This is the most annoying question of all kitchen lovers… The main issues with traditional cookware like non-stick and aluminium are that they react with food and turn them into hormone disrupting chemicals and toxins … Also non-stick cookware can’t be used on high temperatures. This is because high temperatures cause damage to the coating. Therefore not the best choice! Some of the new-old-fashioned options are a lot better….
Let’s concentrate to ceramic cookware only for time being… Ceramic cookware is probably the most versatile cookware in stores. The good thing about ceramic cookware is that it offers more advantages than other types of cookware. For instance, ceramic cookware has great insulation capacities. Thus, you can cook food well – even at low and medium temperatures. Ceramic cookware is specially treated using finishes thereby reducing the reactivity of the components comprising the cookware. Ceramic cookware also has very good heating distribution capacities.
The Advantages can be summarised as :-
- Super easy to clean. There’s no doubt that the non stick coating is one of the best if not the best in the market.
- Healthy. Because they know that they are cooking for others, safety is an absolute must. It has to be non-toxic.
- Less oil. The non-stick glaze does not require a lot of oil to cook with. In fact, they claim that they cook a lot of meats and fish without oil.
We all know that ceramic pots are made of clay, are nonreactive, absorb heat well and cook food evenly. Because ceramics are fired at a higher temperature, they are more durable and withstand sudden temperature changes. However, ceramics are glazed, and it is this glass-like interior finish that prevents the underlying clay to reduce acidity. Ceramic has the purity factor – there are no metal ions.
Ceramic cookware is manufactured from a mixture of water, clays, fluxing minerals (often feldspar) and finely ground sand. The particular forming method depends largely on the water content of the mixture. High water content (relatively liquid solution) permits casting of the ware in a mold. Lower water content results in a plastic mass that can be forced into the desired shape by a variety of methods.
After forming, the ware is dried and fired (subjected to temperatures in excess of 2000°F) in a ceramic kiln to bond the components of the “body” together. Following this initial firing, the surface of the ware is coated with a glaze that, upon firing in a second ceramic kiln, develops a smooth nonporous surface much like glass. For ceramic cookware with non-stick interiors three layers of non-stick coating are applied to specially prepare interior surfaces and then cured at approximately 800°F.
Have you ever wondered why a tea served in a cup tastes different than served in any other…? It’s just because ceramic cookware are made of clay, free of heavy metals and synthetic polymers. They are non-reactive and emit a far-infrared heat, the most effective and beneficial heat for cooking which enables a full range of subtle flavours to emerge making us to have more of it…. Also it is found that clay neutralizes acidity and so brings out the natural sweetness in foods. Moreover the slow cooking gently infuses the food throughout and persuades subtle flavours from the foods and leaves nutrients intact.
I don’t recommend using ceramic-coated cookware. But use 100% ceramic cookware as so-called ceramic non-stick cookware is not a true ceramic but rather a chemically based polymer coating that typically covers an inexpensive metal pan or pot. Therefore it will become reactive with use as coating degrades with normal use.… However, some glazed ceramics contain lead, cadmium and other toxic substances. Look for brands that conform to US FDA standards.
Always check for these before you buy any ceramic cookware:-
- Budget: There are lots of ceramic cookware that you can buy on a budget. However, it’s best to buy one that will do the job since the prices range depending on the quantity and quality of ceramic.
- Oven Friendly: If you’re going to be using the cookware in the oven, make sure that it states that it’s oven friendly before you purchase. Another thing to note is to keep the cookware on medium high heat at a maximum when cooking. This will prolong the ceramic cookware life.
- Warranty: Most of the warranty on the ceramic cookware is one year. Make sure you understand the warranty before you buy as well since there are usually lots of limiting clauses within the warranty.
- Quality: A handle that has a solid connection to the pot or pan is vital. In addition, some of the premium sets allow the use of metal utensils to be used in direct contact with the cookware
For longer life check the manufacturer’s recommended care and use instructions before using any ceramic bakeware. These items are usually cleaned with hot sudsy water and soaked if food has been burned on the item. The fact that advanced ceramic does not absorb any food element, allows just a quick rinse and wipe with a kitchen towel. Avoid knives, sharp kitchen tools, scouring pads and abrasive cleaners so that surfaces retain their original smooth finish. Cookware should be stored separately and not nested (one piece stored on top of another).
Always remember it’s not all about the cookware… It’s about how we treat them… We should avoid cooking at higher temperatures. The higher the temperatures, the more we devastate the nutrients in the food and compromise the integrity and safety of the cookware. Thus we can find that besides attractiveness, ceramic cookware is so much user-friendly, reliable, durable and moreover enhance overall cooking too…