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Ceramic Cookware vs Teflon cookware - Ceramic or Teflon - choosing one or the other can be a difficult and confusing. we break down the advantages and disadvantages of both

Ceramic vs teflon: Choose the right one for you

Choosing the right type of nonstick frying pans  or pots can be tough.

Each type will have its strengths and weaknesses.

Find the right one and you will have something that cooks well and lasts.

What will be right for you?

Both Ceramic and Teflon Non-stick cookware has become very popular in recent years.

You have the ability to cook foods like eggs, chicken breast, or fish fillets without using unhealthy amounts of oil and butter and not having your food stick to the pot or pan because of this.

If you are in the market for new cookware there is no reason to feel overwhelmed, just remember that all non-stick pans have a  coating that is either ceramic or Teflon.

Identify your needs – nonstick ceramic or teflon? Make sure you know the difference

Whether you’ll need a ceramic coating or a Teflon coating depends on your personal needs. Some people may enjoy creating restaurant style quality dishes at home while others like to keep it simple.

There are a few questions that you should ask yourself when deciding on which cookware will work best for you and your kitchen.

1. What do I cook the most?

Asking this question will help you decide which coating you’d prefer, if you cook lots of foods that require high heat you may choose differently than if you do not.

2. How does it feel in my hand?

Your cookware should fit your hand as if it were made for you, it will make meal time much more enjoyable if you are comfortable using your skillet.

3. How does it look?

You may be going for a certain “look” when shopping for cookware so note your preferences, there are brands who create pieces with different colors and patterns.

4. What is it made of?

Some materials may result in emitting harmful chemicals into your home, so read the label to ensure that your cookware is safe.

5. Are there any extra amenities?

Companies may add special features to their cookware to make them more appealing. Some of these features may actually be quite helpful while cooking. Common features include:

  • A stay cool handle that helps keep your handle at a low temperature. This will help tremendously whenever you have to move your pot or pan while it is on the burner. Having a stay cool handle means leaving the oven mitts alone and suing your bare hands!
  • A heat indicator is awesome for those who aren’t sure when a pan is hot enough. Typically, there is a spot in the middle of the pan that changes color once it reaches a desirable temperate. If you are new to cooking, the heat indicator may become your best friend.
  • Glass lids may not sound exciting, but they can add to the quality of your meal. Being able to view your food without removing the lid means keeping heat trapped inside of your dish, instead of having to remove it and letting cool air in.
  • Some cookware comes in a set just in case you need more than one dish. Sets normally save you more money than buying cookware a la carte.

6. Will it fit in my storage space?

Make sure that the item you purchase can fit in your kitchen, and into a safe place. Storing your cookware correctly will help it last much longer than if you hadn’t.

7. Are there any health risks?

Some cookware materials have components that can harm the body. While your chances of being affected depends on the user, it is still safe to know the risks.

8. What is the price?

Obviously, the piece must be affordable but if you shoot too low, you may be wasting your money.

9. Can you lift the cookware with ease? Will you still be able to lift it when there is food inside?

You want to make sure that you will be able to lift the dish that you purchase. Some meals require that you move your cookware around the kitchen so you want to make sure you can!

Ceramic cookware 101

Some say that ceramic is the Teflon for the green (those who care for the environment) since it is made without the chemicals PTFE and PFOA. Ceramic coatings have non-stick properties that make it easier to cook certain meals.

Teflon cookware was created before ceramic. Ceramic was created as a direct result of the negative reports on PTFE and PFOA and their effects on the human body. Once the cookware industry released this chemical-free alternative, people began trading in their traditional non-stick pieces for ceramic ones.

Check out our guide: Stainless steel vs nonstick

Using ceramic dishes could change your kitchen

Some say that ceramic is the Teflon for the green (those who care for the environment) since it is made without the chemicals PTFE and PFOA. Ceramic coatings have non-stick properties that make it easier to cook certain meals.

Teflon cookware was created before ceramic. Ceramic was created as a direct result of the negative reports on PTFE and PFOA and their effects on the human body. Once the cookware industry released this chemical-free alternative, people began trading in their traditional non-stick pieces for ceramic ones.

Using ceramic dishes could change your kitchen

Most people are captured by the appearance of ceramic cookware. These pieces are available in many colors and patterns that people often purchase to match their kitchen. I know many people who purchased a ceramic dish they’ve never used; they say that it was just an eye-catching item.

The best ceramic dishes are heavy since they have numerous layers of coating. For those who hate heavy lifting, you should opt for cookware that is a moderate weight, because lightweight pans aren’t as durable as the heavier ones. Having less ceramic also means that it will be easier to remove the coating while cooking or cleaning.

One of the best things about using ceramic cookware is, of course, the non-stick feature, you’ll be able to cook your favorite foods without adding butter or oil. Some foods already contain oils that will secrete when you begin to cook (think pork or beef) which will help lubricate the skillet. Consistently cooking without these ingredients can help you lose weight and enhance your appearance!

You can make almost anything in a ceramic dish because it can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, broiler, steamer, microwave, grill, and even in a toaster oven! The ability of your ceramic dish will depend on its brand and quality, so be sure to visit the instructions that come with your cookware.

Cleanup should be a breeze because of the ingredient silicon dioxide, which is found in ceramic cookware coatings. These elements are both hydrophobic and oleophobic, which means they repel oil and water from your dish.

This might rain on your parade

If you want your ceramic dishes to last, you have to be careful when washing them.

If you use butter, oil, or a small amount of food gets stuck to your pan, never scrub it because you could be removing the non-stick coating. Avoid using scrub pads when washing dishes, opt for a non-abrasive sponge along with a gentle cleaner such as Dawn.

Cooking can also ruin the coating on ceramic cookware so avoid using metal utensils. Using wood or a soft-silicone item will help decrease the risk of scraping the pan.

Advantages of using ceramic cookware

  • All ceramic cookware is chemical free.
  • The dishes come in a variety of styles and colors.
  • You are able to use little to no oil or butter without food sticking.
  • Silicon dioxide makes ceramic very easy to clean.
  • The non-stick surface helps to prevent food from getting stuck.
  • This cookware can be used on many surfaces.

Disadvantages of using ceramic cookware

  • Not removing oil and butter completely can ruin the lifespan of your cookware.
  • You must use non-abrasive materials to cook with.

Compare ceramic options

What exactly is Teflon nonstick cookware?

Teflon is actually a brand name. This brand manufactured cookware using the material PTFE. PTFE was used to create non-stick cookware long before ceramic came about.

Depending on the brand you choose, your cookware may be made from PFOA, which is another material that can affect your health. A few years ago there were numerous stories created by the press stating that the material was linked to cancer.

PFOA is deemed more dangerous than PFOE, which has led to the industry phasing out cookware made from this material. Most products made from this material are on the low end of the quality spectrum when talking non-stick cookware.

What do the professionals say?

PTFE is quite durable, so investing in a Teflon dish is definitely worth your cash.

The reason some experts say to steer clear of the material is because you could release toxins that are unfavorable to your health. If you have pets, it may not be the smartest move to go with Teflon because some animals are more sensitive to it than humans, especially birds.

You should opt for cookware that is made of thick Teflon, not only to ensure durability, but to help absorb heat. If you heat a thin pan, it will get hotter much faster than a thicker one, and may begin to conjure up those toxic gasses.

Meal time with Teflon Dishes

On a positive note, Teflon cookware doesn’t automatically create these toxins, it is normally a result of the user’s error. When most people purchase cookware we toss the directions out because they seem straightforward, but they can actually make a difference.

Teflon should not be heated over 500 degrees Fahrenheit so simply avoid using it for foods that require high heat. Always stick to low and medium settings depending on your stovetop. Once you hit 680 degrees while cooking in a Teflon pan, you’ll release 8 toxins, two of them which are cancer-causing.

When cooking, always make sure that you have food in your pan before cranking on the fire because cookware heats up much faster when there is nothing in it. If possible, try to use a liquid like broth or water to help take in some of the heat.

One of the best things about Teflon is that it can go in the oven. You will be able to bake, roast, and broil different foods as long as they do not require heat over 350 degrees Fahrenheit because the handle of your pots or pan cannot stand as much heat as the rest of the dish.
To be safe, cook with wood or silicone utensil, so you don’t chip your Teflon coating.

Advantages of using Teflon cookware

  • The cookware is extremely durable.
  • The surface is easy to clean.
  • Non-stick properties allow you to cook without food getting stuck.

Disadvantages of using Teflon cookware

  • It cannot stand temperatures over 500 degrees Fahrenheit; otherwise it will release harmful toxins.
  • Made with PTFE, which is full of potentially harmful chemicals.
  • Isn’t safe for those who have pets, especially birds.
  • You won’t be able to leave your dish alone in the kitchen.

So, who comes out tops in this?

Ceramic is much younger than Teflon. It was actually created as an alternative because people began to worry about the PTFE and PFOA in Teflon, and how they affect our overall health. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death and if you can avoid cancer-causing toxins, you should.

People love Teflon because it is tough, in most cases more than ceramic, but is it worth exposing yourself to harmful gasses? In some cases, ceramic can be more durable than Teflon, but the pan would have to be equipped with several layers of ceramic.

The disposal of these items also come into play when deciding which material is best. Throwing away Teflon means possibly exposing wildlife to toxins, while tossing ceramic would not.

What does this all mean?

Ideally, these two variations of cookware perform in very similar ways, so if you’re a novice cooker who many not be able to effectively control your temperature, you want to purchase ceramic cookware.

On the other hand, those who are experienced and willing to pay close attention to their dish while cooking can successfully create meals with Teflon without activating any carcinogens.

Whether you need Teflon or ceramic, all depends on your specific technique and skill level.

When ceramic cookware is best

  • If you are looking to coordinate with your kitchen.
  • If you want to keep a chemical-free environment.
  • If you want an easy clean up.
  • If you want something durable.
  • If you want to be able to cook on multiple surfaces.

When Teflon cookware is best

  • If you have no pets.
  • If you are cooking foods that do not require high heat.
  • If you are looking for something that will last several years.
  • When you plan to stay in the kitchen while cooking.
  • If you want to bake, broil, or roast an item at or below 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you want to clean up without worry.

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About the author

Sebastian Beaton

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.

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