Ceramic vs. Nonstick: What’s The Difference?

Choosing the right cookware can be confusing. Both ceramic and nonstick cookware is non-reactive, durable, easy to use, and clean. Nonstick cookware is the popular choice, but ceramic has unique benefits. If you cannot decide between the two, take a look at the differences between them, and their individual pros and cons.

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The main difference between them is that ceramic cookware is coated with ceramic and nonstick cookware is coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon).

Other characteristics like durability, safety, price, heat resistance, function, maintenance, and weight make ceramic and nonstick cookware different. Keep reading to find out which one is the most suitable for you!

What Is Ceramic Cookware?

Ceramic cookware is commonly believed to be made entirely of ceramic. This is not the case. Ceramic cookware is made of metals like stainless steel, copper, and most commonly aluminum.

It is coated with a layer of ceramic, which makes it non-stick and non-reactive. Ceramic cookware is durable, easy to use, and made of natural materials, which is why some people prefer it over nonstick cookware.

What Is Nonstick Cookware?

Nonstick cookware is usually coated with polytetrafluoroethylene. The most popular brand of polytetrafluoroethylene is known as Teflon.

Nonstick cookware is highly durable, lighter in weight, and less expensive. Although it was made of some potentially dangerous materials before 2013, nonstick cookware poses no risk now.

Ceramic vs. Nonstick: Comparison Table

The table below summarizes all the differences between ceramic and nonstick cookware.

CategoryCeramicNonstick
DurabilityWears out earlyLasts longer
SafetyConsidered saferConsidered less safe
PriceMore expensiveCheaper
FunctionTends to be stickierTends to be less sticky
Heat RetentionHigherLower
WeightHeavierLighter
MaintenanceLowerHigher

Differences Between Ceramic and Nonstick Cookware

Here are the differences between ceramic and nonstick cookware in detail:

Durability

Ceramic and nonstick cookware both last between 3 to 5 years. After a certain period of time, their coating starts to wear out and food begins to stick to them.

Although their durability is more or less the same, ceramic coating tends to wear out faster. Its coating may also start to come out in flakes. Nonstick cookware tends to be the better choice when it comes to durability.

Safety

Before 2013, the coating for nonstick cookware contained a chemical called PFOA. PFOA was suspected to cause certain types of cancers and is no longer used. This makes nonstick cookware perfectly safe for use.

Ceramic is made of natural materials and has some mineral blends. It also contains no carbon or chemicals in its coating, unlike nonstick cookware. This makes ceramic a more preferred option than nonstick cookware.

However, neither of the options is superior to the other in terms of safety. Neither of them poses a risk to your health, so the ultimate decision lies in your preference.

Price

Although the price depends on brand and quality, ceramic cookware tends to be more expensive than nonstick cookware. As ceramic has shorter durability, nonstick cookware is a better option as it is cheaper and lasts longer.

However, if you prefer ceramic cookware, the price is worth it. Ceramic is made of inorganic materials and is as durable and efficient as nonstick cookware.

Function

Both ceramic and nonstick cookware allows you to cook easily without any food sticking to your utensils. Ceramic is slightly sticker than nonstick cookware and wears out faster. The better choice in this aspect is to use nonstick cookware over ceramic.

Heat Retention

Heat retention is an important factor to take into consideration while choosing the ideal cookware. Ceramic cookware is better in this aspect.

As the ceramic coating is made of inorganic materials, it is harder than Teflon and retains heat more easily. Nonstick cookware starts to break down if the temperature is higher than 500 degrees F whereas ceramic can stand it.

Due to higher heat retention, you do not need to use oil when cooking foods like eggs in ceramic cookware. This also helps in preserving the non-reactive coating for longer.

Weight

Nonstick cookware is lighter in weight than ceramic cookware. The weight of the utensil you are using determines how easy it is to handle and how fast it breaks upon dopping.

Maintenance

Although it can be harder to clean ceramic after food has been left on it for too long, both types are similar when it comes to maintenance. Both ceramic and nonstick cookware is easy to use and clean.

You must know that neither ceramic and nonstick cookware is safe to be used in the microwave or dishwasher. Their coatings are also damaged over time by metal utensils, abrasive cleaning agents, and baking soda.

Related Questions

Does Ceramic Cookware Get Damaged Easily?

Using oil while cooking in ceramic cookware may cause the coating to chip off. If you leave food on ceramic for too long, it hardens and damages to coating. Ceramic is also more likely to wear out faster than nonstick cookware.

Is Ceramic Cookware Good For The Environment?

Yes, ceramic cookware is good for the environment. At least, better than nonstick cookware. Ceramic is made by a combination of oxygen and silicon, both of which are inorganic materials. It also does not have any chemicals like nonstick cookware.

What Happens If Their Coating Comes Off?

Despite their quality and maintenance, both ceramic and nonstick cookware eventually wear out and their coating begins to come off. This does not pose any risk.

The interior of these utensils is made of metals like copper, steel, and aluminum. Although you should replace any cookware that has an eroding coating, your food coming in contact with these metals is not dangerous.

Final Thoughts

Ceramic and nonstick cookware is both durable, non-reactive, and safe to use.

Although both can give you more or less the same experience, nonstick cookware tends to be the popular choice. Nonstick cookware lasts longer, is cheaper, and sticks to food less than ceramic coated cookware.

On the other hand, if you are looking for cookware that is made of natural materials and retains more heat than others, ceramic is the right choice for you.

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