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Cooking healthy meals always require the right piece of cookware. Maybe, you have the best natural ingredients and the smartest cooking method to follow. If the cookware you’re going to use is leaching toxic substances into your meals while cooking, all your efforts will go in vain.
When it comes to selecting the safest piece of cookware, you’ll find plenty of options out there. Stainless steel and ceramic cookware are two of them, mostly found in almost any kitchen. Compared to Teflon coated nonstick cookware, these pieces of cookware are much safer.
Besides, both ceramic and stainless steel cookware is durable and easy to use, allowing you to prepare a wide variety of recipes without any major difficulty. In this case, they follow versatile cooking methods, such as sautéing, stir-frying, searing, braising, poaching, and boiling.
If you’re looking for buying a piece of ceramic cookware or stainless steel one, or you want to purchase both of them, you have to know the differences between ceramic vs. stainless steel cookware. Now, we’re going to resolve all your confusion about these pieces of cookware.
Brief Overview of Ceramic Cookware
Ceramic cookware is one of the most popular nonstick cookware in today’s market. It usually comes with nonstick interior coating and a base made of a metal core of cast iron, aluminum, or copper that retains heat pretty well.
The nonstick coating of ceramic cookware is more durable than Teflon, also known as PTFE. While Teflon produces toxic fumes when the temperature is around 500 degrees Fahrenheit, ceramic doesn’t generate harmful fumes up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit.
When it comes to durability, ceramic cookware is durable, although it’s not as tough as stainless steel cookware. Ceramic cookware allows you to choose one from a wide variety of color options, matching the color of your kitchen decor.
You can use ceramic cookware on ceramic, electric, gas, and glass cooktops in terms of stovetop compatibility. Ceramic cookware with a cast iron base may allow you to use it on induction cooktops. Besides, it’s easy to clean but cannot be washed in a dishwasher.
- Comes with durable construction and nonstick coating
- Offers a variety of colors and patterns
- Allows you to use the cookware on ceramic, electric, gas, and glass cooktops
- Conducts enough heat and distribute evenly
- Cooks both alkaline and acidic foods without any hassle
- Can release toxic fumes over 800 degrees Fahrenheit
- Most ceramic cookware cannot be washed in a dishwasher
- Allows you to use only wooden and silicone spatula
Brief Overview of Stainless Steel Cookware
Stainless steel cookware is quite durable, especially when stainless steel comes with a blend of 10% nickel and 18% chromium. It usually includes a layer of aluminum or copper between the stainless steel layers so that the cookware can conduct heat well.
Unlike ceramic cookware, stainless steel cookware doesn’t have a nonstick coating. This is why acidic foods tend to get stuck on the cookware surface. If your cookware’s aluminum or copper core extends from the bottom to the sides, you may cook acidic foods without sticking.
Stainless steel cookware is suitable for many stovetops except for induction. But, a stainless steel pan with a low amount of nickel can also be used on induction cooktops. This means the more nickel your cookware has, the less compatible it will be for induction cooktops.
When it comes to using the cookware, you can use your stainless steel cookware for broiling and high-heat searing. It’s also okay to go from the oven to the freezer and vice versa without any hassle. In terms of cleaning, these pieces of cookware are dishwasher safe.
- Made of insanely durable material
- Can be used at high temperatures
- Compatible with electric, gas, glass, and ceramic cooktops
- Lasts longer than other materials
- Supports quick temperature shifting
- The cooking surface usually doesn’t have a nonstick coating
- May not be an excellent heat conductor without an aluminum or copper core
- Requires much oil to cook compared to other types of cookware
Ceramic VS Stainless Steel Cookware: Key Differences
Although stainless steel and ceramic cookware are versatile cooking options, they’re different in many other features. Now, we’re going to show you some factors in which these two types of cookware differ. So, let’s dive in.
Stainless steel is always the main construction material of stainless steel cookware. However, some parts like the handle and lids can be made of other non-conductive or wooden materials so that you can easily hold it even when the cookware is still hot.
But, ceramic cookware is not entirely made of ceramic. Its main body is mostly stainless steel or iron with a ceramic coating on the outer part. Similar to stainless steel cookware, ceramic cookware has the handle and lids made of other non-conductive material.
Stainless steel cookware is quite durable and can literally be long-lasting for years without much care or maintenance. The cookware can also be quite difficult to damage unless you strike it with a sled-hammer or throw it out of the room with full force.
In contrast, ceramic cookware is flimsier than stainless steel cookware. After a certain period (maybe, a couple of years), the ceramic coating gets washed away, and then, the cookware becomes useless. So, we’ve found the stainless steel cookware winner in terms of durability.
When it comes to nonstick performance, the cooking surface of stainless steel cookware is not nonstick. Consequently, a wide variety of foods, such as pancakes, eggs, meat, vegetables, and sauces, tend to stick to the cooking surface of stainless steel cookware.
On the contrary, ceramic coated cookware acts like nonstick cookware, which allows you to make crepes or potstickers with easy flipping and taking them out. So, ceramic cookware is the winner in the parameter of nonstick performance.
Health & Safety
The coating of ceramic cookware is free from toxic chemicals, like PTFE, PFOA, and Cadmium. This is why there is no chance of leaching these chemicals into your food, and therefore the cookware is entirely safe. It also allows you to make healthy foods with a little amount of oil.
On the other hand, if stainless steel cookware contains a higher amount of chromium and nickel, chances are these substances will leach into your food during cooking. So, make sure the stainless steel cookware you’re going to purchase is free from these harmful substances.
Stainless steel cookware can be perfect for a wide variety of cooking methods, such as sautéing, stir-frying, and braising plenty of dishes from lower to higher temperatures. You can also use a piece of cookware made of stainless steel for searing meat and poaching eggs.
On the other hand, a piece of ceramic coated cookware is ideal for sautéing and braising various types of meals. It can also support multiple cooking methods that only require nonstick cookware, like Teflon coated cookware, to get the job done.
Stainless steel cookware can be used on both stovetops and ovens. They’re more durable and thicker to withstand the excessive heat of ovens. On the contrary, ceramic cookware is made of thinner and flimsier material that doesn’t support it to use in the oven.
Since stainless steel cookware heats up more quickly than ceramic coated cookware, a stainless steel pan definitely takes less time to cook than a ceramic pan. So, whether you’re a beginner or an expert in your kitchen, stainless steel cookware should be your choice for faster cooking.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning ceramic cookware is easier than that of stainless steel cookware. You need to wipe it off with a piece of cloth of a soft sponge, and eventually, there is no dirt on the cookware. However, stainless steel cookware can be hard to clean, mostly when it has burnt spots.
Ceramic coated cookware can be a great choice if you’re looking for chemical-free cookware. For example, a ceramic pan allows you to cook a wide variety of meals, evenly using a little amount of oil or butter. You can also easily clean the cookware with a bit of effort.
However, stainless steel cookware will be an excellent cooking mate if you’re looking for high-quality cookware and cannot afford to purchase new cookware every year. A stainless steel pan, for instance, also allows you to prepare various dishes but requires much oil.
Hopefully, this article has helped you a lot to know what the differences are between stainless steel and ceramic cookware. Now, you have to identify what your requirements are and which one will be perfect for you.
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