Why cook with ceramic cookware?
If you want to roast, bake, reheat, microwave, or even freeze your meals, I’ll bet you’ll reach for your nearest ceramic baking dish. However, why would you use ceramic ware over other materials such as glass or stainless steel? Well, in this article, you can learn the benefits of ceramic cookware.
Table of contents
- Quick summary of benefits
- Uses of ceramic cookware
- Pottery vs. ceramics
- Pros and cons of ceramic cookware
Here are a few quick benefits of ceramic cookware. See the table below.
Multiple cooking methods
|You can use ceramic cookware for dry and wet cooking.|
Baking and roasting are two popular uses for ceramics.
Even heat distribution
|This prevents hot spots and food burning.|
|Sure, some ceramics brands are expensive, but most ceramic cookware is relatively inexpensive.|
Safe cooking surface
|Your meals are cooked in a natural material.|
Easy to clean
You can use most scrubbers on ceramic dishes.
And even burned-on food can easily be removed after a little in warm water.
What is ceramic cookware used for?
Ceramic cookware is also called ceramic bakeware. Yes, ceramic baking dishes are great for baking because the material evenly distributes heat. This prevents hot spots and food from burning on the outside while undercooked in the center.
However, you can also use ceramic hollowware for other cooking methods such as slow cooking and roasting. Below is a simple infographic on the different cooking methods for ceramic cookware.
Humans have used pottery as cooking utensils for thousands of years.
Firstly, let us look at the use of ceramics though-out history. It is pretty safe to assume ceramics have been used for a long time.
In fact, pottery is one of the oldest cooking and food storage surfaces in human history. Some of the oldest artifacts to store food and liquid have been found in China and Japan. And they were made of ceramic pottery.
It is thought that many technological discoveries and early pottery techniques came out of Asia and moved west, to India, Mesopotamia, and then into Europe.
The earliest known examples of pottery date back to 18000 BCE in the Jiangxi province in China. You may find our article on the Evolution of Cookware interesting if you what to learn more about the history of early pottery.
Pottery vs. ceramics, what is the difference?
People use pottery and ceramics interchangeably. Some may refer to ceramics as all glazed pottery. While others may call small glazed vase pottery. Although the word ceramics is used more widely. For example, ceramic tiles and sinks. And ceramics are used in a variety of industries such as aerospace.
Generally speaking, pottery is the earliest form, when clay was fired at a lower temperature or not fired at all. On the other hand, ceramic pottery is fired at a much higher temperature.
Even in cookware, we can divide clay-based cookware into three categories because of the temperature of the firing process:
What are the disadvantages of ceramic cookware?
Both your bakeware and ceramic kitchen tiles are in danger of cracking if you drop your ceramic cookware from a height. However, some brands are more shock-resistant than others.
Poor thermal conductivity
Most ceramic cookware is unsuitable for direct heat. Cookware will simply not work on an induction element. And if placed on a gas or electric hob, the ceramic cookware may crack.
Ceramic dishes are everywhere, and the quality and price can be varied between brands. If buying at a store, ask to open the box and inspect the product for any defects. Or if buying online, check the return or replacement policy before purchasing.
Ceramics are non-toxic and food-safe. However, it is best to mention some ceramic glazes may contain lead and cadmium. Today regulating bodies should prevent the importation of this cookware. However, if in doubt, check with your food and drug regulation authority.
Many brands may advertise their product as lead and cadmium-free. Here is (link leaves the site) why I prefer trusted brands.
The Main benefits of ceramic cookware:
If you want bakeware that can handle high temperatures without exploding, then opt for ceramic dishes. Since ceramic glaze forms a non-porous layer, your ceramic ware can be used to store food in the fridge or freezer.
Then reheated in the oven again when needed and to answer one of our earlier questions. Can ceramic cookware be used in the microwave? Yes, it can. However, gold-rimmed plates are a no-go.
Quality and heat distribution
Ceramic baking dishes have good thermal density, especially the higher quality products that are usually thicker. Thermal density usually means ceramic ware takes longer to reach the desired temperature. However, once at temperature, heat spreads more evenly. I am really impressed with my Emile Henry ceramic dishes. And they hold heat well.
Ceramic glazed clay is one of the sturdiest materials available on the market today. It also maintains its luster and requires very little maintenance. Ceramic dishes can last for many years and still look great.
As you know, ceramic dishes are easy to clean. If food ends up sticking to the surface using scouring pads or washing liquid should not damage the surface.
Ceramic cookware can be bright and cheerful. You can display bakeware on shelves or as decorative pieces. And they also look great as serving dishes.
Ceramic cookware is non-reactive. This means you can cook acidic foods such as tomatoes without the risk of tainting your food. This is not the case with metal cookware especially, cast iron.
To summarize. What are the benefits of ceramic cookware?
There are so many benefits of ceramic cookware including, its trendy, modern, and traditional at the same time. So no matter what style of kitchen you have, ceramic cookware will look right at home. While other cookware has gone in and out of fashion, ceramic dishes have always remained popular and one of the most used items in the kitchen.
You can use ceramic ware in the oven, fridge, or freezer. Ceramic dishes will not shatter when exposed to high heat. And since the earthenware is covered in a glaze. It is non-reactive cookware to acidic foods. And it is considered food safe. Are you looking for trusted ceramic ware? Then, it’s hard to look past Le Creuset, Staub, and Emile Henry. They combine beauty with durability that you will be sure to love.
- Questions and Answers on Lead-Glazed Traditional Pottery https://www.fda.gov
- Glazed clay pottery and lead exposure in Mexico https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
- What’s the safest cookware? https://www.mnn.com
- Safe and Healthy Cookware: What You Need To Know When Choosing Non-Toxic Pots & Pans https://foodrevolution.org