There are countless varieties of cookware on the market. Different sizes, different materials. Promises from all sorts of companies that their cookware is all you’ll ever need.
Searches quickly become overwhelming and make you feel even less certain than before.
Ceramic cookware offers many unique features and benefits to cooks with all levels of experience. Here, I’m going to narrow it down for you by discussing some of the key components of this cookware type and will ultimately review some of the best ceramic cookware on the market today.
What is Ceramic Cookware?
Simply put, ceramic cookware is made of clay fired in a kiln at much higher temperatures than traditional pottery. Then, the ceramic is covered in a glaze to seal it and make it “nonstick.”
Ceramic is often considered one of the healthier cookware options because it doesn’t have Teflon or other chemical “non-stick” coatings often found in other cookware.
There are two main types of ceramic cookware on the market.
- 100% ceramic is made of clay and ceramic glaze. It is the most traditional type of ceramic cookware.
- Ceramic-coated cookware is usually stainless steel or aluminum cookware coated with ceramic glaze.
What are the Benefits of Ceramic Cookware?
Ceramic cookware is very popular among professional chefs and beginner cooks alike. It is easy to use and maintain and very versatile.
Ceramic pots and pans tend to heat more evenly than other cookware, which, in turn, helps food follow suit in the way it cooks. Because ceramic heats more evenly and holds heat so well, you can cook food at lower temperatures, reducing the risk of burning or overcooking your meal.
Ceramic stays warm for about 15 minutes after you remove it from the stove or oven, which aids in keeping your food from cooling too quickly.
Ceramic is also versatile. Many ceramic pots and pans are safe to use in the oven and on the stovetop as well as in broilers, steamer ovens, convection ovens, and microwave ovens. Cookware sets will usually specify where they are safe to use.
Always default to the manufacturer instructions and exercise proper precaution when handling hot items!
When it’s time to clean up, you will appreciate how easy it is to clean ceramic. It has natural non-stick properties.
It’s rare for food to stick to the ceramic. However, if it does, simply soak the dish in warm, soapy water for a few minutes to loosen the food, then wipe it clean.
Many people appreciate that ceramic is non-reactive and usually does not have chemicals that may leach into the food as it cooks. Seek out ceramic cookware that is labeled “Lead-Free,” as it is typically non-toxic and free of chemicals.
Another health benefit of cooking with ceramic pots and pans is that you will use less oil or butter.
Ceramic is a convenient blend of beauty and functionality. They make excellent serving dishes and storage containers for leftover food as well. Just cover the cookware with a lid or plastic wrap and keep the leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
Are There Disadvantages to Ceramic Cookware?
One major point of emphasis to consider when you purchase ceramic cookware is the longer cook times. Ceramic cooks best on low or medium heat, so it usually takes a little longer to cook food in ceramic pans than in pans made from other materials.
Ceramic pots and pans don’t handle quick temperature changes well.
For instance, if you attempt to cook frozen foods in ceramic cookware, it may crack or break entirely because of the temperature difference between the food and the pan.
You should also ensure that the ceramic cookware cools completely before washing it as putting a hot ceramic pan in cold water may cause it to crack or damage the nonstick coating.
Ceramic cookware scratches easily. Especially if you use metal utensils on it.
To protect your ceramic dishes and ensure they have a long life, use cooking utensils that are safe for ceramic, like wooden, silicone, plastic, or nylon.
Take care not to drop or bang your ceramic cookware or allow it to bend. This may deform the dish and damage the nonstick coating.
Although the instructions and care seem more involved and intensive than other cookware materials on the market, the benefits to ceramic cookware far outweigh any extra time or energy it takes to care for ceramic properly.
How to Clean Ceramic Cookware
You should hand-wash ceramic cookware with warm, soapy water and a soft sponge or non-abrasive pad. If food is stuck to the pan, soak it in hot water for about thirty minutes, then gently wipe the food away.
Deep clean your ceramic dishes periodically to remove any stains and avoid a buildup of oils. Soak the pan in hot, soapy water then cover the area you would like to clean with baking soda.
Let the baking soda sit for about 20 minutes then lightly scrub the pan with a plastic dish brush or a cloth until the stains lift. Rinse the pan with warm water and dry it thoroughly.
Does Ceramic Cookware Require Seasoning?
Unlike cast iron, ceramic cookware generally doesn’t require seasoning. Some ceramic pots and pans come with instructions on how to season before the first use, and some require seasoning to maintain the nonstick coating.
If your pan does require seasoning, use a soft towel to lightly rub about a tablespoon of vegetable oil all over the cooking surface. Then, heat the pan for about 3 minutes on the stove or in a preheated oven.
Let the pan cool then wipe away any oil. For best results, treat your pans to a seasoning about twice a year.
Tips for Cooking with Ceramic Cookware
One of the major benefits of using ceramic cookware is that it requires less oil or butter to prevent food from sticking. Add a small amount of butter or oil to lightly and evenly coat the inside of the pan each time you cook. This will help the ceramic glaze last longer.
Avoid using cooking sprays on ceramic cookware. Sprays often cause residue build-up, and some contain chemicals that are not suitable for nonstick cookware like ceramic. Extra virgin olive oil is also not ideal for ceramic pans because it often leaves a carbonized film on the pan.
Top Five Ceramic Cookware
Now that we’ve covered the basics of ceramic cookware, let’s take a look at five of the best products available today.
This 10-piece ceramic set includes a covered 5-quart Dutch oven, 1 and 2-quart covered saucepans, an 8-inch frying pan, a 3-quart covered casserole dish and a 9.5-inch frying pan with a tempered glass lid. The frying pans can also use the lids from the pots.
The beautiful red, nonstick ceramic glaze covers thick-gauge aluminum that conducts heat well and prevents hot spots. However, it is not safe to use in the oven or on induction stoves. The aluminum spiral bottoms may also scratch glass-topped stoves.
The clear tempered glass lids allow you to see your food as you cook and they fit all the pots and pans, including the frying pans. The lids are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
For the best results, hand-wash these pots with a soft rag and gentle dish soap to preserve the ceramic nonstick coating.
- Good size variety in the pots
- Tempered glass lids fit all the pots and pans
- Thick-gauge aluminum conducts heat efficiently
- The handles have an anti-slip coating that stays cool during cooking
- Very durable ceramic cookware for the price point
- Not suitable for induction stoves or the oven
- Only use ceramic-safe utensils
- Aluminum spiral on the bottom may scratch glass-top stoves
- 8-inch frying pan and 9.5-inch frying pan are a bit redundant
This cookware set is a beautiful blend of style and function, designed to serve as cookware and serving dishes.
Durable porcelain enamel covers aluminum pans. They are suitable for all stovetops except induction stoves and oven-safe up to about 350 degrees F. If you have a gas stove, it is important to use the right size burner. Allowing flames to go up the side of the pan causes the enamel to discolor.
They are PFOA-cadmium and lead-free for clean cooking. The nonstick coating prevents even the stickiest foods from becoming a cleanup nightmare. Though these pots are not dishwasher safe, they are surprisingly easy to clean and maintain.
The dual-riveted handles have a rubberized coating for easy, comfortable handling. The tempered glass lids are shatter resistant.
- PFOA-cadmium and lead-free for nontoxic cooking
- Dual-riveted, rubberized handles for easy, safe gripping
- The nonstick coating makes cleaning a breeze
- Designed to serve as cookware and serving dishes
- Suitable for all stovetops except induction stoves
- Oven safe up to 350 degrees F.
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Not suitable for induction stoves
- Only use ceramic-safe utensils
- High heat can cause the cookware to warp and damage the nonstick coating
- Not dishwasher safe
T-fal was one of the first companies to provide chemical-free nonstick cookware for nontoxic cooking. The ceramic coating is PTFE, PFOA, and cadmium free. A heavy-gauge aluminum core evenly distributes heat for a better, more efficient cooking experience.
The T-fal pans are safe to use in the oven up to 350-degrees F and suitable for all kinds of stovetops except induction stoves.
The ceramic nonstick coating is scratch and stain resistant. T-Fal includes several ceramic-safe nylon cooking utensils, which is a nice bonus for anyone just starting or making the switch to ceramic.
Although T-fal advertises their ceramic cookware as dishwasher-safe, the nonstick coating lasts longer if you hand wash them with a soft rag and gentle soap.
- PTFE, PFOA, and cadmium free ceramic coating for nontoxic cooking
- Heavy-gauge aluminum core heats evenly and cooks efficiently
- Oven safe up to 350-degrees F.
- Scratch and stain-resistant ceramic coating
- Dishwasher safe
- Includes ceramic-safe nylon cooking utensils
- Includes a limited lifetime warranty.
- Not suitable for use on induction stoves
- Only use ceramic-safe utensils
- Some consumers prefer to avoid cookware manufactured in China
Cuisinart used famous French chefs as their inspiration to design this beautiful ceramic cookware set. Each pot has an anodized aluminum core and a scratch-resistant, nonstick, ceramic glaze.
Cuisinart’s Ceramica coating is made in Italy to ensure it is nontoxic and complies with all European and US safety regulations. Cuisinart guarantees each pot is free of petroleum, PTFE, and PFOA.
Ceramica conducts heat well for more energy-efficient cooking, and the anodized aluminum core heats evenly to prevent hot spots.
One significant advantage to ceramic cookware is that it does not need to be seasoned. However, you should avoid using PAM or other cooking sprays because they tend to leave a film.
All the pans are oven and broiler safe up to 500 degrees F. which is hotter than many other ceramic pots and pans on the market. The oven-safe handles are made of 70% recycled stainless steel.
Though the pans are scratch-resistant, you should only use ceramic-safe cooking utensils.
The lids are made with tempered glass and have a hole to allow steam to escape.
Hand-wash these pans and lids in warm soapy water to preserve the ceramic nonstick coating. Avoid harsh cleaning soaps and scrubbers that can damage the nonstick surface.
- Available in several set sizes or as individual pieces
- Water-based Ceramica nonstick glaze won’t peel off and is PTFE and PFOA-free
- Complies with European and US safety regulations
- Scratch-resistant glaze
- Tempered glass lids with steam hole
- Safe to use in the oven and broiler
- Not dishwasher safe
- Only use ceramic-safe utensils
This cookware is an excellent option for anyone looking to upgrade or invest in high-quality ceramic cookware. GreenPan has several set sizes and options to choose from, so you will have the pans that best fit your cooking needs.
Each pan is made with anodized aluminum and covered with Thermolon nonstick ceramic coating. Thermolon is PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium-free so you can have peace of mind that no harmful toxins can leach into your food.
The Thermolon glaze won’t peel if it overheats and the anodized aluminum core resists warping. They are excellent pans for all types of stoves–including induction stoves!
Many ceramic nonstick coatings trap or block a little heat, but Thermolon is more efficient at conducting heat. For this reason, you should cook at a lower heat setting than with other nonstick pans.
The pan rims are shaped to pour liquids without dripping or making a mess.
The tempered glass lids are oven safe up to 600 degrees F., and the cookware is oven safe—though some product descriptions say they are oven safe up to 600 degrees F and others approve them for up to 450 degrees F. Either way, these ceramic pans are designed to withstand greater oven and broiler temperatures than other ceramic pots and pans.
Though GreenPan says their cookware is dishwasher safe, hand washing is much better and will preserve the nonstick coating.
- Safe for induction stoves and all other stovetops
- Thermolon glaze is nontoxic and won’t peel in high heat
- Anodized aluminum core heats evenly and conducts heat efficiently
- Oven and broiler safe
- The nonstick coating comes with a 2-year warranty
- Some places report the cookware is oven-safe to 450-degrees F. and others say it is safe to 600-degrees F.
- Made in China
Though all of these ceramic cookware sets perform well and receive excellent reviews from users, our overall front-runner is the Cuisinart GreenGourmet Hard-Anodized Nonstick Cookware set.
The Cuisinart GreenGourmet ceramic pans are affordable, versatile, and perform well whether you broil, sauté, stir-fry, or anything in between. Not only are these pans versatile, but Cuisinart also guarantees their products do not contain any regulated chemicals in their ceramic coating.
Cuisinart boasts a long history of manufacturing high quality, durable cookware that serves experienced and novice cooks alike at an affordable price point.