Here’s why to cook with ceramic cookware?
Okay, I’d say you’ve used ceramic cookware before, the use of the material goes back thousands of years and unless you buy a premium brand it can be cheap. I use a lot of ceramic ware for baking and roasting. However, with so many different choices why would you use ceramic over another material such as glass? Let’s learn the benefits of ceramic cookware.
If you’re short on time here’s 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
|Food is not in contact with any metal surface|
Easy to clean
You can use most scrubbers on ceramic dishes and even
burned on food can easily be removed after a little soak in warm water
Ceramic cookware is cheap why should I read the article?
I’m going to cover both the benefits and disadvantages of using ceramics in your kitchen. I think it is an important question to ask before rushing out purchasing new cookware, especially if you’re considering a high-end manufacturer such as Le Creuset. Or you could be deciding between ceramics and another material.
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 still raw in the middle.
However, you can 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’s look at the use of ceramics though-out history. It’s 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 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 something glazed, while others may call a small glazed vase “pottery”. Although the word ceramics is used more widely, for example, ceramic tiles, sinks and 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. Ceramic cookware and bakeware are the most commonly used terms to describe clay glazed cookware and bakeware.
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?
With so many choices of cookware available, what are the pros and cons of using ceramic cookware? We would like to finish on a positive note, so lets start on us of the disadvantages of ceramic cookware.
Main disadvantages of ceramic cookware
- Breakable – both your bakeware and ceramic kitchen tiles are in danger of cracking if you drop your ceramic cookware from a height. Some brands are more shock resistant than others.
- Poor thermal conductivity – most ceramic cookware are unsuitable for direct heat. It simply won’t work on an induction element and if placed on a gas hob your ceramic cookware may crack.
- Varied quality – ceramic dishes are everywhere and the quality and price can be quite varied between brands. If buying at a store ask to open the box and inspect the product for any defects. Or if buying online make sure of retailers return or replacement policy.
- Toxic? – 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. “Heres (link leaves the site)” why we prefer trusted brands.
The Main benefits of ceramic cookware:
- Versatile – ceramic dishes really are great for use in the oven. Also because of the ceramic glaze which forms a non-porous layer, dishes 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 sure can. However, Nana’s gold-rimmed plates are a no go. Yes, I tried as a youngster.
- Quality and heat distribution – ceramic dishes have very good thermal density, especially the higher quality products which are usually thicker. Thermal density usually means a dish takes longer to reach the desired temperature. However, once at temperature heat spreads more evenly. We are really impressed with our Emile Henry ceramic dishes, they really seem to hold the heat.
- Durability – ceramic covered cookware 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.
- Low Maintenance – ceramic dishes are easy to clean, as it offers a non-stick surface. If food ends up sticking to the surface using scouring pads or washing powder should not damage the surface and should not leave scratches or marks on the bottom of the cookware.
- Attractive – ceramic cookware can look like a piece of artwork. You can display it on shelves or as decorative pieces.
- Non-reactive – If you are looking for the best non-reactive cookware then it’s hard to look past ceramic cookware. It’s totally non-reactive to food.
What are the benefits of ceramic cookware?
Some other benefits of ceramic cookware are that it’s trendy, modern and traditional so no matter what style 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.
From the oven the to the fridge or freezer then back in the oven again. Ceramic dishes also make wonderful gifts for most occasions: birthdays, weddings, Christmas presents you name it. If you are looking for ceramics we really don’t think you can look past Le Creuset, Staub and Emile Henry. They combine beauty and durability and would make a perfect gift for any foodie.
- 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