A lot of people are unsure of what ceramic cookware is, this is because ceramic pots and pans can vary significantly in appearance, from ceramic coated cookware to pots and pans made entirely from clay. If you need a product example to help you understand better, see our Tfal ceramic cookware review which boasts the premium ceramic cookware.
So what is ceramic cookware? It’s merely any cookware that’s made by firing a non-metallic mineral such as clay at a high temperature; the result is a hard, brittle and corrosion-resistant material. This is important to know if you are looking for ways to care for your ceramic cookware.
Is ceramic cookware safe?
Depending on the country you live in, yes.
The reason some ceramic cookware is unsafe is due to the glaze added. Some manufacturers use a lead or cadmium based glaze. This is all good until you start cooking. You can read about this more with our blog post Is ceramic titanium safe.
As with most materials, undergoing high temperatures causes chemicals to leach out, and if your cookware is glazed with cadmium or lead, then those chemicals will leach out too. As you probably know, both are poisonous to humans.
In the United States, these types of chemicals have been generally phased out, meaning you don’t have to worry. However, some may still be around, so only purchase ceramic or ceramic coated cookware from reputable suppliers.
One thing you need to be aware of, if it’s a coated ceramic pan like ceramic titanium then it’s not safe if it’s damaged.
And If you have a gas stove, then this limits the amount of ceramic cookware you can use, as you realistically need to find the best ceramic cookware for a gas stove since it some of the cookware sets struggle with direct heat.
Is other cookware safe?
Again, not all cookware is safe. Generally speaking, the majority is safe; however, you still have to keep your eyes peeled for the materials used.
Teflon use to be made from PFOA before 2013, and PFOA is a dangerous chemical for humans, the environmental agency found that PFOA was a likely carcinogen, which is essentially a cancerous chemical.
For those that don’t know Teflon is known for its excellent non stick surface, it became increasingly popular over the last 20 years due to its price and non stick surface and has been used to create a range of nonstick pans that you have probably owned.
In 2020, you shouldn’t worry too much, the PFOA chemicals have been phased out and the chemicals being used now for Teflon are deemed safe.
However, due to how health-conscious we are now, the 2013 scare has lead to people searching for safer nonstick pans, such as stainless steel.
Is ceramic cookware better than nonstick?
Ceramic cookware made entirely from ceramic is better, in my opinion. However, these are generally a lot more expensive and much harder to find.
Nowadays, when people refer to ceramic cookware vs nonstick cookware, they are referring to the coatings used. Some pots and pans use a ceramic coating, and some use a Teflon coating, especially in a frying pan.
When cooking food, it requires high temperatures, and these cause the coatings to break down, Teflon lasts longer than ceramic coatings and is cheaper.
So if I were going to choose between coated ceramic and coated Teflon, I would go for Teflon. It’s not just hype; it is a game-changer in the cooking industry.
What are the benefits of ceramic cookware?
Ceramic has its benefits, which is why it’s been used to cook food in pots and pans for thousands of years. However, there are not too many in comparison to Teflon; the main benefits of cookware ceramic pans are as follows:
- Ceramics cookware is easy to clean, which is a significant factor in our day to day busy lives.
- Ceramic pans have excellent non stick properties.
What cookware should I use?
If money is not an issue, I would recommend stainless steel, it’s is excellent nonstick cookware for cooking food, it has all the benefits of ceramic pot and pans but is safer, and it’s a lot more durable.
If stainless steel weren’t the way that you wanted to go, then my alternative suggestion would be cast iron for cooking food. You may have noticed a lot of expert chefs use cast iron, and this is not just because of the safety, it provides excellent potential for cooking food, especially when searing meats.
Ceramic and Teflon are excellent materials for cooking; however, they will always have their health concerns. These are generally materials people use at home because they are cheaper, even if they are not as healthy.
When money isn’t an issue, it’s always best to go for stainless steel or cast iron, they do not leach toxins, they are not PTFE or PFOA, they have non toxic surfaces, and the dishes or foods that you can create with these are fantastic.
Not to mention you can also do baked foods in these due to them being oven safe.
So if you’re looking for strong, durable, healthy materials for a frying pan, it’s something you should consider.