With all the different cookware options available out there, you might be scratching your head to try and figure out what your best option is. Maybe you've opted for Teflon, which was the go-to when it came to non-stick pans, and are now thinking it might be time to switch.
If you're considering ceramic cookware, you're thinking on the right track, but everything has its ups and downs. Before you decide whether or not you want to go ahead with purging your old cookware and swapping it out for ceramic cookware, consider the pros and cons.
Ceramic Cookware Pros
Ceramic coating creates an incredibly smooth surface on the inside of the pots and pans it covers. Thanks to this, you can cook just about anything with less oil or butter than many other cookware surfaces – such as stainless steel – need. The food will not stick, and a ceramic fry pan is very easy to clean after use. This is true for as long as you follow the recommended cooking techniques for ceramic coating which means no higher than medium heat temperature setting.
Ceramic cookware doesn't use any PTFEs or PFOAs, which are both chemicals that allegedly pollute our waterways.
During the manufacturing process, ceramic cookware is made natural minerals, which means it's often free of harmful elements like lead and cadmium as well.
Due to the toxic-free nature of ceramic cookware, no toxic fumes are released when accidentally exposed to high heat, making this type of cookware safer for your health as well as the health of the environment.
Non-Reactive to Acids
Acidic foods can sometimes react with your cookware when cooking, releasing the metal into the food, giving it an unpleasant and harmful taste. Ceramic cookware isn't reactive to acidic foods in that way, so you're not going to have to worry about harmful contaminants releasing into your cooking.
Easy to Clean
Cleaning ceramic cookware is an incredibly relaxed job. All you need to do is wipe the surface down with a warm wet cloth or a paper towel. You'll only need to use a tiny bit of mild dish detergent, but sometimes you might not even need to use any soap at all, which saves you money on dish soap in the long run.
Cookware sets can be astoundingly expensive. Ceramic cookware is, fortunately, one of the most affordable options out there when it comes to buying in sets of 10 or more.
There are exceptions, as there always are, but it's more common than not to get a good bargain. Not to mention, ceramic cookware often has a significant number of color options available, giving you both a reasonable price to work with and a desirable amount of options to consider.
Ceramic Cookware Cons
Wears Out Quickly
Nothing lasts forever, and unfortunately, ceramic cookware is a little quick to wear down. While you can make ceramic cookware last for quite a while, as long as you take the proper care of it, the coating wears away relatively fast, and surface chipping is a rather common problem across every brand of ceramic cookware. Once that non-stick coating chips and wears away, you start to deal with those sticky spots and an uneven cooking surface, making it a lot less worth it than it was at the start.
Ceramic cookware is one of the more lightweight options, which some people do find beneficial since heavy cookware can be hard to maneuver sometimes. However, the lack of weight can make it feel a bit flimsy and sometimes even cheap, which may make you question the durability of the products. You can purchase 100% ceramic cookware, which is far more durable, but those pieces are often a lot more expensive.
When companies advertise that ceramic cookware is dishwasher safe, it's because this kind of cookware doesn't release those toxic chemicals. Otherwise, you're not going to want to out ceramic cookware in the dishwasher.
Large amounts of dish detergent wear away the coating, which is why you must wash these types of dishes by hand. Thankfully, they're easy to clean, though sometimes when the dishes pile up, it might be a pain not being able to toss them into the dishwasher and do something else in the meantime.
No Metal Utensils
The delicate surface of the ceramic coating is extremely susceptible to scratches from metal utensils. No metal forks, no metal spatulas, and don't even think about using a metal knife. You'll want to use plastic, wooden, silicone, or nylon utensils instead to keep the surface free from scratches. That scratchy surface is going to make it a lot harder to cook. You also don't want to put ceramic cookware too close to other dishes on the drying rack because your cookware might get scratched by those other dishes as well.
No High Heat
You're going to want to avoid putting your ceramic cookware on high heat settings altogether, as this damages the ceramic coating inside your pots and pans. It can be hard to remember to keep to a low or medium heat setting when cooking, but it's what you need to do to prolong the lifespan of this kind of cookware.
100% ceramic cookware is safe for high heats, however, but if you can't afford that, you might need to invest in a separate stainless steel or cast-iron pan for cooking on higher temperatures.
Additionally, the way that the ceramic coating comes on ceramic cookware can sometimes be uneven. An uneven surface means that there might be cold spots where the heat doesn't reach, causing your food to cook unevenly or take forever to heat up in certain places.
While ceramic cookware has its flaws, as all cookware does, it's an excellent option for beginner cooks on a budget. Ceramic cookware is safe, assists in healthier eating, and honestly will give you your money's worth if you take the necessary steps to take care of it. And if you decide ceramic cookware isn't for you, you'll be thankful that you didn't spend hundreds of dollars on one set.