Check out the following list of pros and cons of ceramic cookware to see what cookware set is best for your kitchen.
Deciding which cookware set is the best choice for you can be confusing, especially when so many options are available.
You've probably seen ceramic cookware sets on the market that make a lot of health claims. This begs the question, "Is ceramic cookware actually "healthier" or are ceramic pan marketers simply misleading the consumer?" We’re tackling the confusion and giving you an in-depth rundown on ceramic cookware (the marketing name for the technical term "sol-gel").
Check out the following list of pros and cons of ceramic pans that will help you determine whether or not ceramic is the best choice for your kitchen.
What is Ceramic Cookware?
Ceramic cookware is not made out of ceramic, but rather metal. The composition of ceramic cookware can vary, but the unifying feature is a sol-gel coating that is bonded to the cookware.
What is Ceramic Coated Cookware?
So what is sol-gel? Simply put, it is silicone oil that is released every time ceramic cookware is used. This mimics non stick properties and is often referred to as "ceramic non stick coating." For true non stick cookware, take a look at this non stick pan buying guide.
Ceramic Cookware Pros
1. They have a non stick coating
Ceramic pots and pans are not actually made of ceramic, but rather metal that features a sol-gel coating bonded to the rest of the cookware's construction. Sol-gel is a silicone oil that is impregnated into the cookware's surface and releases during use.
This silicone oil is released every time you cook, which provides a non stick cooking surface and, at the beginning of its lifespan, may eliminate the need to use unhealthy cooking sprays, butter, or oil to prevent foods from sticking. (Note: As this silicone layer degrades, your ceramic cookware will lose its non stick properties)
2. They are easy to clean
Like other non stick pans, the non stick surface of ceramic cookware is easy to clean. Hand washing is recommended, usually only requiring a bit of mild dishwashing soap, warm water, and the wipe of a paper towel or cloth.
Ceramic Cookware Cons
1. Lack of safety studies
The most asked question regarding ceramic pans is if they're safe to use.
The popularity of ceramic cookware actually first accelerated when the toxicity of PFOA-rich Teflon (used on nonstick cookware in the past) made headlines. Nowadays, you'll often hear from marketers, "Safe under high heat and even when damaged, the ceramic coating applied to ceramic non stick pans provides a simple, non-toxic solution to chemical coatings."
This claim, however, is unproven. Sol-gel cookware is deemed safer mainly because it has been studied less. Sol-gel ceramic surfaces are "self-sacrificing" surfaces, which means their coating is released during cooking and ingested along with the food. There is not yet enough evidence or studies to determine conclusively whether or not ingesting small amounts of silicone oil is harmful to the human body.
2. Less efficient heat distribution
Ceramic pots and pans get their non stick surface from a nanoparticle-sized silicone-based coating on the surface of the pan. The irregularity of the spacing of these particles increases the ceramic coated pan's cooking surface area, making it rough and, thus, leaving areas where the surface does not touch the food.
While yes, this means there is a lessened chance of food sticking, food does not receive heat where it does not touch the cooking surface. As a result, ceramic coated cookware will not heat quickly and evenly.
3. Less durable construction
The lifespan of a nonstick ceramic pan is quite short when compared to other types of cookware available, such as stainless steel, PTFE-based non stick surfaces, and cast iron skillets.
The very same nanoparticles responsible for these pots and pans' inefficient heat distribution are also behind ceramic cookware's disappointing durability and status as not dishwasher safe or metal utensil safe. The rough surface increases friction on the pan, leading to quicker and easier wear and tear on the ceramic coated surface.
Furthermore, although high-quality ceramic coated cookware is available at a premium price, most ceramic cookware products are not cladded, meaning they are more prone to warping.
Ceramic Cookware Alternatives:
1. Non Stick Cookware
Made In's line of non stick cookware contains a double coating of American-made PTFE made without PFOA and features extended durability — it's been shown to outlast ceramic cookware by a factor of 30x. Our special Made Slick surface is oven safe up to 500 F and consistently delivers a truly non stick cooking experience again and again, whether it is our non stick frying pans, or our non stick saute pan and saucepans.
Plus, our non stick frying pans effectively distribute heat, cooking food evenly due to their heat-efficient 5-ply stainless clad construction and our high-quality manufacturing processes.
2. Blue Carbon Steel Cookware
Made In's carbon steel cookware is made mostly of iron and carbon, and can develop non stick tendencies over time. With the ability to heat up efficiently and retain that heat throughout the cooking process, this pan is great for searing meats, and sautéing vegetables.
These non stick tendencies can lead it to become your go-to for quick cooking tasks like scrambled or fried eggs, similar to non stick cookware. Similar to the rest of Made In's cookware, this pan is made from manufacturers who have been making cookware for generations.
With Made In's complete line of professional-quality cookware, your home cooking skills will have the potential to transform into serious gourmet chef artistry. Whether you're a home cook for one or feed an army of friends and family out of your kitchen, the right cookware will help you create beautiful meals and take your cooking to the next level.