Ceramic vs Teflon | Are Ceramic Coated Cookware Safe?

Ceramic vs Teflon

Considering buying non-stick cookware? One of the first things you need to do is to decide the type of non-stick coating you want. As of present times, there’s only two choices- It’s either 100% pure ceramic cookware or Teflon. While there are some companies who try getting creative and come up with new names, but this is done for marketing purposes only. So, as aforementioned, there are two types of non-stick coatings available for your kitchen needs: ceramic and Teflon. More than two types of nonstick coatings, technically. But yes, two of them being commercially available. Choosing one out of the two depends on what an individual values the most.

  • Ceramic – Environmental friendliness
  • Teflon – Durability

To completely understand the difference between the two and make the perfect choice for you, let’s dig a bit deeper and follow a comparative approach.

Ceramic vs Teflon 

Ceramic Coated Cookware

ceramic coated pan

1. What is ceramic coating?

When we address ceramic, it technically means hardened clay. So, ceramic coated cookware is basically some metal generally anodised aluminium coated with a layer of ceramic. Ceramic coating is a newer idea in the world of non-stick cookware and has been introduced in recent years by different brands. Ceramic coatings are hence inorganic in nature primarily containing silicon and oxygen and necessarily no carbon. The inorganic composition makes ceramic coatings environment friendly. Also, ceramic coating has an additional advantage during the manufacturing process as it requires as little as a single layer of application unlike PTFE (Teflon) which needs at least 3 layers of application. Ceramic coatings need less curing time when compared to teflon coating and includes half amount of carbon dioxide emissions during manufacture.

2. How is it applied to metal cookware

Most ceramic coatings are applied over metal pans using Sol-Gel process. It includes converting the inorganic liquid to a Gel that can be applied to any metallic surface. The metal cookware is then sprayed or dipped in the gel and ultimately fire cured for a specific amount of time.

3. Is ceramic coated cookware safe?

Due to it’s inorganic nature, ceramic coated cookware is heat resistant upto 450°C and hasn’t been found to leach substances or release toxic fumes in to your food or the environment which make them completely safe to use. If you want to purchase one, you can read our review of best ceramic cookwares.

4. Life span

There is some argument about the longevity of the ceramic coated cookware and it all comes down to the use of the product. Using oil while cooking leads to rigorous cleaning and scrubbing of the pan which will eventually scrape off the non-stick layer and reduce the life span of the product, be it ceramic coated or Teflon coated. On an average, ceramic coated pots carry their  non-stick properties for a period of one year. This is not the case with 100% pure ceramic cookware though. Here’s tips to follow in order to make sure that you make the most of your dime:

  • Wash the pot using a mild detergent and a dishcloth. Avoid using scour pads.
  • Wash by hand even if the manufacturer states that the product is dishwasher safe.
  • Use silicon or wooden spatulas as using steel spoons would scrape the coating and reduce the service life of the pot. Steel spatulas would better on stainless steel cookware. I’ve compared stainless steel and ceramic cookware in another post of mine.
  • Cook on low to medium heat.

Teflon Coated Cookware

Teflon coated cookware

1. What is Teflon coating?

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) commonly known by its brand name Teflon is a polymer that has non-stick properties. It was discovered in 1938 but only in the 1950s the polymer was introduced to be applied on cooking pots. It is applied in a number of layers and the manufacturing process is a bit longer as compared to ceramic coated cookware.

2. Is Teflon  cookware safe? 

Studies have shown that when heated above recommend temperatures, teflon runs a risk of releasing toxic fumes and chemicals into your food and the environment. But as long as you cook at low to medium heat, Teflon coated non-stick pans will work just fine. However, we recommend to avoid using Teflon coated pans just to be on the safe side and rather opt for ceramic coated non-stick cookware.

3. Lifespan

Teflon coated non-stick cookware reportedly have a longer service life when compared to ceramic coated pans given that the product is used under the recommended temperature ranges proper washing guidelines are followed.

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