People all over the world are becoming increasingly health-conscious. They care much not only about the food they eat but also the type of vessel they use to cook it in. As such, ceramic cookware is gaining immense popularity in the cookware market, becoming the top choice for several households.
Here’s all you ever wanted to know about ceramic cookware, the benefits and certain disadvantages of using it, and other commonly asked questions by cooks the world over.
Before we delve into how ceramic is coherently different from other metals, let’s first understand what is ceramic cookware.
What is Ceramic Cookware vs Aluminium Cookware?
There is no single definition for ceramic vessels, except that there are generally two types found. One refers to 100% ceramic cookware which includes pots and pans that are made of clay, baked in extremely high heat in kilns, and then glazed with a special polish to lend it a lovely shine.
The other type includes dishes made of aluminium or other metal, which are then coated with ceramic enamel. This is commonly known as ceramic-coated cookware. If such dishes are made of aluminium, then how are they substantially different from typical aluminium cookware? Let’s see how.
Aluminium vessels or even hard-anodized aluminium dishes, which are more popular, generally tend to last longer than the ceramic ones. Although the latter doesn’t pose too much problem in the beginning, lots of cooks complain of its non-stick properties fading off upon regular use.
Some brands might even start having issues in just a few months. Therefore, high-quality brands are preferred for their long-term performance. On the contrary, aluminium vessels are renowned for lasting several years. Even the anodized-coated ones tend to last for a long time before its non-stick coating wears off, probably because the layer is stronger than the one on ceramic cookware.
Ceramic Pans Pros and Cons
Ceramic cookware may have gained in popularity, but it doesn’t come without its set of benefits and flaws. First, the benefits:
- Ceramic cookware mostly comes with a non-stick ceramic coating that covers the whole of the vessel. This coating lends a non-stick surface to the inside of the vessel as well, making it extremely convenient for cooking healthy without using cooking sprays, butter, or oil that are generally not good for health.
- Ceramic cookware is widely preferred owing to its safety against seemingly other toxic and harmful metals. Teflon made news some time back because of its potential toxicity and harm-causing probability when used on non-stick surfaces. This was when ceramic cookware started becoming popular because of its safety even under high-heat temperatures.
- Ceramic dishes are incredibly comfortable to clean, as well. Their non-stick surface can be easily wiped off using mild dishwashing soap or liquid and warm water.
Ceramic cookware comes with certain loopholes too, which soon came into prominence after regular use of such dishes and vessels. Here’s what users had to say about problems using ceramic cookware:
- Lower efficiency in heat distribution: Ceramic vessels are known to heat food slower than other cookware and unevenly too. This is understood to be because of the ceramic coating on the pan’s surface, which is made up of extremely small particles. The irregularity of these particles makes certain areas rough and leaves some areas where the non-stick coating doesn’t touch the food.
- the advantage of the food not sticking, there is a slight problem with uneven cooking surfaces too – food fails to receive heat evenly, resulting in slow cooking.
- Not safe for dishwasher use: Most people find it highly inconvenient that ceramic cookware is not dishwasher-safe, as advertised by most brands. In reality, exposing ceramic pots and pans to hard dishwashing cycles and detergents used in dishwashers can damage the delicate non-stick ceramic coating used on its cooking surface. This applies to the use of abrasive scrubs, detergents and hard metallic spoons and spatulas on ceramic cookware too.
- Unsuitable under high-heat: Even though ceramic cookware is promoted for convenient use in high-flame cooking, claiming that such dishes wouldn’t leach any harmful toxins under high heat, reality proves otherwise. High temperatures can easily damage the sensitive coating on ceramic cookware. As such, it’s best recommended for use on low-to-medium heat only.
You can find some of the best ceramic cookware sets on another page of ours.
Here are some commonly asked questions by users as well as those interested to try ceramic pots and pans in daily cooking.
1. Can you use olive oil in ceramic pans?
Using olive oil is generally not recommended on ceramic pots and pans for the reason that the oil can leave behind a thin carbonized layer on the ceramic dish. This is because the oil cannot endure high temperatures. This layer could interfere with the pan’s non-stick properties; therefore, olive oil is best avoided.
2. Do ceramic pans need to be seasoned?
In general, ceramic cookware does not require seasoning. However, certain brands might instruct you to season the cookware before first use. You may also be advised to re-season your pots and pans twice a year to restore their ceramic non-stick coating.
3. How long do non-stick ceramic pans last?
The longevity of any cookware depends upon its term of use and the way it’s been handled during use. The same goes for ceramic cookware as well. However, the ceramic coating used on these pots and pans is generally reliable and made to last longer, provided taken good care of by following specific care instructions detailed in the manual.
4. Do ceramic frying pans need oil?
Although ceramic pans don’t necessarily need oil for greasing owing to their non-stick property, you may use a few drops to add flavour and taste to the food.
Ceramic cookware may have its flaws but the pots and pans are quite popular, especially among youth, for their glazy finish, bright colours, and of course non-stick cooking. Read up all the pros and cons carefully to make an intelligent purchase.