Over the years, we’ve heard lots of things said about non-stick pans. People love them, then hate them, then love them – we know that, generally, it’s safer to go with reputable brands who put a lot of work into figuring out the very safest non-stick coatings they can find.
But what if you could have all the benefits of non-stick without actually using it? What if there was a coating that made cooking (and cleaning up) as effortless as your favorite non-stick, without any of the issues?
Here’s where the new kid on the cookware block comes in. Ceramic coated pans have been around for a little while, but now that the big brands are paying attention, we’re getting high quality ceramic cookware that works and lasts.
The benefits of ceramic coated cookware
. Non-reactive: nothing reacts with your plate, right? Well, ceramic is ceramic, and it may come in different colors and different thicknesses, but it remains non-reactive. Which means you can quite safely cook acidic foods in it, and it’ll never leach anything into your food.
. More efficient heat transfer: since the base of ceramic coated pans is usually made from aluminum, heat transfer is quick, even and efficient, meaning you can use less power to cook your food just as well.
. Non-stick: of course, one of its main properties is its non-stick. Ceramic is smooth and requires only a little oil or butter to keep food from sticking to it (as opposed to stainless steel or cast iron, which both need quite hefty doses of fats to prevent food from sticking).
. Lightweight: the combination of the aluminum base and the ceramic coating makes for a lightweight pan, which is a nice change if you are used to cooking with heavier cookware.
Why ceramic cookware is good for your wallet
. Top quality cookware at an affordable price is the one thing we’re all looking for, right? Yes, it’s good to spend a little more to get the quality you’re after, but if that comes in at a lower price point, that’s great.
. Cooking with ceramic means you cook at a slightly lower heat, than using stainless steel or cast iron. The aluminum base is so efficient, you save power and cook just as quickly.
. Although you do need to use a bit of oil or butter, you don’t need as much as you do with stainless steel, so your supplies last much longer.
Why ceramic cookware is good for your health
. Ceramic is completely non-reactive, and contains no chemical additives. There’s nothing to leach into your food, so your cookware is safe.
. Since you can use less oil than with other cookware, you can cheerfully sauté your food rather than steaming or boiling it, which can decrease the nutritive content.
. Using some oil or fat is good for your health – new studies show that oils like coconut oil are good for your health, which is also a great one to cook with so everyone wins.
Things that must be considered
Ceramics can be brittle: your dishes can scratch or break, right? Well, it makes sense then, that your tiled cookware could break too. Keep sharp metal utensils away from the surface, and the inner pads if you decide to pile things inside. These steps will help your ceramic coating last longer.
You do have to use a little fat: cooking without fat is actually quite rare (generally reserved for steaming and stewing, according to experience). I find that even with the best non-stick coatings, they last longer and work better with less oil or butter. The same is true for ceramics. Using less fat helps lubricate the item, and makes the surface last longer. It also enhances the flavor and browning, so I feel like it's a win-win situation.
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