Ceramic vs. Teflon

When shopping for nonstick cookware, one of the first things you need to do is decide what type of nonstick coating you want. Some brands are very up front about what their coating is made from, and some are less up front. Companies try to come up with catchy names for their coatings, but it’s just marketing. All nonstick cookware currently widely available falls into one of two categories: ceramic, and PTFE. PTFE is commonly referred to as the brand name Teflon. When comparing ceramic vs. Teflon, there are many factors to consider. Let’s start with an overview of each type.

Ceramic cookware

Ceramic is a newer material in the world of nonstick cookware. It’s widely considered to be the safest and most environmentally friendly option. Ceramic is free of PTFE and PFOA (more on PTFE and PFOA below). Ceramic coatings come in a wide variety of styles and colors.

Some argue that ceramic has a shorter life span than Teflon cookware. We have not found this to be the case. However we don’t cook with oil or cooking spray, which can dramatically affect the life span of both ceramic and Teflon cookware.

If you cook with oil, it’s critical to completely clean off all of the cooked oil after each use. Otherwise layers of oil will build up, quickly diminishing the nonstick properties of the cookware. But unfortunately if you vigorously scrub off the layers of oil, you inevitably take the nonstick surface with it. This can cause both ceramic and Teflon cookware to age prematurely.

The easy way out of this conundrum is to not use oil. For this reason, and more importantly for health reasons, we recommend cooking without any oil at all. Even if you cook without oil, some foods contain small amounts of oil. We find that cleaning with white vinegar can help make clean up a breeze.

Because ceramic cookware is a relatively new technology, there have been many advances in quality in recent years. Manufacturers are applying more layers of ceramic, so the coatings are getting thicker. Thicker coatings mean longer lifespans. Look for big improvements in ceramic cookware in the coming years.

Here are a few examples of our favorite ceramic options. For a complete list check out our guide here.

SetNonstick coatingSizes / Pieces
Dishwasher safe*ColorsRating
10" Ozeri Green Earth Textured Ceramic Frying PanCeramic8", 10" or 12" frying pan$35.99No
12" WearEver Pure Living Frying PanCeramic10.5" or 12" frying pan$28.57YesGold with white interior4.0
Cook N Home Ceramic 10-Piece Cookware SetCeramic6 pans
4 lids
T-fal Initiatives Ceramic Nonstick 14-Piece Cookware SetCeramic6 pans
4 lids

Teflon cookware (PTFE)

PTFE is the “classic” nonstick material made famous by the brand Teflon. While it is very arguably on average more durable than ceramic at the moment, some are concerned about its safety. When overheated, PTFE coatings can break down and release toxic gases.

You can use PTFE cookware safely as long as you use it properly. 500ºF is the maximum temperature recommended for cooking with PTFE cookware. However if you’re cooking in an oven, most cookware handles are only oven safe to 350ºF.

Rachel Ray sauce pan

If you own birds, you may want to avoid PTFE cookware altogether. Birds are much more sensitive to PTFE fumes than humans.

When baking, roasting, or especially broiling with PTFE cookware, make sure to check the manufacturers recommended maximum oven safe temperature. For stove top cooking, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Always cook on low to medium heat. Never cook with high heat.
  • Never preheat an empty pan.
  • If you’re not cooking with a broth or liquid that absorbs heat, pay close attention to your cooking surface. Foods that coat most of the pan’s surface will help keep temperatures down.
  • Use extra care when using lightweight cookware. Lightweight pans heat faster than heavier pans.
  • Pay attention while cooking. Never leave a pan unattended.

Some PTFE cookware is manufactured using a chemical called PFOA. If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your cookware, you want to avoid sets manufactured using PFOA. After reaching an agreement with the EPA, the major manufacturers of PTFE cookware, including Teflon, are phasing out the use of PFOA completely by 2015.

Here are a few examples of our favorite Teflon options. For a complete list check out our guide here.

SetNonstick coatingSizes / Pieces
Dishwasher safe*ColorsRating
12" T-fal Professional Nonstick Thermo-Spot Fry PanPTFE8", 10.25", and 12"$32.02YesBlack4.4
T-fal Specialty 3-Piece Frying pan setPTFE8", 9.5", and 11" pans$21.54YesBlack
Cook N Home 15 Piece Cookware SetPTFE6 pans
4 lids
$50.33 YesBlack4.3
T-fal Signature Expert Thermo-Spot 12-Piece SetPTFE6 pans
3 lids

The Discovery Channel made an interesting short video on how PTFE cookware is made:

Ceramic vs. Teflon

There are a wide range of options and prices in both ceramic and PTFE cookware. Both ceramic and PTFE offer extremely affordable options, starting at around $20. More expensive options offer thicker coatings, which can significantly improve cookware lifespan. However as mentioned above, using oil or cooking spray can reduce lifespan significantly regardless of the cookware surface.

Calphalon handle

The main argument for ceramic cookware is that it’s toxin free and environmentally friendly. The main argument for PTFE cookware is that currently it can be somewhat more durable than ceramic in some cases.

Whichever you choose, it’s important to recognize that the way you cook and clean your pan can have as much or more of an impact on cookware longevity than the coating itself. Making the choice to cook without oil can improve the lifespan of both your cookware and yourself!

172 thoughts on “Ceramic vs. Teflon

  1. “Whichever you choose, it’s important to recognize that the way you cook and clean your pan can have as much or more of an impact on cookware longevity than the coating itself.”

    This is absolutely true. Over the past 18 months my family and I have been intentionally torture testing a 10″ skillet lined with the white ceramic non-stick coating. It was a cheap pan to start with (WalMart Mainstay) so I didn’t expect much. We have not been shy about using metal cooking utensils, though we would never intentionally strike the ceramic surface so as to chip it. Nor have we avoided cooking with oil (Olive or Peanut oil, never Canola or Rape seed oil),

    The outside finish of the pan shows all the wear of heavy use, but the ceramic coating is as pristine and effective as it was on the date of purchase. This despite having things scorched onto the surface multiple times. The key to the durability has been in having a scouring powder that will not scratch the ceramic surface even when you scrub hard; Bon Ami.

    Bon Ami is hard to find in stores today; it fell out of favor when formica counter tops became more common than ceramic tile ones, but it’s the perfect product for these new pans, and is relatively friendly to the environment. Thanks to Bon Ami, I will never buy a Teflon pan again

    • Hi John, thanks for the comment! That’s awesome to hear about your ceramic pan! We have never tried Bon Ami on our nonstick pans, but we do love it for our other household cleaning since it’s natural and non-toxic. We mention this in our blog, but white vinegar is another miraculous natural cleaner for many things, including nonstick pans. Thanks again for the input, and happy nonstick cooking!

        • Hi Marvin- Very interesting question! Assuming you’re talking about contemporary ceramic cookware (such as the Ozeri, Bialetti, etc), we’ve done a substantial amount of research, but unfortunately we do not have a definitive answer. From our own personal experience we’ve only seen them on the market for the last five years or so, give or take a few. If anyone out there can give a more definitive history we’d love to hear it!

          • I happened across your website while researching new cookware–thank you for the information! As for how long ceramic cookware has been around, since I just found this information as well, I thought I’d share: WMF-Silit, a German company, has a ceramic for cookware that is branded as Silargan, and according to Wikipedia, it was introduced in 1989. Given that ceramic cookware has become more popular in recent years, that would seem to me to indicate that it is, in fact, long-lasting and has proven to be worth buying. At the very least, its use in cookware has over two decades of practical research behind it, which is always encouraging.

        • Thanks Jennifer. Awesome to hear! We also use baking soda for all kinds of cleaning with excellent results. Baking soda and/or white vinegar are amazing, natural household helpers!

        • We just purchased a Henckels RealClad ceramic set. They call their ceramic coating “CeraForce”. The instructions specifically say to avoid baking soda (as well as dishwasher detergents that contain bleach or citrus if you go that route). I am not sure why as this and other sites say the opposite. However, my .02 that at least one manufacturer does not endorse baking soda.

    • Bon Ami is a brand name of cleanser. You should be able to find “Barkeepers Friend”, Comet, and similar non-branded $1 Store products to keep you happy.

    • I’m wondering if the Bon Ami that was used to clean the ceramic pan is their new formula (gold can) or is it the original 1886 formula (red antique – looking can)? Apparently they still make and sell both formulas.

      • Hi Misha- We’ve never personally used Bon Ami on our cookware, we use strictly dish soap and/or white vinegar. But hopefully one of the posters above who’ve tried Bon Ami will respond with some feedback on that.

    • Try Barkeeper’s Friend from Walmart. It is even finer than Bon Ami and can even be used on copper and bright stainless steel cookware.

    • I have not used Teflon since I became aware of some possible health concerns back in the 1970’s. Health concerns extended to the use of aluminum cookware as well. So, most of my cookware is either stainless steel or glass. My concern with ceramic cookware is trying to understand the labels. Some say No PTFE or PFOA, while others may say No Cadmium, No Lead, No PTFE. I have yet to see any with that say it is FREE of ALL of these….One company even says that their saucepans are Ceramic coated and Titanium coated….how safe is Titanium for cookware? I guess I’m looking for a trusted source to tell which pans are toxin-free, lead-free, cadmium-free….As far as Bon Ami is concerned I have no problem finding it at the stores here in CT., especially the Targets, Walmarts, Walgreens, K-Marts, and grocery stores.

  2. This was so helpful! Thank you for bringing up not only the pros and cons for each, but also what you recommend for each category! Amazon reviews can only take you so far. Thanks again!!

  3. “Always cook on low to medium heat. Never cook with high heat.
    Never preheat an empty pan.”

    Ok from a cooking standpoint i fundamentally disagree with this. You always want to heat the pan empty. I know you’re on your no oil thing but you go hot pan then add oil. And not cooking over high heat is an utter cooking nonstarter. The other information is fine. But not being able to use high heat? How do you guys cook without manipulating the heat?

    • Hi Derrick- Thanks for the comment and questions. In the section of our post you quoted, we are specifically discussing PTFE coated cookware. Avoiding cooking at high temps reduces the risk of toxins being emitted from PTFE/Teflon/PFOA coatings, as well as increases the longevity of the pan. When you preheat an empty PTFE pan, it is unfortunately surprisingly easy to exceed 300 °C, the temperature above which fumes are released. We do sometimes cook at higher temps with our ceramic coated pans, which do not emit toxic fumes like PTFE does. But for boiling, steaming, soups, stews, pastas, grains, sauces, etc which require very high temps, we use stainless steel cookware. We hope this helps answer your questions!

      • “…boiling, steaming,..”
        Surely water boils at 212F? That doesn’t seem very high.

        Apart from that, thanks for the brilliant article.

    • Yes, I have always observed this low heat rule with my “Teflon” pans. I only use them for fragile cooking that requires lower heat like omelets and crepes. Things that tend to get ruined if they stick and that I don’t want to use a lot of oil with. To saute or stir fry I use my stainless steel pan, but I was on here to research the ceramic option so that I have some more non-stick options that can take higher heat. Thanks for the good info on here.

  4. Pingback: Why Ceramic is Safer than Teflon on Your Cookware | SRG Green Living – News and Tips for Eco-Friendly Apartment Living

  5. I’m so glad I found your review. I am replacing my indoor grill appliance and they have a new version with ceramic coating. I had no idea if this would work as well as as ‘Teflon’ and could find no reviews on the item. Since the item is specifically designed for no oil cooking, I am going to go with the new ceramic, due thankfully to your review of two surfaces!

  6. I’ve got a stupid, cheap Wearever 12″ ceramic frying pan and all I do is frying chicken breast in it with a drizzle of olive oil. I’ve pounded it for two years, still more or less good as new (although it is about due for a good, hard scrub, finally). I run it through the dishwasher…

    I’m pretty much sold on ceramic over Teflon. It’s maybe not so good for making things crispy browny as Teflon, but it takes a licking and keeps on ticking, as they say…

  7. Thank you so much for the information! I just purchased a small ceramic fry pan, the first ever, and am amazed at how wonderful it is to cook in. I am so exhausted with babying my stainless in order to try to fry vegetable, eggs etc. All the posts are helpful and I will heed the advice and also will be purchasing more ceramic and no more Teflon.

  8. I am staying in India n came accross these types of ceramic non stick induction stainless steel cookware…I want to know its performance if any one can guode me

        • Thanks for the question, Harshad. If you scratch your ceramic coating, you are then exposing your cooking to whatever metal is exposed. So if it’s ceramic coated aluminum (aka aluminium) and you scratch it, you run the risk of your food being in direct contact with the aluminum, which many people avoid because of its association with certain illnesses. Stainless is generally considered less risky than aluminum.

  9. How would you stir fry vegetable’s etc. without using any oil? Obviously meat usually has it’s own fat/juices which are released when cooking but onions and the like?

    Thanks :)

    • Hi CC- We usually fry starting with just a little water, but you can also use a light broth if you want to add extra flavor. The key is not to use too much liquid, and believe it or not onions etc will still brown nicely. We actually have a series of pictures of onions browning about a third of the way down on our tofu scramble recipe post. We also recently started following an amazing ‘no oil’ chef who starts just with the onion and no water at all, to get the browning happening quicker. Frying with little/no liquid is a little different than what most people are used to, but it definitely works!

      • Why the obsession with getting rid of good oils like olive? I understand that good oils can reduce inflammation of the arteries. It is inflammation that causes hardening of the arteries.

        • Hi Mike- Actually that’s not correct that “good oils can reduce inflammation of the arteries”. Olive oil is pure fat (100% fat by calories, check out any nutrition label), and has been found to impair endothelial functions in your arteries in the same way that other highly fatty foods do. For more information check out this video on olive oil and artery function.

          • Actually, the Mediterranean diet is the only tried and true healthy diet used for centuries based on plenty of healthy olive oil rich in Omega3 fat (which our bodies need!) to survive. You would die without healthy fats in your diet, the body needs it to produce certain vital hormones.
            All this other speculation is basically another fad based on junk science.
            The same thinking that fat caused heart disease is what shifted everyone over to carbs which converts to unhealthy fat in the liver for storage.
            I increased my olive oil (good quality extra virgin directly from Greece) intake and raised my healthy cholesterol levels and dropped my unhealthy levels back to normal and got off the Statins!
            So you can avoid all fat if you want but please don’t misinform others that Olive oil is unhealthy when it is very healthy!
            Educate yourself perhaps.

          • Hi Bill- With all due respect, people get all the healthy fats they need (including Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats) from a whole food plant based diet, which does not include olive oil. Olive oil isn’t a whole food, it’s 100% fat extracted from the fiber, micro-nutrients etc in the whole olive. Olive oil impairs your cardiovascular system’s endothelial function in the same way that other fatty foods do. For more information check out this great short video summary of the latest scientific evidence on it here.

        • I agree, but one thing Americans don’t know is that about 78% (that was the figures reported by one consumer group) of Extra Virgin Olive Oil that Americans buy is NOT PURE! It contains a variety of lesser/cheaper oils. So, if you use Olive Oil check to make sure your brand is ‘The Real Thing’. Also, Avocado Oil has a high temperature tolerance and is quite good. When I find the best Ceramic saucepan to purchase I will probably not use oil in it, saving it for my stainless steel pans, but any oils that are produced by what is cooked/fried will be washed thoroughly with soap & water, then washed with White Vinegar (or Bon Ami) and rinse thoroughly.

      • I am commenting on a very old post here, but thought I would weigh in. I am skeptical about your information that extra virgin olive oil is not healthy. I have heard many nutritionists say that adding this, avocados, salmon and things like fatty nuts to your diet will help raise your HDL or “good” cholesterol which in turn improves its anti-inflammatory capabilities, by improving your ratio of HDL to LDL. From the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/hdl-cholesterol/art-20046388?pg=2 and http://www.mayoclinic.org/cholesterol/art-20045192?pg=2 However, different oils have different heat tolerances and I actually NEVER cook with olive oil because it denatures at a lower temperature than many other oils. Coconut oil is more heat stable for instance. I do not hesitate to eat extra virgin olive oil at room temp on salads or bread! It is delicious and healthy! The other person is accurate that the Mediterranean diet is scientifically proven to lower your risk of heart disease. That doesn’t mean go crazy on fat and calories! It is part of a healthy lifestyle in moderation of course!

        • Hi Anna- Thanks for your input on this conversation. We are not saying that fats are bad, humans need fats. But, we can get all the fats we need from a whole food plant based diet (with an emphasis on ‘whole’). Oils (including olive oil) on the other hand are highly processed 100% concentrated fat, with all the fiber and other micro-nutrients stripped out. Olive oil impairs your cardiovascular system’s endothelial function in the same way that other fatty foods do. For more information check out this great short video summary of the latest scientific evidence on it here. If you want the good fats in olives, eat the whole olive, don’t just squeeze out and eat the fat. Your body processes it differently.

          • Thanks for the information about the skillets – it’s very helpful. I’m just not on-board with the suggestion to stay away from olive oil. Maybe the scientific evidence you reference is right and it’s not good for you. But then you suggest to eat whole olives. Olives require a large amount of sodium to be edible. Trade one evil for another? Maybe moderation will save us all.

          • Hi Brent- To be clear, we were suggesting olives as a healthier alternative to olive oil, which is not to say they are especially healthy for you. While olives have a score of 24 on the Aggregate Nutritional Density Index (or ANDI score), olive oil has a score of just 9. Considering the scale is from 1 to 1000, even though olives have 2.5 times more nutrients per calorie, they both have low scores. Olives should definitely be consumed in small quantities if at all, and it is certainly a case where moderation would be advised.

          • Hi Ayal,
            Reading the discussion about olive and fat in general my question is related to ghee. There has a whole culture built around it for perhaps thousands of years. It’s heat tolerance is the highest (smoke point is almost 500F) among all cooking oils/fat.
            I make my own from store bought butter and the residue at the end of the process is unimaginable. Looks like a burnt coal at the bottom of the pan.
            What do you know or think about the ghee? Tx. in advance.

          • Hi Robert- Sorry for the slow response, I fell off the blog for a while. Like many other traditional foods, ghee likely served a purpose as a high calorie density food source in ancient times, when getting enough calories was a challenge. However the opposite is true in the modern world where calories are too readily available, so that we need to optimize our diets for health. Like butter, Ghee is 100% fat by calories, with a whopping 12.7 grams (114 calories) of fat in just a single tablespoon. Of that fat, 62% if it (7.9 grams) is saturated. As you probably know, saturated fats are very unhealthy and should be avoided. So our recommendation would be to eliminate or at least minimize the amount of Ghee you consume. Hope that’s helpful!

  10. I’m looking at buying new pots, the sets I’m looking at are both dishwasher safe and one is ceramic while the other is Teflon.. Does the white of the ceramic stain?

    • Hi Heather, we’ve been using white ceramic for quite a while. We often use turmeric which makes everything bright yellow, but it has never stained our ceramic. Our ceramic coated pans are as white as new. As long as you keep them clean they should be fine. We clean ours with regular dish soap and a soft sponge, and we never use metal utensils on them, so there are no scratches either. Please let us know if you have any other questions! Best, ~Maria

  11. I use ceramic cookware. I wipe the pans clean with soft paper towels while the pan is still hot/warm. Then I let the pan cool and wash in the sink with soap/water/soft sponge. My cookware looks clean and brand new.

  12. Very interesting, my husband loves to cook and drowns everything in olive oil. We just bought a cermanic coated one and one question he has is it seems to take longer to fry, then with oil? He keeps it at a med heat with no oil..(and killing him not to use oil..:) ) Is that the case, to use lower heat other wise it was burning.

    • Hi Sheba- That’s so great that your husband is reducing his oil intake! His arteries will be very grateful:) And once he gets over the oil/fat addiction, he really won’t miss it. Trust me I went through the same process myself.

      Regarding frying with no oil, are you using any water or broth in place of the oil? This is called “steam frying”. Start with a few table spoons of water/broth. When the water/broth starts to steam off, your veggies will start to brown. Depending how brown you want them, you can add one or more tablespoons as you cook, allowing you to control how brown and crispy things get. Also as you’re finishing up the frying, you can add a bit more water to “deglaze”, which will release whatever brown residue is on the pan onto your veggies. It’s different than cooking with oil, but it doesn’t take much experimentation to get the hang of it. Hope this helps, if you have any more questions let us know!

      • Great, we have used the plan three times and everything sticks. It cleans easier, but when nothing is in the pan (oil, butter) it all sticks. I just seen your response, i’ll try just using the water and see what happens. It’s been dissappointing so far, but it does clean up easier.

        Thanks for getting back.

        • Hi Sheba- It’s definitely different than cooking with oil, but if you experiment with a little water or broth, I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it. When the liquid steams off, the veggies might stick a little, but when you add the water back in to deglaze it they loosen up, and it helps the flavor seep in. And I agree, the clean up is way easier. You’ll also find if you stop cooking with oil that the rest of your kitchen is cleaner too. Before we got off oil, we’d frequently have to clean a layer of goop off the top of our refrigerator, cabinets, etc, and now it’s all clean and dry. Bonus! :) If you have any other questions please do let us know, we’d love to help you find your way to getting off the oil!

  13. Hi…I just received a new ceramic pan for Christmas. This may seem like a silly question but what about butter? Can I use butter to make pancakes? I’m worried they will stick if I don’t.

    • Hi Nicholas- You do NOT need to use butter, the pancakes will not stick to your ceramic pan. In fact if you do use butter (or any other margarine/cooking spray/oil/etc), your pan will deteriorate as the oily residue builds up, and will eventually lose it’s nonstick properties. For more details and pictures showing the process check out our pancake recipe post. Enjoy!

  14. My 12″ Teflon Frying pan warped beyond use so I had to replace it. I decided to try the ceramic surface as it said you didn’t need grease or oil. The ceramic pan was about about the same cost anyway, just a couple bucks more. It might even be the one in the photo above. I made pancakes with the pan and thought for sure they would get stuck with no spray or grease, but not at all. I found myself before having to reapply grease after every pancake (I make them one at a time, don’t judge :) but with the ceramic pan I don’t have to use any at all? really impressed. That should help with the life of the pan and the look of the outside. Looks great right now hanging on the wall instead of tucked away in the cabinet

    • Hi Shawn- What an awesome story! Have to say we love ceramic pans, besides working so well without oil they do look great too. And cooking without oil DEFINITELY helps with the life of the pan. The biggest complaint we hear about nonstick pans in general, including ceramic pans, is that the surface wears out fast. But that’s only because people are still using oil with the nonstick, and when they clean the oil off, they take the cooking surface off with it. I’m looking at our first ceramic pan we bought well over 2 years ago, we use it regularly (but have never once used oil in it!), and the surface literally looks brand new. Can’t beat that!

  15. I have 2 ceramic t fal pans (just needed to try them out ). The instructions say to heat lightly and season them with vegetable oil before the first use. I did that with one and have used it for eggs a few times with great sucess but haven’t touched the other one yet. Do you suggest not seasoning with oil?

    • We do suggest not seasoning with oil. We’ve seen instructions like that on several pans, but we’ve never seasoned any of our pans and we’ve had great success with them. If you choose not to season your second pan, please let us know! We’d love to hear if you notice any differences between the seasoned and the non-seasoned, especially in terms of performance and longevity.

  16. I’ve been trying to find out id ceramic coatings are safe for household birds. I’ve found nothing for certian on any cooking or bird site. can you help?

    • Hi Patricia, fumes from teflon style nonstick coatings are what are dangerous to birds, that is, coatings containing PTFE (and/or PFOA). So I would most certainly avoid those at all costs if I were you. Ceramic does not have PTFE or PFOA, so it would not emit those fumes. But we don’t have further information on its bird safety. If you find any additional information, please let us know!

  17. I’ve found that cleaning any ceramic surface is really easy to do with a baking soda paste and a sponge. It won’t scratch from what I can tell and it works really well on porcelain, too! Clean my stove and my sink this way and it gets stains out and grime that I would never had thought would come out. Industrial cleaners didn’t work, but a paste from baking soda and water worked!!!

    • Hi Casey,
      Yes, it’s amazing how beautifully baking soda works on cleaning numerous household items. I use strictly natural cleaning solutions, and even use baking soda to clean my bathroom sink and tub. Vinegar is another miraculous cleaner. There’s really no need for all the chemical cleaning agents out there. There are so many natural ways that are as equally effective, and are better for you and the environment. Thanks so much for the comment, Casey!

  18. I cook indian food all the time. Indian food needs lots of oil, not to avoide sticking but to bring in flavours of all the spices n the ingredients while cooking. I want to know will it affect the ceramic coating of ceramic coated non stick cookware if used regularly for oil based cooking?

    • Hi Rk- There’s actually a website that specializes in oil free Indian food recipes, check it out here. We recommend avoiding or at least reducing oil because of the vast health benefits, and we’ve enjoyed many delicious low/no oil Indian dishes. If you still choose to use oil, you’re probably better off using a stainless steel or cast iron pan. Using oil with ceramic nonstick cookware will likely ruin it over time as the residue builds up.

  19. Having just taken delivery of our first set of ceramic cookware I thought it would be a good idea to look for advice from regular users of non-stick pans. I am very glad that I did as all the posts on your site are really helpful.

    The instructions with my pan set are to season the pan with oil and heat before using, but I will now follow your advice an cook dry, or with a drop of water.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Kettering, UK.

    • Thanks so much for the very nice comment! We hope you enjoy your new cookware, and if you have any questions or comments please do let us know. Happy oil free cooking!

  20. Great information above. I found the site because I was searching to find a way to “fix” a ceramic pan that had lost its non-stick properties. After reading your post I assume that we have allowed oil to build up. Is the only option to throw the pan away, or have you had success using a natural cleaner, or one that works well in dealing with such folly?

    • Hi J- Sounds like you have one of two problems. Either the oil has built up so much that your pan lost its non-stick properties, or in washing off the oil you’ve also washed off the non-stick surface. If that’s the case there’s nothing you can do. But since you’ve got nothing to lose, you might as well give thoroughly cleaning it a shot. First try letting it soak a while with soapy hot water, empty that, and then soak it for a good length of time with white vinegar and baking soda. After letting it sit for several hours, take a soft plastic scrubber to work off the built-up oil residue. If you find that some is being removed but not all, repeat the same routine and hopefully you’ll be able eventually remove it all. Others have also had success with hot water and baking soda. Please let us know if this works for you!

  21. Hi,

    I just bought a T-fal ceramic non-stick Simply Cook 10 inch saute pan and am wondering if it has PTFE’s? I’m guessing it has the ceramic coating but the directions say to not heat on high settings due to toxic fumes from the non-stick interior. I though ceramic didnt have these ptfe’s so you didn’t have to worry about toxic fumes at high temps? It says pfoa, lead and cadmium free. Can you clarify this for me? I’m confused.


    • Hi Vanessa, do you mean the T-fal Simply Clean? If so, those pans are actually NOT ceramic, but PTFE (in which case definitely do not use at a high temperature). Another way to tell is by the color of the nonstick surface. T-fal’s nonstick ceramic surface is white.

        • Hi Vanessa,

          I just contacted T-fal USA about this and here’s what they said, “Our ceramic cookware is PTFE free. Those are generic warnings and instructions for nonstick cookware. They apply only to our traditional PTFE nonstick cookware. However, we do not recommend using any of our cookware on a high heat, as it may overheat and damage the cookware.”

          So, hopefully that helps to clear things up! And if I might add, I have witnessed (and have unfortunately been the cause of) burned skillet handles from heat that was too high or from using a burner too large for the pan size. I’m sure that would also result in toxic fumes, even though T-fal didn’t specifically mention that in their reply. Just something to keep in mind.

          Please let us know if you have further questions. Good luck, Vanessa, and happy nonstick cooking! ~Maria

  22. Hi again- 2 more questions: How do I know if my pan is aluminum or stainless steel coated with ceramic. It doesn’t say.

    What are the benefits/disadvantages to seasoning your pan with oil and not seasoning.

    Many thanks again. This is a really helpful post!

    • Hi again Vanessa,

      Most nonstick pans are coated aluminum. Stainless steel nonstick pans will usually be clearly advertised as such since it is a selling point. Some T-fal pans are mostly aluminum with a stainless steel bottom/base so that it can be used on an induction stove-top.

      We recommend NOT seasoning your pan with oil. In fact, we recommend not using oil on your pan ever. When you put oil on your pan, over time it will build up and reduce the nonstick properties of the pan. When you try to wash the oil off, the nonstick surface will inevitably come off with it. This is true of both PTFE and ceramic surfaces. Hope that’s helpful, if you have any other questions please let us know!

  23. Absolutely! Cast iron is the best. You can clean it with a sandblaster if you want to, and it heats very evenly. You also get a good workout by lifting the cookware. Lots of people buy cast iron, and then decide to go with cookware that is lighter and prettier, making used cookware extremely inexpensive.

  24. Just got a set of T-Fal Ceramic cookware and have been reading about cooking with low/medium heat. My question mainly is regarding using the saucepans to boil water in. Is it safe to do that? Obviously boiling water would need a higer heat (gas stove). Even sometimes in the larger frying pans one may need to bring the recipe to a boil. Any advice would be appreciated.


    • Hi Steve, someone else recently asked about their T-Fal ceramic cookware. Her concern was that there were warnings on the cookware saying not to use on high heat, and that it could cause toxic fumes to be emitted. So I made an inquiry with the company to ask what these warnings were specifically for, since you only typically see that with PTFE (Teflon) coatings. T-Fal replied that the warning was a generic warning they put with all their cookware since the bulk of their cookware is coated with PTFE. They added that although their ceramic cookware does not contain PTFE, cooking on high heat could damage the pan. So although in theory it’s safe, you may end up causing damage to your pan. Additionally, other materials on the pan could burn, such as the handles, if cooked at a high heat or on a burner that was too large for the pan. We have added boiling water to our ceramic pans (boiled either in a tea kettle or in a stainless steel pan) and have never had any issues with the coating. We have, however, burned handles when we’ve used high heat. I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

      • Hi Maria,

        You mentioned boiling water in a tea kettle. I have read that most tea kettles on the market also leach toxins into the water. Can you recommend an easily accessible, non-toxic tea kettle? I had a glass one but it broke after a year and I have been looking what seems like forever since. Many thanks!

        • Hi Vanessa, One thing to be aware of in tea kettles is the heating element itself, as they are often made from aluminum. You probably already know, but people should avoid consuming aluminum as much as possible. Beyond that, metal leaching is not our area of expertise. We use a stainless steel tea kettle with a concealed heating element. If you are at all concerned about metal leaching, I would stick with a glass tea kettle where the water would not be exposed to a metal heating element (especially not aluminum). There are a number of glass cordless tea kettles out there that have concealed stainless heating elements. The Ovente Glass Electric Kettle is quite popular, you can check it out here, but we don’t own one ourselves so we can’t give you any personal input on it. You can read the reviews and see what you think. Hope this helps!

  25. Hello- can you tell me if the quantum dura pan nonstick is a safe fry pan to use? Is it Teflon ? I’m not sure if it emits any toxic fumes. I had the green pans and was never told not to use oil in the pans… They are now throw away junk. Can you recommend the best ceramic pans that are higher end with the extra coats of ceramic coating. I’m in need of some new fry pans. I have noticed that the green pans cooked the outside of the foods to fast -almost burnt but the inside was still raw-they were hard to use. Thanks for your advise and for all of the invaluable information.

    • Hi Blaine, We’ve reached out to Whitford, the maker of the Quantum2, but have not yet heard back from them. If/when they get back to us we will post an update. One brand that has a double layer of ceramic coating is Concord Cookware. We don’t own any ourselves, but it gets favorable reviews, you can check it out here. However, these pans are more in the budget to middle price range. In the higher end range, Calphalon also makes cookware with a double layer nonstick coating, which you can find here.

      Yes, we have found that oil free cooking has significantly prolonged the life of nonstick cookware. One thing you can do to help your food cook more evenly is to try using a lower setting. It will, however, take a bit longer of course. Toward the end, you can raise the temp slightly if you’d like some browning to occur. Hope this is helpful!

      • Just to follow up on our inquiries with Whitford as to whether or not their Quantum cookware contains any PTFEs and where the coating is actually made, this was their response: “This coating is manufactured globally so it depends on the pan where it is manufactured. This coating is not a PTFE coating.” That was the extent of their response. Does it mean that it has zero PTFEs? I can’t be sure by this response. The company website says that their Quantum2 cookware contains a “special blend of diverse ceramic materials”. Since they are not being completely forthright in their materials or country of manufacture, it is unclear whether they are just trying to protect proprietary information or if they have something to hide.

  26. Regarding the T-Fal Inspiration Ceramic cookware….so is boiling in the pans technically not recommended as it would use high heat and possibly degrade the non-stick surface? It just seems like an extra effort to boil water in another vessel and transfer into the pan to say boil pasta or other items…what’s the opinion on that?
    I’ve never tried to start boiling on medium heat…might have to try that.

    • Hi Steve- Boiling using medium heat is fine, but some people don’t like to do that since it takes longer. Since boiling occurs at 212°F it’s not the temperature of the boiling water itself that’s the problem, it’s the fact that parts of the pan can get much hotter than that when using high heat. For what it’s worth, some people prefer to save their nonstick cookware for use only when it’s really needed (to preserve the life of the cookware), and use alternatives like stainless steel when you don’t specifically need the nonstick surface. Hope that’s helpful!

  27. Hi,
    Is it possible to use one spray of a spray oil such as FryLight on ceramic pans? I’m considering buying some but I love the flavour my garlic infused Frylight gives my food.

    • Hi Lucy,

      You can certainly use it, but the oil in it will build up over time and reduce the longevity of your pan. Also, be careful with “spray oils” if you are trying to reduce calorie intake. Often times they list the serving size as “a fraction of a second” or an absurdly small amount in order to appear low in fat. It is very difficult to keep the serving size as low as they suggest. You could try using fresh garlic, or garlic powder.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions! Best, ~Maria

    • The link you provided does have some good information, however in our experience, if you don’t use oil when cooking, ceramic coated cookware lasts many years, not one. While 100% ceramic cookware may be promising if it can be improved in the future, currently it’s quite expensive and also very delicate. We think the bottom line on nonstick cookware is best expressed by Dr. John McDougall.

    • Hi Ronald- Potatoes will brown up in a ceramic pan with no oil, but they will definitely not have the same texture or feel as deep fried french fries will (though of course they’ll be a million times better for you!). They’ll come out more like roasted potatoes. If you’re using raw potatoes, you’ll want to chop them more finely since they’ll likely take longer than they would if you were frying them in oil. If you’re using prepackaged fries, beware that they might already have oil in them. Besides adding a lot of bad fat, that might also affect the longevity of your pan. Hope that’s helpful!

  28. thanks for giving very useful information about ceramic cookware. can u please give us some information about ENAMELED CAST IRON cookware. I want to compare both.

    • Hello- Though the surface of enameled cast iron is smoother and harder than traditional cast iron cookware, it’s actually not a “nonstick” surface. It won’t function anything like a ceramic nonstick surface, so it will not be suitable for cooking without oil. Hope that’s helpful!

  29. been looking for reviews about these diamond-ceramic and diamond-titanium coated pans but can’t find any. any ideas? are they better than the ceramic coated pans?

    • All of the “diamond coated” pans we’ve ever seen or owned are actually just PTFE pans, with some diamond particles added so it can be mentioned for marketing purposes. There is no functional difference because of the additives, they are still just PTFE pans. We prefer ceramic pans because they don’t have issues with toxins that are associated with PTFE.

  30. I just tried Barkeeper’s Friend and White Vinegar on my elcheapo “green” nonstick pan. Got rid of the stains. I will try it on my le creuset stuff next…it stopped being non-stick ages ago…and is stained. Thank you for all of your suggestions.

  31. For several years, we’ve been cooking with mostly Swiss-Diamond (SD) cookware, a ceramic fry pan, and a small stainless pot for sauces and boiling eggs. Although the pieces never go in the dishwasher or are touched by metal utensils, we are otherwise pretty tough with them on the range.

    I use two small fry pans a lot — one SD and the ceramic pan. The SD has been performing faithfully for about seven years now, while the ceramic pans ($18 at BB&B) last about one year. I’m now on the third.

    Swiss Diamond, which incorporates diamonds in the manufacture of its non-stick cookware, publishes a very informative page about cooking with and without oil on its website, and includes a discussion of the merits of various oils, sprays, and fat, including butter.


    I learned one of its lessons the hard way, and now have a permanently-discolored 10″ skillet, but it is still non-stick and we use it quite a bit.

  32. I just purchased a set of Rachel Ray cermics. Love them, but learning to cook without oil. Still using a tad of olive oil. But you gave me good advice . Thanx.

  33. WOW! Thank you for all the great info. Building a new house, and because there are no gas lines around, I’m going with induction. While searching for induction cookware, I came across ceramic. Never knew it existed but was curious about the non stick feature. Your site was great in answering any question I had, or, didn’t think of. You even covered pancakes! I think I’ll be adding ceramic to my new set.
    Also wanted to add a coment on cleaning – I swear by Bar Keepers Friend, since Bon Ami is a little harder to find now. I have a set of Farberware that has to be about 20 yrs old, and still looks great. Steel wool has never touched it. I also used it on my ceramic coated stove top and it worked great.

  34. We cook a lot of rice in our family, I read that we should not boil things in the ceramic pots. What do you suggest.
    We just started using these pans and have not quite figured out how to sautee our favorite spices and veggies yet, but we will get there.

  35. Initially I thought the ceramic pans were more heat-resistant than PTFE and PFOA pans. Not the case! In fact, even less so. If you ever burn anything in a ceramic pan, the pan is then unusable. A thin layer of burned-black cheddar cheese caused the pan to (even when completely and gently cleaned of black using baking soda paste), to take on a “surface of the moon” appearance. (In my case, the model was a Bialetti 10.25″ “Contemporary Cooking” ceramic non-stick sauce pan. Granted, this is a sample size of 1, but I assume it applies to similarly-advertised “ceramic-coated, non-stick pans.”)

    The pan was great until this point; completely ruined afterward.

    In theory, it ought to be possible to manufacture a pan with a nano-scale non-stick surface (ceramic or metal) that is totally incapable of being ruined by stove-top heat, and does not emit toxic fumes. This could possibly be done by tooling or etching nano-spaced ridges into a high-heat-resistant substrate, or some sort of ultra-high-heat vapor-deposition.

    Thus far, every non-stick pan I’ve seen comes with its own set of problems, such as relying on thin coatings that either are easily-ruined, or emit toxic gases, or both. Worse, some are advertised as being “diamond” or “titanium” non-stick, but are PFOA+miniscule diamond particles, which still emit toxic gases when heated. The abject stupidity and unphilosophical nature of the typical American customer (their inability to differentiate salient features from inconsequential features) makes the process of vetting such cookware difficult.

    …As does the near complete destruction of Civil Law, through its conflation with criminal law, and unscientific thinking. (ie: The law is not useful against false or misleading claims, because its tendency to be used unjustly against the imperfect “state of the art” has caused “the state of the art” to make no claims, lest it be attacked in the future when it is no longer “state of the art.” Consider asbestos: once used with the best of intentions, it was advertised as being “fireproof.” Later, when problems were discovered with asbestos, its installers were all sued out of business. So, should we never experiment with new high standards, lest they later be discovered to have some flaw? This legal weakness stems from the corruption of the criminal law, which allows unlimited theft by politicians, and fails to protect private property by first demonizing users of certain kinds of risky private property, such as drugs, guns, gambling establishments, etc. One way in which the criminal law has been corrupted was to conflate it with Civil Law, which then corrupted the Civil Law. Civil Law properly only seeks damages, not punishment. By discarding the requirement of the criminal law that a specific individual be named as “the injured party” or “victim,” and allowing entire broad groups of people to claim status as if they were an individual, the criminal law was then applied to entire groups of people, without their belief that they were victims. In so doing, the civil law was corrupted, because now anyone can claim victimhood from even the best-intentioned manufacturers for any possible failing of their product. The only defense of the manufacturer was to legally claim that the product accomplishes nothing, while claiming with advertising that it accomplishes everything. This attempt to hold advertising and product consequences to an unrealistically high standard divorces advertising from truth and accountability.)

    In any case, it’s hard to get good information about “state of the art” non-stick pans, largely due to the combination of low hierarchical/philosophical level of cookware information-aggregating sources, and corrupted-Law-incentivized false-advertising.

    BTW: I love high-fat, and view the low-fat diet craze to be totally incorrect. A nephew of mine is only alive because a high-fat, zero-carb diet allows him to successfully avoid having seizures. If he doesn’t eat butter, avocadoes, olive oil, etc, he has life-threatening seizures. With this “ketogenic” diet, he avoids seizures. My nephew’s disorder is similar to the little girl featured on the Sanjay Gupta special on the science of marijuana. Cannabidiol (a non-psychoactive component of one genetic type of medical marijuana) is also a lipid. Fats allow us to live properly, as does the Kurzweil food pyramid. A high-good-fat, low-bad-carb diet is beneficial to most people. The type of fats one eats is very important.

  36. Pingback: Ceramic Cookware Compared to Teflon: Which One Is Right for You? | Ceramcor Ceramcor

  37. I have found the foregoing questions and your answers very helpful and interesting. Here are two more questions, please:

    Should using coconut oil be avoided if damage to (or longevity of) ceramic pans is the concern?

    And do you say that people should not cook with (or otherwise use) coconut oil? IMO, it’s a very healthy oil. In fact, I try to remember to eat one or two tablespoons of it every day, for health reasons. I would be glad for your insights about all of that.

    Thanks very much.

    • To answer your first question, we’ve found that any type of oil eventually builds up residue on nonstick pans, thus impacting its longevity. Regarding your second question, to get the greatest health benefits of any food, it’s generally best to eat the whole food. Oil is a highly processed food, it does not exist in nature. Recent studies show that in terms of heart health, coconut oil is as harmful as butter. There are a number of other health related studies on coconut oil that you can learn about here: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/coconut-oil/
      Hope this helps!

    • If you are referring to nonstick ceramic coating, we feel if you are not using a pan for its nonstick properties then why put it through unnecessary wear and tear. You might as well use stainless steel. But if you are referring ceramic cookware other than nonstick then soup is a perfect thing for that kind of pot.

  38. The correct way to clean any pan that hasn’t been abused, is to simply wipe it out with a paper towel while it is still hot. The key is to do it while it is still hot enough to be able to burn you. Obviously, you need to be careful.

    I used to be a professional cook, and if you do this, things that would otherwise be a bear to get out just wipe off. Yes, sometimes you must rub hard and for a minute or so with the paper towel, but stuff comes off. And yes, meat is the worst.

    I wish I could get my wife to do this. When she cooks, I come later to find I have to scrub the pan. If I cook the exact same item, a firm and thorough wipe with a paper towel while the pan is hot cleans it out. Water is not the pan’s friend. Soap is worse. Detergent (as in dishwasher) is worse still.

    Once the pan has been abused, it’s a whole other story…

  39. Thank you for sharing all this information. I have been looking into ceramic cookware for a while and have decided to sample ceramic based on the discussions here on your site.

    My question is have you made any videos showing how to cook with ceramic as well as clean it? As much as I love reading all about it, I find I am more of a visual learner.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Michelle- Thank you so much for the very nice comment! So happy you’re going to give ceramic a chance, it’s hands down our favorite option at this point in time.

      We haven’t ventured into making any videos at all. We’ve also looked for other people’s videos about cooking with ceramic, and haven’t seen anything. Sorry we can’t be more helpful with that! However we’d definitely encourage you to give it a shot though, and if you have any questions as you’re experimenting please let us know!

  40. Hi, have been following the discussion; I finally zoomed to the end of it. But, I still have a question:
    Is anyone aware of the issue of ceramic contaminated with lead and/or cadmium? (apparently, this is especially a concern if it is from ‘abroad’ ie emerging economies, (SE Asia, mainly, because of the poor quality control))
    Thanks, FF

    • Hi Fred- There was a scare about contaminated ceramic pans in Israel about 5 years ago, but fortunately this has not been an issue in the US or Europe. You’re correct that there may still be some quality control issues in countries with emerging economies, so we would not recommend purchasing ceramic cookware in such places. As long as your purchase is in the US, Europe, or other developed countries, contamination should not be an issue. Hope that helps!

  41. I purchased two ceramic pans from Denmark and they are the worst pans I ever bought. From day one everything stuck to them. I have had them for about 5 months now and they are ready for the garbage. Such a shame because they are pretty red with white. I contacted the manufacturer Denmark who refused to honor their warranty because I purchased them at Home Goods. What a shame. I will never buy another ceramic.

    • Sorry to hear you didn’t have a good experience with the ceramic pans you tried. Perhaps the ones you bought were of a lower quality. It’s too bad the company’s customer service wasn’t very helpful. It shouldn’t matter that you bought them at Home Goods! That is a shame, I’d be upset too. But I would still give another brand a try. Look for positive reviews, as not all brands are created equally.

  42. I have spent several days researching the “best” overall pans for home use and found only one thing you can be sure of…”people are generally using ‘non-stick’ pans to make clean up easier”. There cant be any other reason for using these types of pans. You have to be overly cautious with heat, cleaning, scratching, use of oils etc. to make them worth while. Loose materials in the lining, bacteria holding scratches, etc. really don’t make these pans worth while.
    By far Stainless (better yet solid copper/stainless lined) are the faves of cooks for most tasks. Obviously there is the ole stand by , cast iron, which has its uses and are indestructible. Albeit, these pans have to be CLEANED, but wont stain and last indefinitely regardless of the heat and utensils and cleaning methods used. I’m a senior, a vet and been cooking my whole life and love it. I also think American cooks need to toughen up!

    • Hi Jerry- Actually the primary reason we use non-stick pans is so that we can eliminate the need to use oil when cooking, since there are numerous health benefits in staying away from oil. Can’t stay tough if we aren’t healthy! The ease of clean-up is simply a bonus!

  43. My George Forman grill is in need of replacement. They have Teflon and Ceramic. Looks like Teflon is fine if less than 500 degrees but I don’t know how high they go? They also have ceramic grills of this type for countertop and 2-4 servings. Which do you feel is a better buy, safer for health and good for cooking?

    • We haven’t specifically tried ceramic grills of the “George Foreman” style, but as a general rule we prefer ceramic over Teflon. Both materials exhibit similar performance and durability, while ceramic options are free from the toxins inherent in Teflon products. Hope that helps!

  44. I recently purchased T-fal ceramic cookware to replace Teflon. One of the buying points for my purchase was that I could clean it in the dishwasher. Now I read that that is not the best care for these pans. My question is if you want to continue cleaning in the dishwasher what would be the most gentle detergent to use? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Ronda- We wash all our dishes by hand, so unfortunately we aren’t able to recommend a detergent for you. For what it’s worth, we find cleaning ceramic cookware to be a breeze, since everything comes off so smoothly and easily it just takes a few moments (we use a natural dish liquid and occasionally white vinegar). This should also help prolong the life of the pan. Either way, hope you enjoy the T-Fal!

  45. Here’s a peace of advice on cleaning new Ceramic cookware. Use minimal oil for cooking. Always use plastic, or wood spatulas, spoons, or other utensils to stir, and serve. Avoid using abrasive scouring pads of any kind – polyester, or metallic. You don’t want to damage the surface at all. It may say ‘Ceramic’…but, I’m willing to bet, there’s a plastic binder in the chemical composition – that adds to the ‘slipperiness’. Use 100% cotton cloths for cleaning…you won’t even have to use liquid soap…if you follow those suggestions to the letter, you prolong the life of the cookware, and avoid putting soap into the ecosystem. A win-win.

  46. Could you please inform me as to whether or not titanium non stick pans are sprayed with ptfe. The manufactures are quite tight lipped about it. And how the product Stoneware fares for ptfe as well. Thank you

    • A great rule of thumb is that if a manufacturer isn’t using “does not contain PTFE” as a selling point, than odds are the product does in fact contain PTFE. That’s one of the reasons we prefer ceramic nonstick cookware, since ceramic cookware is always free of PTFE as well as PFOA.

  47. hi no offense to anyone but this whole non stick cookware is pretty much a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.other than eggs and pancakes what foods are a problem sticking to the pan? meat , really? veggies, you can’t be serious….listen all you need to cook is good quality pots and pans that retain heat well, and a little or or spray when cooking eggs or pancakes. the rest is a waste of time and money.

    • Hi Cameron- Actually the reason we use non-stick cookware isn’t for convenience, it’s so that we can cook without oil. Since oil is 100% fat with no fiber or micro-nutrients, it is a significant and direct contributor to heart disease, diabetes, and other cardiovascular diseases.

      • Fat is necessary in the diet to store energy and fats help the body stockpile certain nutrients as well. The so-called “fat-soluble” vitamins—A, D, E and K—are stored in the liver and in fatty tissues. I understand you prefer these oils to come from whole foods minus filtration and so forth and I’m sure you’re right. That being said, I thought some light should be shed on why we need fat at all.

  48. To Bill R and others – Olive oil is good if you do not use it for frying. When you fry (fish / meat / vegetables etc) using olive oil, it breaks and produces certain type of fats that are bad for your health and raises cholesterol (LDL) in your blood. All oil will break when heated but olive oil’s smoke point is lower than many alternate oil and breaks in high temperature quite easily.
    So you are correct that olive oil is good for health (small amount) but not so when you are using it to fry other foods.

    • Hi Troy- As I mentioned to bill, you can get all the healthy fats you need (including Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats) from a whole food plant based diet, which does not include olive oil. Olive oil isn’t a whole food, it’s processed 100% fat extracted from the fiber, micro-nutrients etc in the whole olive. Olive oil impairs your cardiovascular system’s endothelial function in the same way that other fatty foods do. For more info check out this great short video summary of the latest scientific evidence on it here.

      • To Ayal – We all need fat – but there has to be a balance as most food including olive oil will have fats that are good for your body and also, bad for your body. But in olive oil, there is large amount of good fat found. If you do not use olive oil, that’s fine and you don’t have to but it is wrong to advise other people that Olive oil is bad for your health. Recent studies have suggested olive oil is in fact good for your health, but of course in moderation. Olive oils seems to decrease the chances of getting coronary artery diseases.
        No one is suggesting you drink litres of olive oil everyday.
        Here is what BBC says:

        Last year, NHS website said: “The study, which followed the dietary habits of nearly 130,000 people over almost 30 years, found those who had a diet high in unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, and wholegrains had a lower risk of heart disease.”
        Here is the full article: http://www.nhs.uk/news/2015/09September/Pages/swapping-butter-for-olive-oil-and-whole-grains-lowers-heart-disease-risk.aspx

        I would rather pay attention to trusted source such as BBC and NHS.

        • Hi Troy- Thanks for being part of the conversation. You’re correct that we all need fat, but we can get all the fat we need from a whole food plant based diet. The BBC study you reference measures one specific data set out of all context, and doesn’t describe any other effects that might be caused by that oil consumption. For just one example the AHA recommends consumption of no more than 7% saturated fat by calorie, while olive oil contains 14% saturated fat. The average American diet is 12% saturated fat, so even substituting it for other fats will still not help one meet the AHA guidelines. So even though that data point mentioned in the article may have improved, they might also be consuming more saturated fat. For more information on how even small amounts of olive oil can impact your saturated fat intake check out this great article by Jeff Novick, MS, RD.

          Here’s a quote from your second link, the NHS article: “Our research does not exonerate saturated fat. In terms of heart disease risk, saturated fat and refined carbohydrates appear to be similarly unhealthy.” The subtitle and in fact the url of the link you posted is “swapping-butter-for-olive-oil-and-whole-grains-lowers-heart-disease”, so they’re simply comparing olive oil to butter. In other words, comparing something somewhat bad for you to something absolutely terrible for you. Butter has over 60% saturated fat! So sure olive oil is better for you than butter, but that doesn’t make it good for you. As I pointed out above, olive oil has higher saturated fat than the AHA guideline. Everyone needs fat, but they can get all they need from a whole food plant based diet. For more information on that check out this great article by John McDougall, MD.

  49. I came to your website when searching for a solution to “white spots” on the interior of my brand new silit pan. After the very first use, I noticed this white spot. The 2nd and 3rd use more spots. Oh no, my pretty new pan. Tonight I tried simmering 50/50 white vinegar and water for 15 minutes. Guess what? Spots gone. Score!

    • Hi Rena, That’s great! It’s amazing how many uses white vinegar has. We wish everyone would realize that, it’s so inexpensive, natural and so much better than all of the toxic chemical cleaners out there. Anyhow, thanks for sharing, and happy cooking! :)

  50. Hi. I’m currently working at Qatar but I’ll be coming home a few weeks from now. My mother really want ceramic cookware. I just wanted to know if you know about Chefline brand and if it’s good. Thank you

    • Hi Cho- Your mother is making a great choice to go with ceramic cookware! However unfortunately we’re not familiar with the Chefline brand, sorry we can’t be more helpful.

    • Hi KK- No it is not safe. 300 degrees Celsius is equal to 572 degrees Fahrenheit, so that would exceed the 500ºF maximum temperature recommended for cooking with Teflon cookware. Also keep in mind that even at temperatures lower than that, Teflon (or PTFE) pans still emit enough fumes to kill birds. We recommend using ceramic cookware as a healthier alternative to Teflon/PTFE.

  51. Baking soda dissolves aluminium, which is why it is not recommended for aluminium pans! What I hate about non – stick coatings is that they are used in products where they are unsuitable. Pizza dishes, for instance, where they are sold alongside metal pizza cutters! Baking trays, where the spaces in between what is being cooked will overheat. Muffin trays, where the whole tray is non stick and will overheat, not just the indentations.

  52. Teflon is dangerous. Full stop. According to studies done by the environmental working group, (EWG) it begins emitting toxic fumes at lower temps than claimed. If you stir fry, the rule is “hot wok, cold oil.” That certainly rules out teflon. Blood samples from people who regularly cook with teflon have higher than normal levels of PFCs. If I could keep only one pan, it would be my carbon steel wok — fry, steam, braise, boil. If it weren’t for the wooden handle, you could even bake in it in a pinch. Ceramic coatings haven’t been thoroughly tested, but do not contain PFOAs and are probably safer. I tried frying tofu in coconut oil in it. Wow! Perfect crispy outside and soft inside with no sticking. The safest cookware is still stainless steel and cast iron. BTW, when properly seasoned cast iron is virtually non stick, and you can bake the world’s best cornbread in it, too. Yum!

  53. In the article and the comments there is one point that I find absolutely fundamental that isn’t covered. My problem is absent-mindedness: I very occasionally leave an empty pan on the heat. Now, any pan with PTFE (even if plus diamond, ceramic, or whatever for scratch protection) will permanently lose its non-stickness at about 240-280C; temperatures which are not quite as high seem also to reduce lifespan. [In my particular case I more often leave pans on a gas flame turned so low I don’t notice; even an empty pan doesn’t get hotter than 170C, so doesn’t die immediately. Other times have been worse: I’ve quite literally gone into a dark kitchen at night and seen a boiled-dry kettle on a high gas flame glowing dull red.] I’m not particularly worried about toxic fumes, but an accident means throwing away a pan (a good reason for me never to buy expensive premium-quality PTFE pans).

    My understanding is that ceramic pans are inherently able to take much higher temperatures, so that seems the way to go. One comment here says that one high-temperature incident ruined a ceramic pan. Is there any more information on the practical effects of really excessive temperature on ceramic pans of various makes?

    I’ve had good results so far from my one ceramic frying pan, but haven’t yet abused it.

    • Hi Rima- It really depends on the brand and specific type of pan you have. If you don’t still have the packaging, we’d suggest contacting the manufacturer directly so you can be sure. Hope that helps!

  54. I have an expensive Calphalon pan that is incredible for chili, spaghetti, etc., but it’s almost impossible to crisp or brown things like fried potatoes, hash browns, etc, They just get more and more done without browning.

    So we use a cheap Teflon pan for that but it’s worn out. Do ceramic pans brown and crisp potatoes? [it seems the cheaper the pan the better they brown meals that need to be crisp.]

    • Hi Bob, I would be careful about using worn out teflon pans. Once the teflon is scratched, you are likely exposing your food to the aluminum which is underneath the nonstick-coating. For browning potatoes, we usually just roast them in the oven. The come out crispy and delicious!

      • “you are likely exposing your food to the aluminum …”
        What’s the problem with that? For centuries people have been cooking in bare aluminium, which gets pitted but works fine, with no problems. In more recent times there were some concerns about cooking in bare aluminium, but not backed by evidence, and recent work finds that it is not a problem. My family has pitted pans that have been used by many people for many decades, with no history of early death or illness, and, in particular, no dementia. Look for research results on this issue, not opinion pieces – there have been all manner of health scares from all sorts of things, not backed up by evidence. From a Web site (I’m not sure if links are allowed, search for this text if you want): “Decades ago, a possible link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease emerged, but according to the Alzheimer’s Association (where it’s on a list of myths about the disease) and a consensus of medical experts, further studies have failed to confirm that aluminum plays any role in causing Alzheimer’s.”

        • Hi Michael- We’re very happy to hear that your family has such a good health history, but unfortunately your anecdotal evidence doesn’t align with accepted science. To quote from a 2011 NIH publication: “The hypothesis that Aluminum (Al) significantly contributes to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is built upon very solid experimental evidence and should not be dismissed. Immediate steps should be taken to lessen human exposure to Al, which may be the single most aggravating and avoidable factor related to AD.” The preponderance of scientific evidence is quite clear, consuming aluminum should be avoided. As an aside, unlike other minerals such as zinc and iron, humans don’t need any aluminum at all. Since it has zero nutritional value there is no reason to consume it, and every reason to avoid it.

  55. “If you cook with oil, it’s critical to completely clean off all of the cooked oil after each use. Otherwise layers of oil will build up, quickly diminishing the nonstick properties of the cookware.”

    My ceramic pan’s manual said (and others which I found on the Net) I have to use oil, to avoid carbonizing the surface. So, using oil is mandatory or forbidden?

    • We think that cookware manufacturers recommend using oil simply because they’re stuck in the outdated mindset that there’s no other way to cook besides using oil. In reality, oil coats and sticks to your pan, just like it does to your cardio-vascular system. Oil is not good for your pan, or your health!

  56. Glad I found this site, great info so THANKS! I use Calphalon non-stick… a small skillet for fried eggs then a 13″ grill pan for chicken and steaks which we usually throw on Vadalias & bell peppers at the same time. I use a little bit of coconut oil for eggs, rub meat and toss veggies in olive oil prior to cooking. I’m careful using utensils then clean using a plastic scrubby. Although I’ve always watched the heat temp, I’m definitely switching to ceramic very soon due to what I’ve now read. We use a good stainless cookware for everything else we cook.

  57. So can I just clarify. So, am I correct in presuming that a ceramic pan has a thin coating of a plastickly substancy on it which (because it is plasticky and not metal) is less durable than the base from which the pan is made?

    And can I therefore assume that this coating might well be worn and you cannot tell just because the surface of your pan still looks uniformly white, grey, green or whatever colour the manufacturers have painted it with?

    How can you tell that your ceramic coating has gone? (Other than chips and scratches)? How can you tell if you have worn it right down rather than scratched or chipped it?

    And finally, I thought the word ceramic meant something like porcelain like material or bone china. But this plasticky coating is not that so why is it called ceramic? Apologies for my ignorance.

    • Besides obvious chips and scratches, you can tell when your pan is going simply by the fact that it loses it’s non-stick properties. Ceramics are not plastic, but are made from inorganic minerals. They can actually vary a lot in their composition and properties, but they all provide a hard smooth impervious surface which is what makes them ideal for cookware.

  58. I had no idea that ceramic is a better heat conductor than teflon. I can see why this would be important for people who cook a lot and want to find the best thing to cook their food in. My sister just got married and received a variety of different pots and pans. I’ll have to talk to her about keeping these tips in mind.

  59. This may have been asked in the copious amount of comments above, and I apologize if I am a repeat question. (I love all the information)
    I have read that to store ceramic pots/pans they must be hung or laid flat with no stacking, is this true? I have limited space and not sure if this will work out.

    • Hi Tiffany- You can in fact stack ceramic pans to store them, but you need to place a dish towel or some other soft buffer between the pans so they don’t chip each other. Hope that helps!

  60. Nice tips. I would definitely opt for the ceramic coated pots and pans. However, not cooking with oil is definitely out of the question here. How many foods can someone cook without oil these days?

  61. I have some questions about ceramic pans, after experimenting for a year with just one that I don’t use very frequently (a cheap unbranded one which I would call successful. It hasn’t chipped or scratched with moderate care, and is still fairly non-stick, and easy to clean what sticks). 1. What is the actual coating, and what are its properties? I would have expected (obviously wrongly) it to be some sort of hard ceramic, which would be harder than steel and very resistant to scratching; and also able to handle high temperatures, more than the 240-280C of PTFE. But the instructions with my pan said to be careful with scratching and with overheating. 2. What is the mechanism by which a non-stick ceramic coating starts to stick? I can understand a plastic degrading, but ceramics from ancient Greece are as good as new. 3. A comment: my white ceramic pan, when looked at carefully is greying slightly on the bottom, as well as food sticking slightly. Only slightly – I have to check by comparing with an unused pan.

    The reason I’m experimenting with ceramic non-stick: I’m absent-minded, and have been known to leave an empty pan on the heat. No PTFE-based pan, however expensive and mechanically rugged, will take kindly to a temperature over 280C, so I have tended to use and replace cheap PTFE, which has been very successful until overheated.

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