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Ceramic vs Stainless Steel – Do you want to buy new cookware, but aren’t sure which type?
Ceramic and stainless steel products come with high recommendations, but which one works will work the best for you?
Both types are cookware are good, but they have their good and bad points. How you cook and the foods you cook will make a difference to which of these cookware types will suit you.
Answer the questions below to help find out what is better for you.
Are you just looking for nonstick pans ? Check out our nonstick pan guide.
1. Do I care about the style of my dishes?
If you are trying to build upon a dream kitchen you may have a certain image you want to portray. Cookware comes in many colors, patterns, and finishes, making it easy to complete your vision. You may have to shop online or at a specialty store to find specific items, but they’re not hard to locate.
2. What makes me feel comfortable when cooking?
Cookware is manufactured with certain features that can make your life easier, some people are attached to these features and won’t purchase an item without them.
Stay-cool handles tend to be a standard feature in modern cookware because they prevent your handle from conducting too much heat. At times, you may need to move your skillet around the kitchen and with stay-cool handles, you can touch it with your hand! If you pan fry the majority of your meats, you may want to opt for a piece with a non-stick coating so they don’t get stuck. The novice chef may need a temperature indicator to determine when the time to drop their food arrives, advanced pans may have a thermometer while others have a spot indicator that turns a certain color when it is ready.
3. How much can I lift?
This question may not seem significant, but it can make or break your mealtime experience. Most cookware is created using some sort of metal and depending on the type, it could be heavy. If you decide to shop in a brick and mortar store take your cookware by the handle and maneuver it as you would at home. If you have to use two hands you may want to get something that weighs less.
4. What do I cook the most?
You must be realistic when asking yourself this question because the way you use your cookware could affect its longevity. If you like to cook foods on a high heat setting, you may want to stay away from metals that give off chemicals since they can be unfavorable to your health.
If you are making a transition to healthier eating, you may need versatile cookware that you can move from the stovetop to the oven in one step. Lastly, hose who boil more than pan fry may need more pots than skillets.
5. What can I afford?
We all want the best of the best but is it actually feasible? Not everyone has an unlimited amount of cash to purchase cookware, so you may have to sacrifice quality for quantity. Sometimes, purchasing an entire set can give you the most bang for your buck, but this may not always be the case.
There may be a few other things that matter to you, so go ahead and take these things in consideration before investing in your next set of dishes.
Thinking about investing in ceramic cookware? If you’ve shared this idea with others, you may have heard a few of these common myths:
1. Myth #1: Ceramic cookware doesn’t last long.
Some think that ceramic coated cookware doesn’t match up to the others when it comes to longevity. Yes, the ceramic coating is fragile and may chip easier than others, but it is all in how you treat your cookware.
One important rule when using ceramic coated cookware is to keep the heat at a low temperature. Turning the heat up too high could make food stick and cause you to scrape the pan. Speaking of scraping, try not to use utensils made of heavy metals because you run the risk of scraping your ceramic coating.
During clean-up, use a gentle dish soap and a non-abrasive sponge because scrub pads can ruin your dish. There is a ton of ceramic coated cookware that is scratch resistant, but they may cost a little more change.
2. Myth #2: I can’t store my things in the fridge or use the dishwasher.
This may hold true for cheaper ceramic dishes but not all of them. Skillets with a thick coating are much more durable than ceramic coated ones, but they are also heavier. Additional cooking techniques such as browning and searing might also be compatible with high-quality ceramics.
3. Myth #3: All non-stick coatings are made from the same stuff.
Ceramic cookware was introduced as an alternative to Teflon, the first non-stick cookware brand. The issues with Teflon is that it is made using chemicals PFOA and PTFE which are both known carcinogens (cancer causing). Teflon isn’t automatically harmful; the chemicals are only released when cookware is under too much heat or gets punctured.
Teflon can be used safely but if you aren’t someone who cooks with caution, you may put you and your family (including your pets) in danger(check out the dangers of Teflon). Ceramic cookware, on the other hand, is formulated without PTFE and PFOA so it is much safer to use.
Cooking foods like eggs, chicken breast, and fish will be a breeze with your new ceramic cookware. The non-stick coating allows these foods to cook without sticking, banishing their unfavorable reputation. The best thing about non-stick is that you’ll use little to no butter or oil since your pan won’t benefit from the extra lubrication. Those longing to eat cleaner will love avoiding saturated fats and may lose a little weight.
Clean-up time may not be as dreadful as usual because bits won’t burn and get attached to your skillet. Instead of scrubbing, your focus will be to remove bacteria, debris, and oil (if used).
Ceramic enamel cookware will allow you to produce stellar dishes because it helps distribute an even amount of heat. Some materials can generate hotspots and cause your food to burn in certain areas. This type of ceramic is also very durable even without polishing.
- May require extra care
- Some items are simply ceramic coated
- Thinner coatings may chip or fade
Top chefs use stainless steel to cook meals because it can help create a quality dish. This steel isn’t susceptible to corrosion so it lasts longer than cookware made of cast iron and other materials.
Consuming corroded metal isn’t safe by any means and it could sacrifice the flavor of your food. Its extreme durability also means keeping cookware costs down, if you purchase flimsy products they may have to be replaced 5-10 times as much as stainless steel would; not even gravity can total it.
It is clear why restaurants choose to use this material to prepare their meals, it produces good food and can save you money! Don’t be fooled, quality stainless steel requires more money than other cookware, the benefit is that it could last you a lifetime (some pieces literally come with lifetime guarantees).
Unfortunately, stainless steel isn’t non-stick so foods may cling on to your pan, to avoid this use butter or oil to help add some slip. The key to a great piece of meat is to never force it from the surface of the pan because once it is cooked enough it will release itself.
Since you have to use butter and oil be sure you don’t burn them. It may sound silly, but oil can burn and cause your pan to turn colors; these areas can also become sticky and impossible to remove.
If you are presented with a tacky substance and can’t remove it your cookware will still work, but it may eventually stain or dull its shine. To avoid stains, wash your cookware immediately after cooking so that debris doesn’t settle.
Have you ever wondered what happens to cookware when you throw it away? Well, if your products were stainless steel they were probably recycled.
In a world where we are starting to show respect for our surroundings many people love that their trash won’t pollute the environment, but instead make something completely new.
You may have been bummed that stainless steel isn’t non-stick but don’t fret; if food does get stuck to your skillet you can run it through the dishwasher! This material can also go in the refrigerator so there is no need to bring out the Tupperware after dinner.
- It will not rust/corrode
- Will last much longer than other materials
- Has a very good reputation
- Can be used in the dishwasher/easy to clean
- Has a very opulent look
- Insanely durable
- May not be the best heat conductor
- Making the best dish may take practice
- You’ll need to use butter or oil
- Can be expensive
One thing to be careful for when shopping for both ceramic and stainless steel cookware is what else it is made from. Stainless steel is usually branded with a number so you can tell the quality of the piece. 18/8. 18/10 and 18/0 are the numbers you’ll likely see and they are revealing. The first number is the amount of stainless steel and second is the amount of nickel; The more nickel you have the better you piece is.
When shopping for ceramic be sure your dish isn’t just ceramic coated and if it is found out what else it made from; just because your coating is chemical-free doesn’t mean that your entire piece will be! If you want to find out more check out our article on healthy cookware.
If we’re going, to be honest, ceramic cookware is great but stainless steel takes the cake. The main reason is due to its durability, some people have stainless steel sets for years and they still look brand new; all it takes is a little TLC. There is no need to worry about having an accident because steel won’t dent if it falls from the counter. You can also use any utensil of your choice to cook, and you are welcome to scrub the skillet to ensure it is clean.
Ceramic dishes tend to come in more styles but unless you invest in a thickly layered piece it may not last as long. Some ceramic also has the ability to shatter if it is handled too roughly or undergoes an extreme temperature change. It seems that stainless steel has all the power of ceramic cookware, it can be used in the oven, kept in the refrigerator, and stand the power of a dishwasher, but has more longevity.
- Only certain styles fit into your kitchen
- Only certain styles fit into your kitchen
- You want chemical free cookware
- You want to avoid using so much better and oil
- You want food that is cooked evenly throughout
- You hate washing dishes
- You’re a sucker for quality
- You can’t afford to buy new cookware every year
- You cook a wide variety of foods
About the author
Understanding the science behind cooking helps me to figure out which tools are best suited for a particular job.
I like to help people better understand exactly what it is that they need when it comes to buying for the kitchen.
Making the right choice is easier when you know what it is you need to get.