Did you know that the most ancient pottery was found about 19,000 to 20,000 years ago while scientists were digging in a cave in China? Pottery, in case you didn’t know, is pots, dishes, or objects made out of clay usually by hand and then cooked in an oven at high temperatures so that they become hard.
So, what does this have to do with ceramic cookware then? That’s because ceramic cookware is also generally made from clay, along with quartz sand and minerals. Know then that when you select a ceramic cookware, you will also be selecting a cookware that was used by, as well as of prime importance to, the ice age people.
Today, ceramic cookware is still made from the same natural materials, and it’s free of PTFE and PFOA. As such, it is considered to be a safe alternative to Teflon, which it’s why it’s a popular choice among health-conscious consumers.
Types of Ceramic Cookware
There are two types of ceramic cookware you’ll find in the market today: pure ceramic and ceramic coated. One is made of clay, while the other can be made of various materials, as it’s only the coating that’s made of ceramic.
Pure ceramic cookware is generally made from clay, quartz sand, and minerals. To make this cookware, the mixture will first go through a shape-forming process, after which it is then fired at about 1915 degrees Fahrenheit to calcify the cookware. Once the cookware has been hardened, it will then go through a glazing process to give the cookware its decorative, nonstick surface. While the making of this cookware may sound simple, actually it’s a lengthy process, with the entire manufacturing process said to take about 21 days.
The main advantage that pure ceramic cookware affords you is versatility. Because it can withstand temperatures up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, you can use it directly from the stovetop to the broiler; and if you like, you can also put it in the oven, unlike metal. With a natural nonstick, glossy surface created by undergoing through the glazing process, pure ceramic is very easy to care for. In addition, it’s also nonreactive to acidic foods, like tomatoes and vinegar, and very durable. In terms of cleaning, because of the durability of the surface, it’s also said you can also use mild abrasives on it without marring it.
Pros: Can withstand very high temperatures without melting. Oven- and broiler-safe. Very easy to care for. Nonreactive to acidic foods. Retain heat very well.
Cons: Can break and chip easily. May contain lead, especially older ceramic and stone cookware. May discolor glass cooktops at higher heat. Not compatible with induction ranges.
The other type of ceramic cookware is the ceramic coated cookware. This means it’s only the coating that is made of ceramic, whereas the cookware can be made of aluminum, stainless steel, copper, or other materials. When selecting this cookware then, you should base your decision on the cookware material and not merely the coating. To coat a cookware with this type of coating, silicone oil is first applied to the surface of the cookware. Once the oil has been applied, the coated cookware will then be heated up to high temperatures to harden it. But before that, binders, reinforcing agents, and color pigments will also be added to give the cookware its ceramic appearance, with what color it takes on based on the color pigment used.
The main reason why most people opt for ceramic coating is because it’s considered a safe alternative to Teflon. Because it’s made from inorganic materials instead of chemicals, it is also thought to be more eco-friendly than the latter. The only drawback to this coating is that it doesn’t last quite as long as Teflon. In fact, even with proper care, it’s said that this coating will eventually get washed or cooked away, after which you then need to have the coated cookware replaced.
Pros: Safe to use. Free of PTFE and PFOA. More eco friendly.
Cons: Has a short lifespan. Can’t be used in the microwave. Not metal utensil- and dishwasher-safe, as it can scratch the coating and cause it to wear out faster.
Ceramic Cookware Reviews 2017
Best Ceramic Cookware Set – WearEver Pure Living C943SF
WearEver Pure Living has the best ceramic cookware set. The C943SF comes in a 10 piece set and a 15 piece set. I think the 15-piece set is great value for money.
Feel free to sear with confidence because this cookware set can be used up to the temperature of 750F, though I wouldn’t recommend it. There’s actually no need to go up to that temperature when ceramic holds heat so well. You’d end up burning your food and damaging the ceramic finish.
While the C943SF is dishwasher friendly, it is so easy to clean up by hand that I’d rather hand wash these to keep them in good shine. A reviewer said that if you season these pans lightly with coconut oil it would preserve the nonstick qualities of the ceramic surface, and I found that true and helpful.
The ergonomic silicone handle also makes maneuvering and handling the cookware an easy task. Controlling the cookware or the food that was cooking in it was such a breeze.
Best Budget Ceramic Cookware Set – Cook N Home NC 00358
If you have a budget and still want a safe yet durable ceramic coated cookware set, the Cook N Home NC 00358 is a decent 10 piece cookware set to look at. The pieces in this set are splendid. Every single piece that ranged from the saucepan to the dutch oven had a purpose to serve. This means the casual home cook wouldn’t ever be short handed when trying to whip up any family feasts or regular family dinners.
The casserole pan lids could double up as lids for the fry pans. I was impressed that the manufactured took into account that some chefs prefer to have lids on their fry pans. Lids help ensure that the internal temperature in the pan can be a lot higher and there will be a lot less oil splattering across the kitchen floor.
I also love how the pots and pans clean up easily and nothing sticks unless I burn them! Even if that happens, a soak overnight does the trick and all of it comes off.
Best Ceramic Frying Pan – Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan
The Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan is about the best pan you can purchase that has a reinforced layer of ceramic non-stick and scratch resistant coating. The 8 inch variant barely reaches the $25 price point. This is remarkable because it is kinda rare that I’d be able to purchase an induction friendly frying pan at this price.
This isn’t one of your usual run off the mill ceramic coated aluminium pan. The GREBLON lining is PTFE and PFOA free so it’ll not release any harmful substances even when used at high temperatures.
The heavy gauge aluminium used also gives the fry pan a nice weight to it. It doesn’t feel overly heavy and thanks to the weight the pan doesn’t wobble even if the contents in the pan are placed unevenly.
The pan comes in three sizes that are the 8 inch, 10 inch and 12 inch variant. The only downside I found to using this pan is that there wasn’t a lid I that came with the pan. However, thanks to the hollow design of the pan oil didn’t splatter much when I used the pan.