Teflon. It may be BPA Free as someone said but that does not mean it is 100% safe. All teflon has The chemical - called perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA - is used to make compounds called fluoropolymers, which are used in turn to make Teflon and other products like oil and water-repellent coatings on carpet, textiles, leather and paper. If you cook at very high temperatures some of the chemicals can be released in the air as carcinogens. That said, I use my 5-1 Griddler often and just make sure I don't turn the heat way up. It's just another thing for us to worry about. The FDA came out with this over 14 yrs ago and still has done nothing one way or the other.
The cooking surface is made of hard anodized non-stick. On the box it says BPA Free,(non-toxic) and it's also in the description on the Cuisinart website. That was a big concern for me also. They really should have included BPA Free in the product description on Amazon.
Teflon is a brand, this is not Teflon! Yes it is BPA free. Yes it does contain PFOA. The product is called Xylan. It is FDA approved. I will die from eating sausage patties that I intend to make on it before the coating will kill me! Don't be an alarmist, call Cuisinart! Great customer service! Oh, she said watch out if you have small birds in close to where you are using it. That's why I haven't self cleaned my oven yet, I have a dog and a husband and it is winter...
P.S. You should smell my new oven when I turn it on!
The surfaces (top and bottom) are non-stick on both sides and are interchangeable between a grill and griddle. I do not know about it being non-toxic, as that is not listed anywhere. Cleaning the plates are rather easy and come with a plastic flip/scrape tool.