Best NonStick Ceramic Cookware 2017 Buying Guide

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Is it time for a new set of cookware? If you’re looking to purchase cookware, don’t go past this guide for the best nonstick ceramic cookware. But if you are short on time, then simply check out my favorite well-priced ceramic nonstick set.

Easy to cook with – easy to clean –  these features are what make nonstick ceramic cookware the top of people’s choices.

Consider nonstick ceramic pots and pans as a way to create healthier meals, with fat-free cooking meaning fewer calories and reduced cholesterol intake, while the nonstick surface has no nasty PFAS, PFOA, or PTFE chemicals. People purchase ceramic non-stick cookware for these very health reasons and more. Being easy to clean they save you time cleaning up in the kitchen, allowing you the freedom to enjoy other activities. I value being able to spend more fun time with my family and anything that helps in this way is a treasure especially when it also contributes to my family’s health.

best ceramic cookware

Ceramic Non Stick used for healthy low-fat cooking

The 5 Most Popular Ceramic NonStick Cookware Comparison Chart

Take a look through this table of top ten ceramic cookware sets. Find more details on the specific ceramic cookware by clicking on the See It button.

NameImageSetPriceRating
T-fal™ Initiatives16-Piece

3 Pots
2 Pans
4 Lids
1 Griddle
6 Tools

 4.1
GreenPan™ Rio
Thermolon™
12-piece

4 Pots
3 Pans
5 Lids

 4.2
Farberware® PURECOOK12-piece

2 Pots
4 Pans
3 Lids
3 Tools

 4.2
Bialetti™ Ceramic Pro10-piece

3 Pots
3 Pans
4 Lids

 4.3
GreenLife™ Soft Grip
Thermolon™
14-piece

3 Pots
3 Pans
4 Lids
4 Tools

 4.3

How to Choose the Best Cookware for You

Cost, design, and performance are what people want most when looking to buy cookware.

Cookware is an everyday item and one you want to last a reasonable amount of time.

It is an important purchase, one you want to be happy with. Simple!

Cost

It’s best to purchase good quality pots and pans based on what you can afford.

Buying an entire cookware set first-up rather than buying individual pieces later has advantages though, as it will save you money in the long run.

A basic starting set

This would be at least one pan and three pots like this 7-piece set. You can add others as your budget allows you to expand, as long as you don’t mind that they may not exactly match.

Also consider your cooking needs. Do you cook for a family? Or, do you entertain?

Here’s the deal…

Acquiring a quality cooking set that covers all your needs is worth the investment. Though it can cost a tad more initially, you should see benefits in savings over time from not having to buy extras or replacements that are likely to be more expensive the next time around.

Design and Performance

Do you want to use the pan in the oven or on the stove top?

What sort of base is best?

What about the finish?

Whether you’re looking for the best frying pan or the best nonstick cookware sets, some features worth considering are the handles, the base, and the exterior finish. These will determine how much you enjoy and value your cookware once you get cooking.

Handles

The handles of the pot or pan will affect your ease of handling and any likelihood of injury because of a heavy load or temperature. Consider the handle length and the ease of use with two hands, especially with a larger pan. The handle should remain cool to touch if using on the stove top.

  • For ovenware, a metal handle or one that is silicone-coated is best to withstand high oven temperatures.
  • For stove tops, a silicone-coated, wood, or hollow metal handle is best to avoid burns.

Oven safe temperatures:

  • Stainless steel handles are oven safe to 500°F (260°C)
  • Phenolic resin (Bakelite) parts to 350°F (175°C)
  • Silicone parts to 400°F (204°C)

Handles fixed with screws can work loose over time and will need tightening. Also, a word on riveted handles on a ceramic pan set. Just be aware that rivets are places where food tends to collect and require cleaning for hygiene. If the rivets are not coated in the ceramic, cleaning may not be simple and care is needed to avoid damage to the nonstick coating when cleaning around this area (see cleaning tips below).

Base

A thick heavy base will ensure good heat distribution and better cooking performance. A heavy or thick base is less likely to warp also. Be aware that food can burn quickly with a base that is too thin. A flat base is critical. And remember, one that is slightly concave (like the bottom of a wine bottle) will flatten on heating.

Interior

It’s important to choose a cadmium and lead-free interior and a cooking surface free of PTFE and PFOA in your search for the best nonstick cookware sets. Cookware sold in the US are required to meet stringent standards regarding these elements (see FAQ section).

Exterior Finish

All ceramic glazes are made of various inorganic minerals and oxides. The oxides in glazes give the cookware finish its strength, color, and glossiness.

For ease of maintenance avoid painted exteriors and grooved surfaces – applies to all types of cookware. It is thought that non-stick coating lasts longer when applied to an anodized pan compared to one that’s not.

What to Look for When Buying Pots and Pans

Whether you are looking for a replacement set, or your first, ceramic cookware offer some of the best cooking pots and pans.

With the variety of cookware on the market, deciding on what’s best in cookware for you can be a daunting process, to say the least.

The qualities to search for when buying pots and pans are covered below, but here’s a quick reference list:

A thick metal base layer

  • for even cooking with no hot spots
  • conducts heat, if you’re looking to save energy and quick and easy cooking
  • For gas, ceramic, or electric cooktops choose flat based cookware
  • For induction ranges, choose magnetic base materials, i.e., cookware with a ferrous base

Non-stick surfaces

  • fat and oil-free cooking
  • easier cleaning

Strong and sturdy handles

  • important for safety when transferring pots and pans between the cooktop and sink
  • whether they will be hot to touch is also something to consider

Oven safe

  • look for oven safe materials, e.g., metal or silicone-coated handles*
  • mostly it is the handles that determine this factor

Rims of pots and pans

  • slightly rolled rims for pouring and straight for tossing ingredients
  • most cookware today have this feature

Glass lids

  • allow viewing of the cooking process without letting steam escape
  • easily see the contents of the pot without lifting the lid

Vented lids

  • allow steam release
  • avoid pressure build up in the saucepan

Easy to clean

  • save time
  • nonstick pots and pans are easy and quick to clean
  • check for riveted handles, which can take extra care in cleaning

Why Choose Ceramic Cookware?

Ceramic cookware has some of the best non-toxic pans for cooking and is among the top rated cookware sets.

Ceramic, as a material, is inorganic (meaning no carbon) and non-metallic.  A coating of ceramic delivers a natural non-stick surface that is durable and practical and provides one of the best cookware materials for a non-stick surface. Unlike cast iron, ceramic cookware does not normally require seasoning before use.

What’s Great About Ceramic Cookware

Looking for the best non stick frying pan or the healthiest cookware? Here are seven reasons to choose ceramic non-stick cookware:

  • Super easy to clean
  • Healthier cooking with less fat and oil required in cooking
  • Appealing styles and colors to suit your decor
  • Even cooking
  • Rapid heating
  • Free of hazardous polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)*
  • Non-reactive with acids. So, no leaching of toxins into your food*

*qualities that make these preferable to other non-stick cookware.

The 100% ceramic cookware has all of the features listed for the non-stick ceramic cookware (minus rapid heating), plus the following:

  • Higher heat and scratch resistance
  • More versatile. Can be used in the oven, microwave, and then as a serving dish or storage in refrigerator or freezer
  • Totally recyclable
  • More durable and long-lasting
  • Best for slow cooking

It can be confusing choosing the best cooking pots. See my review of Xtrema 100% ceramic cookware.

The 100% ceramic cookware has absolutely no metal layers and is guaranteed non-toxic. It is not entirely non-stick however with slight greasing of the pan needed. You can buy it here.

Eco-friendly and Healthy Choice Cookware

I always look for toxic-chemical free and natural materials in consumer goods. Like most people, I want this today because I know what’s ‘good’ for the environment is also ‘good’ for me (and my family). It’s not just about toxic chemicals leaching into our food, it’s also about the harm to factory workers exposed to toxins, the impacts on wildlife, and the contamination of our soil, water, and air from waste disposal.

Ceramic coated pans include some of the best non-stick cookware without the harmful chemicals like PTFE and PFOA — Making them eco-friendly and a healthy choice cookware.

The 100% ceramic cookware is not only free from harmful chemicals but is entirely recyclable, being made of clay materials. As far as energy consumption in the manufacture of ceramics, the most energy intensive area is the firing and drying of the clay. It is considered less energy intensive than the manufacture of primary metals.

The Best Cookware for Your Cooktop

Ceramic non-stick cookware is suitable for gas, ceramic, and electric cooktops. A heavy flat base allows even distribution of heat on these types of stove tops. For induction cooktops, which work via a magnetic field, you will need cookware with a ferrous (iron) base rather than ceramic.

Consider Your Cooking Style

What do you mostly cook?

The quality and type of cookware you choose, relate to your methods in the kitchen. If you are preparing low-fat meals, you might want the best non-stick frying pan, and in this case, the best ceramic pans are worth considering.

Types and uses of ceramic cookware:

Ceramic Sauce Pans  – for boiling vegetables and cooking rice, pasta, and sauces.

Pans and Skillets  – ceramic pans or skillets for fast frying – deglazing, searing, and browning

Sauté pan – shallow pan for sautéing and browning, for shaking and tossing food, uses less fat than frying

Stockpot – for stock making, boiling vegetables and seafood and making soups

Dutch oven (or casserole dish) – thick-walled cooking pan for oven or slow cooktop cooking of casseroles, stews, and roasts

If you’re looking to limit your use of fat and oils in cooking, you might want to consider the ceramic coated non-stick frying pan or skillet that you can buy here.

Top 5 Ceramic Cookware (Nonstick) Set Light Reviews

T-fal® Initiatives Ceramic Nonstick 16-Piece

The set includes the following:

  • 1-quart covered sauce pan + lid
  • 2-quart covered sauce pan + lid
  • 5-quart dutch oven + lid
  • 7.5-inch fry pan
  • 11-inch fry pan + lid
  • 10-inch square griddle
  • 6 nylon kitchen tools

Features:

Riveted, phenolic handles.
Glass lids with vents.
Heavy-gauge aluminum.
Enamel exterior.

Lids & handles oven safe to 350ºF.
*No PFAS, PFOA, lead, or cadmium.

It features stain and scratch resistant surfaces. The cooking surface can be heated to 570°F and cookware is oven safe to 350°F.

It includes a great assortment of cookware, suitable for preparing family meals or for dinner parties, and includes a griddle pan. A downside: the handles are joined to the cooking vessel by rivets that tend to be areas where food collects – care in cleaning around the rivets will avoid damage to the surface. However, it is economically priced and would last some years. It has a Limited Lifetime Warranty. Read more here.

Click here to see the latest prices or read our full review here.

GreenPan Rio Ceramic Nonstick 12-Piece

This set has Thermolon™ ceramic coating and includes:

  • 1-quart sauce pan + lid
  • 2-quart sauce pan + lid
  • 3-quart sauce pan + lid
  • 9.5-inch sauté pan + lid
  • 5-quart casserole + lid
  • 8-inch frypan
  • 9.5-inch frypan

Features:

Rivet free, phenolic handles.
Glass lids.
Heavy-gauge aluminum.
Easy to clean Thermolon exterior.

Lids & handles oven safe to 350ºF.
*No PFAS, PFOA, lead or cadmium.

This set has the Thermolon ceramic coating, which according to the manufacturer is safe from toxic chemicals, like lead, cadmium, and fluoropolymers (like PFAS, PTFE, and PFOA). The handles are ergonomically designed and are not riveted, which is a positive feature for hygiene and makes cleaning easier. It also has a Limited Lifetime Warranty. It has a great collection of pot and pan sizes to suit the family and dinner party cooking and is well priced.

Click here to see the latest prices or read our full review here.

Farberware PURECOOK Ceramic Nonstick 12-Piece

The set includes the following:

  • 2-quart sauce pan + lid
  • 5-quart dutch oven + lid
  • 5-inch mini skillet
  • 8.5-inch skillet
  • 10-inch skillet
  • 11.5-inch skillet + lid
  • slotted turner, slotted spoon, & solid spoon

Features:

Riveted, phenolic handles.
Glass lids.
Double heavy-gauge aluminum.
Porcelain enamel exterior, stain resistant.

Lids & handles oven safe to 350ºF.
*No PFAS, PFOA, or cadmium.

The positive feature of this set is the double heavy-gauge base, which adds to the performance of even cooking with no hot spots. The enamel porcelain exterior makes for easy cleaning. A downside: the handles are joined to the cooking vessel by rivets that will need care with cleaning. It is economically priced and comes with a Lifetime Limited Warranty.

Click here to see the latest prices.

Bialetti® Ceramic Pro Nonstick 10-Piece

Set contains:

  • 8-inch sauté pan
  • 10-inch sauté pan
  • 1.5-quart sauce pan + lid
  • 3-quart sauce pan + lid
  • 3-quart deep saute + lid
  • 6-quart dutch oven + lid

Features:

Cast stainless, riveted handles.
Tempered glass lids with vents.
Hard anodized aluminum base and exterior.

Lids & handles oven safe to 400 ºF.
*No PFAS, PFOA.

The benefits of this set are from its hard-anodized exterior, which endows it with long term toughness. It is oven safe to 400°F – higher than most ceramic nonstick cookware. However, the handles being stainless steel with better heat resistance than the usual phenolic resin type will be hot to touch and pot holders are a must.  It is well priced and comes with a 10-year guarantee.

Click here to see the latest prices.

GreenLife™ Soft Grip  Ceramic Nonstick 14-Piece

This set has Thermolon™ ceramic coating and includes:

  • 1-quart saucepan + lid
  • 2-quart saucepan + lid
  • 5-quart stock pot + lid
  • 2.5-quart sauté pan + lid
  • 7-inch open frypan
  • 9.5-inch open frypan
  • 4 kitchen utensils

Features:

Phenolic, handles with soft touch.
Glass lids.
Reinforced aluminum base.
Thermolon exterior.

Lids & Handles oven safe to 350ºF.
*No PFAS, PFOA, lead, or cadmium

What rates this one higher than others here is the rivet-free handle design, which allows ease of cleaning and durable use.  This combines with features of Thermolon on both interior and exterior surfaces, which should make for super easy cleaning. It is economically priced and comes with GreenLife’s warranty on defects.

Click here to see the latest prices.

FAQs

About Exterior Coatings

Exterior coatings range from ceramic coatings to painted to anodized to enamel.

What do all these mean?

From Chemical Materials, Elsevier:

“Anodization is a coating of oxide film generated in an electrochemical process in an acidic electrolyte solution. The thickness of an anodized coating is much higher than the natural aluminum oxide film on an aluminum surface. It is very hard and chemically inert. While the natural color of aluminum oxide anodization is attractive, color can be added by a dye process. There are pores in the anodized surface that can be filled with the dye simply by soaking in the dye solution. After coloring, a sealing step is performed. There are no apparent concerns about the safety of this type of exterior.”

Porcelain enamel is a type of coating that is glass based and inorganic. It is sprayed and fused to the cookware substrate through high heat (1500°F). There is not peeling, flaking, or rusting expected this type of exterior.

A number of ceramic cookware sets use a ceramic coating, like Thermolon (see 6.6), on the exterior and interior. This aids cleaning of cookware. Durability will likely vary with the ceramic coating (see 6.6).

How Does Ceramic Cookware Differ to Porcelain Cookware?

Ceramic, like porcelain, is made from clay by firing and hardening. The difference is that porcelain is fired at a higher temperature than ceramics and is translucent, while ceramics is opaque.

Porcelain cookware usually involves cast iron or steel carbon, coated with porcelain enamel.

Is Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Safe?

Commonly asked questions are those about ceramic cookware safety: What are the ceramic cookware dangers? Are ceramic pans safe?

You’re wanting good pots and pans that are not going to leach harmful chemicals and slowly cause you harm. Ceramic pots and pans are PFOA free cookware. They are also PTFE free and are regarded non-toxic cookware.

You should avoid PFOA – perfluorooctanoic acid — also known as C8, which is a synthetic compound that has been used in the non-stick coating, Teflon. It persists in the environment and is harmful to animals and humans.

Another synthetic compound to avoid is PTFE – polytetrafluoroethylene — which has also been used in cookware with the Teflon non-stick coating. As it breaks down, PTFE is harmful to humans and in the environment, is lethal to birds.

Regarding lead and cadmium, all ceramic cookware sold in the US must meet standards. The California Proposition 65 standards are regarded the most stringent available to consumers and require companies to display a warning label on products that have toxic substances exceeding certain limits, particularly 0.1 ppm for lead and 0.049 ppm for cadmium. The US FDA also sets standards for lead and cadmium levels in cookware.

Quick Start Tips to Using Ceramic Cooking Pots

On receiving your ceramic pots and pans set, remove all labels and packaging materials. Before use, wash cookware in warm, soapy water. Then rinse and dry using a soft cloth or paper towel. Store by placing paper napkins or pan protectors between cookware to protect surfaces. Use only silicone, nylon, plastic or wooden utensils with your ceramic nonstick cookware. Use on low or medium heat or to temperatures advised by the manufacturer. Low to medium heat works well with ceramic cookware having an aluminum base layer, which quickly conducts heat. See below for tips on maintaining your ceramic cookware.

What are the Differences in the Ceramic Coatings?

Some of the best pots and pans to cook with are those with ceramic coating.

Options range from Thermolon® ceramic cookware to Greblon® ceramic pans.

There are different ceramic coated cookware available. Patented Thermolon™ is a ceramic nonstick coating used by GreenPan™ and GreenLilfe™. The manufacturers state this is a ceramic non-stick layer derived from sand (or silicon dioxide) and does not contain lead, cadmium, PFAS, or PFOA. What as PFASs? They are per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, one being PFOA.

Thermolon is manufactured using a Sol-Gel procedure where the sand is made into a sprayable solution that is sprayed onto the roughened frypan and then fired in a kiln at a lower temperature than traditional non-stick frypans (said to thus emit 60% less CO2 as a result).

From the manufacturers (e-mail: [email protected]) of Thermolon:

“Thermolon™ is inorganic (i.e., mineral in origin) and, therefore, offers a unique
combination of properties:

• Hardness (up to pencil hardness 9H)
• High heat resistance (up to 450°C)
• Low coefficient of friction

Thermolon™ is a natural solution that is in accordance with International Food Contact Regulations such as those set by the U.S. Federal Drugs Administration (FDA) FDA CFR21 § 175.300 and the German LFGB §30 and §31.”

Patented Weilburger Greblon® ceramic nonstick coating used by Healthy Legends also involves the Sol-Gel technology, which is a process that converts the inorganic solution into a gel that is applied to a metallic base by spraying or dipping and then hardened by firing (known as curing). Weilburger claims their product contains no lead, no cadmium, no PFOA, and no PFOS (Perfluorooctane sulfonate, another PFAS).

The nano-ceramic technology referred to by Cuisinart® also involves the Sol-Gel technology.

Cleaning Ceramic Cookware

Ceramic cookware is considered dishwasher-safe for quick and easy cleaning, but I recommend hand washing for long-term care of your cookware.

Make sure the ceramic frying pan fits in the sink. Do not soak. Clean once it has cooled down. Don’t use harsh scrubbing pads.

Cleaning Base of a Ceramic Frypan

Tips on Lengthening the Life of Ceramic Cookware

These tips are for ceramic cookware but apply to care for pots and pans in general:

  • Hand wash (even if labeled dishwasher safe) – recommended for all cookware• Avoid storage damage by placing paper napkins, towels, or pan protectors between cookware when not in use
  • Always use a small amount of oil or butter so the coating lasts longer and food does not stick
  • Avoid spraying oil or extra virgin olive oil as this may produce a buildup and damage the ceramic surface
  • Only use low or medium heat – high heat can damage the ceramic cookware
  • Select the proper burner size to avoid heat touching and torching the sides
  • Allow the ceramic cookware to cool before washing as cold water on hot cookware can damage the non-stick coating or warp the pan
  • Use only silicone, nylon, plastic, or wooden utensils – Metal utensils will scratch the surface
  • Ensure it has cooled before washing as adding cold water to a hot pan can damage the non-stick coating. Rapid change of temperature can also cause warping.
  • Care for lids: Tempered glass lids are oven safe to 350 ºF Cleaning Ceramic CookwareCeramic cookware is considered dishwasher-safe for quick and easy cleaning, but I recommend hand washing for long-term care of your cookware.
  • Avoid storage damage by placing paper napkins, towels, or pan protectors, like these, between cookware when not in use –  avoid stacking pots and pans

Most important! Use utensils that won’t harm the surface. You can buy BPA-free utensils that won’t harm the surface, like these here.

Heating and Cooking with Your Ceramic Cookware

Preheat on low settings first and allow the oil to heat before adding the food. This is like most cookware. Best advice about using lids and handles

Do not let the cookware burn dry. As well, it is advisable to allow ceramic cookware to cool before washing. Avoid plunging your hot ceramic pan into cold water, and this could compromise the non-stick qualities of your cookware. Being ceramic, care is needed to avoid it chipping.

Using and Caring for Lids and Handles

In removing lids while cooking, make sure to tilt the lid so that it directs the steam away from you and keep hands and face away from steam vents. Glass lids with cracks, chips, or scratches should not be used to avoid injuries to users or people nearby. Hot glass lids should not be placed under cold water, as they could break or crack due to the temperature change. Remember that tempered glass lids are oven safe to 350°F (175°C).  To avoid a vacuum seal forming after turning the heat down, leave the lid ajar or the steam-vent open on the pan.
Keep pot holders available for use.

Keep handles positioned so that they are not over other hot burners. Retighten handles and knobs that are fastened with screws that may loosen over time.

Can Ceramic Cookware be Used in the Oven?

Yes, depending on the handle types and the lids. It is best to check with the manufacturer as there are wide variations in designs.
As a guide, ceramic cookware with stainless steel handles is oven safe to 500°F (260°C); phenolic resin (plastic/bakelite) parts to 350°F (175°C); and silicone parts to 400°F (204°C).

Seasoning the Cookware

Unlike cast iron, ceramic cookware does not usually require seasoning prior to use in the oven. However, some manufacturers recommend you season their pots and pans before use with a light rubbing of cooking oil after washing in soapy water and rinsing. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the product.

Ceramic vs Other Types of Cookware

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum leaches from aluminum cooking vessels and is a considered a neurotoxin, which is a toxin that affects the brain and nervous system. Aluminum cookware is especially reactive to acidic food with older saucepans leaching more so than newer ones. This is something to consider when cooking popular tomato soups, for example.

Cast Iron Cookware

Similar to copper, iron leaches into foods. Iron has benefits for our health, but people who suffer problems with iron build up (e.g. because of hemochromatosis) need to be watchful of this.

Stainless Steel Cookware

A metal alloy product, stainless steel cookware can leach metals such as iron, chromium, molybdenum, nickel, titanium, copper and vanadium into food. Nickel is not needed in our health.

Copper in Cookware

Copper conducts heat well but is reactive to acid and so leaches copper and possibly nickel into foods.

Warranty

Make sure the cookware you choose comes with a warranty in case of unfortunate factory defects that may not be evident at the outset. Choosing brands and models that guarantee a lifetime warranty will serve you well for peace of mind.

A lack of warranty is often associated with cheaper brands and products.

Economically priced items are wise, however, where you are wanting a product to see you through a temporary situation and/or to suit a small budget and these often do offer lifetime limited warranties, while some cheaper brand products offer limited warranties.

The Best Selling NonStick Cookware on Amazon Now