Many chefs out there prefer ceramic cookware, and while a lot of them know what to do with those ceramic pans when it’s time to cook, they may not be so confident when it comes to cleaning. They’re left asking themselves things like “how to clean ceramic pans?”, “Can ceramic pans go in the dishwasher?” or “Should I clean ceramic with soap and water?” If you’ve often wondered how to clean ceramic cookware, consider those days over. This comprehensive guide is going to teach all chefs, including yourself, the ins and outs of cleaning ceramic pans, pots, and cookware.
What is ceramic?
Although ancient civilizations used something similar to ceramic to create gorgeous pottery and cooking vessels, this material was a little different than the ceramic we use in cookware today.
Modern scientists have created a hyper-advanced type of ceramic made from oxides like alumina and zirconia, as well as non-oxides like boron carbide, silicon carbide, and molybdenum disilicide. This type of ceramic is used in all sorts of things as well as in industries like aerospace and personal protection. And, of course, it’s used in cookware.
Why do chefs use ceramic?
Why do some members of the cooking community prefer ceramic over, say, traditional nonstick cookware? Well, it’s because ceramic cookware has several distinct advantages over stainless steel or enameled cast iron pots and pans.
For one, they cook food much more evenly. Chefs have found that using ceramic over more traditional cookware helps them avoid some of the most common pitfalls in cooking– overcooking and burning.
Second, a ceramic pan requires less grease for cooking than other cookware. Its non-stick surface is truly non-stick because of ceramic’s chemical makeup.
And third, ceramic cookware lacks the harmful chemicals found in other cooking utensils, specifically Teflon. That’s the synthetic chemical used in most non-stick pots and pans. Needless to say, Teflon can be very dangerous to the human body. Some chemicals in Teflon have even been linked to thyroid disorders, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, and testicular cancer.
Here are some other benefits of cooking with ceramic:
1) It retains heat longer than traditional non-stick cookware. It may take longer to heat up, but when it does, it retains heat way longer than your average cookware. So, if you heat your pan to medium heat then turn your heat to low, the ceramic pan retains that heat a lot longer than non-stick or aluminum stuff. Some have even said up to 95% longer.
2) Your pan will not react with your food. If you cook with cast iron, there’s always the chance of your dish tasting different because the cast iron has absorbed or added its own flavor to it. With ceramic, there’s no worry about contamination. Cook whatever you’d like!
3) Ceramic is versatile. One of the greatest benefits of ceramic is that it can be used almost anywhere in the kitchen – whether you’re cooking on the stovetop, in the oven, or even on the barbecue, ceramic can handle it. Ceramic cookware is even safe to put in the freezer!
4) Ceramic is scratch proof and chip resistant. Gone are the days of worrying about whether your pans will be scratched up messes when you’re done cooking.
5) Ceramic is easy to clean. Finally, ceramic is one of the easiest things to clean in the kitchen. Some might even say it’s as easy as 1-2-3!
The DO NOTS of cleaning ceramic:
DO NOT use steel wool, nylon, abrasive chemicals, or cleaners on your ceramic cookware. Sure, it may be fairly scratch proof and chip-resistant, but these products may damage your ceramic cookware’s coating.
DO NOT wash the pan without letting it cool down. If a ceramic pan is still hot and cools down too quickly, it could crack.
How to clean ceramic pans:
Step 1: Allow the pan to completely cool, then wash it with a sponge or dishcloth and warm, soapy water. This should be done every time you use your ceramic pan.
Step 2: If you have burnt food on your ceramic pan, allow it to soak in hot water for about 30 minutes. This allows the burnt-on food to loosen up, then you can use your sponge to clean everything off.
PRO TIP: If you have baked-on stains, add one Cup of Vinegar and four cups of water to the pan. Then, bring the solution to a boil. Let it boil for three to five minutes. Then, remove the pan from the heat. Let the solution cool, then wipe the burnt mess from your ceramic pan.
Step 3: Rinse the pan thoroughly. Make sure to get all the excess food bits and soap from your pan.
PRO TIP: Another way to get tough stains off a ceramic pan is to add baking soda to an inch of water in your cookware. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes, then wash everything off with a sponge.
Step 4: Dry the cookware completely. This is an integral part of the process. Use a towel, paper or otherwise. Alternatively, you can let it dry on a dish rack.
Can ceramic pans go in the dishwasher?
While some ceramic cookware might claim to be dishwasher safe, most chefs don’t recommend putting ceramic pots or pans in the dishwasher. It may be convenient, but washing your ceramic cookware by hand extends its life.
And that’s all there is to it! Follow these instructions and you’ll be cooking with ceramic for years!
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