A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing Safer Kitchen Appliances

How to Choose Safer Kitchen AppliancesWe first wrote this guide back in 2010, but oh – how things have changed! Consumer demand for BPA-free products caused many well-meaning kitchen appliance manufacturers to respond by switching plastics. While we appreciate their effort, we're not totally convinced it was a move for the better in some cases…

Let's get right to the part where we tell you about our findings – as well as the reasoning behind our recommendations – so you can make more informed decisions when choosing safer kitchen appliances!

How to Choose Safer Kitchen Appliances

Based on years of monitoring the latest research on endocrine disruptors in some plastics, we're choosing to recommend kitchen appliances made from glass, stainless steel and/or plastics with a longstanding track record, such as polypropylene, SAN and ABS. We're continuing to shy away from newer plastics like Tritan for two reasons: 1) we still don't know what it's actually made from and, 2) there have been some unsettling studies showing estrogenic activity that still haven't been followed up on by an independent third party, leaving us with a notable red flag. We're looking forward to the day when we'll have more concrete answers about it.

According to Mother Jones: The 200-plus samples of Tritan resins that were tested consistently leached estrogen-like chemicals after being exposed to a type of ultraviolet ray found in sunlight (UVA) and another kind that some parents use to sterilize baby bottles (UVC). In some cases, samples that hadn’t even been exposed to UV light also seeped estrogenic compounds.

After a long and arduous process of contacting the makers of blenders, choppers, mixers and mills, we've been able to confirm with that the following kitchen appliances are free of the following problematic chemicals on all food-contact surfaces:

  • BPS (will it turn out to be the new substitute for BPA?)
  • BPA (polycarbonate)
  • PVC (vinyl – sometimes found in flexible blender lids)
  • Phthalates (added to PVC for increased flexibility)

Keep in mind when looking at the product listings that not all products are specifically marked as free of BPS, BPA, PVC or phthalates on their packaging or website. We spent weeks chasing down this information, so you won't find it clearly labeled because current regulations don't require it.

NOTE: We're also including a list of companies who had absolutely NO IDEA what their products were made from, so please see that list at the bottom of this guide and be sure to let them know you're not happy about it!


Mixers and Food Processors

 
Braun Tribute Collection Food Processor (Stainless Steel/Polypropylene)
Kalorik Food Processor (ABS/SAN)
Philips Aluminum Collection Food Processor (Stainless Steel/ABS/SAN)
Philips Daily Collection Food Processor (ABS/SAN)
KitchenAid Stand Mixer with metal bowl
KitchenAid Stand Mixer with glass bowl
T-fal Mini Pro Food Processor (ABS/SAN)
 

Baby Food Makers

 
The First Years Babypro All In One Baby Food Maker (Polypropylene)
KidCo Manual Food Mill (Polypropylene)
DEX Products Baby Food Processor (SAN)
Kalorik Chopper Baby Food Maker (ABS/SAN)
KidCo Electric Food Mill (SAN/Polypropylene)
 

Food Choppers

 
Maxam Stainless Steel Vegetable Chopper
Paderno Rotating Chopper (Stainless Steel/ABS)
Black & Decker Glass Bowl Chopper
Black & Decker One Touch Chopper (Polypropylene)
Annic Chopper Food Processor (ABS)
Hamilton Beach Glass Bowl Chopper (Polypropylene lid)
 

Food Mills

 
GEFU Stainless Steel Food Mill
WINWARE Stainless Steel Vegetable Mill
Granite Ware Stainless Steel Food Mill
Winco Stainless Steel Food Mill
Norpro Stainless Steel Food Mill
RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel Food Mill
Weston Stainless Steel Food Mill
Mirro Foley Stainless Steel Food Mill
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Mill (ABS/SAN)
 

Immersion Blenders

 
KitchenAid Stainless Steel Immersion Blenders
Breville Stainless Steel Immersion Blender
OXO Stainless Steel and Nylon Immersion Blender with headlight
The Sharper Image Stainless Steel Immersion Blender
Chefman Stainless Steel Immersion Blender
Bamix Stainless Steel Immersion Blender
Waring Quik Stik Plus Immersion Blender
All-Clad Stainless Steel Immersion Blender
 

Products We Can't Recommend

Vitamix blender containers are made of Tritan copolyester, but it's possible to purchase a stainless steel container that fits the mixer, like this one from Waring (quite pricey though). You might take a minute to sign this petition asking Vitamix to bring back their stainless steel pitchers.

  • All Cuisinart food processors (Tritan and/or polycarbonate)
  • Bellini Kitchen Master (stainless steel/polypropylene/polycarbonate)
  • All Hamilton Beach food processors (Tritan)
  • All DeLonghi food processors (Tritan)
  • Most Robot Coupe food processors (polycarbonate/BPA)
  • NutriBullet (Tritan)
  • Ninja (Tritan; we asked if they'd consider creating a glass cup, but they said it's not in the plans)
  • KitchenAid Torrent Blender (polycarbonate)

We were unable to confirm materials with manufacturers of any other plastic blenders, so we recommend sticking with glass options for now even though the lids seem to be made from toxic PVC plastic.

Companies That Provided No Information (Grrrr!)

  • Maxi-Matic
  • Breville
  • Oster
  • Big Boss Torpedo
  • Proctor Silex
  • Nu-Wave
Have we missed any safer kitchen appliances that you've researched yourself? Let us know!
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35 Responses to A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing Safer Kitchen Appliances

  1. Jenbstamps June 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Thanks for doing the research… it seems like if we want safe food, we have to make it ourselves (how can 85% of fruit juices/fruits have lead in them and be on the market – even organic?).

  2. kk_krista June 22, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!

  3. kk_krista June 22, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    The Philips links both are for food processors with blender attachments. Are those safe as well?

  4. olivia June 22, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    hi, i see you have the vitamix on there, any info on the blendtec? they say they are bpa-free, but i didn't think to check for these other chemicals!

  5. Karma June 23, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Thanks!!
    Any future plans for a safe bread machine guide? I'd love to know which ones are safe.

  6. Vvd August 1, 2010 at 5:38 am #

    thanks

  7. Dresser December 27, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Thank you very much for this list!

  8. me March 23, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    Hamilton Beach uses ABS. That’s not safe, is it? I can’t seem to find enough information on it.

  9. Betsy (Eco-novice) June 30, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    Given that BPA-free plastics often contain other undesirables, do you still think these appliances are safe for food prep?

    • The Soft Landing Sisters December 18, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

      Hey Betsy, after much ado, we’re finally able to update the guide to reflect the most current information about BPA-free plastic and which food prep products we can heartily recommend! Hope you find it helpful 🙂

  10. Leigh Harper December 27, 2015 at 6:46 am #

    I read your 2009 posts regarding Beaba but notice that it isn’t listed here in the safe or not recommended sections. Where does it land here?

  11. Viv December 29, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    Am i better or worse off using my blender from the 70s?

    • The Soft Landing Sisters December 30, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

      It all depends on what it’s made of, Viv. It’s very possible your blender is a product made of safer materials, but we’re unable to confirm that now (unless it’s stainless steel). ~Laura

  12. Joan Dunn December 29, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

    Thank you for your hard work in all the research you do. I surely appreciate it. I have several autoimmune issues and would not be at all surprised to find that plastic and leaching chemicals might be found to cause such things in the future. I have begun phasing out my use of plastics and strive to use only stainless steel or glass, This article was a big help and I will contact manufacturers to ask for glass and stainless steel replacements.

  13. The Soft Landing Sisters December 30, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    It appears that BPS has the same effects on the body as BPA. They’re hormone mimicking chemicals that can cause early puberty and reproductive system damage, but you can find in-depth information on our website or by visiting this link: http://thesoftlanding.com/tag/bisphenol-a/. ~Laura

  14. The Soft Landing Sisters January 14, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    Hi George, We verified materials for the food contact areas of these products. Black & Decker confirmed when we talked to them that their Glass Bowl Chopper is made of glass with a polypropylene lid, but we didn’t ask specifically about BPA since the names of the materials will give us that information by default. We do, however, depend on the information we receive from the company, and sometimes it can differ from employee to employee. In this case, we’ll double check with Black & Decker to make sure they gave us the correct information. Thanks for the heads up! ~Laura

  15. The Soft Landing Sisters January 26, 2016 at 9:55 am #

    Hi Alyssa, It looks like a promising option, however, we were unable to get a response to our two inquiries with Waring. You may try calling and asking what type of plastic the lid is made of as they often contain at least some PVC. We’d love to know what you find out! ~Laura

  16. BayMom May 17, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    There is information from a Swedish study that immersion blenders can contain toxic chemicals (used for fire retarding). The ones tested in Sweden are likely not used here but they were made in China and so are most of the ones sold here.

    Another issue with regular blenders (the kind we use for smoothies) is that the ones with the highest speed/strongest motors often have Teflon which can flake out into the food (complaints from users of different brands). The lower speed ones that don’t use Teflon can use things like nylon by the blades (Waring).

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters December 6, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

      Wow, that would be disappointing! Something we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled on for sure.

  17. Garibaldi September 26, 2016 at 11:26 pm #

    Thanks for doing this in-depth research! Are there any new updates on food processors? The ones listed here are either not available in the US or very expensive. I agree that BPS and estrogen-like chemicals should be avoided, especially in storage containers and cookware, but is avoiding them in a blender or food processor so important, since the food is only in these devices for a short period of time?

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters December 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm #

      We haven’t come across any new options Garibaldi. Wish we had! But we agree with you that sometimes you just have to do what works for you, and if that means using a processor made with questionable plastic while be careful not to store the food in those containers, then that’s what you need to do. It’s certainly not the end of the world, right? 🙂

  18. Shelter's Edge September 27, 2016 at 11:43 am #

    Waring does not show up on your list of recommended blenders (counter top) nor “not recommended” list. Many reviews and many sites are recommending Waring commercial blenders. Any reason you are not?

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters December 6, 2016 at 2:00 pm #

      Waring isn’t included because we weren’t able to get in contact with them even though we tried repeatedly. We usually revisit companies like that every so often, so we’ll be sure to update our list if we hear back.

  19. Kelly Haydt November 1, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

    I’ve read that the plastic lid on the Black & Decker Glass Bowl Chopper, that touches your food, is not BPA free. Just FYI.

    • The Soft Landing Sisters
      The Soft Landing Sisters December 6, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

      Do you happen to have a link to the info posted somewhere, or did you get to talk to directly to Black and Decker about it? If so please share with us so we can look into it. Thanks!

  20. Melissa J Butcher November 12, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

    Did you have any luck? I’m searching for the perfect little nut butter maker LOL.

  21. The Soft Landing Sisters
    The Soft Landing Sisters December 20, 2016 at 8:30 am #

    We only confirmed materials this time around. If you happen to come across the answer, please let us know!

  22. The Soft Landing Sisters
    The Soft Landing Sisters January 10, 2017 at 10:56 am #

    We haven’t researched that product yet, Dave, but Cuisinart has been helpful about their products in the past and could likely give you the answer you’re looking for if you call them directly. We suggest asking specific questions like, what’s the actual name of the plastic, is it BPA and BPS-free, what’s the recycling code, etc. Good luck!

  23. Karen Lin January 31, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    Hi Soft Landing Sisters,

    I have been looking for a little glass / stainless steel chopper for a while and I was just about the pull the trigger on the Black and Decker EHC3002b glass bowl chopper when I found the following warning
    ” California Residents — Proposition 65 warning:
    We are providing the following California Proposition 65 warning for products linked to this page:
    WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. About California Proposition 65:
    California’s Proposition 65 entitles California consumers to special warnings for products that contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm if those products expose consumers to such chemicals above certain threshold levels. We care about our customers’ safety and hope that this information helps with your buying decisions.”

    So I checked with Black and Decker and got this responds

    “In regards to your inquiry concerning the lead warning on the line cord, according to California Preposition 65 – All products with a line cord will have this warning. Spectrum Home Appliances can not deny or substantiate the claims noted on Preposition 65. Consumers must use their own judgment pertaining to this matter.”

    Should we be concerned about this at all or is it really just a warning to keep food away for the power cord?

    Thanks

  24. Marilyn February 21, 2017 at 5:23 am #

    Hi Soft Landing Sisters,

    I have a Magic Bullet that I purchased last year and after reading your article became very concerned as the cups are made of Tritan. Below is what they wrote back and sent a link to Tritan’s web site. What should I do? Should I continue to use it or get rid of it? Thank you.

    “Thank you for contacting us. Here is some information regarding the NutriBullet Plastic.

    NB CUPS PLASTIC TYPE

    WHAT IS TRITAN™?
    Tritan™ copolyester is a tough, BPA-free plastic used to make various products that you use every day. Products made from Tritan are impact and shatter resistant. Plus, they stay clear and durable even after years of repeated use and dishwasher cycles.
     
    IS TRITAN™ SAFE?
    Yes, Tritan™ is safe for you and your family. It has been rigorously tested by third-party labs to ensure its safety. It is completely free of bisphenol A (BPA), bisphenol S and any other bisphenol compounds as well as estrogenic and androgenic activity. But not only is Tritan chemically safe, it’s shatter-resistant too, so the only thing you have to worry about when someone knocks over a product made with Tritan is cleaning up spills.
     
    HOW DO I KNOW IF A PLASTIC IS SAFE?
    The best way to identify if a plastic is safe is to know how it has been tested — and how reliable the scientific testing and conclusions are. Evaluating a plastic using a comprehensive set of reliable and definitive tests is the best approach. To learn more about the safety of Tritan™, visit http://www.tritansafe.com.”

  25. Josephine G. February 26, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    Hi. I am searching for an electric fresh pasta maker that is made with non toxic materials. Any ideas? Thanks so much.

    • Laura February 28, 2017 at 9:47 am #

      Hi Josephine, We haven’t researched pasta makers yet, but we’ll add it to our ever growing list of subjects that need attention! ~The Soft Landing Sisters

      • Josephine February 28, 2017 at 11:00 am #

        Thank you Laura. If I find any information, I’ll let you know also.

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