Ceramic and Teflon are two types of cookware. The type you choose depends on what you want to cook, as well as the quality of your stove. In this article, we will explain the main differences between ceramic and teflon cookware, which type of cookware is better for what you want to cook, as well as its benefits and drawbacks.
We’ll give you all the information you need so that you can make a well-informed decision when purchasing your next set of pots and pans – let's jump straight into it.
What is the difference between Ceramic and Teflon cookware?
Ceramic and Teflon both have great benefits, but they both have drawbacks as well.
Ceramic cookware has been around for a while now, and it's always been on top of the list when it comes to which type of cookware is better at retaining heat. This is because, in addition to being made out of some very durable materials that allow them to last a long time, they also feature great thermal conductivity.
This means that whatever you put into this ceramic pot or pan will come out nice and evenly cooked every single time. As mentioned above though, there are downsides to ceramic cookware. For one, ceramic is a type of material that's not meant for stove-top cooking. This means that you can't use it on your electric or gas stoves, and if you do so, both the ceramic cookware and your stove are likely to be damaged beyond repair as well.
This also means that ceramics have a lower melting point than most other types of materials, which makes them more difficult to clean sometimes. On top of this, some people just don't enjoy using this cookware despite its great benefits due to having issues with their hands sweating every time they handle them while preparing food. Despite all these things, however, ceramics remain by far the best choice when it comes to retaining heat, which is why they are still very popular today.
This brings us to Teflon cookware. Teflon has been around for almost as long as ceramics have been, but it didn't start gaining popularity until the 1950s – 1960s. That is when people started realizing that it’s not only very easy to use (all you have to do is wipe it with a clean cloth), but also because of its “non-stick” properties that allow food to slide right off of them after cooking. Teflon coatings are usually created by bonding polytetrafluoroethylene and plastic together while heating them.
If this type of Teflon coating sounds familiar, it might be because you've heard about PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). This is a synthetic polymer that's also used in things such as non-stick frying pans. Teflon is sometimes called PTFE because of how prevalent both materials are when it comes to kitchenware these days.
Such properties make Teflon a great choice for anyone who likes frying eggs and cooking meats, which can be difficult if you have to watch out over your food at all times so it doesn't stick and burn onto the pot or pan itself. These types of pots and pans will usually feature an impressive flat bottom design that allows for heat diffusion evenly around the entire item. You'll see this more often with frypans compared to large pots and woks.
With all of these things said, Teflon pans are what most people in the world currently use in their homes. They're not just easy to clean and maintain – they also boast pretty incredible durability, which allows them to last for several years if properly taken care of.
Which type of cookware is best for what you are cooking?
So, it's clear that both ceramic and Teflon pots and pans have their benefits. What you need to do now is evaluate what you want to cook, as well as how much money you're willing to spend to get your set. If all of your cooking revolves around frying eggs and meat in a pan, then Teflon is probably going to be the better choice for you.
They can also serve as a decent option for boiling water if you take care of them.
Ceramics are great if you like frying veggies with an electric skillet, but they should not be used with anything else at all because they just won't work properly otherwise. You'll find that ceramic pans are also better if you have an induction stove. This is because they're designed to heat evenly, making them perfect for cooking almost anything (even popcorn).
You can also learn more about the best non-stick pan without Teflon in 2021, if you’re interested in knowing more.
What are their benefits?
There are many different ways in which ceramics and Teflon pans could be useful in your home. If you're looking for pots & pans that make cleaning up very easy (such as grease-free items), then Teflon might help out a great deal because it's very easy to clean.
If you take care of them, Teflon pans can also continue working for many years – as long as they don't get chipped or scratched in any way. If you use an abrasive sponge when cleaning them, this might change the waxy buildup that causes food to stay on the surface instead of sticking to it (which is why many people recommend using just water).
Ceramics are a bit easier to maintain since most of them can be put into the dishwasher and washed with ease (although ceramics tend to shatter if dropped on a hard surface). They're also made up of less harmful materials compared to Teflon and thus have lower toxicity levels.
How much money do they cost?
The price of both ceramics and Teflon can vary greatly, with some experts not recommending the purchase of cheap models because they're not worth it – which many come to realize after they start seeing their pans breaking down.
If you don't mind spending a bit more money though, you'll find that there are many gifted craftsmen out there making ceramic and Teflon cookware that's worth every dollar spent.
Are there any cons to using them?
Both ceramic and Teflon cookware have their fair share of drawbacks. I've already talked about the fact that they can't be used like cast iron pans, with ceramics being a bit harder to clean (but more stable). It should also be noted that both ceramics and Teflon are made with chemicals that shouldn't enter food because they could affect your body in an adverse way over extended periods.
Since there's no definitive answer regarding which type of pot or pan is more suitable for you, I would recommend that you focus on using and buying the ones that best fit your needs. If you're looking for pots & pans that are easy to clean but require some maintenance, then Teflon might be a good choice.
If you want to go with something sturdier – something that won't break even if it hits the floor – then cast iron is worth purchasing. It's not as hard to maintain as plastic or Teflon, making it fairly forgiving when it comes to cleaning. Just make sure that you don't put it into the dishwasher after every use because this can weaken its property over time.
What is cast iron?
Cast iron is a lot different from the materials used in Teflon and ceramics. It's often made out of sand, ash, clay, & metal alloys like carbon steel or cast iron.
This material contains lots of unique minerals that help enhance its ability to conduct thermal energy – which is why it's such a great choice when looking for pots and pans that can distribute heat evenly.
Because cast iron also absorbs fluid like water, it can be used to cook food at an incredibly even temperature across the entire pan. There are many reasons why people prefer using cast iron cookware over ceramic or Teflon.
Cast iron offers plenty of benefits if you know how to take care of it. It's very safe to use (you can even boil water in it without feeling too worried about toxic fumes) – and because it doesn't stick easily, you can cook with minimal oil. If that statement didn't click with you already, just think of the times when you've had a hard time removing food particles from a ceramic or Teflon pan.
Cast iron pans are also usually shaped like skillets so they're easy to move around, which is why cast iron pans make great camping tools. Another good thing about them is that their material makes for a solid base, which can help you prevent your food from burning if you're not too keen on using high flames.
When it comes to price, cast iron is usually pretty expensive, but it's an amazing choice if you're looking for something that can last for decades. It's not quite as easy to clean and maintain as Teflon or ceramic cookware either, but it's much more versatile and sturdy – after all, nothing beats cast iron when it comes to durability.
Is it okay to cook acidic foods in a ceramic-lined pan?
Although ceramic is a highly inert material, it can interact with certain ingredients. As such, you'll want to make sure that the pan you have doesn't contain materials like iron because this ingredient can react and cause stains on your ceramic cookware.
If you're wondering what else might stain your pot's ceramic lining, here's a list of some common culprits:
- tomatoes, chili peppers, or other red/orange veggies
- beans and soy products like miso soup and tofu.
What are the easiest ways to clean ceramic and Teflon cookware?
Cleaning up after cooking is never a pleasant task, but at least with cast iron, you can wash it by hand. Just make sure you use soap that's safe for cookware when doing so.
A good way to tell if something isn't suited for cookware (or any household application) is if its main ingredient is bleach. This chemical can damage the pores of your cast iron pans, thereby making them harder to clean in the future.
While there are plenty of ways to maintain both ceramic-lined and Teflon pots & pans, we've put together two tips on how you can be more efficient:
Clean after each use
The longer you wait for the sticky particles to dry up, the harder it'll be to remove them. This is why it's best to clean your pots and pans as soon as possible. While some food can smell pretty bad (especially burnt delicacies), these smells will go away once they've been washed thoroughly.
Use non-abrasive cleaners
While soap or tough sponges can help remove stubborn stains from a ceramic-lined pan, you should avoid using anything abrasive on Teflon pans because they might wear off the lining or make scratches, which would prevent your Teflon next time where grease is present.
Final thoughts on ceramic vs Teflon
In conclusion, choosing between ceramic and Teflon can be confusing. After all, these two types of cookware offer various benefits that can make food preparation much easier – at least for those who know how to take care of them correctly.
Ceramic and Teflon are both good materials for pots & pans because they don't require seasoning as cast iron does. In line with this, they're also easy to clean – although you'll have to get used to a “new” flavor if you switch from one material to the other.
This is definitely something to keep in mind before making a final decision on either of these materials.