What’s the Difference Between Ceramic vs. Teflon Pans?

Learn the difference and which non stick pan material comes out on top.

  • Elle Wignall
  • Nov 28, 2022
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When shopping for pans and baking dishes, you’ve likely come across a wide range of material options. The market is saturated with different metal, ceramics, cast iron, and non-stick options, promising all manner of cooking results. It can be a task to get down to the bottom of these promises, especially if you’re on the hunt for cookware that will last for years.

Two commonly used (and often confused) materials that provide non-stick surfaces on cookware are ceramic and teflon.So what is the difference, really? And are they safe surfaces to cook on? Let’s discuss.

What Is Teflon?

Teflon is the brand name for a nonreactive, nonstick material discovered in the 1930s called polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE for short. The Dupont brand, which first began implementing the use of PTFE on cookware for its non-stick properties, coined the term Teflon. Much like Kleenex for tissues or Heinz for ketchup, it has grown to represent PTFE to the public.

In the early days, Teflon cookware could contain trace amounts of a toxic chemical called Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), which was supposed to burn off during the manufacturing process. After being linked to illnesses including thyroid disorders, some forms of cancer, and chronic kidney disease in the 2010s, manufacturers of PTFE eliminated and banned the use of PFOA in non stick cookware.

PTFE-coated cookware (including the Teflon brand) is now a perfectly safe non-stick and easy clean-up option for use in the kitchen.

What Is Ceramic Cookware?

Slightly misleading by name, ceramic cookware is not actually made of ceramics (like kiln pottery) but rather of metal coated in a non-stick substance. Ceramic cookware gets its non-stick properties from a silicone coating called Sol-Gel. When heated, Sol-Gel releases a layer of silicone oil that isn’t visible to the naked eye, and it coats the pan to create a non-stick surface for foods to easily slide around. Ceramic is easy to be cleared by hand—the preferred method, as dishwashing can quickly wear down the non-stick coating.

While the surface of a non-stick ceramic pan releases food with ease in its early uses, ceramic cookware tends to degrade faster than Teflon because Sol-Gel silicone oil is self-sacrificing—meaning once it’s released by heat, the coating is gone for good. Over time, the Sol-Gel will fully wear off, rendering your once non stick pan no longer non stick.

How are These Coatings Applied?

Whether you’re interested in a Teflon pan or ceramic non stick cookware, the difference between the two is the type of coating and how long the coating is cured in extreme heat.

Both types of cookware are first sprayed with a grip layer to help the coating stick to the pan. After that stage, Teflon is coated in PTFE, while ceramic cookware is coated in Sol-Gel. PTFE-coated cookware is then cured at a temperature of 750F to 800F, while ceramic cookware cures at 550F to 600 F.

Which Is Better?

So, which cookware should you buy: ceramic or Teflon? The answer isn’t quite as clear as you might think. While ceramic cookware begins its life as highly non-stick, it is prone to losing its non stick properties with general use, often completely losing its non-stick qualities within a year or two.

On the other hand, Teflon-branded cookware may withstand meal after meal, but other brands have better achieved the use of PTFE coating for a more reliable cooking experience. Our 100% non-toxic PTFE-coated non-stick cookware is award winning with a frictionless surface that doesn’t leech substances as it heats.

We have never used PFOAs, and with two layers of professional-grade PTFE coating, our pans stand up to even the stickiest of dinners. What’s more, they can seamlessly transition from stovetop to oven and are able to withstand heat up to 500F. To keep your non-stick pans doing their job for years, avoid using metal utensils as you cook (as this can scratch or mar the non stick coating), and always opt to hand wash.

Ready to Shop?

Whether you’re cooking an omelet, a salmon filet, or pasta, let us simplify the cooking process for you with our award-winning Non Stick Cookware. Whether you need Frying Pans, Saucepans, Sheet Pans, or Saute Pans, our entire Non Stick line has our specially crafted non stick coating that lasts longer than the average pan.

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