There is a wide range of cookware available today; they offer different features to adapt to the kitchen you have, or wish to have. At the opposite ends of this varying scale are ceramic cookware and stainless steel cookware. Ceramic cookware is environment friendly, nonstick, and free of toxins. Stainless steel is a heavy cookware material which is widely preferred by professional cooks.
Ceramic vs stainless steel cookware: Let’s get started!
Ceramic vs Stainless Steel Cookware: Full Reviews
Ceramic Cookware Review
Ceramic cookware has become a recently popular material because of demands for non-toxic cookware. Ceramic is used to build environment-friendly cookware, with a good number of features. This material has a nonstick feature but without the inclusion of toxic elements like PTFE or PFOA, which is usually found in nonstick cookware.
The ceramic coating is made with natural minerals – disallowing toxic fumes to enter the food cooked in the cookware. Additionally, ceramic cookware offers compatibility with a few cooktops, and it can also worth a microwave. But they do not work well with high temperatures. At low or medium heat, ceramic cookware performs exceptionally and can be used to make versatile cuisines.
Is Ceramic Cookware Safe?
Ceramic is one of the safest materials out there. It is environment-friendly and does not emit any toxic fumes into the food that is cooked in it. But, it is important to ensure that you take proper care of your ceramic cookware. Using a lot of oil or butter while cooking can damage the upper-most layer of your cookware. It is difficult to clean the oil away; doing the coating can chip away. The debris from the coating leaches into the food, which is harmful to your health.
MORE ABOUT CERAMIC COOKWARE:
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Advantages of using Ceramic Cookware
The most important advantage of ceramic is that it is toxin-free and environment-friendly. This material does not emit toxic fumes when it is heated, nor does it leach any unsafe elements into the food cooked in it.
Ceramic is an excellent alternative for Teflon nonstick cookware and is free of toxin materials such as PFTE and PFOA.
This cookware material is easy to clean because of its smooth, nonstick surface. Ceramic is dishwasher safe.
Ceramic cookware distributes heat evenly to the food, and retain it relatively well as well.
Ceramic is an affordable material; additionally, it is available and different colors and styles for aesthetic value.
Disadvantages of using Ceramic Cookware
Ceramic cookware has a comparatively shorter life span than most cookware materials. The coating layers on the surface of the cookware to enhance its nonstick functionality can chip away with time – especially if you use oil or butter for cooking consistently.
You can only use the ceramic cookware at a low or medium level of heat, or it will suffer damage and have hot spots.
Ceramic cookware does not work well with metal utensils; therefore, you need to resort to wooden or plastic utensils.
Stainless Steel Cookware Review
Stainless Steel is one of the most popular cookware materials. It is preferred even by professional cooks and chefs, because of its durability and resourceful features. Stainless steel is a heavy-duty, robust material which is resistant to scratches, denting, and even rusting.
The constituency of stainless steel is a mix of elements like iron, silicon, nickel, copper, and at least 11% of chromium. Due to this, the material becomes a safe, durable, and sustainable alloy. If you care for your stainless-steel cookware set properly, then it can last for long enough to be passed down to generations.
Is Stainless Steel Cookware Safe?
The amalgam of metals makes stainless steel strong and durable; but in addition to this, the metals can be leached into the harmful food. Multi-ply stainless steel is the most preferred version of this cookware because of its increased durability and safety from the food being exposed to the metal toxins.
With proper care, you can also avoid this toxicity from spreading in a natural stainless-steel cookware. Moreover, stainless-steel does not react to highly acidic food ingredients such as tomatoes, chili, eggs, etc.
MORE ABOUT STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE:
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Advantages of using Stainless Steel Cookware
Stainless Steel is extremely durable. A properly cared for stainless steel cookware set can even be passed down to generations, without losing any of its prime functionalities. It does not rust, either.
This material is robust, which means it does not sustain any damage concerning accidental falls or heavy-duty use. It is resistant to scratches, rusting, and denting.
Stainless Steel is one of the least toxic materials out there. It includes several metals, which can leach into the food – but with multi-ply stainless steel, you can avoid this problem. Other than that, this material does not emit toxic fumes; neither does the uppermost layer chip away with time and transfers to food.
The stainless-steel cookware is compatible with almost all cooktops and can withstand great levels of temperatures without suffering any damage. It can also retain heat for a good amount of time.
It is easy to clean and maintain, without the requirement of special caretaking techniques.
Disadvantages of using Stainless Steel Cookware
Stainless Steel is not an entirely nonstick material. Although it is easy to clean – food may cling to the surface of the cookware if you do not use enough lubricants.
This material is a poor conductor of heat with bad thermal conductivity. Stainless steel does not work well with low heat temperatures.
Because this material is difficult to source and is an amalgam of several elements, it is pricier than other materials – especially ceramic.
Ceramic vs Stainless Steel Cookware: The Similarities and Differences
1. Compatibility and Versatility
Ceramic Cookware shows compatibility with few cooktops such as glass top stoves, gas stoves, induction – it also works with a microwave. But there is a clear limit to its versatility because ceramic cookware cannot work with high temperatures; they perform well at a low or medium level of heat.
Stainless Steel is compatible with almost all cooktops – ovens, campfire grills, induction, and stovetops. This material can withstand high levels of temperature and is therefore great for various styles of cooking like sautéing, browning, roasting, grilling, and much more.
PS: Compatibility with as many cooktops as possible is a desirable feature to seek in your cookware. Therefore, stainless steel is a more versatile cookware material.
2. Durability and Sustainability
Ceramic is a nonstick material; thus, it does not require the use of a lot of oil or butter to cook food. But, if you use oil or butter on it more than required, then it will become a hassle to wash it away from the surface. In doing so, you can risk removing the uppermost layer of the ceramic cookware. Conclusively, ceramic cookware does not show sustainability.
Stainless steel does not rust, is resistant to scratches, and dents. It can withstand robust use, without suffering from any damage. If taken care of properly, stainless steel cookware sets can be passed down to generations.
PS: It is clear that Stainless-steel is the winner in this category because of its long durability and better sustainability.
Ceramic cookware performs excellently with low or medium levels of heat. It shows good thermal conductivity by spreading heat evenly and retaining it as well. This allows the food to be cooked evenly. Ceramic cookware is easy to handle and maintain; this ensures convenient use.
Stainless steel is a bad conductor of heat and does not distribute heat evenly. It works well at high temperatures and is thus, great with ovens, grills, and for roasting – this is why professional chefs prefer stainless steel. It can retain heat very well, but stainless steel does not work well with low or medium levels of heat.
PS: Different types of foods and cuisines require different levels of temperature – as ceramic cookware and stainless-steel are at two opposite ends of the scale, it is difficult to compare them. For a kitchen with a family, ceramic is better. For someone who experiments with several cooking styles, stainless steel is better.
4. Cleaning and Maintenance
Ceramic cookware is extremely easy to clean. They are dishwasher safe and can be cleaned merely with warm water at times as well. When it comes to maintenance, ceramic cookware does not require any special care – unless you use a lot of butter or oil while cooking in it. Following this, it becomes difficult to remove the layers of oil from the uppermost layer, resulting in damage to the nonstick coating.
Stainless steel does not have nonstick functionality; this means that food may cling to the insides of the cookware. At high temperatures, food gets stuck to the surface. But, stainless steel is a durable and scratch-resistant material, that’s why it is easy to remove the sticky layer from it. Stainless steel is also easy to maintain because it sustains little to no damage to its uppermost layer.
PS: In terms of cleaning, ceramic cookware is better. But maintenance of stainless steel is easier. And, on a long-term basis, the requirement of both features is necessary – so, Stainless steel wins this category.
5. Value for Money
In terms of price, ceramic cookware is relatively one of the most affordable cookware materials. It is easy to source and has a simple construction. Ceramic cookware can be availed in several colors and styles to suit the aesthetic of your home; it also environment friendly. They offer a good number of features, given the price they are available at.
Stainless-steel is one of the most feature-packed cookware materials. It is durable, versatile, recommended by professionals, does not rust or get scratches. This material is compatible with almost all cooktops and can withstand great levels of heat. With the massive number of benefits it has and the price it comes in, stainless-steel is worth it.
PS: Stainless-steel is a better investment as it offers multiple features along with the sustainability.
Which Cookware Material Is Better: Ceramic or Stainless Steel?
With this comparison guide, you can easily understand that buying Stainless steel will prove to be more beneficial than any other cookware materials. These two materials are very different, and are made for different kitchen settings. So if you wish to have stylish cookware with subdued features, then you can look through more comparisons and reconsider my final choice.
Talya, like all members of the HomeDesignX team, is enamored by all things related to cooking and eating. She’s written cookware articles for numerous publications before working with her lifelong friend Jessica to create their very own website on cookware.
She's currently writing a book on induction cooktops, and enjoys making clean, vegan meals for her family.