Granite vs Ceramic Cookware

a granite pan with egg and the ceramic pan with salmon

If you are looking for durable, non-stick pots and pans, ceramic and granite are both good options. Both are attractive materials that will allow you to create a variety of healthy meals with ease. 

Related: Best Granite Cookware Sets

Related: Best Ceramic Cookware Sets

Although they have similar qualities, there are a few differences that you should consider very carefully before making a purchase. Keep reading to find out which one is the right choice for you.

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Granite Cookware Features 

Despite its name, granite cookware does not actually contain any granite. Instead, it consists of a stainless-steel inner core that is covered with glass. The glass is made by fusing porcelain enamel at very high temperatures to create a non-stick surface.

The look of the cookware closely resembles granite, as it has a solid black surface with smaller flecks of gray or white scattered throughout.

Our favorite granite pan, available in 7 colors and 3 sizes:

Ozeri Stone Earth Nonstick Frying Pan

  • Heavy-gauge aluminum base w. magnetized plate
  • PFOA, PFOS and APEO-free nonstick interior
  • Suitable for all cooktops including induction

Advantages of Granite Cookware

Granite cookware has numerous advantages:

  • Being lightweight. Although you may think of granite as a rather heavy material, granite cookware weighs much less than cast iron.
  • Providing a non-stick surface. The glass coating provides a slick surface that makes cleanup a breeze.
  • Conducting heat well. The inner core warms up quickly and holds in heat to reduce your overall cooking time.
  • Having an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Many people enjoy granite cookware because it is attractive and goes well with nearly any kitchen décor.
  • Resisting rust. Since it contains a stainless-steel base, granite pans will not rust like cast iron is prone to do.
  • Providing safety. The coating will not leach when cooking or storing highly acidic dishes.

Disadvantages of Granite Cookware 

Just because granite cookware has numerous advantages does not mean there are not some disadvantages to consider. Here are just a few:

  • Utensils made from metal can chip the enamel. This means you are limited to using only plastic or wooden ones.
  • Manufacturers sometimes produce very inexpensive graniteware that is very thin. These pots and pans may not hold heat in as well as some of their more expensive counterparts. 
  • Cookware may no longer be safe once the coating has chipped.
  • Granite pots and pans can crack glass cooktops. As such, they are not suitable for use on them. 
  • Food may still stick if you don’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Design choices are rather limited as most graniteware is very similar in appearance.

Ceramic Features

Ceramic cookware is a generic name given to pots and pans with a clay-based coating. (1) There are two different types of ceramic cookware.

The first is ceramic coated, which consists of an aluminum center that is then covered in ceramic.

The second is 100% ceramic, or a mixture of clay and water that is kiln fired and covered in a glaze. Most sets on the market are ceramic coated rather than being 100% ceramic.

Our top ceramic pan recommendation:

GreenPan Lima Ceramic Nonstick Fry Pan

  • Hard-anodized aluminum base material
  • Thermolon healthy ceramic nonstick coating
  • Suitable for gas, electric, ceramic/glass top stoves

Advantages of Ceramic Cookware

There are several advantages to using ceramic cookware:

  • Having a non-stick surface that makes it easy to clean.
  • Being relatively lightweight.
  • Heating up quickly to reduce cooking time.
  • Having a variety of color choices and designs available.
  • Being highly resistant to food stains.
  • Making it easy to wash by hand or in a dishwasher.

Disadvantages of Ceramic Cookware

There are some disadvantages to ceramic cookware as well:

  • Dangerous chemicals can be found in some vintage ceramic pieces.
  • High heat may sometimes cause the pans to crack.
  • Metal utensils may damage the non-stick coating.
  • Small chips can appear in the ceramic over time.
  • Has a shorter lifespan than most metal cookware.

Granite vs Ceramic: Health Concerns

One reason people choose granite or ceramic cookware is safety. Traditional non-stick pans usually contain Teflon, a dangerous substance that has often been associated with flu-like symptoms in humans. Breathing fumes from Teflon can even be fatal to pet birds.

Unfortunately, some of the same chemicals used in Teflon can also be used in cheaper granite or ceramic cookware as well. Before buying, always ensure that the pots and pans you are eyeing are free of the following:

  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a plastic-like polymer that leaches chemicals when it is heated.
  • Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a compound that has been linked to ovarian, prostate, and breast cancer.
  • Lead, which may leech into your food and result in lead poisoning.

Age a Factor in Safety 

In particular, ceramic cookware made before or during the 1960s may be hazardous to your health. During that time, ceramic pots were created using a lead-based glaze that in turn would often leach into food, especially when heated. Be especially mindful of this when purchasing ceramic cookware at a flea market, auction, or antique store.

Cauliflower Rice Skillet

The Food and Drug Administration (2) has since established guidelines for non-stick coatings, to include the amount of leachable lead. To be sure, look for sets marked as being free from PTFE and PFOA. PFOA was phased out of production in 2015, so you should have no problem when purchasing a newer set.

If the inner coating becomes scratched, stop using your granite or ceramic cookware right away. Once the non-stick surface has been compromised, harmful chemicals can then leach into your food if they are indeed present.

Granite vs Ceramic: Cooking Methods 

Granite pots and pans can be used to fry, bake, roast, sautee, or perform nearly any other cooking function. This type of cookware disperses heat evenly to prevent burning. As a result, granite roasting pans are often used to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey.

Acidic foods will not react with graniteware. This means you can prepare a variety of dishes without worrying about the safety or taste being affected.

Ceramic may hold a slight edge over granite when it comes to heat retention. Foods prepared with ceramic cookware will stay warm longer, making it an ideal choice for entertaining. At the same time, ceramic pans are slightly heavier so it will be more difficult to transport covered dishes.

Both will require the use of plastic or wooden cooking utensils. Using metal in either ceramic or granite cookware can scratch the non-stick surface, thereby rendering your pots and pans nearly useless.

Granite vs Ceramic: Cleaning and Durability 

Both are very easy to clean. Even so, graniteware is more dishwasher friendly than ceramic is. Many manufacturers will claim their ceramicware is dishwasher safe, but I would not recommend using it. You may find this out the hard way when your beautiful ceramic pot begins flaking or peeling its glaze.

Although graniteware is considered rustproof, it may still show signs of rust after a while. To counteract this, you will need to store your cookware in a warm area where there is plenty of airflow. Wiping the surface with a few drops of oil from time to time might also help ward off rust. There is no need to do this with ceramic cookware. Even when it contains a metal core, ceramic pots and pans rarely if ever display any signs of rust.

It is virtually impossible to break granite cookware. Ceramic on the other hand may break, crack, or chip if dropped. If you tend to be clumsy in the kitchen, you might want to go with granite rather than ceramic.

Granite vs. Ceramic: Which is Best?

Granite and ceramic are both excellent choices when it comes to cookware. Consequently, the decision may largely come down to a matter of personal preference. To enjoy the maximum benefits, purchase a high-quality set that does not contain any harmful chemicals. Doing so will allow you to prepare delicious meals that you and your family will enjoy for many years to come.

Here are some of my favorite cookware sets from both materials:

Granitestone Pro 13-Piece Nonstick Granite Cookware Set

  • Hard-anodized aluminum base
  • Diamond & mineral nonstick interior
  • Suitable for gas, electric, ceramic/glass top stoves

Greenpan Valencia Pro Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set

  • Hard-anodized aluminum base w. induction plate
  • Thermolon diamond-infused ceramic interior
  • Suitable for all cooktops including induction
Granite VS Ceramic-infographic
Sean Bennett
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