Ceramic cookware is known to be non-reactive, safer, scratch resistant, and versatile. You can use ceramic coated cookware in your microwave oven, broiler, toaster oven, steamer oven as well as on the stovetop.
You can use them in your freezer and conveniently serve food in them. Besides, due to their non-reactive nature, they don’t leach harmful chemicals into your food.
Having a ceramic pan in your kitchen can greatly improve your cooking experience. That is, if you use them the right way. And this is where seasoning comes into play.
Should You Season a Ceramic Pan?
Generally, it is recommended to season your ceramic pan before using it for the first time. Then you should continue to season the ceramic pan frequently after a few months of use.
Seasoning is important since it improves the non-stick properties of your pan and increases its lifespan. You will just need a paper towel/soft cloth, water, soap, a tablespoon of cooking oil, and of course your ceramic pan.
We recommend using vegetable oil when creating a non-stick coating on your pan although you can use other oils such as grapeseed oil, canola oil, lard, or peanut oil.
Seasoning a Ceramic Pan Step-by-step
The following steps will guide you on how to season a ceramic pan.
Step 1: Wash your pan
The very first step is to clean the pan thoroughly. Gently rub the pan’s surface with a soft cloth and some dish soap. Do not scrub with an abrasive sponge or brush since it may damage the surface of the pan. After cleaning, rinse well with some clean water and then dry with a dry soft cloth.
Step 2: Smear oil on the pan's surface
Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil to your pan and then spread evenly it with your fingers or a paper towel. Make sure the entire inner surface is coated with oil. One thing you should remember is that the oil you use should have a high smoking point. Avoid using oils with a low smoking point like olive oil and butter.
Step 3: Heat your pan
Place the pan on a stovetop, then set to medium heat and leave it until it starts to smoke. It may take a while for the oil to start smoking and hence, avoid increasing the heat.
Leave the oil to heat up slowly so that it gets soaked thoroughly into the surface of your pan. Be sure to turn the ceramic pan frequently to keep the oil from pooling.
Ceramics usually spreads heat efficiently so that your foods are cooked fast and evenly. Using high heat can damage or discolor the pan’s surface and can also cause your food to stick. Avoid boil drying the pan.
If heating in the oven set it to 300 F and then heat your ceramic pan for around twenty minutes. This method is recommended when using ceramic baking pans. However, almost all ceramic pans are oven safe but first read the manufacturer’s instructions before placing it in your oven.
Step 4: Allow the pan to cool
Once the oil starts to smoke, remove your pan from the burner and leave it to cool to room temperature.
Do not cool with water or place it in your refrigerator to speed up the cooling process. If you do so, the coating will be damaged due to the drastic change in temperature and this will reduce the pan’s cooking abilities.
If the pan’s inner surface is too oily, leave it for a while to allow maximum absorption of oil. The longer you allow oil absorption, the better the outcome.
Step 5: Drying the pan
When your pan cools down, take a clean paper towel and then wipe off the excess oil on the surface of your pan. The pan will remain oily and that’s the nonstick property you are looking for. Avoid washing or scrubbing to remove the oiliness.
Step 6: Repeat the process after a few months
It’s advisable to season your ceramic pan after a few months but it will depend on how often you use it and the exact model you own.
For brand new pans, season once after one or two months to build a permanent layer of seasoning. This will speed up the building of the oil coating.
Once the permanent layer is in place, you can season again when the ceramic coating starts to fade or if you notice more sticking of food than usual. It’s best if you season your ceramic pans every six months.
What kind of oil do you use on a ceramic pan?
The best oils you should use when cooking in ceramic pans include, canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil, and avocado oil. For seasoning, vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil will be the best choice.
You can use a ceramic pan for different cooking methods. However, if using a ceramic pan to stir fry or deep fry, it’s important to cook with the best oils since some oils may damage your cookware.
Most nonstick cookware manufacturers claim that their products can provide fat-free cooking but it’s advisable to use only the best cooking oils that make ceramic pans easy to clean without causing damage.
In most cases, you do not need oil or grease to cook your food with ceramic pans since the food shouldn’t stick. However, if you want to add the flavor of oil or butter to your food, you can add a little.
Why is food sticking to my ceramic pan?
Food may stick on your ceramic pan because of two reasons. One is when the pan loses its nonstick coating properties due to excessive abrasion. Two, when leftover food particles accumulate with time on the pan’s surface and this interferes with the performance of the nonstick properties. Avoid this as it makes food to continue sticking to the surface.
Can you ruin a ceramic pan?
The answer is yes. Although ceramic pans are built to be tougher than traditional nonstick cookware, you can easily scratch them with metal utensils if not careful.
Metal utensils may have rough or sharp edges that can destroy the nonstick coating. You should cut food directly in your pan with a knife or any sharp object. Place the food on a platter before cutting with a knife to avoid damaging the pan’s surface.
The best cooking utensils you should use are nylon, plastic, wood, and silicone since they are easier on the ceramic surface.