Ceramic cookware refers to clay pots and pans that are kiln-baked and specially glazed. They further include pans and pots made of aluminum or some other metals that are coated with ceramic enamel.
I know the question yourself is; what are the benefits of using this currently popularly used cookware?
The Greatness Of Ceramic Cookware
Ceramic manufacturers use materials such as Thermolon used by a well-known Belgian brand called Greenpan specializing in ceramic cookware.
The significant fact is that it goes through a manufacturing process that does not use PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) or PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). So the materials used are natural.
Therefore, you are not under any risk of toxic fumes that are caused by overheating or even when the ceramic cookware is slightly damaged.
Nonstick coating: the ceramic coating that is bonded to the rest of the cooking wear construction materials eliminates the need to use unhealthy cooking sprays, butter, or oil to prevent foods from sticking. The food slides right out with very little or no oil used.
If you are into healthy eating with less grease, this is the way to go.
Easy to clean
Here is the best part about this type of cookware the only things you require are, a bit of dish washing soap, some warm water and the wipe of a paper towel or cloth. There is no scrubbing necessary
They are usually very affordable a 10-piece cookware set can cost as low as $50 to $60, and on the high-end, a set ranging between $100-$150 is good enough for home use.
Useful as a food container
Most often than not, after having a home-cooked meal, chances are that you will have some leftovers. Sometimes you may run out of food containers to store your food. You should hence count yourself lucky since some manufacturers design their ceramic products to use them as food containers.
These products usually come with container lids to store your food more appropriately.
Non-reactive to acid
Another attractive feature about ceramic cookware is that it is non-reactive to acidic food. Therefore, acids from meals will not react with the cookware to leach metals and other chemicals into your food.
It even impressively does not change the odor or color of the food.
Safe for health
It is claimed that using ceramic cookware subsequently reduces the risk of high cholesterol. This is supported by the fact that little or no oil is needed for cooking
Available in Various Colors and design
Another reason people like ceramic cookware is its attractive color and stylish design. It has a wide range of colors you can choose red, blue, yellow, black, grey and many more.
These varieties of colors will be great for those who love to have something fancy for their kitchen.
How To Take Care of Ceramic Cookware
Apply Cooking Oil Before Use
Use a tiny bit of oil or butter to lightly and evenly coat the interior surface each time you cook with the pan. Applying oil will help to keep foods from sticking and helps the coating last longer.
Avoid applying cooking sprays because they may cause build-up and usually contain ingredients that are too harsh for most nonstick cookware. Also, avoid using virgin olive oil as it cannot withstand high heat and will leave a thin carbonized layer on the surface.
Do Not Subject To Extreme Conditions
Generally, ceramic cookware are lightweight pieces, but they are more prone to breakage when mostly subjected to extreme conditions such as excess heat or extremely low-temperature conditions.
Ceramics generally can withstand very high temperatures, ranging from 1,000 °C to 1,600 °C (1,800 °F to 3,000 °F). Assuming that ceramic bowls can withstand heat just because they are formed by heat is a misnomer.
Ceramic bowls may contain and manage hot foods very well, but this does not mean that all ceramic bowls are oven-proof.
If a ceramic bowl is not designed for oven use and used anyway, the potential safety hazard in handling the bowl and its hot contents exists because the bowl may crack, and its hot contents can cause severe burns.
A lower to medium heat setting is best when cooking with a nonstick ceramic pan. Higher heats increase the likelihood of food sticking, and could even cause the coating to separate from the pan.
How to ascertain whether the ceramic bowls can withstand the oven:
- Look for the Label: Ceramic bowls and pots made for oven cooking are marked for this purpose. Look for a stamp, often on the bottom of the bowl, stating it is oven-proof. If you purchase a ceramic bowl from an antique shop or inherit one, ask about its uses-how was it used before. Also if it was once used for oven cooking, it could still be used for that purpose.
- Thickness: The thickness of a ceramic bowl indicates how much heat and temperature shifts it can withstand. When a thick-sided ceramic bowl is placed in an oven, it slowly heats up, and when it is taken out, it gradually cools down. The thickness protects the ceramic bowls integrity from breaking from the stress on its material as it undergoes gradual temperature changes. Thin ceramics are susceptible to cracking in the face of heat and sharp temperature changes. Even hot foods placed in a cold ceramic bowl can cause premature heat expansion in one area of the bowl while the rest of the bowl is still cool. This can result in the bowl cracking.
Season The Ceramic Cookware Appropriately
Generally, ceramic cookware doesnt require seasoning. However, some products come with the instruction/recommendation to season the cookware before first use and to re-season it about twice a year to revitalize the nonstick ceramic surface.
Seasoning involves these basic steps:
- The first step involves making sure your pan is clean by using the soft cloth and some dish soap gently over the surface of the pan. Once you finish, rinse thoroughly and dry using another soft cloth
- Add a tablespoon of oil to the pans surface and spread it evenly using your fingers or a paper towel. The entire inner surface must be completely coated. If needed, add more oil to the pan as necessary. The oil you use should have a high smoking point; butter and olive shouldnt be used since they have a low smoking point.
- Place the pan on a stove-top burner and set it to medium heat, leaving it until it begins to smoke. It should take a while for the oil to start smoking. The oil must heat up slowly so that it will soak into the pans surface as thoroughly as possible. Turn the pan periodically to prevent the oil from pooling. You can also set the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and leave the oiled pan inside for around 20 minutes. Using the oven to season a pan is better suited for oven cookware. While most nonstick ceramic frying pans are oven safe, double-check the instructions that come with your pan before leaving it in the oven.
- After the oil has started smoking, take your ceramic pan off of the burner and let it cool down until it is back to room temperature. Dont try to cool it off faster by running cold water over it or placing it in the fridge; the rapid change in temperature could damage the ceramic. If the pans surface isnt too oily and you have some spare time, let the pan sit out until the pan has absorbed most of the oil. This will give you the best results since the longer you wait, the more time the oil will have to fill in the pans inconsistencies.
- Once the pan has cooled to room temperature, use a clean paper towel to wipe away any excess oil. The pan will probably feel a little greasy compared to what youre used to. This is what gives the pan its nonstick property, so it shouldnt be washed away.
Use Gentle Utensils And Materials
Using utensils from gentler materials like silicon, wood, or plastic will keep your pans surface from being scratched during use. Never cut food while its in the pan either, as this can leave grooves in the bottom of your pan.
Always wash nonstick pans by hand using soft, non-abrasive sponges and cloths. Otherwise, you risk scratching the surface of the pan and washing away the nonstick
Factors to Consider when choosing the most suitable ceramic cookware
- Budget: There are lots of ceramic cookware that you can buy on a budget. However, its best to buy one that will do the job since the prices range depending on the quantity and quality of ceramic.
- Oven Friendly: If youre going to be using the cookware in the oven, make sure that it states that its oven friendly before you purchase. Quite often, people have complained that the ceramic cookware they bought was ruined in the oven. Another thing to note is to keep the cookware on medium-high heat at a maximum when cooking. This will prolong the ceramic cookwares life.
- Warranty: Most of the warranty on the ceramic cookware is one year. However, this should not be the deciding factor. Ensure you understand the warranty before you buy as well since there are usually lots of limiting clauses within the warranty.
- Quality: The sturdy construction is vital in the ceramic cookware set. A handle that has a solid connection to the pot or pan is critical. Also, some of the premium sets allow the use of metal utensils to be used in direct contact with the cookware.