A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing Safer Kitchen Appliances

The switch to BPA-free plastic wasn’t necessarily a good one in some cases…so here are our newly updated recommendations for safer kitchen appliances

We 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

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Baby Food Makers

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Food Choppers

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Food Mills

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Immersion Blenders

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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!

A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO CHOOSING SAFER KITCHEN APPLIANCES

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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).

  9. 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?

    1. 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? 🙂

  10. 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?

    1. 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.

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

  12. 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!

  13. 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

  14. 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.”

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

    1. 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

  16. I am looking to purchase Hamilton Beach glass chopper. You indicate that the lid is made of Polypropylene. What is the plastic connected to the stainless steel blade made of?

    Also, any thoughts on the Betty Crocker glass chopper?

    Thanks for your dedicated research!!!! Knowledge is power! Hanna

  17. I just purchased cuisinart food processor and no.listing of materials used. I was advised in the phofetune no bpas. Should return?

  18. Hi, great information- which full size regular blenders DO you recommend then? Though Oster didn’t provide you info, they are one of the few that use glass containers and that are rated fairly well by Consumer reports. thanks!

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