Last updated on September 15th, 2023 at 09:08 pm
Struggling to make sense of the differences between ceramic and traditional non-stick cookware? You’re not alone. It can feel overwhelming to sort through the marketing hype of the different cookware options.
Let’s remove the hype and break down the differences between traditional and ceramic non-stick pans. Read on to discover everything you need to know when choosing the “out-of-the-box” non-stick pans that will work best for your kitchen needs.
Ceramic vs Non-Stick Cookware
What Qualifies as Non-Stick Cookware?
In the most simple terms, non-stick cookware is any pan that has a surface designed to prevent food from sticking to it.That’s it.
Some pans, such as cast iron, can develop a non-stick surface with the appropriate “seasoning” process and ongoing maintenance, but that’s a lot of effort.
The most common kinds of “out-of-the-box” non-stick cookware are traditional non-stick pans, which are coated with a layer of synthetic material, and ceramic non-stick pans.
What Is Non-Stick Cookware Good For?
Have you ever struggled to get an omelet or crepe out of a pan? Non-stick pans make it a breeze with their smooth coating, all while reducing or eliminating your need for oil and butter.
Of course, the ease of getting food to the plate isn’t the only advantage. How many minutes or hours have you lost to scrubbing pans?
Non-stick pans, ceramic or traditional, are a great investment for time-conscious foodies who hate doing dishes. They keep your cleanup time to a minimum!
Ceramic Non-Stick Pans
Ceramic non-stick cookware is a relatively new approach to non-stick pans, having only become popular in the last decade or so.
They use ceramic instead of the more traditional silicone to create a non-stick surface that’s more durable and has a longer lifespan.
They’re made with a metallic alloy, usually aluminum or stainless steel, that is covered with a ceramic non-stick coating. They will usually have a silicone handle attachment as well.
Ceramic non-toxic coatings are usually very thin, between a few nanometers and 50 micrometers. These coatings are designed to be scratch-resistant, easy to clean, and generally safe to use with metal utensils. Below are a few of their other benefits, as well as some drawbacks:
- Generally safer for high-temperature cooking
- Even heating
- Great heat retention to keep food warm
- More eco-friendly
- Comes in different colors, so it can be used as part of your decor
- Non-stick initially, but can become low-stick over time
- Eventually can chip or break
- Can’t use strong abrasives when cleaning
- Depending upon the brand, you may not be able to use it in the oven
- Not dishwasher compatible
Traditional Non-Stick Cookware
Traditional non-stick cookware is made with a coating of synthetic polymers, usually polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or polyethylene, that creates a non-stick surface. Because of this, the surface cannot be used with metal utensils as that would cause the coating to flake off.
This type of cookware is sometimes called “Teflon,” although this is not actually the brand name of any non-stick cookware.
Typically, the non-stick surface is applied to the inside of the pan only, but some high-end cookware will have a non-stick coating on both the inside and the outside.
The type of coating used in traditional non-stick cookware is usually very thick, anywhere from several micrometers to several thousand micrometers; this makes it durable and long-lasting while also living up to its reputation for easy cleaning.
Below are some benefits and drawbacks:
- Easy to clean
- Stays non-stick for years with care
- Unlikely to release harmful chemicals if kept under 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Less scratch-resistant
- Incompatible with induction ranges
- May have uneven heating across the surface
- Not advisable for high-temperature cooking
- Not always compatible with oven or dishwasher use
- Often needs to be replaced after five years
- Can’t use metal utensils
- Less eco-friendly in manufacturing
Ceramic non-stick cookware is a great choice for people who want non-stick pans but don’t want the health risks that come with traditional non-stick cookware. However, advancements have been made to improve the safety of traditional non-stick cookware. In fact, PFOA was phased out of the making of all Teflon products around 2013.
So, should you choose ceramic non-stick pans or traditional ones? It depends.
Do you like to use butter and oil? Is being able to move your pan from stove to oven important? How important is it for you to match your cookware to your kitchen’s color scheme?
Whatever you choose, always do your research. Check out the warranties and reviews, and pay attention to the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding the use and limitations of their specific products. That little extra work will help ensure you find the best traditional or ceramic non-stick pan for you.Ceramic vs Non-Stick Cookware: The Differences Explained | #cooking Click To Tweet
Don’t miss a thing! Subscribe to MomsWhoSave’s newsletter.