One reason why ceramics has been in the making for the past millennia is because of its versatility as cookware. Ceramic is a material that was tested by time and proven to be one of the safest materials used for cooking. Since the high demand for safe cookware is still continuously rising, I’ve put together an all-around expert guide in choosing and buying the best ceramic frying pans or pots.
What is ceramic?
Ceramic is mainly made from different types of clay and baked in a kiln. It is usually a mix of clay and earthen elements. These elements are turned into powder and then mixed with water to be formed into the desired shape of the craftsman.
The clay or material used to make ceramic cookware is inorganic and non-metallic. The common substances used to make ceramics are primarily oxides and silicon. These materials are non-toxic and very easy to find and process.
There are two types of ceramic cookware: pure ceramic and ceramic coated cookware.
- Pure ceramics are the porcelain pots, pans, and chinaware that we are all too familiar with. They are the decorative breakable pots with beautifully painted designs. As good as they are in cooking and keeping our food hot. White ceramic or porcelain is expensive, hand-crafted, and breakable.
- Ceramic coated cookware is made using the same white ceramic, but they are ‘glazed’ on top of a metal base (usually made of hard anodized aluminum). Ceramic coated cookware is easier to make and can be mass produced thus, making it inexpensive. With the metal base, they are sturdy and unbreakable although they could still be scratched.
The Spawn of Ceramic Cookware
Teflon was so popular in the 1950s that ever since then most households would often and prefer to buy Teflon cookware especially pans. However, as more research is done on Teflon, the disturbing truth about its dangers has triggered the search for a better and safer substance to make cookware and ceramics came into play.
Ceramic versus non-stick cookware
Other than toxicity being the main difference between ceramic pans and nonstick pans, there are other distinguishing differences between the two.
The color of Teflon pans is always in shades closer to black though some ceramic pans are also darker in color. When buying a new pan, you will notice that non-stick Teflon pans have a slightly rough surface with a matte finish.
Ceramic pans often come with a shiny polish. The most common colors for ceramic pans are in white or in gray. This would mostly depend on the type of material used on the pans or how they are glazed. White ceramic pans are shaped on the metal base and baked in a kiln. Black ceramic pans undergo an extra process called sintering. This means that ceramic materials like zirconium oxide or aluminum oxide are placed under extreme heat and pressure for the ceramic particles to fuse and form the ceramic lining.
Both Teflon and ceramic are hard and sturdy however, both of them are highly prone to scratching. For this reason, manufacturers refrain their consumers from using metal utensils while cooking.
The difference based on damage resistance is the extent of their usability after being scratched. Though ceramic can be scratched, you are only compromising the nonstick quality of the ceramic pan. You can simply season your ceramic pan to make it non stick again. Teflon pans, however, must be thrown out once the non-stick layer gets scratched and peels of since the pan is utterly unusable.
One thing that stands out about ceramic pans is that they seem to be more nonstick compared to Teflon coated pans. Most brands that sell ceramic pans promote a ‘no-grease no-water’ cookware, and this is more often than not a true advertisement (at least for the first year or two of usage). Ceramic is glazed with a natural polish that is resistant to grease, water, and most acidic materials. Teflon, on the other hand, will stay nonstick as long as its surface is not scratched or damaged at the very least.
Ceramic pans are considerably heavy compared to Teflon pans. Both pans have a metal base however, ceramic pans have a thicker layer of sintered or glazed ceramic lining. The weight mainly falls on the amount of material glazed on the pan adding to the weight of the pan while nonstick pans are dipped in a mixture of Teflon to coat the entire surface of the cookware which barely adds to their weight.
Benefits of a Ceramic Cookware
Ceramic cookware is gaining more and more popularity nowadays. And with more people preferring to buy these beautiful frying pans, here are the benefits that you can get in using ceramic fry pan.
Ceramic cookware is definitely non-toxic. It doesn’t react to food elements, and it is a material that even preserves food better. Ceramic pans do not contain any toxic chemicals like PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). Though the main concern in making ceramic cookware is that soil has natural lead content, ceramic cookware are always being screened from lead and other toxic elements that are commonly found in the soil or in the clay.
We have to admit, ceramic frying pans look absolutely stunning and generally, ceramic cookware really look appealing. They brighten up any type of kitchen. They’re not just good for cooking, they also serve as decorative pieces.
Ceramics are tough and strong. Though it is brittle on its own, it is is extra strong and durable once glazed on a metal base. Ceramic is also known as one of the hardest materials on earth only after diamonds.
With its superb nonstick properties, ceramic cookware is incredibly easy to clean and maintain. Maintenance refers to seasoning the pan before use and doing a quick wash using warm soapy water by hand.
Characteristics of the Best Ceramic Frying Pans
In looking for good ceramic cookware, you need to consider the following:
Metal Base Used
Ceramic is excellent at retaining and distributing heat, but they take time in heating up. Another problem with ceramics is that they can handle extreme heat causing food to burn when the temperature is not regulated easily. That’s where the metal-base is for. Ideal cookware metals (like aluminum, copper, and stainless steel) used in making cookware heat up quickly and regulate the equal distribution of heat throughout a cookware. These also help control the temperature preventing the ceramic coating from heating up and eventually burning your food.
I highly suggest aluminum and stainless steel metal bases, but I would also suggest looking for a mix of both to reap the benefits of both metals. Stainless steel is great at regulating heat while aluminum has a quick-heating property and it is also a lightweight metal. Though copper is better at heat distribution and conductivity compared to aluminum and stainless steel, it is costly.
The best compounds used in making cookware are non-metallic. Non-metallic ceramics are certified to be lead-free and cadmium-free. These ceramic compounds like kaolinite, silicon dioxide, and zirconium dioxide are excellent non-reactive ceramics fit for making ceramic cookware.
You may not know it, but the handles are quality markers. Holding the handle will immediately let you know whether or not the cookware is flimsy. The handles should not be so light, and it should be a little heavier to help keep the cookware’s balance. It should also offer great grip while remaining cool to the touch.
Top 5 Ceramic Pan
Here are my personal choices for the best ceramic frying pans you can get your hands on.
GreenLife Soft Grip Ceramic Non-Stick Frypan Set
If you are on a tight budget and you want a quality ceramic fry pan, this is the right pick for you.
The GreenLife Frypan uses hard anodized aluminum as its base for a lightweight metal feel. Aluminum is very easy to work with since it heats up really quickly and evenly throughout the pan. One other great aspect about this set is that it comes with a unique Thermolon glaze. It is 100% lead-free and cadmium-free, providing you with a very safe frying pan for daily cooking needs. You’ll be glad to know that there are three great colors to choose from too. The pan is made with white ceramic for a sweet fancy touch.
The handle is very simple and light with a soft touch feature that keeps the handle cool throughout the cooking process. The handle is made of a gentle rubberized grip with a matte finish allowing you to have a perfect hold over the handle. The handle tapers toward the pan to promote better control, especially for a one-handed cooking style. The handle also comes with a hole that lets you hang your pan.
The GreenLife frying pan uses a sand-derivative or silicon dioxide that is glazed on the pan and baked and compressed in a kiln. Unlike other ceramic pans, this pan set is compressed with lesser carbon dioxide emissions. This means that the ceramic is tightly sintered to form a strong base without the use of glue or any other additives. This ensures that the pan is toxin-free and chemical-free. You also get to enjoy this affordable set where you can get a 7″ and 11″ pan for the price of one.
This is definitely a two-in-one pick for one of the best ceramic pans in our list. This set is a real stunner giving your kitchen pizzazz with its beautiful color. In addition to its style, it is highly efficient and very easy to handle even for inexperienced cooks.
ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Spirit 3-ply Ceramic Nonstick Fry Pan
For that durability that can handle even the clumsiest of cooks, this premium ceramic pan is a must-have in your kitchen for long term use.
I love cladded cookware. This 3-ply cookware comes with three layers that form the metal base with stainless steel exterior lining and aluminum core. The 3-ply cladded base makes this a very sturdy ceramic frying pan that is far from the flimsy feel of typical ceramic pans. It is made with an aluminum core that promotes even heating throughout the entire pan. In addition, in case your pan happens to get damaged after years of use, you can still use cook with it since the base metal, stainless steel, is a non-toxic metal that you can cook with.
The ceramic is made of zirconium dioxide. This is the material that is popularly made into ceramic knives. This type of material is indeed very hard but fragile; thus the triple layered metal becomes a backbone that helps support the brittle ceramic and are sintered together to form a stylish grayish cooking surface.
The pan comes with two handles. The long end handle is made with stainless steel. It is attached to the pan with double rivets to make sure that it will not get detached even after years of use. There is also a support handle at the opposite end allowing you to grab hold of this massive frying pan with ease. Since the pan is quite large and heavy, the extra wide hand grip allows you to comfortably hold, carry, and move the pan without any problems.
The pan is quite massive at 14” in diameter. You can fit a large fish that can either be steamed or fried. The great thing about this ceramic pan is that it requires very little maintenance. The material used is glazed with a Thermolon polish which reduces the need for you to re-season the pan frequently. The surface alone is pretty much non-stick, but the extra layer makes the surface of the pan hold much longer requiring very little maintenance.
Backed up with a triple-clad layer, this frying pan is surely one of the strongest ceramic fry pans on our list. Not only is it durable but it is also stovetop-friendly since you can cook anywhere including induction stoves, open fire, halogen stove tops, and more. Plus, it is a really long-lasting cookware that will stay in your kitchen for years to come.
Vesuvio Ceramic Coated Non-stick Frying Pan
For the stylish cook who enjoys a quick and healthy meal, the Vesuvio Ceramic frying pan is a homerun for those who enjoy cooking meals for fitness and health.
Using a light aluminum base, the Vesuvio Ceramic frying pan by DaTerra Cucina is a knock-off-the-park ceramic ware when it comes to design. The pan is beautifully crafted using zirconium dioxide, making the surface highly resistant to chipping and breakage. Though the surface can get scratched, it doesn’t easily crack even after constant use.
The frying pan can handle high temperatures up to 450℉ which allows the pan to have versatile functions. You can use it to cook inside the oven and even on open fire grill tops. You also would love to hear that the pan comes with a designer lid. The flat lid has a crescent handle with silicone lining for added grip and to keep the handle cool to the touch at all times. The lid is also made with a tempered glass top then lined with a silicone rim.
This ceramic frying pan comes with an extended and raised handle providing extra wiggle room for your hands. It also has a silicone grip that remains cool to the touch at all times. It also allows you to have a good grip on the handle allowing you to gain easy control over your pan for better movement around the kitchen like one-handed cooking and frequent tossing of when you stir fry.
The handle is attached to the pan with double rivets to ensure safety. The double rivets are also double sealed both in the interior and the exterior parts of the pan.
Looking at the ceramic pan alone will make you fall in love. It is a deep dish with a flat bottom and curving sides. You can saute, make a sauce or even cook stew in this delightful frying pan. This Italian-grade cookware is also ideal for steaming. With it’s ‘no-grease, no-water’ feature, you can steam fish, vegetables, and other types of food thanks to its lid.
If used for baking, the lid can only handle a maximum temperature of 350℉, but you can still roast or bake with it. This helps you save time since you can put the ingredients directly and then cook or bake like usual.
This is your cookware for all occasions since you can cook whatever meal you may want to enjoy with it. This is perfect or those who want to have a professional ceramic pan at home.
All-Clad HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Frying Pan
All around cooking with All-clad allows you to cook on top of any stove, even on induction and halogen stovetops.
I thank the versatility of this pan since it enables you to cook your meal on top of different kinds of stovetops due to its hard, anodized aluminum and solid metal base that’s bonded with stainless steel. With a flat bottom, this frying pan can cook any food you want without worrying whether it’s compatible on your stovetop or not. The single aluminum base promotes quick-heating and is an ideal pan for searing and browning.
Like the other pans on this list, the ceramic layer is made of zirconium dioxide which makes the surface of the pan one of the hardest materials on earth. With metal utensils, you can only go as low as lightly scratching the surface but not enough to chip it or crack it.
All-clad is famous for its sturdy metal cookware. You can be sure that this is a great frying pan that you can use as often as you would. It comes with a tempered glass lid and a stainless steel handle and rim. The cover comes with a steam hole that helps the steamed air escape to avoid an overflow during cooking. The glass lid rises to a slight dome allowing you to fill in the pan with more food to serve on the table.
The handle is a long and has a light stainless steel grip. It has gentle contours where your fingers are placed for a comfortable hold and better grip. It is just a little thin though, and it can get hot especially if the pan is cooking for a long time. To avoid this, the handle is tilted at a high degree so it can it often stay cool or warm to the touch.
All-clad is very popular for it’s heavy but highly durable cookware. Designed for long-term usage, the pan has an anti-warp base. And with its signature clad, the ceramic is sintered onto the aluminum base and bonded with stainless steel. This ceramic pan withstands up to 500℉, and its lid up to 400℉. It is also wonderful for sauteing and stir frying (in the absence of a wok).
All-clad doesn’t disappoint when it comes to offering great cookware. This is a premium grade, professional cookware that gives you the best you can get from a ceramic frying pan.
Xtrema One-Egger 100% Ceramic Frying Pan
The only 100% ceramic frying pan in our list, this item is a sure favorite for those who love to cook quick and simple fry-ups without the grease and calories.
Xtrema utilizes full ceramic for this adorable mini frying pan. It allows you to make quick, healthy and hearty meals. The one-egger is only 4.5” in diameter that literally lets you cook one perfect egg omelet at a time without using grease or oil.
I love this cookware mainly because it is glazed and polished with a non-stick finish, giving you that signature ‘no-grease no-water’ surface. However, I would still recommend you use a little bit of oil to keep the non-stick property of the cookware to stay longer.
The entire cookware is made as a single-piece ceramic cookware baked in a kiln. The handle is also pure ceramic. It doesn’t hold to heat much and is usually warm to the touch. It also has a contoured grip for better handling. Since the pan is very lightweight, you can easily toss pancakes, eggs and other food inside.
Because it is made of 100% mixed ceramic materials, it is suitable for cooking on a gas stove, in an oven or broiler, the microwave, and over open fire cooking. It can even serve as a container or dish plate to serve food in. You can also make soups, stews and even sauces with is since it is a deep dish type of pan.
Another thing I love about this pan is its resistance to scratching, chipping and breaking. It may be delicate but it takes hard pressure to crack it. Just a reminder, it is very sensitive to sudden drops in temperature so it is highly advised that you do not cook frozen food with it, especially when it is hot. It is best to thaw the food before cooking it with this pan.
Although quite small, the one-egger is such an adorable multipurpose cookware.
I love this cookware because it is non-toxic and completely natural. It is great for those who love making easy meals and can be perfect for newly married couples or for those who are single.
Comparing the Top Ceramic Frying Pans
7” & 11”
Hard anodized aluminum
Silicon dioxide (silica)
3-ply stainless steel and aluminum core
Aluminum-stainless steel cladding
100% mixed ceramic
My Final Say…
Ceramic pans are definitely a hype worth looking into. With it being considered as the safest material to cook with, ceramic pans are certainly a must have in every kitchen. Now that I’ve given you the considerations and the benefits of getting a ceramic pan, I’ve certainly come to the conclusion that nothing will ever beat the quality of the All-Clad HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Frying Pan. This pan has everything you need from ceramic cookware. It heats fast, it’s durable, and it is versatile making this an ideal cookware to have and own in your kitchen. The All-clad is definitely the best ceramic frying pan in our list because of its durability. The metal base cladding of aluminum and stainless steel makes it a professional-grade type of cookware. The 2-in-1 GreenLife Soft Grip Ceramic Non-Stick Frypan Set offers an affordable solution to those who are looking for a quality ceramic pan in a tight budget.