Before the invention of ceramic frying pans and pots, families relied on Teflon coatings or seasoned cast iron as a way to have non-stick cookware at home. Thanks to technology advances in this field, greener and safer options began to appear that wouldn’t release toxic fumes if heated to high temperatures.
It is a technology that we use today that comes straight from the past. Greeks may have been using non-stick pans to bake bread over 3,000 years ago. The griddles discovered by archeologists had one smooth side to them, with the other covered with tiny holes. The dough was likely placed with the holes since it would stick to a smooth surface, ensuring a quick release after baking.
A mixture of titanium and ceramic now can be blasted onto frying pans and pots to create a non-stick mixture. After its application, the product gets fired at 2,000°C in a kiln-like environment to produce the desired coating.
Several pros and cons of ceramic frying pans and pots are worth reviewing if you’re in the market for new cookware in the kitchen.
List of the Pros of Ceramic Frying Pans and Pots
1. You don’t need to worry about toxins with ceramic cookware.
When your pots and pans have a ceramic coating on them, then you don’t need to worry about being exposed to toxic materials. Products like Thermalon create a non-stick layer by applying natural minerals to the surface of the product. It does not use PFOA or PFAS in the manufacturing process – only sand. That means you don’t even need to worry about cadmium or lead getting into your food.
If you overheat the cookware, then there aren’t toxic fumes coming into your home. Since this issue can occur frequently in the kitchen, especially when you’re in a hurry, the ceramic coating allows you to provide a safe meal to your family every evening.
2. You get to have a non-stick surface.
Your ceramic cookware will still be slick and smooth even though it doesn’t use toxic chemicals. The food you make slides right out of the pan, even when you’re frying eggs or other items that like to stick. You can do the same with stainless steel pots and pans, but it requires oil or butter to create the same result. That means this product can reduce the amount of fat that gets put into your meals each time.
3. It is easy to clean ceramic frying pans and pots.
Because the ceramic surface of each pan and pot offers a non-stick feature, you don’t need to worry about an extensive cleanup process. Even if you burn food in the pan, cleaning it requires a quick wipe of soap and warm water. Anything that does get crusty can boil off with a little bit of water on the stove. You’ll need to pay some attention to where the rivets hold the handle in pace for your cooking utensils since particles can get stuck there, but you generally don’t need to do any scrubbing with this product.
4. Ceramic frying pans and pots are very affordable.
You can purchase high-quality ceramic frying pots and pans for under $100 at most retailers. It is not unusual for an entire set to be priced as low as $50 if you’re willing to work with an off-brand manufacturer. Individual cooking items might be in the $10 to $20 range if you need a replacement item. That means you can get everything that you need for the kitchen without spending an arm and a leg.
You’ll find some expensive sets out there if that’s what you prefer. Brands like Zwilling Spirit offer 3-ply ceramic construction for about the same price per unit as you would pay for some entire sets.
5. You don’t need to season your cookware.
If you have ceramic cookware at home that’s suitable for frying foods, then you don’t need to worry about seasoning your pots or pans first. These products are ready to go once you wash them for the first time. You can cook almost anything on the surface without butter, fat, or oil, and then the item slides right out when you’re finished with the work of cooking.
That means you don’t need to coat the pan in oil and then bake it at a high temperature to create a non-stick surface. It’s ready to go, right out of the box, so that you can make a meal right away.
6. You can use the pots and pans as food containers if needed.
When you invest in ceramic cookware, then you have an option for leftovers storage that can go into your refrigerator. You’ll need to wait until the pots or pans cool down, but you won’t need to worry about any unwanted metals, minerals, or materials leeching into your food when storing it overnight. That means you can avoid having plastics around your favorite items while saving some on your kitchen needs.
Look for the items that come with container lids to maximize this advantage. You might not find this option available for dedicated frying pans, but it is common to get it with pots of various sizes.
7. Ceramic cookware comes in a variety of different colors.
If you want to have frying pans and pots that match the décor of your kitchen, then ceramic options are the best choice. You will find a wide variety of options available, ranging from yellow to red to blue. When you buy stainless steel products, then the metal color is your only real choice. The dark hues of cast iron don’t offer any variability either. Anyone who loves the idea of having something fancy in the kitchen is going to love what this advantage can bring to the table.
List of the Cons of Ceramic Frying Pans and Pots
1. The durability of a ceramic coating is not high.
The most common complaint that people have regarding ceramic cookware is that the durability of the non-stick surface is minimal. Once it wears off, the surface of the pan or pot becomes sticky for almost any food. You can’t even use oil as you would with a stainless steel product to combat this issue either. Once the surface is gone, you’re forced into a position where you must purchase a new pan.
This disadvantage applies to every brand and manufacturer. Even if you spend hundreds of dollars on a premium set, you’re going to run into this issue. It chips off fairly easily, even when you are following all of the care instructions provided to you.
2. Ceramic pans and pots tend to be flimsy.
Ceramic cookware tends to be very lightweight, especially when you compare the pots and pans to cast iron options. That makes it easy to move them around the kitchen, but it also creates a thin metal surface that doesn’t always stand up to the work. The cheap ones will always feel flimsy, and it is possible for a standard stovetop to warp the material if it gets too hot.
This disadvantage also means that you generally can’t place the pot or pan in the oven to finish off a dish. That can limit how you’re able to make certain recipes, so you may want to have additional selections in your kitchen to consider.
3. You typically need to handwash ceramic pots and pans.
Some ceramic sets advertise to consumers that you can put them in the dishwasher, but you generally need to handwash these items. It’s the best way to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of life from each item. The coating doesn’t always hold up to the internal environment of the appliance well, and some manufacturers won’t honor their warranty if you clean them in that way.
Even when these products are easy to clean, there are days when you’d rather just throw them in the dishwasher to let it do all of the work.
4. Metal utensils will scratch the ceramic surface.
You cannot use any metal utensils if you are cooking with ceramic pots and pans. It is a delicate surface that you’re using in the kitchen, so you’ll need to transition to nylon or wood products when working with this material. You’ll need to avoid using steel wool cleaning tools with this surface, along with anything that isn’t rated as a non-scratch item. That means your entire kitchen might need an upgrade if you transition to this product, negating some of the cost-saving benefits that would be possible otherwise.
You will also find that using metal utensils with ceramic cookware can cause some of the coating to come off into your food. Unless you want to add that stuff to your diet, go without the metal spatula.
5. You cannot use high heat settings with this material.
Ceramic pots and pans need to use a low or medium heat setting when you cook with these products. The delicate nature of the compound makes it impossible to work with high heat. If the temperature is too high when you work with this item, then you can damage the surface quickly. You’ll need to read the limitations listed on the packaging from the manufacturer to make sure that you’re staying within the recommended levels.
If you need to cook at high temperatures for some reason, like the need to sear meat, then your best option is still going to be a stainless steel pan.
6. Its heat distribution capabilities are less efficient.
Because ceramic surfaces use sand and nanoparticles to create the non-stick coating that you use, there is a degree of irregularity that you’ll find in every pot and pan that uses this technology. The microscopic surface area is unique with the finishing process, so there is a roughness to the surface that other materials and metals don’t have with cookware. If you have an uneven surface, then your foods will cook at different rates, so it can be a challenge at times to get an even finish.
You might not notice this disadvantage when cooking vegetables or pasta, but trying to get a steak to medium-rare is challenging with cheaper ceramic products. You can end up with one end of the T-bone rare while the other is above medium.
7. There might still be some safety concerns to manage.
Ceramic pans and pots might not contain PTFE or PFOA, but there are still some concerns that people have regarding the porcelain glaze these products have. There is the possibility that cheap manufacturing processes could include a small amount of lead in the final composition, which could lead to some serious health issues if left unmanaged. The easiest way to avoid this potential disadvantage with ceramic cookware is to make sure the manufacturer tests each line for this harmful element before purchasing it.
If you do not have any testing information from a manufacturer, then don’t rely on their claims. Only use reliable facts when making your purchasing decisions in this area.
8. It won’t react to acidic products.
Acidic ingredients like citrus fruits or tomatoes can cause the metals or contaminants in other cooking surfaces to release into your recipes. You won’t have that issue when you use a ceramic product. You can tell if you’re using reactive items because the final flavor of your dish will have a metallic aftertaste to it that no herbs or spices can hide. It’s kind of like what canned fruits taste like straight from the tin can. You can avoid this issue entirely with this product.
9. Some ceramic surfaces can handle mild abrasive cleaning.
The rivets that attach the handle to your pan will come on top of your ceramic surface, requiring you to scrub the area clean if food particles come into contact with it. That means you’ll need to use a mild abrasive to manage that situation. Look for ceramic cookware that’s tested for scrubbing action and choose a product rated for at least 10,000 passes. You won’t be able to use a metal knife to cut items on the surface or a metal spoon to stir, but a light brush with steel wool won’t damage your new pans or pots with this option.
If you decide to upgrade your kitchen to ceramic pans and pots, then you will pay a little more in the long run for that privilege. The individual items and sets might cost less than cast iron or stainless steel, but you’ll need to replace the non-stick surface more often. If you want to experience value for your investment, then cast iron that you season frequently can last for decades.
If you don’t cook very often in the kitchen, then ceramic cookware makes a lot of sense to use. When you are making meals for your family every day, you might want something with a little extra durability.
The final pros and cons of ceramic frying pans and pots are up to each home. Think about your budget and your cooking patterns, and then choose the options that make the most sense for your needs. It is a product that has some potential flaws, but this cookware is also one of the most affordable options available today.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.