Are you in the market for some new pots and pans?
Maybe your old ones are starting to look a little beat up, you’re looking to add to your cookware collection, or you’re just ready for a new style.
There are tons of nonstick (a.k.a. “Teflon“) cookware options out there, from stainless steel to copper to hard-anodized aluminum. And while Teflon-coated cookware definitely has its benefits – like durability and ease of cleaning – it also has potential health risks.
Ceramic cookware is a great alternative to Teflon. When it comes to ceramic vs Teflon, ceramic wins our vote every time. Keep reading to find out why.
First, let’s review why we’re not so crazy about Teflon.
Teflon is made with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers to be “likely carcinogenic“. In fact, the EPA asked several companies that use Teflon in their manufacturing processes to phase out its use.
When heated for even just a few minutes, Teflon coatings can break down and release toxic gases and carcinogens into the air.
If you have a pet bird, you should definitely be aware of the Teflon risks, as birds are even more susceptible to those toxins.
When you consider the risks of Teflon-coated cookware, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. But if most cookware is made with Teflon, what alternative do you have? How can you keep your family safe?
In a word: ceramic.
Read on to find out why ceramic pots and pans easily top our cookware list.
1. Ceramic cookware is safe
The number one reason to choose ceramic vs. Teflon is your health.
100% ceramic cookware does not contain any chemicals, so it definitely doesn’t contain PFOA. It’s typically made of just two ingredients – clay and water – coated with a ceramic glaze, then fired in a kiln.
Keep in mind, we’re talking about 100% ceramic cookware, NOT ceramic-coated metal cookware. In those cases, the coating is actually made up of polymer materials with a ceramic look. The coating degrades over time, exposing the metal underneath.
But true ceramic cookware is non-reactive, non-toxic, and totally safe for you and your family (and the environment!).
2. Ceramic cookware can handle the heat
When it comes to the ceramic vs Teflon debate, ceramic wins the heat category for sure.
Although it takes ceramic a little longer to heat up than other types of cookware, once it gets going, it retains its heat longer and more efficiently than other materials.
It also offers excellent heat distribution. This means your food cook more evenly, helping to ensure you don’t overcook or undercook it.
In addition, ceramic can handle extremely high temperatures. Some brands can withstand temps up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit! While that’s a lot hotter than you’ll ever need for sauteing some veggies or baking a cake, it speaks to the cookware’s incredible strength and durability.
3. Ceramic cookware is naturally nonstick
Remember that ceramic glaze we mentioned earlier? That glaze not only provides strength, color and a lovely glossiness, it also provides a nonstick surface – without any pesky PFOAs.
The nonstick surface is fantastic for several reasons:
- Health: Because things don’t stick to the surface of the pan, you don’t have to use a lot of fattening oil or butter when cooking.
- Cleaning: The glossy, nonstick surface makes cleaning a breeze. Sometimes the stuff left in the pan will just slide right out! (But here are some tips for properly cleaning your ceramic cookware.)
- Stain resistance: That gorgeous coating also helps keep permanent blemishes off the pots and pans.
4. Ceramic cookware is affordable
Think something as amazing as ceramic cookware is going to cost a fortune? Think again.
Whether you’re looking for a big, fancy set of pots and pans or just one or two all-purpose pieces for your collection, ceramic cookware has something to fit every budget.
But really, when it comes to protecting the health and safety of you, your family, and your pets, ceramic cookware is priceless.
5. Ceramic cookware is tough
When you think of ceramics, you probably think of fragile pottery pieces that can shatter into a million pieces.
But ceramic cookware is different than your favorite vase or figurine. It’s kiln-fired, which makes it strong, durable and long-lasting. And some manufacturers are applying several layers of ceramic to their pots and pans, making them even thicker and more durable.
In some ceramic cookware sets, even the handles are more durable than other materials. This is because, unlike other types of cookware, the handle is made as part of the clay material, not attached with screws that can come loose.
6. Ceramic cookware is versatile
When you compare ceramic vs Teflon cookware, both are versatile, but ceramic comes out way ahead.
You can use ceramic cookware on your stovetop or in your oven. It can then go directly to your refrigerator and then to your freezer – without cracking. That means you don’t have to break out a bunch of food containers to store your leftovers. Just stick the cookware directly into the fridge.
Some brands of ceramic cookware can go under the broiler. And, as long as there are no metal screws attaching the handles, your ceramic cookware can even go in the microwave.
7. Ceramic cookware is beautiful
Speaking of versatility, ceramic cookware looks so lovely, you can even use it to serve your food.
You can find cookware in every color of the rainbow, and that beautiful nonstick glaze makes it smooth and glossy. So rather than scooping your food into a serving bowl, you can just carry your ceramic vessel to the table and serve directly from there.
And the ceramic vs Teflon winner is…
We think it’s pretty obvious that in the ceramic vs Teflon contest, our hearts are with ceramic. It’s durable, efficient, versatile – and doesn’t forget incredibly attractive!
But most importantly, it’s the safest cookware choice for you and your family. Unlike Teflon, there are no toxins or chemicals to worry about. You can cook your food without fretting about harming your loved ones.
Ceramic for the win!