Wholesome cooking starts with nourishing ingredients and healthy cookware that doesn't put toxins into your food. With your family's health and wellness as the top priority, determining which cookware to buy can be challenging.
There are many cookware options on the market, all with different features. As you've researched cookware options, you may have encountered two popular cookware types — ceramic and ceramic-coated.
When comparing ceramic cookware vs. ceramic-coated cookware, it's essential to examine their characteristics to see which of these two types of cookware is better for you and your family's health.
100% ceramic cookware contains no metal core or nonstick coatings. This cookware is made from a blend of clay, water and natural minerals and sculpted into the desired form. The manufacturer then fires the cookware at 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit to harden the cooking surface. The manufacturing process produces exceptionally durable cookware that can withstand high heat.
Ceramic cookware is a versatile cooking surface, equally perfect for cooking on the grill, stove or campfire. Ceramic cookware is also free of chemicals like polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), leachable lead and cadmium. This cookware lasts for generations when properly cared for, providing the durability you need for everyday cooking and the longevity to pass pieces down to your grandchildren.
Ceramic-coated cookware, also called ceramic nonstick cookware, contains a metal core and a thin ceramic coating. Many coatings are made with Sol-gel, a mixture of silica and inorganic chemicals, rather than pure ceramic. The Sol-gel coating provides nonstick properties to the aluminum, cast iron or stainless steel pan underneath. The mixture is sprayed onto the metal core, then fired at a temperature of 400 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ceramic-coated cookware was developed as an alternative to other nonstick cookware that uses the harmful chemical polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) in its coating, such as Teflon. When used in environments with high heat, like in cooking, PTFE coatings break down and enter the environment.
Nonstick coatings also contain PFAS, which have been shown to affect liver and thyroid function and reproductive health and produce other harmful health effects. Ceramic-coated cookware is one option for cooks looking to reduce their exposure to these chemicals.
Ceramic-coated cookware offers nonstick properties similar to alternatives like cast iron but without the longevity. This cookware is easy to clean, and the metal substrate heats well.
The Differences Between Ceramic and Ceramic-Coated Cookware
While the two ceramic cookware materials have similar names, they have different characteristics that can influence your choice. Compare the differences between ceramic-coated vs. ceramic cookware to determine the best option for your kitchen:
Durability is one of the most significant considerations when comparing a ceramic-coated pan vs. a ceramic pan. Ceramic-coated cookware isn't nearly as durable as alternatives like cast iron and is more susceptible to damage than pure ceramic cookware.
For example, metal cooking utensils can easily damage the coating, revealing the metal core beneath. If the Sol-gel coating is scratched, the pan's nonstick qualities may not last as long. Ceramic-coated cookware can only be expected to last in top condition for a few years.
In contrast, 100% ceramic cookware is very long-lasting and durable. Ceramic cookware is glazed rather than coated, a process that permanently bonds the surface to the base of the product. Since ceramic cookware is fired at an extremely high temperature, it can withstand greater amounts of heat than ceramic-coated pans. Solid ceramic cookware is also scratch resistant.
Another significant concern when comparing a ceramic-coated skillet vs. a ceramic skillet is the safety of the pans.
Although it doesn't contain the same chemicals as other nonstick cookware types, Sol-gel hasn't been thoroughly tested for its effect on human health. The coating could also decompose if heated over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. If the coating comes off the pan, the coating and the metal core can interact with your food and expose the user to toxicants.
Overall, ceramic-coated cookware is relatively safe — but there are safer alternatives, including 100% ceramic cookware. This cookware contains no coatings or metal substrates and is completely leach-free. Some ceramic cookware is thoroughly tested to ensure freedom from heavy metals and other toxins.
From surface to core, 100% ceramic cookware does not expose consumers to toxicants and is suitable for everyday use.
3. Care and Maintenance
The care and maintenance you may need to invest in a ceramic vs. ceramic-coated pan may differ. Ceramic-coated cookware is relatively easy to wash by hand. However, some ceramic-coated cookware isn't dishwasher safe, making cleanup harder.
You should be especially careful with the utensils and temperature you use with ceramic-coated cookware. Metal cooking utensils can scratch the coating and render the pan less effective, while temperatures above 500 degrees Fahrenheit could ruin the Sol-gel coating.
While the best cookware requires adequate maintenance, cooking with and caring for ceramic is fairly easy. Properly maintaining your ceramic cookware is as easy as cleaning it in the dishwasher. This cookware is also easily hand-washable, and baking soda removes stubborn bits of food. Ceramic cookware can also endure the heat, whether in a broiler, on the stovetop or on the grill.
4. Ease of Use
You'll find that the best uses for ceramic vs. ceramic-coated cookware vary, with ceramic-coated cookware providing a narrow range of use. For instance, ceramic-coated cookware isn't safe for the microwave because of its metal substrate, and it can also be unsafe for ovens and toaster ovens.
However, ceramic cookware is safe for use in the microwave and oven. Ceramic cookware is also versatile enough for use in the grill, freezer, refrigerator and dishwasher.
Purchase Our Ceramic Cookware
When you compare the differences between ceramic and ceramic-coated cookware, the best cookware for your family is clear. Ceramic cookware provides trusted safety, and the 100% ceramic construction means you'll never have any leaching or toxins. Ceramic cookware is built to last from the stovetop to the grill and from one generation to the next.
At Xtrema, we're dedicated to offering non-toxic ceramic cookware that brings peace of mind as much as meals worth savoring. Our family values transparency and mindful cooking, which is why our cookware is handcrafted with natural materials and completely worry-free. Versatile cookware from Xtrema will last a lifetime.
To learn more about our ceramic cookware, browse our cookware sets today.