Out of all my allergies (here's the full list), nickel is one of the most annoying because it's eeeverywhere. From clothing to utensils and even the dentist's office... it seems impossible to escape (read more about that here). One place you'll potentially find nickel is in your kitchen. I don't know about you, but I love love love to cook... so, the kitchen is one of the LAST places I want to worry about nickel. Not only can you come into contact with nickel in pots/pans, but certain metals (including nickel) can transfer into your food during the cooking process... meaning that you could be ingesting it as well.
No worries, though! I got you!
Here's how you can get over the pots and pans hurdle:
Use a nickel testing kit
They're a tad pricey, but totally worth it. It's quick, easy and straight to the point. Just drop some of the solution on a q-tip, rub firmly on the surface of what you're testing and if the q-tip turns pink, you know the item contains nickel. (Get yours here!)
Be aware that stainless steel is actually an alloy
And it often contains nickel! Stainless steel usually contains chromium, nickel and other various metals. On stainless steel pots and pans, there will be a numerical stamp on the bottom: two numbers with a slash in between. 18/18 or 18/10 are two of the commonly used stamps. The first number indicates the percentage of chromium and the second indicates the percentage of nickel.
When it comes to stainless steel grades in pots and pans, there are two classification: the "300 series" and the "400 series". The 300 series contains nickel and the 400 series is the one people usually go to as it can be touted as "nickel-free". However, that's not completely true! There's still a tiny bit of nickel that can be in it: .75% to be exact.
Within any allergy, there's a range of severity. People who are very mildly allergic to nickel would probably do fine with the 400 series, but for those with a more moderate or severe allergy... it's best to stay away from stainless steel altogether.
You can avoid metal completely and go with ceramic! I think this is actually what I'm going to buy next. Ceramic cookware is beautiful too! And it comes in all sorts of colors. I'll definitely be on the prowl for red items when it's time ;-)
This is a great option for pots, but I would never use a glass pan if I had the choice. Why? Because everything sticks to them! I had a set of glass pots and was happy to get rid of them for that exact reason. Glass is great for boiling stuff, but as far as I'm concerned - that's it. Glass is still remains a helpful alternative for nickel allergy, though. And hey, maybe there are people out there who are masters at cooking on their stove top with glass, but it's not me! ;-)
Source: Rebecca Wood