Does your tomato sauce taste tinny? When it comes to cooking acidic foods, no chef’s kitchen is complete without ceramic cookware. Ceramic cookware and coatings are non-reactive. This means that unlike metal pans, metallic tastes won’t seep into the flavors of your complex dishes. Ceramic coatings are also a popular non-toxic and eco-friendly alternative to PTFE coatings, such as Teflon.
Is this your first set of ceramic coated cookware? If so, you should know that ceramics require specialized care and cleaning. It’s not that bad; trust us. We’ll teach you how to care for your ceramic coated pans and get the longest use out of your new cookware.
1. Cooking With Ceramic Coated Pans
There are many reasons why you should choose ceramic cookware instead of metallic alternatives, but they depend partly on a functional non-stick coating. Don’t be lazy about your ceramic pan care. After you’ve removed all the labels from your new pan and given it a wash with a soft sponge, it’s time to get cooking.
To protect the ceramic coating, warm up oil or butter on low heat before placing in any other items. Although you may be tempted, don’t cheat with the convenience of cooking sprays. The chemicals in cooking sprays can damage the ceramic layer of your pan.
And be wary of extra virgin olive oil. Due to its low-temperature threshold, extra virgin olive oil tends to leave behind a hard-to-remove residue that can reduce the effectiveness of the ceramic coat.
If you’re using a gas stove or open flame, take care that the flames only heat the bottom of the cookware. Loose flames can scorch the sides of a ceramic coated pan.
To maximize the lifespan of your new pan, go easy on the coating. Although you can use metal utensils on ceramic cookware, they may scratch or otherwise damage your pan. Instead, use soft cooking utensils, such as wood or silicone.
2. Storing Your Ceramic Coated Pans
Since ceramic is a heavy and sturdy material, it’s prone to damaging anything it comes in contact with. Find storage space in your kitchen to separate your ceramic cookware. As tempted as you may be to maximize space and stack pots and pans, this is likely to scratch or chip the non-stick surface.
If your space is limited and you opt to nest your pans on top of each other, separate them with paper towels, napkins, or tablecloths. These can provide a buffer layer that minimizes damage. Even with this added layer of protection, you should nest the pans carefully and never slide them around once contact is made.
3. Cleaning Ceramic Coated Pans
The smooth surface of ceramic coated pans makes cleanup a breeze. Always let your cookware cool down before rinsing it clean. Cookware, still hot from the stove or oven, can warp or crack under the temperature difference of cold water. Who’s in a big rush to get the cleaning done anyway?
Just like other types of cookware, ceramic coated pans should always be hand-washed under the kiss of a soapy sponge. Scrub until all particles and discoloration have been removed — and don’t forget about the outside of the pan. Your stove and oven aren’t always as clean as you might think.
Never use any abrasive cleaning utensils, such as scrubbing pads or steel wool. Likewise, avoid introducing your pan to harsh chemicals found in heavy-duty cleaning agents. Soap is more than enough for a smooth ceramic coating. With little effort, the remaining food particles and grease should slip right off.
That’s not even the best part. Ceramic pans have several health benefits since they are easier to clean than other types of cookware.
4. Erasing Stains
Some foods are determined to cling to your pots and pans even after a thorough scrub. So how do you remove stains from a ceramic pan? When soap and water don’t do the trick, try the old fashioned power couple: vinegar and baking soda.
First, soak your pan in warm water for about 15 to thirty 30. Once wet, then sprinkle baking soda across its stained surface. Wet your sponge with water and use circular motions to work the baking soda into the source of the stain. If this doesn’t seem to do the trick, add a small amount of vinegar to the mix.
Still not making the cut? While steel wool or other powerful abrasives could get the job done, they could also scratch the surface of the ceramic coating. There are worse things than discolored pans — such as pans with scratched and faulty non-stick coatings.
5. Removing Burnt On Food
Even with the strength of a non-stick coating, sometimes food just loves to stick. Just like before, soak your pan in some warm, soapy water for a good 30 minutes. When the sponge doesn’t get the job done, you don’t need to look far for a stronger cleaning utensil.
Wash off your wooden spoon or another cooking utensil and use it to scrape free the trapped food. With a bit of soaking and some elbow grease, it may be more negotiable.
If you find food often adheres to your ceramic pan, the non-stick coating may be damaged. Is your pan aged or worn? Typically, you should replace non-stick pots and pans every five years.
Get the Most out of Your Cookware
Ceramic coated pans aren’t the only tools in your kitchen arsenal. As a chef, you pay good money for the best kitchen cookware and appliances around. It’s no wonder you want them to last.
Keep an eye on our cookware blog. You’ll stay tapped into the best new appliances and learn how to get the most bang for your buck.