema’s:
- Is made from all-natural kaolin clay and earth minerals
- Does not leach heavy metals, chemicals or other toxins into your food
- Is non-reactive, so it does not alter the taste of your food
- Benefits from far infrared energy to heat food more evenly and retain its natural moisture
- Is extremely versatile and can be used on the stove top, in both a conventional & toaster oven, in the broiler & microwave, and on the barbeque grill
- Is safe for the freezer
- Looks great on the table
- Is easy to clean by hand, but can also go in the dishwasher
- Is scratch-proof and chip-resistant
Xtrema is a family-owned and operated business in New Jersey, though their cookware is handcrafted by artisans in China. While “made in China” is usually not touted as a positive feature, there are two reasons that ceramics are the exception.
First, There’s a reason we say “honey, grab the good china!” when guests come over. With more than 10,000 years of expertise under their belt, China is long known for producing some of the world’s best ceramics – both for dishes and cookware.
Second, while there was an issue a few decades ago of using lead and cadmium-based glazes (worldwide, not just in China), China has long since modernized their machinery and glazing processes to meet strict FDA compliance standards that ensure there are no unsafe contaminants in their cookware. Xtrema’s factories are not only certified by the FDA; they are also certified to the even stricter standards of California’s Prop 65.
One of the things I love about Xtrema is that they even post their safety test results online, so we can see for ourselves.
How Xtrema manufactures their ceramic cookware
Xtrema cookware is handcrafted by skilled artisans. Each piece is formed in a high-pressure casting mold and then triple-fired at 2,500ºF to ensure its strength and durability.
Get 10% off Xtrema Cookware with code Greenopedia10 at checkout.