Ceramic vs Stainless Steel Cookware: Wondering which is safer or better to cook with? Find out which type of cookware will best fit your kitchen and lifestyle while offering the most benefits.
You made the switch to healthy cooking oils, incorporated more veggies into your culinary creations, and ditched your Teflon pans. The only thing that’s missing for your best health is to choose your new cookware.
Although both ceramic and stainless steel are popular (and healthy) options for cooking, there are pros and cons to each choice.
Read on to discover how stainless steel differs from ceramic cookware and which option you should go with for your unique kitchen needs.
What Is Stainless Steel Cookware?
Stainless steel is a well-known material for cookware, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. You might be surprised to learn that it’s not actually a metal but an alloy—a mixture of metals. Stainless steel takes on its stainless properties because it contains chromium, which has a remarkable resistance to corrosion and heat.
However, on its own, stainless steel is not the greatest heat conductor. For this reason, most stainless steel cookware has an aluminum core that’s sandwiched between layers of steel. This allows it to heat up quickly and to pretty high temperatures, which makes it fit for pan-searing that sirloin steak.
What Is Ceramic Cookware?
While the word ceramic may conjure up heirloom figurines or even ceramic plates for NASA space shuttles, ceramic is so much more than those (already impressive) uses.
Ceramic cookware is well-known for being available in a wide range of colors and for overall looking incredibly pretty. But that’s not all: Ceramic cookware is a kitchen powerhouse that performs seriously well with whatever challenge it’s put up to.
One of the fantastic things about ceramic cookware is that the material is heat and corrosion-resistant, which has a variety of benefits when it comes to cooking.
Although ceramic cookware is quickly picking up in popularity, there are some misconceptions surrounding it.
Here are three of the most popular myths surrounding this type of cookware:
Ceramic Myth #1: It Doesn’t Last Long
Because of the association that some may have with ceramic figurines, it may seem like this type of cookware won’t last long. While it’s possible to damage ceramic—as is the case with any type of cookware—its durability shouldn’t be a problem. Make sure to hand-wash your ceramic cookware using a non-abrasive sponge and to cook with nonmetal kitchen utensils.
Ceramic Myth #2: All Non-Stick Coatings Are Harmful
We know that the chemicals in Teflon cookware are harmful when exposed to high heat. But ceramic cookware is an all-natural alternative to Teflon and does not have any toxic ingredients, which makes it completely safe for your health.
Ceramic Myth #3: I Can’t Use Ceramic Cookware For Many Things
It may seem like ceramic cookware has to be handled with caution, but it’s actually an incredibly versatile type of cookware. You can use ceramic cookware for making basically whatever you want, such as a baked casserole, a pan-seared steak, or a slow-cooked stew.
Ceramic Cookware vs. Stainless Steel: Which One is Better?
With a good overview of ceramic and stainless steel cookware, let’s get right to the heart of the matter: deciding which type of cookware is best for you.
Here is how the two stack up in five major categories:
Both stainless steel and ceramic cookware are free of the same chemicals that are in Teflon cookware. However, ceramic cookware comes out slightly on top in the toxicity category.
Many products claim to be stainless steel but aren’t quite what they claim. Stainless steel cookware can sometimes be coated in a non-stick coating, which is the very thing we are trying to avoid. Additionally, not all stainless steel is created equally.
When buying stainless steel cookware, it is essential to check the specific type of stainless steel that is used. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) assigns four-digit number codes to categories of stainless steel. These groupings can help you see if your stainless steel cookware is all that it is promised.
There’s a reason nonstick cookware is such a hit. After all, cleaning it is as easy as wiping it off with a sponge and a splash of water. To best clean your ceramic cookware, use a non-abrasive sponge and warm (but not hot), soapy water.
With ceramic cookware, you’ll be able to cook eggs, rice, and even foods that can stain your cookware without ever having to worry about cleanup after. On the other hand, stainless steel cookware conjures up too many stories of time spent scrubbing at the kitchen sink.
While you may already take pride in your culinary prowess, the right cookware can significantly add to your creations. Ceramic cookware heats quickly and evenly, which makes it perfect for working with ingredients that are prone to cooking unevenly, like thicker cuts of meat.
On the other hand, due to the stainless steel pan’s uneven heat distribution, it’s much more common to burn a good piece of steak.
If you have limited kitchen space, then versatility is especially important for you. You want the least amount of cookware that does the most work.
Infamously, stainless steel cookware can be used for almost any purpose. Likewise, with ceramic cookware, you can safely take your pots and pans from the stovetop to the oven and back. Since our Cookware Set is oven-safe up to 550ºF, you can make all kinds of unique dishes with your cookware.
Which cookware you’ll find more attractive largely depends on your personal taste.
Stainless steel cookware is uniform but leaves something to be desired when curating a unique kitchen design. But there’s a reason why ceramic cookware is such a hit on social media. It comes in a variety of classic and iconic colors, which makes for an incredibly photogenic cooking experience. For example, Sage shines in bohemian kitchens, whereas Perracotta looks fantastic in more rustic spaces.
Tips For Taking Care of Your Ceramic Cookware
Let It Cool Down: Throwing a hot pan into the sink can undermine the durability of your cookware (and this goes for any material). For this reason, it’s a good idea to let your ceramic cookware cool down a bit after cooking and only then to put it in water.
Try to Hand Wash It: Throwing your cookware in the dishwasher is incredibly convenient. That said, the high amount of heat can potentially be damaging, which is why we only hand wash our ceramic cookware.
But because ceramic cookware is non-stick, handwashing should be a breeze, requiring a few seconds of your time with the help of warm water and just a dash of dish soap.
- Use Gentle Cooking Tools: Anything abrasive such as metal spatulas, should be avoided as they can scratch up the ceramic coating. One great option is to stick to silicone utensils. Or, if you prefer an all-natural material, wood is always a solid choice.
The Choice Is Yours
All in all, it seems like ceramic is up to the same challenges as stainless steel. But unlike stainless steel, ceramic cookware is non-stick, which will elevate your culinary creations (such as that perfectly fried sunny side up egg) while saving you clean-up time. Plus, it’s not too bad to look at, either.