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Being able to choose cookware from several options is a huge blessing. With so many options available, you can choose specific cookware that caters to all your needs. However, finding that particular cookware set is like finding a needle in a haystack.
However, the list gets narrowed down when you learn that not all the options are safe. The safety of cookware has been a topic of debate for many years now. After gathering data and comparing studies, we have prepared this article to overview the health and environmental impacts of a popular option i.e. ceramic pots and pans.
Before we begin, you must know that there are two main types of ceramic pots and pans. A ceramic cookware set is most likely to be either solid ceramic or ceramic coated. Both types of ceramic cookware sets have slightly different properties. Wherever necessary, we will mention their noteworthy properties in this article.
Are Ceramic Pots and Pans Safe to Use?
Cookware can be toxic, especially if it’s non-stick. The typical non-stick cookware is made of Teflon. Teflon is made up of a synthetic polymer, PTFE. PTFE can break down and produce toxic fumes that can be lethal for birds.
The fumes emitted by Teflon cookware also cause “Teflon flu” along with irritation to eyes, nose, throat and respiratory distress in humans. Teflon may also contain PFOA, a carcinogen, which converts to PTFE. Although PFOA is banned now, PTFE is still used in non-stick pans.
In contrast, a ceramic cookware set doesn’t need PFOA or PTFE to be non-stick. Instead, ceramic is made up of a sol-gel sand formula. This gives ceramic a glass-like finish with no microscopic pores, making it non-adherent for food. Therefore, a ceramic cookware set is non-toxic.
Secondly, many kinds of cookware contain heavy metals, especially lead and cadmium. These cookware include copper, aluminum, and iron and Teflon cookware. We all know how harmful heavy metals are for our health. From kidney to neurological and reproductive problems, heavy metals have many harmful effects under their names.
On the other hand, ceramic pots and pans leach the least amount of heavy metals. Some brands even have ceramic pots and pans that are free of cadmium and lead. That being said, it is important to buy appropriate ceramic cookware set to have minimum heavy metal leaching. Using a high-quality solid ceramic cookware set with a good origin and minimum decoration and coating would surely give you minimal heavy metal leaching.
Whether it is used in the solid or coated type, pure ceramic is all-natural. Ceramic is made with clay, water, and gas, so no chemicals are involved in its production.
The natural ingredients of ceramic prevent it from having heavy metals or other substances that would be harmful to the environment. Apart from that, inorganic materials in ceramic pots and pans give you an additional benefit of durability. Besides that, the durability is also added by firing up the cookware in a kiln during production. This makes the cookware last for decades if maintained properly.
Ceramic pot and pans are considerably heat-resistant. To give you an idea, ceramic finishes can withstand temperatures of nearly 800°F. That is not the highest for cookware as metal cookware, such as stainless steel, are good even above 1000°F.
However, this doesn’t mean that a ceramic cookware set is less safe than a metallic one. This is because cooking temperatures usually aren’t higher than 200°F. Even baking temperatures don’t go beyond 600°F normally.
This property is particularly useful in cases where the user forgets to turn off their stove or mistakenly overheats the cookware. In such situations, the owner would like their cookware to be strong and heat-resistant. Therefore, a ceramic cookware set would perform well in these cases.
Even though cookware are highly heat-resistant, it is crucial to remember that you are not supposed to heat them too much. If you own a ceramic cookware set, keep the flame at a maximum of medium-high heat while cooking. This is advised to prolong the life of your ceramic cookware set.
Very high temperatures usually cause cookware to lose their properties, such as their non-stick property. For example, conventional non-stick pans start to give off harmful fumes, losing their non-stick property, if heated above 500°F.
While metal cookware are converted to many other products after being recycled, the same can’t be said for a ceramic cookware set. When it comes to recycling ceramic cookware, you don’t have a lot of options. Many buyers wouldn’t find this very safe for the environment.
A possible way of recycling ceramics is to send them to a recycling yard. This is where they are crushed to be used for drainage systems and rock-base for driveways. Besides that, they can be broken down and smoothed to be used as gravel. Secondly, ceramics are accepted at thrift stores or consignment shops for reuse too. Other than that, you can use them for art, like creating a mosaic.
Solid ceramic cookware, as it is made of clay and water, is prone to chipping. Chipped ceramic cookware itself is not too harmful, but it can lead to harmful consequences. Chipped ceramic cookware may trap bacteria, food residues, soap, etc. that would mix with the food. Ingesting these substances will only harm your body.
On the contrary, ceramic coated cookware is less prone to chipping. Even if you scratch its surface and the aluminum underneath it as well, it wouldn’t be too harmful. This is because the aluminum used in it is anodized and completely safe.
All things considered, we conclude that a ceramic cookware set is, without a doubt, safe to use. To enjoy all the benefits of ceramic pots and pans, you must buy a high-quality set. Needless to say, a low-quality set would not perform as required due to unsophisticated production, poor material, impurities, etc.
If you’re unsure about a set, a ceramic cookware set review might help you. An authentic ceramic cookware set review would mention both good and bad points of the set. Such a ceramic cookware review would tell you if the ceramic cookware set meets all your requirements or not.
Hi ! this is Flavio !
I am French/Swiss cookware reviewer that was born in Asia.
I had an interest in the culinary arts from a young age while watching my grandma prepare cakes and tarts in her home kitchen.
However, I only played my hand at exploring the culinary world when I started lending a hand to my mother with the daily kitchen chores.
Influenced by my family who were always keen in the kitchen, I carried my passion for cooking into adulthood. I have always had a curious eye on different cultures and their cuisines.
Through my exploration of several countries, I learned the uses of various kitchen cookware and the benefits of using them to prepare different dishes. With that knowledge embedded in my mind, I ventured out to nit-pick my very own cookware selections in the market…