Cookware comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be made from many different materials. One type of cookware that has become popular in recent years is ceramic cookware. If you find yourself wondering "What is Ceramic Cookware?" then this post is for you!
What is Ceramic Cookware?
Now, we are going to take a closer look at what ceramic cookware is by definition first, then the different types of ceramic cookware, of which there are several.
Then we will cover some tips and tricks for using ceramic cookware.
What are Ceramics?
First things first, let's talk about what the word ceramic means.
Our friends at Wikipedia tell us:
A ceramic is a solid material comprising an inorganic compound of metal, non-metal or metalloid atoms primarily held in ionic and covalent bonds. Common examples are earthenware, porcelain, and brick.
Let me break that down for you. Ceramic is just a fancy word for a bunch of stuff mixed together that makes a hard surface when heat is applied. This stuff that gets mixed together is usually found someplace on Earth, it is not stuff made in a lab.
Ceramics have pretty much been around since the beginning of time.
Types of Ceramic Cookware
There are many different types of ceramic cookware out there.
- A clay pot is a type of ceramic cookware.
- A porcelain coated cast iron pot is still classified as ceramic cookware.
- A pure porcelain baking dish is ceramic cookware.
- A pot or pan with a ceramic coating on the inside is still ceramic cookware.
See? Those are three different types of ceramic cookware. Let's take a closer look at each.
Clay Ceramic Cookware
Clay has been pretty much around since the dawn of time.
While clay cookware was very popular for a long time, and still is in some parts of the world, it can take a little bit of getting used to.
Special care must be taken when cooking with it, cleaning it, and storing it to ensure the clay does not crack.
Clay ceramic cookware also comes in two forms: natural and glazed. Glazed ceramic cookware is a bit more durable than its natural counterpart.
Modern clay cookware can be expensive since it takes so much expertise to create.
Porcelain Ceramic Cookware
When it comes to porcelain ceramic cookware, there are two main types:
- Pure porcelain ceramic cookware (think baking and casserole dishes)
- Porcelain coated ceramic cookware (think a dutch oven)
Pure porcelain cookware is often used in an oven, or just for every day eating.
Besides baking dishes and bowls, ramekins are also a popular form of ceramic cookware.
Ramekins are great for serving things like personal soufflés, molten chocolate cakes, creme brûlée, soup, and more.
The only downside to pure porcelain cookware is how delicate it is. If you drop it, it is going to break into pieces.
If you are lucky only a few, but if you are unlucky you may end up picking porcelain shards out of your feet for days!
Porcelain coated cookware is also very popular, especially in the form of a dutch oven. Dutch ovens are made of a cast iron core for great heat distribution, and a porcelain coating to make cleaning and maintenance easier.
A dutch oven is a must have for any home chef.
Besides being great for things like soups, stews, and chili on the stove top, it is also great to use in the oven to braise things like briskets and short ribs.
The only downside to the porcelain enameled cast iron is once again, porcelain is delicate.
While my Le Creuset cookware has survived many drops (lucky for me!), what it will not survive is metal utensils on the inside. The inside is coated in a beige porcelain and is prone to chipping an scraping.
Metal utensils are a big no no for this one.
Ceramic Coated Cookware - The Popular One
One of the more popular ceramic cookwares right now is ceramic coated cookware. Think of your traditional non-stick or stainless steel pan.
In this case, the coating is made of ceramic, which is a non stick surface.
Want to learn about the difference between ceramic vs non stick cookware? Be sure to check out our guide!
In this case, ceramic cookware is mostly referring to the inside coating of any piece of cookware. In fact, you can purchase this type of ceramic cookware in almost any form.
As you can see in this set, there are pots and pans of every shape and size.
A benefit of ceramic cookware is that it is a non-stick surface that can be used at very high temperatures.
Believe it or not, it also makes a very nice sear on meats.
If you are researching ceramic cookware, this may be the one that you are thinking of.
Is Ceramic Cookware Good?
I personally love ceramic cookware! While I do not have the patience to deal with clay cookware, I have a number of pieces of porcelain, porcelain coated cast iron, and ceramic coated pots and pans.
They are easy to clean, do not react to the foods you are cooking, and made of natural materials.
They are also non stick surfaces, which make them a good choice for almost any kitchen task.
Why is My Ceramic Pan Sticking?
This is a great question, and can have a number of answers based on what you are cooking and how you are cooking it.
If meat is sticking, you are probably trying to move it before the sear is complete. I have noticed once my meat has a nice coating on the outside, it no longer sticks to the ceramic pan.
If you are cooking something fatty or with oil, your ceramic pan may begin to stick over time. I have noticed that if I do not clean my pan properly, over time a sticky oily film begins to form. Then it gets sticky. I noticed this with a pancake pan over time, since there was some oil in the batter.
A good cleaning should solve many of your sticky ceramic coating issues.
Cleaning Ceramic Cookware
Cleaning your ceramic cookware is important to keep the coating from getting sticky.
Do not use things like metal brushes or Brillo pads on your ceramic cookware or you may damage it over brush.
Remember, you want the Dawn dish detergent with the animal on the front.
You can also let your pan soak with hot soapy water to make it easier to clean! After soaking for a while, anything stuck will come right off with a sponge.
Why is Ceramic Cookware So Confusing?
It all comes down to the word ceramic, which can mean any number of things. There are also many different types of cookwares, so there are a number of possibilities when it comes to researching ceramic cookware - and they can all be different!
Hopefully this guide has helped you understand the different types of ceramic cookware, and what they can be used for. Now that you know what ceramic cookware is, you can make the choice that is right for your cooking needs.