Almost everything we buy requires you to take care of it. There is no exception when it comes to cookware.
Knowing how to care for ceramic pans is quite easy once you have learned how to do it. Use the steps below to keep your cookware healthy and undamaged. I use these methods all the time, as I own the tfal initiatives ceramic cookware set mentioned in our tfal ceramic cookware review.
6 Ways To Properly Care For Ceramic
Ceramic cookware is fragile in comparison to cast iron or stainless steel. It requires a lot of care, however caring for ceramic cookware is simple.
If you follow the best practices below, you will get a long life span from your ceramic cookware, just make sure you get into the habit of following the best practices.
Cook on low to medium heat
Under high temperatures, the surface start to break down, and as a result becomes much weaker or even leaches chemicals into your food. This is why you need to stay on a low to medium heat.
Not only that, but when you have a hot pan with oil in, it will lead to the oil leaving a carbonized layer on the surface.
A good tip to reduce the risk of the non stick coating from breaking down is to add a small amount of oil, and preheat it before adding your food. This will evenly distribute the heat around the equipment ensuring there’s no hot spots that cause the surface to breakdown.
Also, avoid drastic changes in temperature, ensure you are going from a low to high heat as drastic changes in temperature can cause thermal shock.
Use safe cooking utensils on non stick equipment
Safe utensils are a must for keeping your pans from taking damage especially, harsh, metal spoons and spatulas will scratch the surface. Never use metal utensils.
I recommend would be rubber, plastic, nylon or wooden. I generally prefer wooden as I love the wooden style in the kitchen, however I don’t think it matters which one you choose, as long has it’s not a harsh material.
Avoid Cooking Sprays
Cooking oil sprays such as coconut oil, vegetable oil or even extra virgin olive oil contain chemicals that will leave a sticky residue that eventually builds up, especially if you use a high amount of oil sprays.
It will then burn onto the ceramic surface, and to get it off will take some intense scrubbing, and this won’t be done by using a soft sponge, it will take something like steel wool to get it off, and that will scrape some of the coating off. It will also stop the pans from being easy to clean.
My best advice is to stick to your standard extra virgin olive oil to achieve full non stick cooking.
Don’t Heat The Pans To Quickly
As with most cookware, you need to start with a low heat whilst gradually increasing it. Generally you do this using oil or butter, as oil or butter will distribute the heat evenly while it’s heating.
Have you ever filled a glass with hot water and then immediately put it under cold water? Yes, it will shatter into a million pieces, even though it’s not under intense temperatures, it’s the short amount of time the temperature changes which shatters the glass.
The same applies to pans, when it gets hot too quickly, you damage the non stick surface and it becomes weaker, eventually this could lead to the coating breaking and being no longer usable. This is uncommon but it can happen.
The best thing to do when frying is to preheat oil like virgin olive oil, and the cooking oil will distribute the heat in the pans evenly leading to a gradual temperature increase.
Don’t Use The Dishwasher For Cleaning Ceramic Cookware
Don’t use the dishwasher, this is a common rule which most people know, dishwashers use harsh methods to clean cookware, and this will eventually lead to the surface of the cookware degrading and coming off.
The best way to cleaning the pans surface is to hand wash it with some warm dish soap and a soft sponge. This is quick and easy to do and shouldn’t be a problem to increase the life span of your equipment.
The warm soapy water will disinfect it and remove any food on the ceramic coated pan and will protect cookware.
Storing Ceramic Cookware Safely
Storing cookware properly is the last step to providing quality care. Failure to store your pan correctly will most likely lead to damage as the surface is relatively fragile.
The best thing to do when stacking pans is to use the cardboard that came with them to wedge in between, this will protect the coating and lead to a long lasting equipment. If you don’t have the cardboard then you can use a paper towel instead, as a paper towel will provide enough protection.
How To Clean Ceramic Cookware
Cleaning your new ceramic cookware is important as stated above, ceramic pans usually are aluminum and ceramic coated. However if you do have a 100% pure ceramic pots and pans, then you can use both of these methods to clean your ceramic cookware.
Why Proper Cleaning and Care Is So Important
It’s no mystery that ceramic cookware needs proper cleaning and care, but why? Ceramic cookware is incredibly fragile in comparison to it’s raw cast iron and stainless steel, that means it requires much better care, but in different ways to how you would care for cast iron or stainless steel.
Non stick cookware that has a ceramic coating is vulnerable to scotching and cracking on it’s cooking surface. The causes can range from high heats, to harsh utensils.
Depending on the ceramic coating you have, this could potentially be toxic. Some ceramic coatings are made with lead and cadmium, both chemicals are toxic to humans.
This reaction of the chemicals leaching into your food is increased with acidic foods like tomato sauce.
The most dangerous part is, if your pan is leaking chemicals into your food, you won’t even know it. It has a cumulative effect, which means day after day you will be ingesting the chemicals, and over time your body will become worse and worse but you might not feel bad for a while until it becomes a problem.
So keeping your ceramic cookware clean, and free of damage will not only prevent your cooking experience from being ruined, but it will also protect your health. So take care of your ceramic pans and treat them properly using the best practices above.
Light cleaning is used on ceramic pots and pans when they don’t have any stubborn stains on. This is a nice and simple method.
Start by soaking your ceramic cookware in warm soapy water, typically for around 30 minutes. This should soften up any stains or food stuck to the cooking surface.
Next get a fresh new sponge with and use the abrasive side to start scrubbing the stains away. As the ceramic coated pans are non stick, this method should work 95% of the time.
If it doesn’t then before moving onto the deep clean, using baking soda and warm water together is a good idea.
Create a mixture of warm water and baking soda and let the mixture sit on the cooking surface of the ceramic cookware. Baking soda is a very common tactic used by most cooks because it’s cheap, safe and efficient way of cleaning. It’s very good for nonstick cookware as it allows you to avoid using the harsh cleaning methods which can damage your nonstick cookwares coating.
After you have let the baking soda mixture site for around 15 minutes, take a sponge and start scrubbing away using your elbow grease. This should remove any light stains.
Deep cleaning is something I don’t do too often. When you are non stick cooking on medium heat or high heat with a little oil, the cooking oil can reach it’s smoking point.
Once cooking oil reaches it’s smoking point, it starts to break down it’s triglycerides and forms a hard resin on your ceramic cookware. To clean ceramic that has resin attached to it, it’s a bit more difficult as you have to break down the resin.
To do this I use acidic type products, but not harsh chemicals than can harm your ceramic pan.
First things first, take your ceramic non stick cookware and wipe it down with a soft cloth, trying to break any of the resin that’s easily breakable. This will open up the areas where there is hard resin.
Now put your pan on the stove, and empty vinegar into it, ensuring vinegar has covered all of the resin in the ceramic cookware.
Boil the vinegar, and let the ceramic pan cool completely before washing out the vinegar. Now take a sponge and use the abrasive side to scrub away at the resin.
Still Not Clean?
Unfortunately resin is not easy to clean, however science is on our side here. Anything burnt onto a pan is an alkaline as it’s carbon. The solution to this is an acid.
So yes, time to go back to the vinegar, but this time you need to soak it over night. This gives the vinegar a good amount of time to act on the resin and break it down.
The next day, after you have let your ceramic cookware soak in vinegar, get a sponge and again, use the abrasive side, and put some elbow grease into it. This will remove all the resin that’s left over and leaver your ceramic cookware will be like new again.
How Long Does Ceramic Cookware Last?
The answer depends on how you treat the pan, if you are rough and don’t follow the guide above, then the pans will last less than a year.
On average it takes around 1 year for a ceramic pan to be ruined, however this takes into account a lot of people who do not know how to care for them properly and it depends on the cookware set. We recently did the greenlife cookware reviews and found them to be quite durable.
With proper care, you can get several years out of your pans. Non stick coating is most commonly damaged by metal utensils.
If you avoid all of the above then you will get a long life span from your pan.