There are a lot of requests for a more detailed explanation and a nonstick Ceramic coated cookware safety check. How safe are the ceramic coatings? Although PTFE (Teflon) had its share of negative ads, a lot of questions about ceramic coated cookware have also been raised.
One concern is the possibility of leaching metals and toxins into food: lead, cadmium, and even arsenic! Other readers have asked about the lifespan of a ceramic coated pans nonstick. Do they stay long on nonstick? And are poisonous toxins leaching into your food if they scratch?
Ceramic-coated cookware manufacturers and marketers claim it to be ultra-safe, with no chemicals or heavy metals, and to be very durable.
If youre confused between ceramic coated cookware and 100 percent ceramic cookware (e.g., Xtrema), you need to know theyre NOT one or the same. There is a definite distinction between these two, and here you can read it
What is Ceramic coated cookware?
Technically, ceramic means fire-hardened clay. So when were talking about ceramic coated cookware and some kind of metal (usually hard-anodized aluminum), thats been coated with a ceramic coating. Ceramic nonstick coatings typically consist of inorganic materials, mostly silicon and oxygen. Inorganic means that they do not contain oil.
Is it PTFE and/or PFOA free?
The answer is yes! None of these chemicals are used in Ceramic Coated Cookware manufacturing.
How does this inorganic sand-like mineral used for cookware?
Most nonstick ceramic coatings are applied with a Sol-gel process. Sol-Gel is a process that can be applied to any metallic material by transforming the inorganic liquid solution into a Gel. Sol-gel coatings are applied either by spraying or by dipping the item into the mineral gel, which is then hardened by the process of high heat firing called curing.
Is it heat resistant?
The ceramic coated cookware is heat resistant up to 450 C due to its inorganic character. That is about 842 F. Just so that you can compare, after 500 F, Teflon and comparable coatings will deteriorate.
Is it safe?
According to various ceramic manufacturers, a ceramic-coated pan will not emit any toxic fumes, unlike a Teflon-coated pan, even if you accidentally heat it above 450 C. It will not break down, either. This means with this cookware, humans, birds, and pets alike are always safe.
Are there lead or cadmium in the Ceramic coating?
Some ceramic glazes have been documented leaching lead or cadmium into food. This is typically true of Latin American and Asian ceramic cookware, where regulations can be a bit lax. In fact, in America, there are stringent FDA regulations for ceramic products to be lead-free and cadmium- free ( a law known as Proposition 65). All reputable companies comply with those requirements or should comply with them.
To be sure, we contacted the German company Weilburger Coatings, the manufacturer of Greblon ® nonstick ceramic coatings ( Ozeri, Healthy Legend Cookware, and Josef Strauss Cookware) to inquire about the safety of the coating. Here is what they responded:
“As Greblon-Ceramic coatings are designed for food contact; of course, there is no danger of lead leaching from the coating. The product has been tested to meet US-American as well as European Food contact regulations. Naturally, for us to market safe products, food contact for us means no lead, no cadmium, no PFOA, no PFOS”.
Head of R&D, WEILBURGER Coatings GmbH
So as said earlier, you can be very confident that Ceramic coated cookware is safe to use and is supplied in the US by reputable companies.
The takeaway message here is that if you are buying a nonstick ceramic-coated pan in the market, you want to make sure you select well-established brands that have no issue asserting they are free of these toxic substances.
What about the properties of Non-stick?
It is here that the debate starts! According to Thermolon and Greblon, the manufacturers of ceramic nonstick coatings, these coatings produce a remarkable nonstick release than traditional nonstick pans, according to manufacturers of ceramic nonstick coatings. They say the coatings are durable, resistant to scratching and abrasion and wont corrode.
In fact, people either love it or hate it. For others, it works well over the years, while others, despite caution and care, have noticed the nonstick properties do not last long at all. A lot of people have found that a ceramic coated pots nonstick element only lasts for one year. For extra durability, pick a good set of 3 nonstick ceramic layers, instead of the normal 1-2.
Is there any way in which the life of a ceramic-coated nonstick pan can be extended?
Sure, here are some of our suggestions:
- Wash just with a dishcloth or sponge using a mild detergent in hot water. Avoid any kind of scour-pads
- using low or moderate heat for cooking
- Dont switch the pan from hot to cold too quickly.
- Wash them by hand – even if the manufacturer claims it is safe with dishwasher
- Using spoons made of plastic or wood. Metal utensils will chip or scratch the ceramic surface resulting in the less nonstick coating.
As it is heat resistant up to 450 C, can we cook with a ceramic nonstick coated pan on high heat?
Most meals should be cooked with no higher than medium to medium-high temperatures as a basic guideline anyway. This not only preserves food nutrition but also prolongs any pans life. However, there are some exceptions, such as stir-fries and searing steaks. But even then, during cooking, theres no need to hit super-high temperatures.
So to answer the question, a ceramic coated pan will theoretically be fine with higher heat but be cautious with sudden changes in temperature, i.e., from high to low or vice versa. That could fracture or crack the ceramic coating.
If the nonstick ceramic coating is like stone, is it acceptable to use Metal Utensils?
It is recommended that you should always use nonstick wooden, plastic, silicone, or nylon utensils with it. Stainless steel utensils can scratch or damage any nonstick coating, whether Teflon or Ceramic, which would decrease pans life.
Can you wash the ceramic nonstick coating pans with dishwasher?
It depends on the label. Many nonstick ceramic coated pans would claim they are safe for dishwashing. But as always, we strongly recommend you at The Cookware Advisor hand wash all pans with hot water and a mild detergent without any abrasive pad.
Can ceramic-coated nonstick pans be used in the oven?
It depends on the handles of the products you buy. If all the handles are stainless steel, the majority of the pans are good until around 500 F. Then stick to 350 F when handles are silicone.
So, are nonstick ceramic coated Cookware pans a healthier and safer choice for the environment? Yes. Primarily because the coating will not break down and emit fumes that are harmful to the environment and an irritant to humans at higher temperatures. In fact, they are no more or less healthier than a PTFE (Teflon) coated pan at standard cooking temperatures under 500F.