Ceramic coated pans are a kitchen utensil that has been gaining in popularity over the past few years. They have been replacing old-fashioned nonstick cookware thanks to a number of advantages that they have. Unfortunately, not all ceramic coated pans are good for your health and many of them may be a waste of money.
If you’re looking for Teflon pan alternatives, then ceramic cookware is worth considering. Here’s what you need to know about them, including safety considerations. Ceramic coated pans are considered an upgrade from Teflon non-stick cookware.
Ceramic-coated pans have been around for a long time. In the past, they were called porcelain-enameled pans. Today they are being referred to as ceramic non-stick cookware or just ceramic coated cookware. Ceramic-coated pans are made from metals such as copper, aluminum, or anodized aluminum and have a nonstick ceramic coating bonded to the surface.
There are multiple different ceramic coatings on the market, each with its own unique chemical composition; each with its own unique safety profile. While ceramic pans might be better than PTFE or Teflon pans when it comes to health, like the PTFE or Teflon issue they are not perfectly healthy either.
There have been lots of questions on whether ceramic coated pans are safe to use or not. In this post, Here you will know about are ceramic coated pans safe to use.
What are the Ceramic Pans Made up of?
These pans are made with a bit more heft than a typical nonstick pan. This is because they’re made from hard-anodized aluminum which is usually clad in stainless steel. Aluminum is a reactive metal, which means that it can bond rather easily to other molecules. Hard anodizing is a treatment that results in a layer of aluminum oxide on the surface of this metal. Anodized aluminum is known for its durability and resistance to scratches, dents, and corrosion.
Ceramic cookware, also referred to by some as ceramic non-stick cookware, is created using a ceramic coating applied to the interior and exterior of a pot or pan. These coatings help improve food release and prevent food from sticking to the surface while cooking. A wide variety of ceramic coatings are currently available on the market including ceramic non-stick, titanium, zirconium, and tourmaline. It should be noted that many of these ceramic coatings may also contain other fillers like PTFE, silicone oil, and other chemicals.
How to use and care for your ceramic pots and pans
How To Use
- Ceramic cookware is actually safe to use, as long as you take proper care of it. The surface will discolor after a while due to the high temperatures that are needed to cook food on them. However, this does not affect how well they work.
- Ceramic cookware can be used on all stovetops aside from induction, but some chefs recommend avoiding the use of them on electric stoves because they tend to generate too much heat. They are best for gas or propane stoves that have even high BTU burners.
- If the non-stick coating is chipped or scratched, ceramic materials may get into your food, which is considered unsafe.
- If you’re using ceramic cookware for the first time, there is a little bit of a learning curve. Generally speaking, ceramic cookware can be used in much the same way that you would use non-stick PTFE pans. Ceramic does not pose any issues for cleaning like Teflon can.
- You can use ceramic pans on high and medium-high heat for frying and searing. Just like with any other pan, the oil should be hot before you add food to it. You can also saute vegetables or sear chicken pieces in a little bit of water or sauce. The liquid that the food releases will help prevent food from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Make sure you are using a lid when cooking foods that are likely to spatter or pop, especially if they contain liquid. You may not be able to use ceramic pans on medium-low heat because it is just too hot for them. If you’re having temperature control issues with your ceramic cookware, you should look at getting a larger burner.
How To Care
- Don’t submerge a ceramic pan in water when it still has food on it. This is very important because even if the coating is free from PTFE or similar chemicals that react with high temperatures, any debris that gets into the pores of the coating can get baked onto your pan during a long cooking session.
- Be careful when washing ceramic cookware because the enamel coating is easy to chip or crack. Just wash it by hand with dish soap and a dish brush, then rinse and dry it before putting it away. You can also just wipe down the surface with a wet cloth after you’re done cooking.
- Ceramic pans should only be used for dry cooking because they cannot tolerate any moisture, which can ruin the nonstick surface and make food stick to them. Just like regular metal or glass pans, you don’t want to use any acidic foods in ceramic cookware, and avoid using salt when you are searing meat in high heat. If you see dark spots or scorch marks, those areas will need to be reseasoned.
- If you want to clean any stuck-on food from ceramic cookware, there is a special type of cleaner that you can use called Bar Keeper’s Friend (found at most grocery stores and home centers). Just put some on the surface and scrub it with a dish brush or hand towel. You can also boil water in the pan to soften up anything that has accumulated on the bottom of the pan.
- Be sure you never use cooking sprays, as they create a sticky residue that is especially harmful to your ceramic pans. Don’t put them away from wet and make sure they are 100% dry before you store them. Never clean ceramic pans in the dishwasher or leave them soaking in water. Also, do not stack ceramic pans because this can cause chips and scratches if the edges touch each other when you go to put one away.
- If there is a chip on your ceramic pan, don’t fret. You can cover it up with high-heat paint from an automotive store, which is resistant to heat and scratching.
- Ceramic pans can last a lifetime with proper care. The longevity of your cookware depends entirely on how you use and clean it, which is why some manufacturers recommend not even using cooking sprays or oils on their ceramic products.
Read More: How Long Does Ceramic Cookware Last?
How to wash ceramic Pans – Best Tips
1. Never use anything abrasive on ceramic pans, any steel wool, or the like. Just make sure they are clean and dry before putting them away.
2. For dried-on food, you can fill up your sink with hot water and dish soap, put the pan in it for a few minutes, then scrub it with a soft dish brush.
3. If you have ever burned anything onto your ceramic pans, take the time to remove all of the burned-on food, or else it will start to burn into the pan again. Heat up whatever is left in the pan until it starts changing colors, then pour some water in there and let it boil for a few minutes. It should come off without much effort after that.
4. The biggest mistake you can make with ceramic pans is letting them soak in water or leaving them wet after washing. They are not dishwasher safe and putting them away wet will cause spotting which limits their lifespan. Just hand wash them with hot soapy water and let them air dry.
5. If you are cooking something acidic like tomato sauce, don’t leave it in the pan for days at a time because this will slowly wear down the enamel. Avoid using any oil or fat when searing meat or anything else that might cause sticking to your pan.
6. To keep the surface looking new, it’s a good idea to season the pan before you use it for the first time. Just put some oil or fat in there and heat it up over high heat until the smoke point, then wipe out any excess with paper towels. Be careful because your pan will be hot!
7. No matter what, never stack your ceramic pans because they might chip or scratch. If you are looking for a nice place to store them, just get a pan rack.
8. If you want to reseason your pans after washing them, just put some oil in there and heat it up on the stove over high heat until the smoke point. Then wipe out any excess with paper towels before cooling down your pan.
9. Heat up the pan until it starts to smoke, then pour some rice in there and scrub away with a dish brush. This is very effective for removing dried-on food or stains because the soaked-up material acts like an abrasive.
10. If you see any dark spots or scorch marks on your pan, don’t worry. Just put some heavy-duty aluminum foil in there and fill it up with vinegar or another acid like lemon juice. Let it soak for a few hours before scrubbing away the dark spots with steel wool or sandpaper (be careful not to sand away too much material).
11. If there are any chips or scratches on your ceramic pans, don’t use them for cooking. Just buy some high-heat paint from an automotive store or something similar and cover up the new surface with it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q Is ceramic nonstick cookware safer than other nonstick cookware?
A: Ceramic pans are very durable and warp-resistant, which is why we recommend them. So long as you avoid using any metal utensils on the surface (which chips away at the pan), they should last a lifetime. Just make sure to properly season it before initial use if it has been in storage for some time.
Q I keep my ceramic cookware in the oven to protect it from moisture. Is that okay?
A: We do not recommend keeping anything that holds water inside of the oven, at least when it comes to cooking utensils. This is because moisture can build up around certain materials which makes them susceptible to rusting.
Q Are ceramic coatings nonstick?
A: Ceramic coatings are not nonstick. However, they have a very strong warp resistance so you should be able to cook anything without the food sticking to it. They also distribute heat very evenly across the surface of the pan so you will never have any hot or cold spots. Plus, ceramic pans are lighter than other materials which makes them easier to move around and lift.
Q Are ceramic pans dishwasher safe?
A: We do not recommend putting any nonstick cookware in the dishwasher because of how harsh it is on the material. Make sure to wash everything by hand with a non-abrasive cleaner and soft sponge or brush so you do not scratch off the coating.
Q How much do ceramic pans weigh?
A: Pans made from high-quality aluminum and ceramic will typically weigh about 1/3 of the weight of cast iron. This means you can cook with them for a much longer time without getting tired, which makes it perfect if you are cooking for one person or in smaller spaces where mobility is important.
Q Are ceramic pans induction compatible?
A: While it is possible to cook on an induction stovetop with nonstick or ceramic pans, you have to have a layer of metal underneath the pan in order for the electromagnetic fields to work properly. This means that most nonstick and ceramics will not be compatible with induction stoves because they do not have the proper grounding. This is why we recommend that you use cast iron or stainless steel with your induction stove, but this will significantly increase the weight of the pan.
Q Is a scratched or chipped ceramic pan safe to use?
A: It is possible to scratch or chip ceramic pans, but it depends on the material. If you can see small scratches in your pan then that means the warp resistance of the coating has been compromised and it will start to warp when exposed to high heat. However, if there are just some very minor chips such as along the edges then these should not affect the function of your pan and you can continue to use it as normal.
Ceramic pans are safe to use as long as you follow the care instructions provided by your manufacturer. The primary reason why people think they are dangerous is that they aren’t following the rules for proper usage. If you avoid using oil or putting them in the dishwasher, there really isn’t anything to worry about.
Ceramic pans cannot be used in the oven or on high heat because they will warp and melt, but you can heat them through on medium-low heat for a long time. If you are looking for an effective cooking surface that will last, ceramic pans are some of the best bets. Just be careful not to drop them or expose them to water because this will cause damage over time.
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