Ceramic Cookware: The Pros and Cons

Ceramic cookware was made when the outburst against Teflon cookware peaked due to the latter’s toxicity. It helps cook healthy meals, is easy to clean, and makes a pretty addition to the kitchen. As such, among all the essential items in your kitchen, ceramic cookware should have a place.  However, it’s not without its failings.

What Differentiates Ceramic Cookware From Others?

Although it seems like ceramic cookware is among the most popular cookware right now, it wasn’t just discovered. Studies have found that ceramic cookware existed even before farming started, roughly 20,000 years ago. However, it has been repackaged and adjusted to suit everyday use and convenience.

Ceramic cookware has two types: one entirely made of pure ceramic and the ceramic-coated type. The ceramic-coated type is mainly made of a metal base such as aluminum, often coated with sol-gel or a hard film of polymer materials with a ceramic appearance.

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This coating contains binders, non-stick components, color pigments, and reinforcing agents, making ceramic cookware nonstick and beautiful. Some of the attributes that make ceramic cookware stand out among the range of cookware include:

  • Also called ceramic non-stick cookware or modern ceramic cookware, ceramic cookware is PFOA/PTFE free. It is made with sol-gel that is allegedly harmless.
  • It is easy to clean as a result of its non-stick properties. All it needs is soap, water, and gentle washing. In cases of burnt food residue, a little hot water would do.
  • However, the non-stick coating isn’t permanent even with careful and regular use.
  • Ceramic cookware is basically metal with a silicone finish. It can break down quickly if not handled with care. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to care for your cookware properly.
  • The cookware is non-reactive with acidic or alkaline foods; it doesn’t leave a metallic taste in food.
  • Another unique feature is that it is safe under high heat. It can absorb heat up to 800℉. But it’s best to use medium heat to preserve its lifespan.
  • It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, availing users of the opportunity to pick their taste.
  • Concerning pricing, it is relatively affordable. However, there are concerns about its affordability since it can lose its nonstick property within two years of use.
  • The composition of ceramic cookware makes it more weighty than others. Not only can you use ceramic cookware for cooking and storing food, but you can also use it to dish food on the dining table.

What Are The Pros Of Using Ceramic Cookware?

pros and cons of ceramic cookware

Many qualities make ceramic cookware the choice of many homeowners. This is why you’ll find a ceramic pot or pan in almost every household. Some of these qualities include :

Nonstick surface

Since it is made of materials that make it non-stick, such as metal or aluminum that contains a sol-gel coating bonded to the rest of the cookware’s construction, the cooking surface is nonstick. Food slips off easily.

Sol-gel is a silicone oil injected into the cookware’s surface and released during use. Find out more about sol-gel in this article: https://www.orioncoat.com/resources/sol-gel-coatings/.The silicone oil gets released every time you cook, providing a non-stick cooking surface.

When you first use ceramic cookware, the silicone layer prevents sticking and eliminates the need for using oil or excessive butter when cooking. However, you need to maintain this silicone layer as much as possible.

Easy To Clean

Its nonstick property makes ceramic cookware easy to clean. However, it is essential to take note of some precautions while cleaning ceramic cookware. Although you can use a dishwasher to clean ceramic cookware, hand washing is highly recommended to preserve the lifespan.

Don’t use a hard sponge on the cookware’s surface; it will damage the nonstick surface. To remove burnt food residues, pour in hot water and wait for a little while before scrubbing with a mild sponge. It is essential to check the manufacturer’s instructions regarding cleaning and maintaining the cookware. This youtube video highlights the proper methods of cleaning ceramic cookware:

Ability To Withstand High Heat

If you want to cook meat, or any food item that requires high temperature, ceramic cookware is perfect as it can withstand heat up to 400- 450°F. It heats up evenly because of its aluminum base.

Non-reactive

Ceramic is non-reactive, as it doesn’t contain any chemical additives. It is a healthy choice. You can use it for cooking different types of food, and it won’t leach metals into any of them.

Less oil usage

Because of its non-stick property, you can use less oil when cooking than other cookware. This makes your food healthier.

Colorful designs

Ceramic cookware comes in different sizes, colors, and designs. You can pick any design you like and even adorn your kitchen with it.

How About The Cons Of Ceramic Cookware?

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As versatile and colorful ceramic cookware is, it isn’t without flaws. Below are some of its failings:

Loses non-stick its property faster 

One of the major cons of ceramic cookware is its ability to lose its nonstick properties faster than conventional nonstick pans. Non-stick ceramic cookware has a shorter lifespan when compared to other types of cookware available, such as stainless steel, PTFE-based nonstick surfaces, and cast-iron skillets.

The silicone coating makes it nonstick but is also responsible for its short lifespan. It is delicate and using a dishwasher or metal utensil damages the smooth surface. With a rough surface, the cookware deteriorates faster.

If you want to slow down the deterioration of your pan’s non-stick abilities, ensure that you use medium heat for cooking, cook with wooden or silicone utensils, and handwash your cookware.

Safety concerns

Even though much is known about the safety of ceramic cookware, there are still some grey areas. Ceramic cookware came as a solution when concerns were raised about the toxicity of Teflon cookware, which had  PFOA as one of its major chemicals.

The claims of marketers today are that ceramic cookware is entirely safe, and even when damaged, the ceramic coating is non-toxic. However, this hasn’t been completely proven.

Also, cooking releases sol-gel on the surface, and the food absorbs it. Although there have been no significant findings of the harmfulness of the secretions, it is worth worrying about. Some low-quality ceramic brands have been said to contain lead too.

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Uneven heat distribution

Ceramic cookware gets its non-stick surface from a silicone-based coating of tiny mineral particles known as nanoparticles, ensuring that the food isn’t directly in contact with the pan’s surface.

While this means a lower chance of food sticking, the parts not near the cooking surface might not receive the required heat. As a result, some ceramic pots and pans don’t heat up quickly and evenly, resulting in unevenly cooked food.

Less durable construction

Because of their composition, ceramic pots and pans tend to be less durable. They cost more in the long run as you may need to change your cookware every two years depending on how well you use the products.

Useful Tips For Maintaining And Cleaning Ceramic Cookware

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Maintaining ceramic cookware is very important as it is delicate. To ensure you get the most value out of your cookware, follow these steps when using it:

  • Although ceramic cookware can tolerate heat up to 800°F, it is best to use medium heat. This helps maintain the cookware’s nonstick property and preserve the nutrients in the cooked meal.
  • Don’t use metal utensils. Ceramic cookware isn’t scratch-resistant; it is fragile and is better suited to utensils made of wood, nylon, rubber, or silicone. Metallic utensils leave minor scratches that eventually become big and destroy the coating.
  • With ceramic cookware, you don’t need to use excess oil. With a bit of fat, you can achieve the texture you desire. Also, don’t use cooking sprays. If you must, use them sparingly as they cause a buildup of carbonized residue on the cookware’s surface.

It is essential to take note of the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning your cookware. Here are a few general cleaning tips:

  • Ensure you wash before use. If using for the first time, clean the pan or pot with warm, soapy water before using it to wash off dust or any residue left from the packaging.
  • Several manufacturers advise that users season their cookware before use. Seasoning makes the cookware more durable. Not all manufacturers recommend this, so it’s advised to go through the owner’s manual for guidance.
  • A sudden temperature change can damage your cookware. It’s best to let it cool down after cooking before washing in cold water. Not allowing the temperature transition properly can affect the nonstick property of the cookware.
  • It is better to hand wash your ceramic cookware than use the dishwasher. Even though the dishwasher is less stressful, it can damage the nonstick surface. Handwashing ensures longevity. Also, avoid coarse cleaners, like hard sponges and soaps as they can scratch off the non-stick coating.
  • After washing your cookware, ensure that it dries properly before storing it up. You can leave it on a dish drying rack to air-dry, or you can use a towel to wipe it dry. It’s taboo to stack ceramic cookware, so hang it on a kitchen rod individually or place it on your stovetop.

Summary

Ceramic cookware is a good choice as it makes a healthy and stylish addition to your kitchen. Also, it is easy to clean and maintain. However, it is important to buy a high-quality product and take note of the flaws and precautions before purchasing to make the best use of the cookware.

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