In this article, we’re looking at a technological innovation that changed the cooking world forever – the nonstick surface! The twentieth century saw the rise of nonstick cookware as a convenient alternative to traditional pots and pans. The benefits are obvious – your food won’t stick!
However, once you start to survey the market, you’ll notice there are lots of different options in this cookware. From copper cookware, aluminum cookware, to Teflon coated cookware and ceramic coated pots and pans, there are a lot of different materials that a cookware set can be made from.
Teflon and Ceramic
cookware – Teflon and ceramic. We’re giving you the basics, the pros
& cons, and the criteria you need to consider to pick the best
cookware set for your own kitchen!
Before we evaluate each cookware type, let’s go through the basics.
What is Teflon?
Teflon is a common brand name for a compound known as Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Developed by DuPont in the 1930s, Teflon has become one of the most popular types of nonstick cookware.
Without getting too deep into the science about how PTFE actually works, it’s basically a compound that has very tight bonds of carbon-fluorine. Because these bonds are so tight and non-reactive, they keep to themselves, and nothing really sticks to them as a result. Because of these properties, PTFE was initially put on cookware as a nonstick property, to protect it against stuck-on foods and substances.
Needless to say, it took the world by storm. Cookware with PTFE coating was revolutionary in that food could be cooked without excessive lubrication (oil and butter). It remains very popular to this day! You’ll often see a PTFE pan in cookware products, but it’s usually called a Teflon coated pan.
What is Ceramic?
First, let’s talk ceramic. You’ve probably known about ceramic as a material for as long as you can remember, but ceramic only became popular as a cookware material quite recently. Ceramic is actually a great material for nonstick cookware as well!
The nonstick properties are generally obtained because the pots and pans are coated in a ceramic substance which makes them water and oil resistant. During manufacturing, the pans are typically dipped in this substance, or it is sprayed on.
Ceramic cookware can refer to cookware which is either made entirely of ceramic, or have a ceramic coating. Both pans boast nonstick properties, although the pans that are made of ceramic tend to be more durable, and also retain heat better than most cooking materials.
Overall, a ceramic pan has largely the same appeal as Teflon. Solid ceramic or ceramic coated cookware are nonstick, easy to care for, and are quite durable and long-lasting.
Next, we will compare the benefits of Teflon vs. the benefits of ceramic to help you make the best choice!
Benefits of Ceramic vs Teflon
Although both Teflon and ceramic are touted for their nonstick properties, it’s best to look at what actually sets them apart.
More Nonstick: First of all, many claim that ceramic is actually more nonstick than Teflon. You can cook many things without requiring oil at all.Of course, this is quite dependent on the quality of the cookware that you purchase.
Easier to Clean: Ceramic is also considered easier to clean than Teflon. Because nothing much sticks to it at all, there is generally little mess to clean up. As a result, rubbing with some soap and water usually makes quick work of the cleaning.
Environmentally Friendly: Another big benefit is that ceramic cookware is that it is more environmentally friendly than Teflon. This is because ceramic is a natural material, and contains none of the chemicals found in Teflon (PTFE and PFOA). As a result, you don’t have to worry about the Teflon burning and releasing any fumes that may be dangerous to you or to the environment. Ceramic is 100% safe and toxin free.
Next up, let’s look at the unique benefits of Teflon. The main benefit is that, like ceramic, Teflon simply works. If you’re looking for a nonstick pan, these are plentiful, and quite inexpensive to buy. Some chefs insist that these are actually more durable than their ceramic counterparts, but it really depends on the quality of the cookware that you buy.
Although there are concerns with the toxins emitted, new developments have helped to lower these concerns quite a bit. This includes Teflon pots that are mixed with either hard-anodized or stainless steel.
New technology is serving to make Teflon safer, both for the environment and for you.
Drawbacks of Teflon and Ceramic Cookware
Teflon and ceramic cookware both have unique benefits which we have outlined above. However, there are also some drawbacks as well. In comparison to traditional cookware, nonstick cookware does have a few considerations which might make it less ideal for some people. Most of these concerns surround damaging the nonstick coating. These include:
Generally, Not Dishwasher Safe
As mentioned above, many of the downsides of nonstick pans relate to the things which may damage the nonstick surface. For Teflon and ceramic, the heat and chemicals used in a dishwasher can damage this nonstick surface and lower the functionality of the pan.
No Metal Utensils
The same goes for metal utensils. These can scrape off the nonstick coating. You should be using wood, plastic, or silicone utensils.
Not for High Temperatures
With both ceramic and Teflon, you shouldn’t be cooking on high heat. This level of heat can damage the nonstick surface, as it was not meant to undertake this much heat. This also generally means that you shouldn’t put this cookware in the oven (especially if they have a plastic handle).
Don’t Use too Much Oil
As a general rule, you shouldn’t use too much oil when cooking with ceramic or Teflon. This is because the oil can build up and diminish the nonstick properties of the plan, breaking down the bonds within the nonstick substance. If you use oil, you must take extra care to wash it off fully.
Ceramic vs Teflon cookware, what is your choice?
Now that we’ve given you a full overview of ceramic vs. Teflon cookware, you might have one question – which type of cookware is best? The answer is that both are pretty solid types of cookware.
Overall, we would recommend ceramic for most types of home chef. Ceramic cookware is just as effective as Teflon, and the pans also tend to retain heat better. On top of this, you don’t have the environmental concerns which are typically associated with Teflon products. If you are interested in buying ceramic cookware, we reviewed some of the best ceramic set to buy.
That being said, it’s your choice! They are both great products, and we hope our buyer’s guide has helped you make the best decision for your personal culinary needs!