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High-quality cookware is one of the most important additions to any home kitchen. There is nothing quite like cooking pancakes or an omelet on a well made non-stick pan and not having to worry about cleaning up a sticky mess before heading to work.
A good set of cookware can be the simple deciding factor in having a positive or negative experience while cooking.
It can even have long-lasting effects on your health and the health of your pets in your home. Unfortunately, the rise of non-stick cookware has created harmful living situations in homes. This is because non-stick cookware is often made with dangerous chemicals that release at certain temperatures.
These non-stick inventions can be incredibly convenient and appealing to those who don’t want to deal with adding oils to their meals. It can also be appealing for those who are in a hurry and don’t have the time to deal with a messy pan.
However, convenience should never be prioritized over health and safety. Fortunately, there is a certain type of cookware that is naturally non-stick, made with natural materials, and has been delivering positive results for years. It’s called ceramic cookware.
What Is Ceramic Cookware?
Ceramic cookware has been around for thousands of years. Some can argue that it has been around since the early 1600s in Greek, China, and America. Not to be confused with pottery, ceramic is a solid material made out of clay and hardened by heat. It is then finished with a beautiful glaze such which can come in a variety of colors.
It is often heavy, hearty, and durable like brick. Unfortunately, the industrial revolution got in the way and replaced ceramic cookware with aluminum. This comes with its own set of problems. Ceramic made a comeback in the 1960s when people started to become more concerned about their environmental impact.
Ceramic cookware that is designed to be green is not made using PFOA, lead, chromium, or any other heavy metals that could cause you harm. True ceramic cookware that is green, healthy, and reliable, will be made with the most natural materials that come directly from the earth. Ceramic should never contain toxic heavy metals, or release gases into the air, even at extreme temperatures.
Best Ceramic Frying Pans
Read our review on the Top 5 best ceramic frying pans.
The Upside Of Ceramic Cookware
Ceramic cookware is naturally non-stick which makes cooking a breeze and cleaning even easier. You don’t have to worry about scratching up your pots and pans while trying to scrub off hard-to-remove foods. Cooking should be fun and easy. Cleaning shouldn’t be made any less hard than it already is.
The first obvious benefit of using ceramic cookware is that there are no dangerous toxins used in the production or materials of the cookware. Ceramic cookware should only ever be made with natural materials from the crust of the earth.
Another benefit of this cookware is that if it’s made properly, it shouldn’t contain any toxic heavy metals that could potentially leach into your food. Besides the health benefits of not having heavy metals in your cookware, it will also prevent any negative effects on flavor.
Ceramic cookware is incredibly versatile. You can take it directly from a piping hot oven and place it in the fridge. You definitely can’t say the same about glass bakeware or cookware.
Additionally, certain pieces of ceramic cookware can withstand temperatures of up to 2700 degrees Fahrenheit while steel can melt at 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. This will definitely vary depending on the specific brand you buy and what other materials are added. However, all ceramic will retain heat longer and distribute it more evenly for a more efficient cooking process.
While aesthetics are not the most important thing in the world, it doesn’t hurt that true ceramic cookware is beautiful. They come in various finishes in different colors and glazes to suit your needs.
The Downsides Of Ceramic Cookware
The major downfalls of ceramic cookware are that not all ceramics are made equal. Every ceramic cookware set on the market is different. Some are incredibly expensive, some contain aluminum bases, some use plastic handles, while others use lead in the glazes. What you will end up buying will depend on your personal preferences for materials, usage purposes, and budget.
Another downfall is that ceramic cookware can often take a bit longer than competing materials to heat up. This is often countered by the fact that is cooks more efficiently overall, but nevertheless, it can be quite frustrating for someone who is on the go.
Something That Ceramic Cookware Doesn’t Have
One toxin that is in many non-ceramic stick pans is PFOA. Thankfully, ceramic cookware doesn’t have this! PFOA is a man-made chemical that has been around since the 1940s and is often used in Teflon coated non-stick pans.
Unfortunately, at high temperatures and when used for long periods of time, this toxin releases flakes or gasses that can be quite harmful to your health. The American Cancer Society lists this toxin as a potential carcinogenic and when tested on animals has been proven to cause tumor growth.
While there is speculation if these chemicals can cause tumor growth in humans, it is clear that they are incredibly harmful to animals. Simply cooking with your window open can be detrimental to the wildlife outside and harmful to your pets inside. PFOA is what makes the non-stick and somewhat slippery surface that people so desperately seek out.
PFOA is made out of fluorinated chemicals. The American Cancer Society is starting to warn people about this, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been warning us about it for years.
When you heat these chemicals up to a certain temperature, they start to off-gas some pretty nasty chemicals which can cause major damage to your organs and thyroid. It is even listed as a carcinogenic that can cause tumor growth as well as cause infertility, reproductive and developmental problems.
How Good Is Ceramic Cookware?
From the research that has been done and the results that have been delivered, ceramic cookware seems to be the best option available. Whether you are looking for a true ceramic pot that is as strong and heavy as a brick, or a lightweight frying pan that is ceramic coated, you really can’t go wrong.
At the very least, you are guaranteed a product that is going to last you years to come. Additionally, you will get an incredibly efficient and safe, non-stick piece of cookware. The fact that they are going to be fun to cook with and a breeze to clean is the cherry on top. If all that wasn’t enough, ceramic cookware is incredibly affordable, making it an easily accessible option for any price range.
How to Season a Ceramic Frying Pan
Read our article on how to season a ceramic frying pan.
Top Quality Ceramic Cookware Sets
Cook N Home NC-00359 Nonstick Ceramic Coating 10-Piece Cookware Set, Red
The Cook N Home non-stick ceramic coated 10 piece cookware set is without a doubt the best affordable ceramic based cookware set. It is a relatively low priced option without skimping on quality. The set comes with 2 saucepans, a casserole, a dutch oven, and two frying pans, plus glass lids.
The cookware is made out of heavy duty aluminum which is a metal that is found in the crust of the earth. Aluminum is a common addition in ceramic cookware because of its ability to distribute heat evenly and prevent the problem of hot and cold spots.
The cooking vessel is then coated with a non-stick non-toxic ceramic coating to ensure that cooking and cleaning is both easy and safe. They are also incredibly versatile as they work with gas, electric, ceramic, and halogen cooktops.
T-Fal C996SE Initiatives Nonstick Ceramic Coated 14 Piece Cookware Set
This ceramic coated cookware set is another fantastic option made by a well known and reputable brand. It comes with two saucepans, a stockpot, three frying pans, glass lids, and four soft cooking utensils.
What makes this set so appealing is that it comes with an incredibly durable ceramic coating that can withstand the impact of most cooking utensils over time. This makes it more resistant against scratching when cleaning or cooking with different materials.
The non-stick ceramic coating makes cooking without excessive oils a breeze. The base is made out of a heavy gauge aluminum to ensure even heat distribution, durability, and faster overall cooking times. The cooking surface is able to reach over 500 degrees Fahrenheit without any problems and can even withstand 350 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. It is dishwasher safe and incredibly affordable.
Shopping for a new cookware set can be quite stressful. There are so many options to choose from and every time you look for a resource to point you in the right direction, it just makes you more confused. With so many different cookware materials, cooktop types, and different needs and opinions, you might be tempted to just buy whatever has the best reviews.
Reviews are a great thing but they certainly don’t tell the whole story. Cooking can be an incredibly personal thing and each individual person has their own style, wants, and needs.
Fortunately, ceramic cookware can tick almost every box on your wish list, plus it doesn’t cause you, your furry friends, or your family any harm. We hope this article shed some light on ceramic cookware and why it is the best choice for you and your family.