How Safe Is Ceramic Cookware?

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Before ceramic cookware was introduced into the market, people loved to use Teflon coated cookware. Later on, Teflon was found to be the cause of many health problems such as cancer, thyroid disease, and high cholesterol levels. This is because of the dangerous PFOA substances that it contains. As a result, many people changed to other forms of cookware and ceramic is one of them. In this post, we will discuss that ceramic cookware is safe for use or not. Read on…

In the USA, there is a strict law that requires all cookware manufacturers to make their products free of lead and cadmium. As a matter of fact, ceramic cookwares have become popular and are one of the most used in USA households.

Is ceramic cookware safe to use?

Simple word: Yes, it is safe. But, you have to consider a few important factors. Because, all cookware isn’t safe. Consider buying not only a good quality, but also healthy ceramic cookware.

What is ceramic cookware made of?

Most of the time people who have no knowledge about ceramic cookware usually generalize the term, “ceramic cookware”. This is wrong as there are two types of ceramic cookware on the market. The first type of ceramic is made from 100% ceramic material, while the second type is cookware that is coated with ceramic. Normally, ceramic is hardened clay. Hence, if you hear a person speaking about ceramic coated cookware, he or she means a cookware made of aluminum or steel and coated with ceramic. Such cookwares are not 100% made of ceramic.

100% ceramic cookware

As I have stated above, ceramic is typically made from clay that is hardened by use of fire. If you want an environmentally friendly and healthy ceramic cookware to use, the 100% ceramic cookware is the best. The only downside is that it’s easy to break and doesn’t last long when compared to other types of cookwares like Teflon. 100% ceramic cookware is very safe to use for cooking different meals as it doesn’t contain any metal material.

This form of ceramic is made by pouring a combination of clay and water into pre-shaped moulds. Usually, the moulds have the shape of the needed cookware and they are fired in a kiln for a long period to acquire the hardened surface of ceramics. With an improvement in technology, today’s ceramic cookwares are stronger and crack-resistant. For instance, the Xtrema ceramic cookwares have been found to be very durable and reliable.

Ceramic coated cookware

Ceramic coated cookware is not made entirely of ceramic, like 100% ceramic cookware. This type of cookware has ceramic covering the inner part of the cookware, but not the whole cookware. In short, this is just a metal cookware that is coated with ceramic. The metal can be made of any metal such as aluminum or even steel as mentioned above.

Is ceramic coated cookware safe to use? This is a question that my readers have been asking me many times. A good number of manufacturers say that ceramic coated cookware is safe for use as it blocks the metal from leaching of metals or some other dangerous chemicals. To some extent, it is right. But when the ceramic coated cookware is cracked or scratched, this can pose risks as the metals and chemicals can be consumed in the food.

In addition, the materials used in coating ceramic cookware are normally soft and should be handled with great care to avoid chipping it off. Normally, ceramic coated cookwares are safe for use for around 3 to 5 years.

Ceramic coated Non-stick cookware

Since there are so many non-stick ceramic coated cookwares in the market, users normally want to know if these cookwares contain dangerous chemicals or not. Also, they desire to know how long the non-stick surface will last and if it gets chipped, can it still be used to cook food? With an improvement in technology and tough regulations by the US government, many manufacturers are creating cookware sets that are safe and free of dangerous chemicals. Hence, you will find that most of these cookwares are free of cadmium, PFOA, and PTFE.

Currently, most of the ceramic coated cookwares are made with a non-stick surface. The non-stick surface is normally made of oxygen, silicon, and inorganic mineral. This implies that the cookware does not contain carbon and it’s safe for cooking healthy food and for the environment. Unlike Teflon and PTFE coatings, the ceramic coating is made up of a small layer which promotes quick cooking and reducing the oven time. This in return saves more energy.

How is a non-stick coating applied to cookware?

Typically, ceramic non-stick coatings are applied utilizing a sol-gel process. The Sol-gel process changes the inorganic liquid solution into a gel that can be applied to any type of metallic surface. Normally, sol-gel coatings are applied either by dipping the product in the mineral gel or spraying it. Thereafter, it is hardened by a high heat firing procedure referred to as curing.

To what levels can ceramic cookware resist heat?

Another great feature of ceramic cookwares over other types of cookwares is that it can withstand high temperatures very well. For instance, if it is compared to Teflon, ceramic has the ability to resist heat up to 450 C. While on the other hand, the Teflon will deteriorate after 450 C. If the heat goes above 450 C, ceramic will still not produce any dangerous fumes or pose a risk to you. But with Teflon, it will emit dangerous substances and even change the taste of food. So, you can heat ceramic up to 580 C, but it will still retain its properties.

Things to note when buying ceramic cookware

Before you buy your ceramic cookware set – whether it is 100% ceramic or ceramic coated cookware, there are a number of things that you ought to know. These are as follows:

  • Be sure that you are paying for what you want. Check and confirm if its ceramic coated cookware or 100% ceramic cookware.
  • Stay away from the cheap ceramic coated cookware as these can chip easily and be dangerous for your health. Instead, go for the cookware with a thick layer of ceramic coating.
  • Ensure that you buy your ceramic cookware from a reliable manufacturer. I use ceramic cookware from the Xtrema brand and it has been wonderful using it for 2 years now.
  • After purchasing the ceramic cookware, check for cracks before using them. If there is any, ask for a replacement as it can be harmful to use
  • Always use the right utensils on your cookware. Avoid metal utensils as they are not recommended for ceramic cookware.
  • Inspect the ceramic cookware set when buying and make sure that it meets all the safety certifications.

How safe is ceramic cookware?

After looking at the different ceramic cookware types on the market and what they comprise of, it is important to know which cookware is the safest to use and which one isn’t. To begin with, 100% ceramic cookware is the best to use if you want healthy food. This doesn’t mean that ceramic coated cookware is not good, but is not the safest over prolonged use. If it cracks, it can become harmful to you.

In the US, all cookwares that are made are required to meet the FDA regulations, also known as Proposition 65. So, you will not find any lead or cadmium in the cookwares beings made in the USA.

Bottom line
Back to the question, is ceramic cookware safe to use? Yes, ceramic cookware is safe and healthy to use as it is made with no chemicals but just natural minerals. Unlike Teflon and other coatings, ceramic can withstand high temperatures of up to 600 C. So, you can rest assured that you will eat healthy food and at the same time not harm the environment. I hope, your confusion has gone after reading this “How Safe Is Ceramic Cookware” article.

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