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How much attention do you pay when you choose a cooking pan? Do you consider the labels and what’s written there, or do you just go for the design of the kitchenware?
If you are among those who have always wondered what the differences between ceramic and hard anodized cookware are, then keep reading to get to the core of this.
It’s best to first understand the technical difference between these two. Anodization has to do with the use of chemical baths, which add a thicker layer on the pan’s surface.
This layer treats the aluminum so that it is firmly established on the pan’s surface. An oxidization process follows which ensures that the pan will have a non-stick characteristic.
Anodized cookware is lightweight and as durable as stainless steel; it doesn’t absorb odors from the food, is porous and can’t be scratched easily. This is exactly why so many professional chefs prefer it.
As for the ceramic cookware, there isn’t much to explain, other than that such products may be made of either ceramic, clay or other similar elements. It is claimed that ceramic coating doesn’t leach chemicals and cooks more evenly than other non-stick pans.
At this time, ceramic cookware is considered the safest when it comes to concerns about chemicals making their way in the food while cooking.
Since it is among the newest inventions, research hasn’t been extensively conducted yet. Some people claim ceramic cookware has a shorter life. One thing which may affect its life is the use of oil, which should be vigorously scrubbed away to completely clean the ceramic coating.
That scrubbing unfortunately also leads to taking off the coating over time, essentially ruining your cookware.
Some manufacturers have decided to come up with cookware that has more than one ceramic layer, which makes the pan a bit thicker. On the positive side, that means that your cookware will last much longer even if it gets slightly damaged or scratched over time.
The more ceramic layers, the longer the lifespan of the cookware.
One thing is certain, hard anodized cookware can withstand very high temperatures, rough handling, is very light and as sturdy as stainless steel, and can’t be scratched by metal utensils.
Hard anodized is the professional chefs preferred cookware, so it is safe to say that if you are a professional, or deal with cooking on a daily basis, and you need your cookware to withstand your busy schedule, then hard anodized pans are for you.
Yet, if you are more concerned about the health of your family and don’t need a sturdy professional pan, then obviously ceramic coating cookware might be the best for you. Another type of non-stick cookware you may find under the category of ceramic is the micro-stone coating cookware.
These are again free of any leaching chemicals and are reportedly 10 times harder compared to other similar non-stick pans. Of course, oil is not necessary if you are a health-concerned user.
When it comes to the variety of ceramic or hard anodized cookware, you will have a hard time looking for different types of hard anodized products. On the other hand, you can find a huge variety of ceramic cookware, concerning design, colors, shapes, styles and even specific material used (clay, ceramic, micro-stone, etc.).
Currently, the number of users buying ceramic coating cookware is significantly rising, possibly because of health concerns related to other non-stick pans like Teflon and aluminum coating, including hard anodized. Also, the variety of ceramic cookware may be another cause for these products to become more popular over time. But as we said above, hard anodized are predominantly used by professional cooks, so there is a fanbase on both sides.
When it comes to ease of use, ceramic coating offers a non-stick option, which is favorable among users. Furthermore, ceramic pans are much easily cleaned than their hard anodized counterparts. Also, if you use a non-stick ceramic cookware, you don’t need to use oil, which further eases the cleaning process afterward.
As you see, both hard anodized and ceramic coating cookware have amazing benefits and strengths. Both clearly have pros and cons, and depending on your own preferences and needs, you may choose one or the other. One thing is certain, you will not be disappointed by either.
Look up manufacturers’ websites and read about what specifically they have to offer. Read why certain features of either hard anodized or ceramic cookware are better than their competitors’. What we discussed above is shared among all hard anodized and ceramic products. Yet, these can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. You may have to do your due diligence before you pick a final product.
Yet, hard anodized are ideal for high-temperature cooking, which is more typical for restaurants. These pans are very sturdy and can sustain aggressive handling and metal utensils, without getting scratched. If they can’t be scratched, this means that the surface remains intact for much longer, and therefore the cookware itself has a longer lifespan.
Ceramic products are perfect for you if you are health concerned, and want a non-stick option. No chemical leaching. Remember, the surface is much more delicate and you should use only wooden utensils while cooking. The variety of products will amaze you, but don’t be intimidated. Any product labeled “ceramic” will have the common features mentioned above.
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.