Most cookware has come against criticization as to how safe they are. Scientists have cautioned against the use of various cookware. However, never has anyone said the pure ceramic cookware is toxic.
Therefore, most people are rushing to buy then not knowing that the market has counterfeit ones too. The article is going to delve into the world of pure ceramic cookware as well as advice on the best pure ceramic cookware to buy.
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WHAT IS CERAMIC COOKWARE?
This is the new age clay pots and pans that are usually kiln baked and decorated by glazing. It can also refer to the cookware that is either made of stainless steel or aluminum then coated with ceramic. It’s the best choice for your home cooking since it’s scratch-resistant, durable and easy to take care of.
Most people think that ceramic cookware is as brittle as the clay pots especially since the clay items breaks easily.
However, the method of firing the cookware after molding makes it durable, strong and rarely damaged by the same conditions that would affect damage clay.
CERAMIC COATED COOKWARE
In the early 1950s, the world saw the beginning of the use of non-stick cookware. It was rapidly embraced for being easy to use and clean.
Over the years, however, questions arose about the safety of the Teflon which led to the need to find other safer alternatives one of them is ceramic coating.
As stated earlier, ceramic coated cookware is basically pots or pans made using other materials then the cooking surface is coated with ceramic. Today, most cookware companies use the ceramic coating.
However, like the Teflon coating the ceramic coating chips off when the coating is thin. Most manufacturers have recommended that you hand wash these utensils instead of dishwashers. Also, consider using the plastic or wooden spatulas when you need to stir your food or turn it.
They will stick around for approximately 3 years if you take proper care of them.
IS CERAMIC COATED COOKWARE SAFE?
When it comes to using non-stick cookware, the major concern is normally the leaching of the metal particles. Here, the metals seep into the food as you are cooking.
Unfortunately, if the material used to make the cookware is hazardous, you end up consuming the hazardous chemicals.
Alternatively, you consume small pieces of the metal that your body knows not how to digest. You see, although we claim that ceramic is a safe cookware to use, some types may contain hazards. Therefore, know what you are up for before you even buy it.
Ceramic coating is generally better than using Teflon coating but, the olden style of coating featured a thin layer of coating.
The thin coating would chip off then you consume the base metal which makes it dangerous.
Nevertheless, today, the manufacturers are making thicker layers to avoid this.
The features of a ceramic cookware
- Ceramic is non-reactive which means that you can use the pans to cook acidic foods without you getting alterations at the end. This is regardless of the color or thickness.
- Ceramic coating cookware offers efficient heat transfer which is because of the metal inside. This ultimately limits the amount of power you use for cooking.
- It’s non-stick which is its winning property. Ceramic is smooth in texture and you should use a few drops of oil to prevent your food from sticking.
- It’s generally light in weight
- Your cookware is safe for use because it contains no chemical compounds which may cause ingestion and consequently health concerns.
- It caters for your health by allowing you to use a limited amount of oil as opposed to other cookware that requires you to use excess oil.
Points to consider about your ceramic cookware
- It can be fragile
Although I had initially indicated that ceramic is strong, you must take care of it.
- Avoid placing sharp objects in it or place paper towels in it for cushioning when you plan to place things in it.
- Always use a little bit of oil
Whenever you are cooking with it, begin by adding some drops of oil. This not only prevents the sticking but it keeps your pan strong for long.
How to season the ceramic cookware
IS CERAMIC COOKWARE SAFE AND HEALTHY TO USE?
A pure ceramic item contains the inorganic material, minerals from the earth crust and water. This makes the cookware odourless, non-toxic and non-reactive which ultimately mean its healthy and safe.
However, when you introduce the glazes to the cookware, the question of safety and health arises. Nevertheless, if you will adhere to the tips below then the cookware should be safe and healthy to use.
Tips to avoid exposure to lead and cadmium
- Before you buy the glazed cookware, check for its safety certification. Moreover, follow the guidelines strictly on how to maintain the cookware.
- If possible, only purchase these glazed items from famous brands. The brands will most likely state for you that the item is safe from lead or cadmium.
- Avoid going for the cheaper options as it’s likely they won’t have safety certification.
- Ask those nagging questions to find out whether the item meets the safety standards.
- While brightly colored glazes work well for your kitchen décor, you want to avoid the inner surface glazes. If you want the exterior glazed it’s okay but don’t place the ceramic cookware in a dishwasher.
- Because the lead regulation in the cookware was only recently introduced you should be careful with the ceramics you use as tableware. They may still contain lead.
PORCELAIN COOKWARE VS CERAMIC COOKWARE
The porcelain cookware is the pots and pans that are made when you coat some other form of metal with a glass form-porcelain enamel. The metal could be iron, alluminum or stainless steel. Porcelain cookware comes in a variety of colors.
Porcelain enamel gives your pans the strength and quality finish that will never fade easily.
Precisely, porcelain and enamel layer placed on the cookware are both types of ceramic. What poses the difference is how high the clay used to make each cookware was fired in the kiln.
The clay that is used to manufacture porcelain cookware is fired at a higher temperature than the ceramic cookware one.
Porcelain cookware is less porous and more like glass.
When it comes to cooking, the porcelain is best used for tableware not so much the cooking although, they are still used in cooking. Ceramic, on the other hand, will crack over time but it’s better designed for cooking on high heat.
So, both have their advantages but, I would go for ceramic as my cookware then porcelain for tableware.
The pros of porcelain
- It offers the quality aesthetic value.
- It’s resistant to corrosion when washed maybe because of the strong coating it has.
- Non-reactive: unlike various other cookware porcelain never reacts with acidic food.
- It’s scratch resistant.
- Some have thermal shock resistance.
- It’s naturally a non-stick pan and non-porous.
- Fragile and will break easily if dropped at a height.
- Not the best material to expose on high temperatures.
- Food cools off quickly once removed from the heat source.
CERAMIC NON-STICK COATING
As you have earlier read, the ceramic material is generally safe material when compared to Teflon coating. The use of ceramic to make the surfaces non-stick is a saviour from the usual use of PFTE material on most non-stick pans.
This is because it doesn’t contain the PFOA chemical compound that has since been burnt in the USA markets. The use of a ceramic coating allows you to expose your cookware to a higher temperature.
It is also quite resistant to flaking. If you will choose a non-stick cookware that is safe from lead and cadmium then you are sure not to consume toxins.
However, some people complain that after using the green pans for long, they lose their non-stick feature and become hard to clean. I haven’t experienced that yet but in case I do I will let you know.
ENAMEL VS CERAMIC COOKWARE
Enamel cookware is usually the powdered and melted glass that you use to coat some other metal or item when making cookware.
This means that the coating prevents the sticking possibility while the base metal helps to conduct and distribute heat evenly.
Ceramic cookware is made using the mineral and clay then hardened by heating in a kiln. Similarly, the porcelain enamel is made using clay then hardened in clay at a higher temperature than the ceramic one.
This makes the porcelain appear glasslike or translucent while the ceramic is opaque. On the other hand, the enamel coating appears more delicate than the ceramic one. They are both smooth but porcelain is thinner than the ceramic one yet whiter.
Ceramic can withstand the different heat levels thus, you could store your food in the refrigerator with it or use it to heat food in a microwave something that the enamelled one can’t do.
Tips when using the ceramic or enamel cookware
- Never use metals to stir or change the other side. Only use plastic, rubberized, ceramic or wooden tongs or spoons.
- After use, let those pans cool to room temperature before you begin cleaning. Don’t clean them in a dishwasher just hand wash with warm water and soap.
- Don’t cut your food in the cookware.
- Avoid using the mixers and beaters in the cookware.
- Never use brushes, scrubbing pads and steel wool to clean stuck food. Rather soak in warm water and give it time to come out.
- Don’t leave the empty pans and pots on a hot burner.
CERAMIC VS STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE
If you are concerned about your health and specifically what you consume then the cookware you use must be safe. Both the ceramic and stainless-steel cookware are the perfect cookware but let’s look at a little more detail.
In summary, as we’ve seen, the ceramic cookware is lightweight, stylish, non-stick, strong and it comes in varying colors.
The cookware is ultimately safer to use than the Teflon cookware.
It will withstand up to a temperature of about 700˚F. While its hard to chip off, the moment it does, the cookware becomes toxic and should be thrown away.
The cookware heats up faster so be careful and if possible, start cooking at a low temperature.
On the other side, stainless-steel features a high grade and tri-ply construction that is durable and will stand the test of time if cared for.
The best quality is the one that has the steel bottom with copper and alluminum to conduct heat faster.
The good quality ones are never lightweight. One vital feature of consideration for the stainless steel is that it doesn’t leach metals into your food as you cook. Thus, it’s a safe cookware to use. You must use some oil to give it the non-sticking feature when cooking.
However, avoid using olive oil in this pans or pots as they turn carcinogenic when subjected to high temperature. It’s also an eco-friendly choice that you can recycle.
Which one is the best option
It’s not easy to give a clear-cut decision as to which one is best. They both have strong advantages and few disadvantages. My best advice would be to have the taste of both worlds in your kitchen.
Nevertheless, if you are an inexperienced cook you may want to use the ceramic cookware while an experienced cook should go for the stainless-steel cookware.
Stainless steel ceramic coated cookware
This is basically the stainless-steel base cookware that has the ceramic coating.
1. Ceramic Nonstick Metal Safe Cookware Set
This features the best of both worlds. The cookware offers enhanced durability with its timeless design. It has a multi-layered stainless-steel body that is stylish and strong for all your day to day use. The set will suit all your cooking needs.
It uses the healthy ceramic coating with thermolon minerals. It’s free of both PFAS &PFOA, lead and cadmium. This is a safety assurance since you expect no release of fumes even when the pan is overheated.
It further has the tri-ply multi-layered stainless-steel body that is enforced with the ever shine technology. The technology is for body protection and giving the cookware an aesthetic value. You don’t expect it to tarnish or discolor as you cook.
Moreover, the thermolon minerals pro offers a more durable and resilient ceramic coating. It heats up fast and gives the even heat distribution.
It further releases food quicker if you use a little oil. When you want to clean it, let it cool after use before you begin the easy cleaning process.
They further feature the steady handles that can withstand high heat. What’s more, they have glass lids to ease food monitoring.
You must work towards protecting your cookware. So, use it in the oven at the temperature that is not more than 600˚F.
To further enhance its durability, only use it on low to medium heat settings. Then ceramic coating requires that you use some high smoke point oil/ butter for cooking. Moreover, only use wooden or nylon utensils. You can use it in all kinds of stovetops.
2. Xtrema All Natural 100% Ceramic 11-Piece Versatility Cookware Set
You are all familiar with the notion that great tasting meals require not only the cook’s skills but also the ingredients and cookware used. This set includes all the cookware you will need with their lids. Although it’s costly, it’s a 100% ceramic cookware set.
They are designed to stand high temperatures together with the toughest cooking needs or conditions of your kitchen.
They further have the ceramic glazing for the non-stick feature and easy cleaning of your cookware.
The scratch-resistant set will be used on various stovetops, microwave and the oven. You expect no leaching of metals or food taste alterations. The item is further free from lead and cadmium components that would otherwise be hazardous.
Whether it’s the stews, soups or meats, cooking is a breeze with this cookware as it conducts heat faster then evenly distributes it.
This cookware is designed for both cooking and table service so you don’t need more serving utensils.
It will also keep your food warmer than the regular cookware.
Where to buy xtrema cookware
You can buy this item online on Amazon or on the xtrema website shop. Other places to buy extrema include the cookware stores and large supermarkets.
3. Cuisinart 54C-11BK Advantage Ceramica XT Cookware Set
Here is another ceramic cookware set that will perform all your cooking tasks. Whether you want to sauté, fry, bake or steam in large or small quantities there’s something for you. It further has a titanium reinforced interior for a longer lasting set and enhanced food release.
The alluminum is at its core which offers a fast heating-ability with the even distribution of heat. It’s versatile for use in the oven up to about 350˚F and it works well for freezer storage.
Besides, it works on almost all kinds of stovetops: the gas, halogen stovetops, glass ceramics and electric stovetops.
Its silicon handles offer a firm grip and remain cool on the stove top. Moreover, it has tapered rims to ease pouring. Its glass lid further allows you to monitor the food that’s cooking and it fits tightly.
Its free of the PFOA, PTFE and PFOS that means that it will never react with your food. The whole cooking process is also safe from the consumption of metallic toxins. When all is said, the cookware will fit in any kitchen decor plus you may use them as tableware.
Cuisinart’s smooth surfaces and non-porous nature makes cleaning easy.
4. BlackVremi 8 Piece Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set
For those who love tableware that works as cookware, this is your best choice. Flipping and tossing is easy with the pans handle that are curved. This means it will suit your pancakes, pasta and noodles, eggs and other meals that need flipping or tossing.
They come in vibrant colors that will enhance the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen and dining tables. They are all lightweight, durable and with marble coating to evenly distribute the heat. The marble coating also heats up faster while easily releasing the food.
Its body is made of die-cast aluminium. Worry not since the cookware doesn’t allow toxins into your food. What’s more, its scratch resistant. Its strong lids have space between the body and the lid that will release excess steam when cooking.
Its wood tone handles are ergonomic and Bakelite which allows for easy manoeuvring. It works on electric, gas and halogen stovetops. You can also use it on the induction surfaces if the burner diameter is larger than the pot/pan base.
Nevertheless, never use it in the oven as it’s not designed for that purpose. Its exterior is heat resistant which makes it cool to touch. The beautiful design is also easy to hand clean but you can clean it in a dishwasher as well.
5. WearEver Ceramic Cookware Set
If you always wanted healthy meals then this is your perfect cookware as it allows you to use minimal oil for cooking. It will withstand a high temperature of up to 750˚F which means its best used for searing purposes.
The ceramic coating used is free of lead, cadmium, PFOA and PTFE. This makes it the safest opinion to use for all your cooking needs.
Its soft touch riveted silicone handles give you a firm grip for easy food handling and it can stand a temperature of about 350˚F.
Its durability is at a greater level. It features a heavy gauge aluminium at its core and a ceramic coating which is stain resistant and scratch resistant. It further has a high-quality base made using aluminum for even cooking.
The set is dishwasher safe with the stain and scratch resistance. It further offers convenience and versatility of use.
6. RedGreenLife Toxin-Free Healthy Ceramic Nonstick set
This features a healthy ceramic thermolon coating that is safe from lead, cadmium, PFOA and PFAS. The set doesn’t release any toxic fumes when cooking. The thermolon coating further gives an easy release of food and thus quick and easy clean-up.
It makes you use minimal oil for the cooking process. Its alluminum reinforces body and base offers fast and even heat conductivity.
They have sturdy handles that stay cool to touch while offering a firm grip for easy handling of the pans and pots.
Also, its glass lids allow for monitoring the food as it cooks. The lids lock in the steam for a flavorful cooking. The rims are also drip-free as you pour your food content. You can use it for all kinds of stove tops except the induction stove top surfaces.
At the temperature of 350˚F, the cookware is safe in the oven. You can also clean it in a dishwasher. Remember to use oil/butter to make it last longer.
7. GreenPan Lima 12pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set
This unique set will fit into any kitchen and it helps to cook different kinds of meals. The pan has better heat distribution than most other cookware. Mind you it’s a pioneer in the field of ceramic cookware offering safety from lead, cadmium, PFOA and PFAS.
This means that your cooking surfaces don’t produce fumes as you are cooking. It allows you to use minimal oil thus giving you healthy meals. It also has the quick release feature for the food. Its body is made of hard anodized alluminum that conduct heat faster.
Its riveted stainless-steel handles offer a firm grip for easy flipping, tossing and turning the food. Its glass lid allows for monitoring the food as you cook it. It also locks in the moisture and food flavour making the food nutritious. Its also oven safe up to 420 ˚F.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR CERAMIC COOKWARE
Its every cook’s wish to have durable cookware. However, for your ceramic cookware, you will have to follow some procedures to lengthen its service for you.
Before you begin using it:
- The moment you have the item, remove all the labels it may have.
- Wash it with warm soapy water, rinse and dry with your kitchen cloth or paper towel.
- If you don’t intend to use it immediately, place a clean paper towel in the interiors of the pan to protect its surface against scratches from other items.
- Confirm with your manufacturer if the pans need seasoning before storage or use.
- Consider using the ceramics on low to medium heat especially for your alluminum bases.
When it comes to cleaning:
- Although there are several brands saying that their cookware is dishwasher safe, always hand wash it for the lengthy stay.
- Let the pan cool first before you begin cleaning.
- No need to soak the ceramic cookware and never use steel wool or other harsh scrubbing pads.
- Do not spray oils or use extra virgin oil as this will build up upon the ceramic surface and eventually destroy it.
- Though most ceramic cookware is said to be able to handle the heat you shouldn’t continuously subject it to high heat. In fact, only use low to medium heat.
- Only use the utensils that won’t harm the cookware surface.
BENEFITS OF CERAMIC COOKWARE
- The cookware is versatile
You can use this cookware on the stovetops or oven and sometimes even the induction cooker. They are designed to stand both the cool temperature and hot ones. Thus, you may store your food in the fridge with it then reheat your meals in the oven again.
- Perfect heat distribution
The major factor of consideration for most cookware is their thermal conductivity. Luckily, ceramic distributes the heat evenly.
This is especially so for the thicker coated cookware. The cookware may take longer to reach the desired temperature but once it does the distribution is even.
- No food odours lurking
Other cookware consumes the food odours but not ceramic cookware. You will never smell the onions or other strong-smelling food in your pans after using.
- They are durable
This cookware features a sturdy construction that maintains the lustre. If you take care of them, they will last long.
- Easy to maintain
Since it offers a non-stick surface, you mustn’t scrub its surface. If you have stuck food consider using a scouring pad or powder for cleaning.
- It’s generally attractive
The ceramic cookware shows off the artistic nature of the manufacturer. This means that you may also use your pots for service.
- It’s non-reactive as earlier discussed.
When we compare the Teflon cookware and ceramic cookware, the ceramic cookware is eco-friendly. It’s a natural product made from sand and clay soil. On the other hand, the Teflon cookware is made using the fossil fuel that damages your environment.
- It’s fragile
If you drop your cookware from a high ground, it’s likely that it will break. Nevertheless, if you go for items that are shock absorbent, they will survive some of those falls.
- Their qualities vary
Just like all other items, they have varying qualities. The variance is experienced by the different brands.
- Might be toxic
Although ceramic itself is safe, the glazes used may contain lead or cadmium.
Be careful about the ceramic glazes
A glaze is used to finish the manufacture of ceramic cookware with the aim of giving it a smooth shiny surface, beautiful decoration as you restrict the moisture from entering the ceramic cookware.
While the ceramic material is natural and safe to use some glazes may raise health concerns. Sometimes, the glaze is made using lead and cadmium which is hazardous. The two metals will easily leach into your food especially at high temperature.
This lead deposits over time cause serious health risks. Therefore, conduct a research to confirm that your products are safe.
THE BUYING GUIDE
- Check for safety
When you wish to buy the pure ceramic cookware, confirm that the potential cookware of choice is free from lead and cadmium.
The best brands must indicate whether the items are safe. Though most people only avoid PFOA you should check for the above minerals as well.
- Heat source
Depending on what you intend to use your cookware on, the best ones are the ones that give you the choice to use them on a different heat source. If you can use it in the oven and fridge the better.
- The quality
This cookware, when taken care of, will last longer. The question to ask is, how often do you intend to use this cookware? This should determine the quality you buy. If you will use it frequently then go for the best quality.
- What’s your budget?
There will be cookware for all budgets. It all depends on how much you have set aside to use in this cookware.
- The design
This is not so important except if you are interested in the cookware that will fit into your kitchen décor. There are different colors and materials to choose from. Conduct a research to choose the best.
Read the reviews, what are other consumers saying? They will guide you on the best items.
With this information, you now know that the cheapest/costly items or the ones with a great design aren’t necessarily the best items.
You must check its safety features, functionality, quality and durability.
All the items listed above are of high quality and long-lasting when well taken care of.