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Ceramic vs. Teflon: What's the Difference

Mar 09, 2021

By: George Steckel

Non stick cookware is a relatively new phenomenon, and in recent years, it has soared in popularity. Due to its fantastic food-release capabilities and ability to be cleaned in a matter of seconds, a non stick pan can change the way you cook. However, non stick cookware has been in the spotlight regarding the safety of its coating. In fact, people have been intimidated by buying pieces from

non stick cookware collections

or have decided to get rid of theirs if they own them. Are these actions warranted? Should you worry about using non stick cookware? We’re here to help answer these questions, shed light on the 

pros and cons of ceramic cookware

, and also provide more information on ceramic non stick vs Teflon cookware.

Is Ceramic or Teflon Better?

Teflon is a brand name for a PTFE coating. Teflon coated cookware was made in the 1930s and has gotten a bad reputation in the past few decades. However, their poor reputation is not because of PTFE but because of PFOA (yes, they sound the same, which makes this confusing). PFOA was used in Teflon coating up until 2013. PFOA has been linked to various types of cancers and diseases, which is why it has been removed from all cookware coatings.

Nowadays, people refer to PTFE-coated cookware as Teflon coated cookware, but since PFOA is no longer used in making cookware, there should be no concern with PTFE cookware. It is perfectly safe to use and is the best coating on the market.

Ceramic cookware is not made of ceramics, as ceramic pots and pans are not fired at temperatures over 1000F. Ceramic coated cookware features a Sol-Gel coating on the surface of their pans. As the ceramic pan heats up, the Sol-Gel layer releases a molecular level of silicone-oil onto the ceramic coated pan’s surface, creating a non stick surface. Unfortunately, there is not an infinite amount of silicone-oil in the Sol-Gel coating. The first few months of using your ceramic cookware set will provide effortless cooking and food-release capabilities. However, once the silicone-oil starts to get used up, ceramic cookware will no longer become non stick.

So, the question of which is better, ceramic coating or Teflon, is a bit complicated. PTFE-coated cookware is much better than ceramic coated cookware. It lasts longer, has better food-release attributes, and does not leech substances onto the ceramic pan’s surface.

Is Ceramic Safer Than Teflon?

What’s the most prominent question amongst people debating cookware?

Is ceramic cookware safe

compared to Teflon products? When Teflon cookware had PFOA in its coatings, it was not safe to use. It caused health problems among users, which resulted in cookware with PFOA being banned. However, now that PTFE-coated cookware is made without PFOA, it is one of the

safest non stick cookware

options available. 

Any pot or pan within a ceramic cookware set is safe for use. No coating has been deemed unsafe and has shown no health consequences. However, the one difference between ceramic and PTFE-coated cookware is that ceramic cookware releases a silicone-oil on the pan’s surface. While you won’t see this oil (it is released on a molecular level), it is still a foreign substance released onto your pan.

The only thing to note when using non stick cookware is the manufacturers’ note about maximum temperature. Always preheat your non stick pan with food or oil/butter in it, and we do not suggest using your pan on heat higher than medium high. We recommend using

carbon steel cookware

or stainless steel cookware if you want to sear a steak or get a char on your vegetables. (Follow the link provided to learn more about

ceramic vs stainless steel

cookware

)

What is the Difference Between Ceramic and Teflon Coating?

The main difference between ceramic and PTFE cookware is the type of coating applied to the pan’s cooking surface. The coatings are both applied in the same way. The naked pan gets sprayed with a grip layer that will hold the coating. Then, PTFE-coated cookware gets sprayed with the PTFE coating, while ceramic cookware gets sprayed with a Sol-Gel coating. Both of these pans then get cured, however, PTFE pans get cured at a higher temperature than ceramic pans (750-800F for PTFE and 550-600F for ceramic).

The other difference in the coating is how long each one lasts. The surface of a ceramic pot has a self-depleting surface. The more you use ceramic cookware, the quicker its non stick finish will fade.

PTFE-coated non stick cookware will last much longer as long as you take care of the pan. If the coating is present on the pan, then it will have non stick tendencies. In order to avoid stripping the coating off of the pan, do not use metal utensils, and never put your non stick pots and pans in the dishwasher.

Is a Ceramic Coating Worth It?

The answer to this question depends entirely on your cooking style and what you hope to get out of your cookware. If you want a high-performing, long-lasting pan, then ceramic cookware is not the right choice. If you want a pan that will last for a few months and look pretty on your countertop and stovetop, I would recommend purchasing ceramic pots and pans.

The exterior of ceramic cookware can be colored, which is why it has gained popularity in recent years. The movement of storing your cookware on your countertop instead of in a cupboard has led to people investing in cookware that looks good but doesn’t necessarily perform well.

How Long Do Ceramic Coatings Last?

Ceramic coatings don’t last that long. Ceramic cookware has non stick features due to silicone-oil being released when the pan is heated. This silicone-oil will run out after many uses. Once the silicone-oil is depleted, you are just left with an ordinary pan. And since most ceramic cookware is constructed from aluminum, your new pan will just be like any standard aluminum cookware, resulting in a higher chance of warping and not heating evenly. However, if you do purchase ceramic cookware, is it essential to follow proper cleaning procedures. Don’t put your pan in the dishwasher and follow the manufacturers’ instructions for maximum heating temperature.

What is the Least Toxic Cookware?

The least toxic non stick cookware is PTFE-coated cookware. This type of coating does not release any substances when it is heated, and the non stick capabilities of a PTFE-coated pan will always be present as long as the coating is there.

Made In’s Non Stick Collection features a double coating of PTFE to ensure that its non stick frying pans, saute pans, and saucepans are high-performing and long-lasting. They also feature a 5-ply stainless clad body, which is the same body used for our

award-winning stainless clad collection

. This results in your non stick cookware heating up evenly, responding to temperature changes quickly, and not warping. They are safe to use on induction, gas, and electric cooktops while also being oven-safe up to 500F.

So when it comes to choosing ceramic vs. PTFE-coated cookware, the answer should be pretty obvious. Choose a coating that is trusted in Michelin-starred restaurants, has a 5-ply stainless clad body, and is crafted with performance at the forefront. Made In’s Non Stick PTFE cookware made without PFOA should always be the answer, and you can now buy it individually or in a set.

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