You can’t have a complete kitchen without cookware. If you’re trying to organize your kitchen by getting the right cookware, then you’ve come to the right place.
It’s a daunting task finding the right cookware, especially when you’re faced with lots of options. However, if you’ve narrowed down your choice to ceramic cookware, it might not be a bad choice. Still, you can’t be too sure if you don’t know what to expect from ceramic cookware, and that’s what this guide addresses.
What exactly is ceramic cookware, and is it a good choice for you?
You’ve probably heard it has some clay-like properties or some advantages that many people talk about. However, ceramic also has its cons, and this article looks at the good, bad and ugly; so, sit back and brace yourself to get the whole truth.
Pure Ceramic vs. Ceramic Coated Cookware
There are two types of ceramic cookware you’ll find in the market. One comes as 100% (pure) ceramic, while the other entails ceramic coating on some metal cookware. It’s important you know the difference; to guide you better, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of both types in this guide.
Firstly, pure ceramic is made from clay — not just any clay, but the kiln-baked type. It’s heated at a certain degree and then glazed to give a perfect finish.
On the other hand, ceramic-coated cookware contains polymer material, usually silica, that has a ceramic-like look. This coating is then placed over an aluminum base.
Both types of ceramic are healthy, but the pure variant is safer. Besides, there are also differences in the amount of heat each can take. Their differences aren’t restricted to their appearance but also extend to their characteristics.
You’ll find it much easier to get ceramic-coated cookware in a dishwasher, and they last much longer than pure ceramic. More interesting is that people consider ceramic-coated pans a better option than the popular non-stick Teflon-coated pans.
With that out of the way, let’s discuss the perks and downsides of pure ceramic cookware, after which we’ll proceed to the ceramic coated ones.
Pros and Cons of Cooking With Ceramic Cookware
Here, we consider the good and bad sides of preparing meals with ceramic cookware.
The following points highlight why most people are leaning towards ceramic kitchenware in recent times.
Ceramic cookware is non-stick, which is a good thing because you don’t have to worry about scraping food off the surface as with metal pots. You can get any food out easily, whether it’s your pancakes, casserole, or even sauté veggies. Even when you think your food is getting brown because of high heat, it will still come off easily.
Easy to Clean
One of the perks of using non-stick material for cooking is the ease of cleaning it. Ceramic doesn’t require a hard sponge or extra effort to clean. You can always wipe a cloth over it, and no one will know any food was in it, to begin with.
Ceramics are quite a beauty, and one thing you’ll love about them is the variety of colors they come in. You can also find them in different patterns and finishes.
Some people even use their ceramic cookware for décor. It’s a beautiful piece to look at and will complement your kitchen.
Now, its attractive design isn’t just one to stare at; you can also use it as a serving dish. In most cases, people tend to move their ceramic directly from the stove to the dining table to begin serving.
In summary, this cookware has desirable visual appeal, and you don’t necessarily need an additional serving dish when you have ceramic cookware.
Oven and Microwave Compatible
Another thing you should know about having ceramic cookware is that you can use them not only on your burners but also in your microwave oven. In addition, ceramic cookware can serve as bakeware such that you can prepare almost any meal in it. Be it a pie, casserole, veggies, meat, or other meal, ceramic cookware has got you covered.
Ceramic is cheaper compared to other cookware like stainless steel. Although the price may vary depending on the brand, it’s still quite cheaper than many options. To sum it up, if you seek eco-friendly, non-toxic, and safe cookware, pure ceramic is one of the most affordable options you can get.
As good as ceramic cookware seems, they have a few drawbacks. Let’s have a look at the most prominent ones.
One thing you should know about pure ceramic cookware is that even with its impressive benefits, your cooking may be pretty slow. Ceramic cookware generally heats slowly, and that’s one reason some find it unattractive.
In comparison, a meal that takes less than 30 mins to prepare on stainless steel cookware may require a much longer time with ceramic cookware. Sadly, there’s virtually nothing you can do to speed up the process, as slow heating is an inherent ceramic property.
However, the good thing is that your food won’t burn, and the heat will spread evenly to cook your meal properly. On the flip side, you’ll end up using more gas or electricity to prepare your meals.
It’s Not Great for Searing
While you can cook almost everything in your ceramic cookware, one thing it may not be ideal for is searing meat. Usually, when you sear meat, you expect it to have that crusty brown look which can only be possible when meat sticks and burns like it should. If that’s your goal, you may want to consider some other cookware options.
Some Aren’t Oven Safe
We mentioned that one of the benefits of pure ceramic is its ability to work over a stove and in an oven/microwave. Well, it turns out that this doesn’t apply to every ceramic cookware as some aren’t oven safe. If you’d like to use your ceramic cookware for baking purposes, ensure you look out for the oven-compatible ones before purchasing.
Is Ceramic Coating Bad For You?
As mentioned earlier, ceramic-coated pans combine both ceramic and metal. The sol-gel (silicon oil) coating, which gives it its ceramic non-stick properties, is the reason most people prefer it. The cookware releases this sol-gel each time you cook with the pot or pan.
You should also know that ceramic-coated pans aren’t just made of sol-gels. Namely, manufacturers also use sand to make its coating, giving it that glossy finish — the reason it’s called ceramic cookware.
Ceramic Coated Cookware Pros And Cons
We’ve already addressed the pros and cons of pure ceramic cookware, and we’ll also look at ceramic-coated pans. Since they’re partly made of aluminum, they’re quite different from the pure ceramic variants.
Ceramic-coated pans have comparable safety levels as Teflon-coated pans. However, let’s get one thing straight — ceramic-coated pans aren’t particularly unsafe to cook with, but they do have some health concerns.
That said, let’s examine in detail the various pros and cons of ceramic-coated pans.
While they’re often touted to be less safe than pure ceramic cookware, the ceramic-coated option does shine in some areas, which the following sections highlight.
Like with pure ceramic options, ceramic-coated pans are equally non-toxic. The ceramic coating protects its metal base, protecting your food from exposure to toxic chemicals. Hence, you don’t need to worry about toxins with ceramic cookware, in general.
Additionally, it’s vital to point out that ceramic-coated pans don’t have any traces of PFOA or PFAS since their coating employs the use of sand and sol-gel only. Since this coating is safe, you don’t have to worry about lead or cadmium leaching into your food. Also, when you place the pans on the stove for extended periods or overheat/overcook your meals, it doesn’t release any toxic fumes.
The sol-gel and sand coating that accompany ceramic-coated cookware is non-stick — you can easily transfer your food to your plate without it sticking. This means ceramic-coated pans won’t need any scraping or scrubbing when cleaning.
Another perk of these pans is that you only use little oil or butter when cooking. As such, if you aim to cut down on fat, ceramic-coated pans do exactly that. To add to that, you also have the luxury of cooking on its surface without any oil or fat in the pan.
Easy to Clean
Since ceramic-coated cookware is non-stick, you won’t have any hassles cleaning after use. You can easily clean these pans with soap and warm water, after which you wipe them with a cloth. Even if your food sticks to it, you can easily get it off by boiling it off with very little water on your cooker. In essence, you won’t find yourself scrubbing these pans intensively.
Like with pure ceramic, you can get a high-quality coated version at a competitive price. The pans usually vary in price depending on the manufacturer. Although some are high priced, you can still get a decent quality pan for about $50.
Cons of Ceramic-Coated Pans
Despite their great perks, ceramic-coated pans still lack in certain areas. The following sections touch on these points.
One thing about ceramic-coated pans is that they usually don’t last very long. Eventually, the non-stick material wears off, exposing the aluminum base. In no time, your food begins to stick to the bottom of the pan as with a regular metal pan.
When the non-stick material comes off, it’s often impossible to fix it. You have no other option than to replace your pot.
Even if you spend a lot of money on non-stick pans, their coating will wear off regardless. Moreover, ceramic-coated pans are sure to chip off with time, despite ideal care habits.
It’s Not Always Quality
When you buy a ceramic-coated pan, you shouldn’t expect it to be like those solid pots you’re used to. The non-stick pans are usually very lightweight, featuring a thin metal. If you buy a cheap one, it’s even more flimsy.
You can’t always use them for heavy cooking because they simply can’t handle the work.
Also, these pans aren’t oven safe and can’t withstand high heat. Usually, ceramic-coated pots and pans use low- or medium-heat settings. They’re delicate, and overheating will damage your pot.
The manufacturers usually state the amount of heat the product can handle, so it’s important you read the manual that accompanies this type of cookware.
Metal Utensils Will Scratch Surface
You won’t be able to use any metal utensils on your non-stick pans due to the risk of scratching. The coating is quite delicate, so it’s safe to only use wood or nylon products on it instead. Suffice to say, if you use metal spoons to take food out of the pans, it’ll likely scrape off some of those coatings into your food.
Health and Safety Concerns
Even though ceramic-coated pans don’t usually have PFOA or PFAS, the issue with this type of cookware is its lead content. The manufacturing process is usually cheap but may still include some lead.
Lead is something you want to avoid ingesting, considering that it poses many health concerns. When buying ceramic-coated pans, ensure it’s one that the manufacturer has tested for lead content.
How to Care For Your Ceramic Cookware
You can enjoy using your ceramic cookware by developing a good care method. Here are some tips that will make your ceramic cookware last longer.
Remove Food And Oil on Surface
Ensure that your pan is cool before you put water in it. This is because pouring cold water into a hot ceramic-coated pan increases the pace at which its coating wears off. Even though the sol-gel material will withstand the change of temperature during early use, with time, doing this will degrade your pot.
Using warm soapy water, wash your pan to get out the food and oil. You don’t need to scrape your pans because food won’t get stuck. If there’s any food residue, you can use your sponge to remove it.
After cleaning, use a cloth to wipe the surface of your pan, and ensure you’re careful when cleaning around the edges and the area around the panhandle. You particularly don’t want to miss those parts because that’s where you’ll find most of the food.
After cleaning with soapy water, rinse the pan carefully under running water. Check that the pan is now clean and that there’s no more food residue or oil on the pot or pan. Finally, use a dry cotton napkin to clean the pan dry.
Remove Burnt and Stuck Food
Sometimes, you may find that your food is stuck or even burnt in the pan. You should endeavor to get it out safely without having to scratch or scrape off the burnt part. Doing otherwise will damage the ceramic pan, necessitating replacement.
You can clean off burnt food by soaking your pan in warm soapy water for about 15 minutes. This should loosen up the food, and you can then wash it off.
If the burnt food still doesn’t come off, it means you need to soak it a little longer and then try washing it off. If this doesn’t work either, you can simply put some water in the pan and heat it on your burner. While it’s heating, you can try to get out the leftovers but be careful not to scrape the pan.
Another option will be to use cleaning agents like baking soda.
Clean off the Stains
Usually, ceramic is non-porous and wouldn’t stain easily. However, if you cook some food that leaves difficult stains, you should consider the following care tips.
Apply baking soda since it doesn’t react to the non-stick material and is an effective cleaning agent. You also have the option of using vinegar and water to remove stubborn stains on your ceramic pan.
When applying baking soda, ensure you rub it on the surface in a circular motion. You can make the baking soda into a paste by adding very little water. It’ll only take a couple of minutes to get the stain off.
Are ceramic pans better?
Ceramic pans are non-stick and one of the most affordable cookware you can get. They’re better than Teflon as they don’t contain PFAS or PFOA, which are quite toxic. Additionally, ceramic cookware is very easy to maintain and can even function as serving dishes. In summary, there are a lot of benefits that make them a better cookware option — for example, their visually pleasing aesthetics and oven compatibility (in some cases).
Is ceramic-coated cookware good?
Ceramic-coated pans are good and even better than Teflon-coated pans. They’re non-stick, safe for cooking, and have their coating made from sol-gel and sand, making it have that ceramic property. They’re also very affordable and great for your cooking needs.
Is ceramic cookware worth it?
Yes, ceramic cookware is certainly worth it.
You can get ceramic cookware in addition to your other pots and pans. They’re not only attractive but can also serve multiple functions.
When you get good quality ceramic cookware, you can use it not only for cooking but also in your oven, microwave, and for serving. In summary, you’ll get value for your money, and the best part is its affordability.
Is ceramic cookware any good?
Pure ceramic cookware will make a great addition to your kitchenware. They come with many benefits, explaining why many tend to lean towards them today. Also, they’re very healthy and safe for cooking, so they’re a good cookware choice.
If you think ceramic pans are a good option for your kitchen, ensure you go through reviews to find the best quality ceramic cookware. They’re usually quite affordable and worth it. Moreover, ceramic is relatively easy to care for, unlike cast iron pots and other metals. It’s great for everyday use, and you don’t have to deal with the hassle of scrubbing or soaking pots for long hours, like other cookware.
Although there are many benefits of using ceramic pots and pans, we can’t ignore that they come with some concerning drawbacks. You should know that this cookware will need replacement in the long run since they aren’t very durable. While pure ceramic is the more durable option, it does have a slow heating problem. Despite these drawbacks, they still make a good quality and affordable cookware option.