Copper. Cast iron. Stainless steel. If you're looking for new cookware, you might be overwhelmed by all the options out there. All-ceramic may seem like just another choice — but it's so much more.
So why choose ceramic cookware? We'll go over the pros and cons so you can make a truly informed decision.
What Is Ceramic Cookware?
Most “ceramic” cookware is actually ceramic-coated metal. This coating, sometimes called “Sol-gel,” contains silicon to keep foods from sticking. However, Sol-gel degrades quickly, and the long-term health effects of cooking with it are still uncertain.
Pure ceramic cookware does not have a metal core. It's made entirely from a mixture of clay and other minerals pressed by a high-pressure casting mold, dried, polished and fired in a kiln. This process hardens the ceramic and creates a durable, waterproof surface. Finally, each piece is glazed and fired again to provide a glossy, beautiful appearance.
5 Pros of All-Ceramic Cookware
Why should you consider pure ceramic over another material like cast iron or ceramic-coated? Here are the top benefits of using pure ceramic cookware.
Most cheaply made pans wear out after only three to five years. Then, it's off to the landfill, where they'll leach harmful chemicals into the environment. But all-ceramic cookware lasts years and even decades longer, so you won't need to replace it as often.
Obtaining materials for traditional metal cookware often requires mining and intensive refining, which pollute the air and water supply. But at Xtrema, we produce our 100% ceramic cookware using renewable raw materials and environmentally friendly manufacturing practices. Our products are truly sustainable from factory to stovetop.
2. Safe and Nontoxic
Many cookware materials contain harsh chemicals such as heavy metals, which can pose a risk to your family's health. For example, unlined copper pans can react with acidic foods like tomatoes or leach copper into your food. While a small amount of copper is okay, consuming high doses in a short period can lead to serious health conditions.
Pure ceramic is non-reactive and nontoxic, so it's completely safe for handling food. Without a metal core, there's no risk of metals leaching into your dishes. All-ceramic cookware allows you to create nourishing, healthy dishes — risk-free.
3. Easy to Use
Once you get the hang of it, pure ceramic cookware is one of the easiest materials to cook with. Applying oil makes the surface slippery, so cooking challenging foods like eggs and fish is a breeze.
Our products are also highly versatile and ideal for those who like to try new cooking techniques. Xtrema products are safe for use with virtually any kitchen appliance, including:
- Toaster ovens
- Air fryers
Plus, you can use our cookware to store food in the fridge, freezer or even deep freezer, reducing cleanup and saving time.
Most cookware materials are prone to scratches and pitting, which can increase the risk of chemicals transferring to your food. Depending on which type of pan you have and how you care for it, you might have to replace it every two to five years, which can get costly. In contrast, our all-ceramic cookware can last for generations, so you can pass it on to your family with confidence.
5. Conductive and Reliable
Did you know the cookware you use can affect the taste of your food? When metal leaches into food, it can impart a metallic taste and even turn your dishes a slight gray color. Many cheaply made pans also conduct and retain heat unevenly, resulting in under- or over-done food.
Like cast iron, ceramic is excellent at retaining heat. Its thick walls help hold heat in the pan, making it perfect for slow cooking. It can even keep food hot after being removed from the burner, so you can bring it to the table and use it as a serving dish.
3 Cons of All-Ceramic Cookware
Ceramic cookware is great, but it's not without its potential drawbacks. Here are the biggest considerations to make with pure ceramic cookware.
1. Higher Maintenance Needs
Pure ceramic cookware generally requires greater care than materials like stainless steel or enamel.
Cleaning, for example, is a big difference. Although our cookware is dishwasher safe, washing your ceramic pans by hand is best for preventing scratches.
You also have to properly prep your pans before you cook. Here are some tips that can help you get the most out of your cookware:
- Preheat: Allow your pan to heat up for about three to five minutes before adding anything to ensure an even cook.
- Apply oil: Always grease your ceramic pans with a light coating of healthy fats. For best results, we recommend ghee, tallow avocado oil, or olive oil.
- Thaw foods: Pure ceramic is sensitive to cracking in response to sudden temperature changes. Always thaw frozen foods before adding them to the pan.
Proper storage is also essential for keeping your ceramic in good condition. Placing fabric pan protectors between pans helps keep scratches at bay, and silicone handle grips protect against chipping.
2. Learning Curve
Cooking with all-ceramic cookware is much different from cooking with your average nonstick pans, so it can take a bit of time to learn the ropes.
For one thing, many of us are used to being constantly on the go. We cook easy meals as quickly as possible to get back to our everyday lives. But ceramic cookware requires a “low and slow” approach to cooking that can be difficult for some to get used to.
Additionally, while you can technically use metal cooking utensils on pure ceramic, it's best to use wood, silicone or plastic utensils instead. These materials eliminate the risk of leaving metal particles behind, so you can enjoy truly nontoxic cooking.
3. Higher Cost
Pure ceramic cookware is usually more of an investment upfront than some other cookware materials. That said, you're paying for quality and longevity. As long as you take the proper care of it, your ceramic pan can last for decades. That means you won't need to replace it nearly as often as you would need to replace a short-lived nonstick or ceramic-coated pan, which ultimately saves you money.
Browse Our Selection of 100% Ceramic Cookware
Are you considering investing in a new ceramic cookware set? Xtrema's all-ceramic cookware is the safer, sustainable choice for your kitchen. We have a wide selection of products to suit any need, from Dutch ovens to muffin pans to tea kettles and mugs.
Our artisanally crafted products are California Proposition 65 certified and compliant, as well as PFAS free, so there's no risk of exposure to harsh chemicals and heavy metals. Invest in truly healthy cooking by switching to pure ceramic.
Shop our selection online to get started.