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What are the Pros and Cons of Ceramic Cookware?

Ceramic cookware is pretty—but does it work as well as non stick?

By Rachel Baron
Oct 20, 2023
A person in an apron cooking with two pans on a stovetop in a kitchen.
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It’s hard to ignore the designer colors and sleek, minimalist shapes of ceramic cookware—especially when those ads keep popping up in your Instagram feed (you know the ones). Like with any trendy cookware item, however, it’s reasonable to feel a healthy dose of skepticism. That’s why we wanted to help demystify ceramic cookware: the pros, the cons, and where the name actually comes from.

Read on to learn how ceramic pots and pans differ from regular non stick in terms of durability, lifespan, and ease of maintenance—and why there's a clear winner between the two (hint: it's not ceramic).

What Is Ceramic Cookware?

The inside of a ceramic pot or pan is coated with a water- and oil-resistant coating on top of a metal base (usually stainless steel or aluminum) that’s made of silicon oxide, aka silica. Despite the name, ceramic cookware doesn’t actually contain any ceramic; rather, the name comes from the coating’s glossy, enamel-like appearance.

Ceramic cookware is often marketed as a safer, more sustainable alternative to regular, coated non stick cookware.

What are the Pros of Ceramic Cookware?

The pros of ceramic cookware are similar to those of regular non stick cookware—namely, the smooth non stick finish makes for easier cleanup, and requires less oil or cooking fat to keep things from sticking.

1. No-Stick Coating

The silicon oxide coating on the inside of a ceramic pot or pan functions similarly to that of regular non stick cookware, providing a frictionless surface for cooking eggs, fish, and other delicate, stick-prone foods. Ceramic cookware can be a solid option for those trying to cook with less fat, since you won’t need as much oil or butter to keep food from sticking—though you’ll often get the same results with standard-issue non stick cookware.

2. Easy to Clean

This one’s pretty straightforward—since food naturally releases more easily from the surface of a ceramic pot or pan, you won’t need to scour or soak your ceramic cookware to get it clean. Just give it a gentle scrub with dish soap and a soft sponge, while avoiding abrasive tools like steel wool at all costs—and keeping it far away from the dishwasher.

3. Induction-Compatible

If you’re looking for a pan that’s compatible with an induction cooktop, ceramic cookware is a solid option. It’s not, of course, the only kind of induction-compatible cookware—for example, all of our cookware (aside from copper) is made of ferromagnetic materials, and can thus be used on induction stoves.

What are the Cons of Ceramic Cookware?

Ceramic cookware has a few distinct downsides—namely, it’s just not as durable as other types of cookware, including our Non Stick Collection (which proved to last 70x longer than competing ceramic pans).

1. Less Durable Construction

While you can find high-quality ceramic cookware made of 5-ply stainless steel or hard-anodized aluminum, that’s not always the case: many ceramic pans are made with a non-anodized aluminum base, which can warp and scratch more easily. Just like with any cookware, make sure to do a little research before purchasing a ceramic pan to make sure you’re getting something durable and relatively long-lasting.

2. Shorter Lifespan

Even if you manage to carefully source a well-made ceramic pan, your cookware is still only likely to last a couple of years, max. This is due to the nature of the silicon oxide coating, which naturally releases every time you heat up your pan. Once that coating has worn out, your pan will no longer be non stick.

3. Extremely Delicate Coating

The coating on a ceramic pot or pan tends to be more brittle than that on a regular non stick pan, which means it’s more susceptible to scratches and other forms of wear and tear.

Also, even though many ceramic pans are marketed as safe for high heat cooking, sustained high heat can actually cause the ceramic coating to break down more quickly.

Ready to Shop?

Like with any pot or pan, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and safe using it: if you still feel unsure about cooking with regular non stick pans, ceramic cookware is a reasonable option. That being said, we’re committed to showing home cooks how great non stick can be with our fully-clad, professional-grade Non Stick cookware collection.