What is Titanium cookware and is it safe?
Are you looking to buy new cookware for your home? I am guessing you know a little about titanium cookware but want to find out a little more about it. Just as well we have done some of the heavy-lifting for you and put this guide together for you.
Before we can talk about Titanium Cookware, we fist need to answer the question:
What is Titanium?
Titanium is a pretty cool metal. It is biocompatible meaning it does not react with organic tissue and as such has many medical purposes. It is used in a lot of surgical instruments and things like joint replacements.
Titanium is lightweight and extremely strong.
Most titanium cookware will use an aluminum base so that there are a more efficient heat transfer and distribution.
Because of the chemical nature of titanium, it is not porous at all and so there is no chance of aluminum leaching into the food.
Here is the clever bit, it is not the titanium that is non-stick rather the super fine layer of titanium dioxide that forms on the surface. Unlike other “nonstick” surfaces this is created naturally ( all metals oxidize some degree.) If this layer is scratched the exposed surface simply oxidizes again.
Food simply does not stick to titanium cookware and so you are able to cook without oils or even water. What this means is that food retains more nutrients and flavor when cooked.
Many Campers use titanium cookware because the metal has a winning combination of being light and very robust.
Is Titanium cookware safe?
The short answer to this is that titanium cookware is safe. The super durable and resistant coating is impervious to scratching even with metal utensils
There are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration when answering this question:
- 1) Titanium is extremely strong and resistant to corrosion or any form of leaching. What this means is that the coating itself will last. Some cookware is pure titanium while others will have an aluminum base. You will have to work hard to get through this coating and anything that does come off will not harm you at all. As we said earlier titanium is a biocompatible metal.
- 2) the nonstick titanium dioxide coating is totally nonreactive to human biology and its effect on humans has been studied at length. You can read more about this here
What goes into making Titanium cookware?
Titanium ceramic cookware or Titanium Reinforced pots and pans
This is the most common type of titanium ceramic cookware that you find in the shops. This is technically cookware that has a ceramic coating on it that has been infused with titanium.
This is a great combination for the following reasons
- The actual metal of the pan or pot is then made with something like aluminum or has a steel-clad base. This will then offer the best efficiency when it comes to heat transfer with cooking.
- These pans are inert and will not break down when heated like Teflon does ( Dangers of Teflon) and (Healthy cookware guide )
- This means that they are also generally oven safe to temperatures around 500F.
- This coating is super tough and durable to the point that you can even use metal utensils on it.
- No PFOE or any other nasties that may affect your health
There are a couple of great Brands out there, We like Scanpan as they have a decent collection, we have a review on ScanPan here
We would, at this point, like to make it clear that as with other types of cookware you should always be looking to buy the best quality cookware as well as the one that best fits your needs. We are not suggesting the most expensive although these often go hand in hand. In our experience though, cheaper or cheapest are words that you should be wary of.
Here are some of the more popular types of titanium cookware that you can get.
Ceramic titanium frying pans – Perfect for everyday use, often oven safe and can be used for cooking foods at higher temps such as steaks etc.
Ceramic titanium wok – Woks are great for cooking stir-fries and the likes, we think that every kitchen should have one of these.
Ceramic Titanium pots You will often find these as parts of sets, most of the cookware that we have come across are pans as there is not much call for non stick in pots.
Pure Titanium Cookware
While not as mainstream as the titanium ceramic variety, this is definitely worth a mention. Loved by campers and hikers these make great outdoor options as they are both robust and lightweight. You can often find then in inter-fitting pots and pans that are compact and extremely useful.
Does titanium scratch?
There are two answers to this question depending on whether you are talking about Titanium ceramic cookware or pure titanium cookware.
Let’s start with Titanium ceramic cookware – Yes you can scratch this and these scratches will affect the performace of the cookware. That is the bad news. The good news is that this is quite difficult to do as the coating is extremely hard.
What does this mean for you? Look after your cookware, never put it in the dishwasher, store it correctly and use only soft utensils. Manufacturers say that you can use metal, but why would you want to … unless you cooking with cast iron cookware, don’t use metal utensils.
Pure titanium cookware is a different story – This is also very difficult but not impossible to scratch but as we said before pure titanium forms a very thin oxidized layer on the surface giving it the nonstick properties it has. In effect this cookware heals itself, the scratched become nonstick again.
That is why this type of cookware really makes for great camping and outdoors cookware.
The benefits of using ceramic titanium pots and pans
One of the biggest benefits that we can see to using this type of cookware is the freedom that it gives you when it comes to cooking.
What does this mean for you? think about it this way, a lot of cookware that you buy is good for something things and not for others, depending on the quality of the cookware this will vary, for example, Teflon cookware has a very limited range of things that it is good for and a lot of things that it is not good for. You see where I am going with this? Titanium cookware as a big list of benefits and areas that are good for here are some of then.
- long-lasting and robust
- Decent nonstick coating
- Easy to cook with
- Easy to clean
- More forgiving than other cookware if knocked about.
- Far more idiot proof than other types of nonstick cookware
What can you cook with Ceramic Titanium cookware?
Because of the robust nature of this cookware, you are opened up to so much more when you are cooking. There are of course certain things that you need to be taking into account, for example, the type of pans, skillets saute pans you have bought.
You can cook just about anything with these, possibly with the exception of steak, and this is depending on how you like your steaks. As we have stated before one of the areas that you can do damage to this type of cookware is when you preheat the pan. Right here is a little more on this. With this type of cookware, you can preheat the pan … BUT you need to be in control of the temperature all of the time. If you let the pan overheat you will potentially do damage to it.
If you are an attentive cook then this will not be a problem for you.
Is Ceramic Titanium cookware induction ready?
This will depend on the brand of cookware, having said this many of the top brands are induction ready. If you are in the shop looking at the cookware there is a little logo that they stamp onto the bottom and this is a looks like a coil here is a little more on this
If there is some sort of steel in the base, then it will be. look for descriptions like 3ply 5 layer for the base, brands like scanpan are induction ready.
Is this the right cookware for me?
While we think that titanium cookware is a handy product to have in your kitchen you should make sure that it is for you before you buy. Here are a few things to help you think about getting the best for your kitchen.
- What type of cook are you? If you like to experiment then you want cookware that has the widest range of uses and robust enough to handle experimental cooking
- Is it important to you that your cookware looks good?
- Are you a practical cook or is it a passion of yours?
- Are you cooking for on or two or a whole family?
- What is the very most that you can afford to spend on your cookware in terms of money?
- Do you have space in your kitchen to properly store your cookware?
Think about these things, they will be important in helping you choose the right cookware for your kitchen. If you correlate this information with the rest of what we have written then you will have a better idea if this is the right type of cookware for your kitchen.
Things to think about: How do you best maintain Ceramic titanium cookware?
While it is good to know that this cookware is well made and robust it is important to understand that you still need to really look after this as best as you can. Firstly, this cookware does not come cheap and secondly, you want your cookware to last as long as possible. the cookware in your kitchen are tools and tools need to be looked after and maintained to get the best out of them.
When you cook you want to cook the best possible meal that you can at that moment, if you don’t look after your cookware then this will be harder to achieve. (rant over)
Here are some tips
Don’t preheat your cookware to high temperatures – The first thing you should understand is that if you need to preheat your pan to cook something like a steak, well you should be using either cast iron cookware or stainless steel cookware for that. When you heat a pan with nothing in it, it will get super hot super fast and this is a sure-fire way to screw up nonstick coatings. Yes, it is true that titanium ceramic coating is a lot stronger than most but is still a coating at the end of the day and will this type of use will reduce its lifespan.
Don’t use nonstick sprays – they will just ruin your cookware by leaving a sticky layer on the surface, You can get this off but it may cause damage to the titanium ceramic coating.
Use the right oils for cooking – this will make a big difference to both your health and the way your meals come out. different types if oils have different properties and so if you know these then you can always cook the best possible meal. Fear not you don’t have to go far to find this out, we have an article here that covers all of this for you. Check out our healthy oils guide.
Seasoning your cookware – Yes you read right, you need to season cookware from time to time, lucky for you on this occasion this is just rubbing some oil into the coating with a paper towel. this will help keep the nonstick properties as protect that coating.
Using metal utensils – Just don’t, there is not need for that kind of behavior n the kitchen unless you have cast iron. Modern technology means that you can use other materials for your utensils that will help you maks sure your cookware lasts as long as possible.
Putting your cookware in the dishwasher – Please don’t, it is just lazy and it will reduce the lifespan your cookware. Dishwashers clean by using hot water under pressure, not a great combination for longevity
Correctly store your cookware – Pots and pans need to be stored properly so that they don’t get scratched and damaged. if you have to store them on top of each other then you should have something in between them like a paper towel to stop them rubbing. If you have space you should look at getting a wall mounted pot rack or something similar
Titanium cookware should have a place in your home. This is a great option that will last as it is robust and easy to use. If you are looking for something for the kitchen then we suggest you look at the ceramic titanium cookware as this will be best suited. If you are an outdoors person then we suggest that you have a look that the pure Titanium cookware for ease of use and light weight.
- The nice thing to know is that you are looking after your health when you are using this type of cookware as it titanium is biocompatible – if they use it for hip joints they can use it in cooking.