This post was most recently updated on February 17th, 2020
Ceramic non stick cookware is a popular alternative to the traditional non stick type that features Teflon. Being non stick it provides ease of cooking, which we all love. But, like most products, as well as the benefits, there are things you need to be aware of. In the following, I list the ceramic cookware pros and cons because I want you to make an informed decision about your cookware purchase.
The Ceramic Cookware Pros
A ceramic non stick frying pan is a popular choice for many people. Here are five reasons why.
1. Healthy Eating
The less fat or oil used in cooking means fewer calories and a lower cholesterol intake. Manufacturers promote their ceramic cooking products as needing little or no oil for cooking. This is certainly a plus if you are looking to lose weight or wanting a more healthy eating regime.
2. Easy to Clean
They are fuss-free when it comes to clean up. What I’ve found, and others too is that all you need is a quick wipe with a paper towel. This equates to less time cleaning up and more time enjoying the things you love. I certainly value this aspect.
You can use dishwashers as stated by most brands, but for the best care for longevity of this cookware, I recommend hand washing. Ceramics are so easy to clean, that it’s not an issue.
3. Toxin Free
You should know that ceramic pots are considered some of the safest. Like all food containing vessels, they must meet the strict limits imposed for levels of lead and other metals if sold in the USA.
The bonus is that ceramics are free of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Here’s the concern with these guys: PFOA is used to make the PTFE (Teflon) coating. It is supposedly polluting our waterways. With it being persistent in the environment it ends up in our drinking water with serious health concerns implicated as well as harm to birdlife. So if you are wanting to take a precautionary route with choosing cookware, a ceramic option would beat the traditional PTFE nonstick pans in terms of the aforesaid concerns.
4. Nonreactive to Acids
Ceramic is nonreactive. So the acid from foods like tomatoes will not react with the cookware to release metals and other contaminants into your food. In contrast, foods cooked in reactive cookware often emit a metallic taste and at times change the color of the food. This is important if you do a lot of cooking with tomato paste or any other form of tomatoes or other very acidic foods.
5. Attractive Colors
Ceramic cookware sets come in various appealing colors to suit your decor. Fresh colors to liven your kitchen include turquoise, burgundy, red, blue, black, gray, and many others. The splash of color from your cookware can add that touch of positive energy to your kitchen.
With all these features, you’d expect a high price tag. On the contrary, you can buy a set from between $50 to $100 making them quite affordable for everyone. Still, the quality of the item should be your main focus and a decent set, that will last you that much longer, maybe that bit more expensive. In my opinion, you can get a better set in the range $100 to $200.
The Ceramic Cookware Cons
The following relates to concerns raised about ceramic non stick cookware and most cited in product reviews.
People query the durability of ceramic non stick cookware. Like other types of non stick coatings, it will wear off over time depending on how much you use it and how well you treat it. This being said, ceramic, comprising a sol-gel coating, which is a hybrid of organic and inorganic chemistry with the cured coating on the pan being made from silica (sand), is considered to be more durable than the PTFE types.
As explained by the ceramic coating producer, Whitford, on their website “Coatings produced using sol-gel technology are more accurately described as ceramic-like; they feature many of the same characteristics as ceramic but to a lesser extent. Compared to PTFE, sol-gel coatings are harder and can function at higher temperatures (up to 450°C/840°F).”
As far as the durability of the exterior finish of the cookware goes, this will vary with the type of coating. An economical finish consisting of a painted exterior may scratch or mark easily. Anodized exterior finishes are tough and chemically inert and last longer. Porcelain enamel is a glass-based exterior coating that is sprayed and fused to the cookware substrate through high heat (1500°F). Supposedly, it won’t peel, flake, or rust.
2. Surface Chipping
The chipping of cookware surfaces is another concern raised. This is something that does arise with any non stick surface, as well as external enamel, porcelain, and ceramic finishes, but can be avoided if treated right. It is always best to follow the care instructions.
3. Question of Safety
It’s not just about toxic chemicals leaching into our food, it’s also about the safety of factory workers exposed to potential toxins, the impacts on wildlife, and the contamination of our soil, water, and air from waste disposal.
Ceramic is free of PTFE and PFOA.
It’s also important to consider cadmium and lead-free cookware when searching for the best cookware to buy.
All ceramic cookware sold in the US must meet strict standards.
The California Proposition 65 standards 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 and regulations restrict the inclusion of lead and cadmium in any product for food use. To further alleviate your concern, check whether or not the product has been tested for lead before purchasing.
4. Not Suited to Metal Utensils
This is true, but no different to any non stick surface. Metal utensils will scratch the ceramic coating, so use only silicone, nylon, plastic, or wooden utensils. Also, avoid using knives on the surface as this may damage the cookware.
5. Not Suitable for High Heat
This is also true, but again no different to other non stick cookware. And, as mentioned above, ceramic nonstick supposedly handle higher heat than the Teflon coated pans. Then there is the 100% ceramic cookware. which can be used at very high temperatures. Make sure to check the individual features for the suitable heat rating.
I hope with the ceramic cookware pros and cons helps you make a more informed decision when buying your cookware. These are the things that will determine the satisfaction with your purchase. Like all products, there may be some things to watch, but in my opinion, this cookware is a healthy and safe alternative to traditional types of non stick cookware and versatile enough to use for all your cooking requirements.