All that you should know about ceramic cookware sets in this review
There are a lot of ceramic cookware sets at the market coming in a great variety of colors and design. Here we speak about ceramic coating mostly, but you do know, that there is also solid ceramic. Let’s consider the difference, the advantages of the cookware made of this material, and the requirements as to its use. Also we are going to describe the best sets to our opinion.
What is ceramic cookware?
In general, ceramic is made of clay in accordance with particular technology connected with fire hardening and glazing. It is natural but fragile. Nowadays, the producers of kitchenware offer an updated version of the traditional ceramic – the metal construction coated with ceramic layer. The metal base is dipped into liquid ceramic material, which is synthetic by the way. The purpose is to coat the base completely and then it should get dry for about four days. The technology for the solid ceramic is quite different. The moulds of particular forms are filled in with a mixture of clay, water, and supplementary components and placed into a kiln to harden, then it is taken out and after cooling the process is repeated. It lasts for about three weeks.
As a result they get the pans with different features. The ceramic coated ones are light, but soft that is why a user should be careful to damage it with sharp or just steel utensils. The solid items are heavier, harder but very fragile. So, the most appropriate variant is the updated one with a reliable base made of light and 100% safe anodized aluminum or stainless steel and coated with ceramic mixture of high quality.
In order to prevent the foods from sticking the glue is mixed with additional components – inorganic minerals like oxygen and silicon. Though, usually the ceramic coating is PFOA, PTFE, lead and cadmium free. It is important to ensure that there is no carbon in the composition, that is why you should buy the cookware made only by the reputable producers. They market the vessels safe for food preparation. You should mind that both solid ceramic and ceramic coated items are usually sold with label “ceramic”. In order not to be confused you’d better ask a seller for the details.
If the product is not certified there is a high risk that the pans made of solid material include lead and they can be used only as a decoration in the interior. The new generation ceramic-coated cookware is known as “green” one, as far as it does not contain any toxic elements compare to the traditional nonstick pans. Being healthy and environmentally friendly they can be used with very little fat. If you cook often and intensively in such enameled pans, their shelf life will make about three years.
About safety in details
As we have tried to explain above the modern ceramic cookware, it is absolutely safe if produced by a reliable company. We know that Teflon (or so called PTFE) has negative reputation due to toxic elements like cadmium, lead or arsenic, which can leach into food when the surface is scratched. Does the ceramic which is also considered as a non-stick cookware contain dangerous toxins? Well, the producers guarantee safety and that they use none of chemicals. And that is true. The ceramic does not contain PTFE or PFOA. Moreover, the items are manufactured with use of inorganic materials, which environmentally friendly.
How can these components be applied to the base? There is a special technology known as Sol-gel process, during which the solution made of the above ingredients and water is turned to gel, which easily covers the metal and hardens while curing. As a result, a consumer gets a heat resistant, reliable, non-stick, and very safe ceramic item. You can even overheat such cookware and no toxic elements or fumes appear. By the way if this happen with Teflon coated pan, it becomes dangerous for your health.
So, ceramic is safe for any living being including birds. Some experts say that sometimes certain ceramic glazes leach harmful agents into food. It can be if the producer is not reputable, usually they are from Asian or Latin America. But the USA manufacturers are obliged to comply with the strict FDA requirements preventing any such harm.
Summarizing we can say that a ceramic coating is completely safe!
Why safety is important
It is very important to understand that the meal we eat is directly connected with our health. The well-being is influenced not only by the quality of the products but also by the cooking techniques and vessels we apply. We buy organically grown food, concern about the vegies free of pesticides, check the foods on containing various harmful chemicals. Besides, it is vital to maintain the nutritional value of food stuff when it is heat treated. You should not ruin the vitamins when you use cookware made of a certain material. And you should refuse the pans leaching harmful chemicals into the food. You understand now that safe cookware is one of the most important components of your healthy life.
A large number of scientific investigations prove that aluminum and nonstick coating contain harmful agents. If you ignore these results and continue cooking food in reactive vessels, you are in a risk group empoisoning yourself with dangerous toxins through food. Thus the health problems appear. But it is easy to change the situation and follow the recommendations of experts buying the certified cookware.
Non-stick or not?
Once again does the ceramic coating really prevent the foods from sticking? People argue about this feature because the non-stick cookware is something different. With ceramic you are expected to add some oil but still it is much easier to cook, though, these marvelous properties can last for only about a year. The durability depends on the brand and the circumstances of the user actually. It is proved that the coating is abrasion resistant and rather durable when you follow all the recommendations of the producer. Frankly speaking the performance in this regard is better with Teflon but the ceramic is completely safe – and that is the reason to prefer it. You know, there are only two main kinds of non-stick cookware and they are ceramic and Teflon (PTFE). Thus if you want to protect yourself from potential threats, you would chose the first one.
The best ceramic cookware sets at the market
Ceramic-coated cookware is very popular and included in assortment of almost every brand. We recommend you to consider the following ones if you decide to buy the set.
WearEver Pure Living Nonstick Ceramic Cookware Set
The brand WearEver has launched the revolution cookware line Pure Living featuring a nonstick ceramic coating. It is PTFE, PFOA, Cadmium and lead free. This very set consists of 15 pieces and its base is made of heavy gauge aluminum covered with reliable metal-utensil safe layer. It means that the pans are very convenient to cook and you should not care of which spoon you are going to stir the food. Still you should keep it from high heat. The metal used for the body provides quick heating and even distribution of the heat. The handles here are very secure because they are riveted on. It is convenient to grab them due to a soft-touch silicone. Every piece of this set is cleaned up easily by hands or can be washed in the dishwasher.
Tefal Initiatives Nonstick Ceramic
This set is also made of heavy-gauge aluminum providing the best conductivity that is why you can cook relatively fast. The ceramic interior of white color is stain and scratch resistant, durable. It is non-stick and guarantees an easy release being extremely healthy. It goes without saying that the material is PTFE-, PFOA-, and Cadmium free. This ceramic cookware set matches all cook tops, except only one – induction. The purpose of the producer is to offer the fastest way to cook any meal but only over the low or medium heat. You are not expected to add any fat if you do not want it and you’d better refuse aerosol cooking spray for this cookware. Apply silicon or wooden utensils. And again we could not ignore the handles – they are comfortable and have holes for hanging. The pans are accompanied with the lids made of tempered glass.
GreenPan Lima Hard Anodized Ceramic Cookware Set
GreenPan is a trusted brand for the original healthy ceramic non-stick cookware. It is presented worldwide. Ceramic of high quality coats hard anodized aluminum body. The material is absolutely safe being PFOA, lead, cadmium free. You can use every item in the oven. The set is very useful and covers all the consumers’ needs. In general, GreenPans is characterized with the perfect heat distribution compared to other brands. You can cook anything you want here: meats, dish, and veggies. The items are easy to clean up. Please, mind, that the handles can get warm. You can use correspondent kitchen accessories to remove this drawback.
Farberware PURECOOK Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set
Farberware offers affordable cookware in classical design. All 12 items of this set are durable and can be cleaned in a dishwasher. The innovative ceramic nonstick coating without any dangerous component provides perfect release of the food. It covers aluminum construction allowing fast heating and even distribution of the heat. The porcelain enamel exteriors is represented in bright colors and equipped with sturdy handles. It is stain resistant and easy to clean.
Calphalon Classic Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set
This set offers all the above features being easy to clean up and preventing the foods from sticking. There are measuring marks and pour spouts among other 11 pieces. This set will help you to cook in a professional style and save your money. The body is made of hard-anodized aluminum and covered with PFOA-free ceramic nonstick layer. It is a perfect solution for everyday cooking with various methods. The producer suggests a full 10-year warranty.
Advantages of ceramic
- Ceramic is fire resistant and able to withstand up to 2000° F. Just imagine, at this temperature metal can melt. Usually it is used almost on all heating tops, though you should follow the instructions of manufacturers concerning this feature.
- The ceramic vessel is usually a good conductor thanks to an aluminum base and provides even distribution of the heat.
- It is safe and does not include any toxic chemical compounds or other metals. While such material as copper or aluminum can be harmful for human health leaching into the food, ceramic is not dangerous.
- Non-reactive material meaning that it does not interfere in foods, does not change the taste and flavor of the food which you prepare in this cookware.
- Simple cleaning up as far as the food does not stick the surface. You can use scouring pads and even steel wool, which are usually not recommended for other type of cookware.
- Very often the handles are made as a part of the clay item, while the others are attached with screws or riveted. That is why the vessel can be used in the oven.
- Being very hard and scratch resistant it serves for a long time. Though, this is possible if a consumer meets the requirements like adding some oil before cooking and refusing metal utensils – adhering to the rules established by a producer.
- “Environment-friendly” is a very good addition to all the benefits. The ceramic cookware sets are manufactured with use of natural materials.
- It is not too expensive and can be suited almost any budget. You will save money when you buy this set even if it is not evident for the first time. Now you do not have to buy the pans every year.
- Lightweight is an important property for those who cook a lot.
Though, ceramic itself is not perfect for even and fast heat distribution responding the heat slowly but this is a good new material solving a range of tasks. All that you need is to use it for slow lasting cooking.
Ceramic vs other materials
Be sure that this is the most appropriate choice of material for today if you care of your health and are fond of tasty homemade meal. There are a lot of various solutions at the market and each of them has its own pros and cons. The stainless steel has always been the most popular variant because it is comparatively cheap, nonreactive and durable. Yes, you can complain of its conductivity but new technologies improve this feature. The particular constructions of the bottom are developed with use of copper or aluminum, which are the best thermal conductors. The problem is solved! Such items provide the even and fast distribution of the heat. Why don’t they produce the pure copper or aluminum pans?
First of all both metals are reactive and cause leaching into the food changing its taste and being dangerous for the human health. Moreover, they are not durable being rather difficult in maintenance. There is reverse of a coin when a person has a lack of iron for example he can get it with the food cooked in cast iron pans but considering the uncontrolled process you’d better take correspondent medications with exact dose. At the same time iron can discolor the foods for example the spinach turns black and that is not very good for culinary. Copper is not always but still toxic so it is not recommended for inner coating. While carbon steel is not dangerous but it is reactive and can spoil the taste and look of the dish.
And compared to all the above variants the clay cookware is the best because it safe if does not contain lead and cadmium.
Now we are going to emphasize the issues which are important to extend the shelf life of a ceramic coated non-stick pan. There are a range of recommendations as to the correct maintenance of the items, we suggest the most strict ones. You should apply only mild detergents if you clean the pans by hand (the manufactures can include the dishwasher option but if you want to keep the pan non-stick longer, refuse this possibility). Use hot water and a special dishcloth to remove the remains of foods and cleaning agent. It is important to refuse very hard pads which can damage the surface.
Do not forget that these vessels are not designed to be heated at the maximum level. You are allowed to cook only over low to medium heat. In the specification they usually mention the top temperature allowed for the item and as a matter of practice the ceramic pan will be ok within that level though you should avoid sudden temperature changes if you do not want to make the ceramic coating shatter or crack. When you remove the pan from the heat, let it get cool before you start cleaning it up.
Never put the hot pan under cold water. Even a hard, scratching resistant ceramic coating will serve better, if you apply silicon or wooden utensils. Even if the ceramic coating promises to be very hard and is declared as metal resistant still take care of it and prefer soft and secure utensils. Be sure that stainless steel knife is able to leave a scratch even on the hardest non-stick surface, and that is true both for ceramic and Teflon. By the way, you can place such vessels into the oven usually. The restrictions in this case are connected with the material of which the handles made. Ensure that you know the limits established by the manufacturer.
How to choose?
We are sure that you’ve got your cooking style meaning that you know what you want. There are a lot of cooking methods requiring various vessels. So, you should determine what exactly you need in the kitchen. How many pots or frying pans do you want your set include? The size does matter. Perhaps you want to have a small pan for boiling of eggs and a larger one for preparing some porridge for your family at breakfast. That’s the matter of preferences. Think it over. Remember all the cooking methods: frying, boiling, searing, braising, sautéing, stewing or simmering. Each one corresponds to the appropriate kind of cookware. Do you want to have all the items with lids? Perhaps it is important them to be with a steamer hole. Should they be made of glass or the same material which is used for the pan? What else should be regarded? The color! Why not?! If you have the particular interior, the cookware set made in the same style will be a plus.
Take into account the options delivered by the sets. The most essential ones are cleaning up with dishwasher. Are you going to use the pans in microwave or oven? What cook do you have? Probably you are planning to change it in a year or you have a country house where there is the other one and you can take some pans there, in this case the cook top also holds meaning. And you’ll have a great piece of luck if you find the cookware set that can be used on all kinds of stoves: gas, glass, electric, ceramic, and induction. The form of bottom of a pot should be flat so that it could stand on an even surface of glass tops. Though in case of an induction cooktop, the choice is restricted – the ceramics and metals are not available. Here you can regard the variant made of stainless steel, cast iron or anodized aluminum intended for this kind of stoves.
Find out the guaranteed shelf life and the available ways to clean up the pieces. Everyone wants to have the cookware that is easily maintained that is why find out the details so that you would not be disappointed afterwards.
Now of course the budget should be taken into account. We advise to purchase the best cookware set that you can afford. This is a kind of investment which will be paid back for sure especially if you have a large family or prefer arranging parties at home and cook for a crowd. As we already develop the theme – you should consider the material the pieces are made of. Once again in order to be sure in the quality of the goods, you’d better choose among the time proved brands.
So, are you going to make your choice? Be sure that you are looking through the offers of well established brands which guarantee that their products are free of these toxins. And do not forget to consider the items in the set choosing the most appropriate for your individual needs. Here you can buy the ceramic cookware sets of high quality at the reasonable price.