There’s mixed messaging surrounding ceramic cookware. Here’s the scoop from the Made In team.
If you’ve ever followed a home goods company on social media, you’ve most likely been the target of a slew of ads for colorful cookware displayed on the stovetop of a modern home. These pieces, called ceramic cookware, often include health claims, like how this pan will help you cook healthier because you don’t need cooking oil.
For those faced with a variety of messaging related to how cookware can contribute to toxins we ingest, shopping for a new pot or pan might seem daunting. After all, no one wants to purchase, or knowingly gift, a shiny new skillet that’s actually, well, coated in toxins.
We’re here to clear up the confusion surrounding cookware and health. While ceramic cookware is usually non-toxic and thus, safe for the body, we think there are better ways to go if longevity tops your list of priorities.
While it seems like ceramic cookware is everywhere nowadays, it’s only been around since 2008. Ceramic cookware is not actually constructed from a ceramic like porcelain or stoneware—it’s primarily constructed from metal, usually aluminum, and coated with sol-gel, an oil that’s released a little at a time every time the pan is used. Sol-gel is what’s referred to as “ceramic non stick coating.”
Whether ceramic cookware is safer than other materials depends on what you’re comparing it to. It does not contain perflourooctanoic acid (or PFOAs), the chemical usually discussed when the safety of non stick cookware comes under question.
However, sol-gel is a “self-sacrificing” material, meaning that part of the coating is released during cooking until the coating is eventually gone. The safety of ingesting sol-gel hasn’t been studied enough to know conclusively what the effect is on the body over long periods of time.
Non stick (also called Teflon or PTFE) has its fair share of health claims as well, but since it’s been around since the 1960s, there’s been plenty of time to study the effects. Once PFOAs were banned from production of cookware materials, redesigned, non-toxic non stick cookware emerged as an entirely safe surface to cook and eat off.
When talking about the safety of non stick cookware, what’s usually being discussed is the coating. When it comes to comparing the safety of a base material, there’s no question that stainless steel is the way to go. Stainless Steel is a nonreactive material, meaning that it won’t leach into your meal even if it’s been scratched.
Additionally, Stainless Steel is versatile, meaning that it’s compatible with all stovetops, and can usually transition from stovetop to oven for meals that require an oven-finish.
Because ceramic cookware is newer to the market, it hasn’t been studied as in-depth as other materials have. Thus, we don’t have long-term data that shows whether ceramic cookware is definitively linked to health concerns.
As sol-gel is self-sacrificing, it does have to be replaced after a period of time. We value purchasing cookware constructed to last, and therefore recommend considering other materials when looking to buy new.
Ceramic Cookware Alternatives
If you’re seeking a non stick surface, we recommend a higher-quality Non Stick line that features non stick coatings and not just sol-gel—ours features two layers of extremely non stick, 100% non-toxic, PFOA-free coating. If you’re after durability, we suggest looking at Stainless Steel or Carbon Steel (which develops a non stick surface over time) as alternatives.
While ceramic cookware may look good on your stovetop, we think consumers can do better in terms of cookware that delivers longevity. Our line of Non Stick Cookware contains a double coating that’s PFOA-free and features extended durability that outlasts Ceramic cookware by 70x.
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.
Born out of a 100-year old, family-owned restaurant supply business, we work to ensure our Cookware is as detail oriented as the chefs who choose to use it in their kitchens.Learn More
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