Most of us like to keep a good fry pan to hand; not least for turning out our eggs over easy in the morning. As concerns continue to grow around the safety of more traditional non-stick linings on metal pans, some of us have chosen to switch to ceramic coated pans as a cooking solution that may reduce the risk of chemical or metal contamination to us and our families.The way that ceramic and ceramic coated pans are made is suggested by many to be more environmentally friendly than other types of manufacturing. A ceramic coating can also offer the opportunity to cook with less fat and mean easier cleaning afterwards. In this article we look at a variety of ceramic frying pans and supply some background around what makes ceramic products different to other types of cookware. We hope that this will help you to decide what the best ceramic frying pan can offer to you and to your cooking.
Not only does the generously sized 14¼" Scanpan Classic come with a lifetime guarantee, but it’s made from recycled aluminum and safe for stir frying at high temperatures.
The stylish turquoise GreenLife soft grip ceramic non-stick 7" and 10" open fry pan offers double the frying pan value without breaking the bank.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Ceramic Frying Pan
- 1. Scanpan Classic 14¼" Fry Pan
- 2. GreenLife Soft Grip Ceramic Non-Stick Turquoise Open Fry Pan Set
- 3. ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Spirit 3-ply 14" Stainless Steel Ceramic Non-stick Fry Pan
- 4. Vesuvio Ceramic Coated Non-stick Frying Pan
- 5. WearEver C94433 Pure Living Gold Ceramic Jumbo Cooker, 3.5-Quart
- 6. Tramontina Metallic Copper Ceramica 10" Fry Pan
- 7. All-Clad HA1 Hard Anodized Non-stick Frying Pan
- 8. Chantal Induction 21 Steel 11" Ceramic Coated Fry Pan
- 9. GreenPan Paris Ceramic Non-Stick Fry Pan Set
- 10. Xtrema 4.5" One-Egger 100% Ceramic Skillet/Frying Pan
- Things to Consider Before Buying the Product
- The Difference Between Ceramic Cookware and Ceramic Coated Cookware
- Coating Ceramic Cookware Using Sol-Gel
- Using Ceramic on The Stove
- Ceramic Cookware, Heat and Warranties
- Use of Metal Utensils
- Why Ceramic Pans are Different to Other Types of Pan
- Storing Ceramic Pans
- Cleaning Ceramic Cookware
- PTFE and PFOA in Ceramic Cookware
- Environmental Impact of Ceramic Cookware
- Cadmium and Lead in Ceramic Cookware
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Ceramic Frying Pan
1. Scanpan Classic 14¼" Fry Pan
The Danish made Scanpan Classic is a generously sized 14¼" fry pan. Scanpan offers a lifetime guarantee on its non-stick coating; a ceramic-titanium coating that allows food to brown, sear or deglaze. It is suitable for stir frying at high heat.This pan is made from 100% hand cast recycled aluminum and its optimum thickness base is perfectly flat. Oven safe up to 500°F, it is also suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher. The use of metal utensils should be avoided to minimize damage to the non-stick.
2. GreenLife Soft Grip Ceramic Non-Stick Turquoise Open Fry Pan Set
GreenLife soft grip ceramic non-stick 7" and 10" open fry pan set has a soft touch Bakelite handle that is designed to stay cool and is oven safe for up to 350°F. With a turquoise outer, it has a cream interior to allow easier monitoring of cooking.It has a Thermalon non-stick coating and is free from PFOA, PFAS, lead and cadmium. The body of the pan is reinforced aluminum and the pan is dishwasher safe. There is a warranty on these pans and like similar cookware, care should be taken when handling and avoid the use of metal utensils to help prolong the lifetime of the non-stick.
3. ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Spirit 3-ply 14" Stainless Steel Ceramic Non-stick Fry Pan
Suitable for all stove tops including induction, the ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Spirit 14" stainless steel ceramic non-stick frying pan has a 3-ply construction and thick aluminum core to all even and fast heating. This large pan has a flared rim for easy pouting and large handles designed to stay cool.
Like similar types of pans, users should consider oiling the pan on a regular basis to minimize sticking. There is a warranty on the pan itself and a two-year warranty on the non-stick coating.
4. Vesuvio Ceramic Coated Non-stick Frying Pan
The 11" Vesuvio ceramic coated non-stick frying pan is designed to ensure that it heats evenly, thanks to a solid aluminum core. This is a professional grade skillet free from lead, cadmium, PFOA and PTFE. Oven safe up to 450°F that allows for searing of food which can then be transferred into the oven to finish cooking.It has a silicone keep cool handle and the lid is also silicone rimmed, making it ideal for steaming. Suitable for all stoves except induction, this Italian made fry pan comes with a one year warranty. Users may find it helpful to oil the pan regularly to minimize the risk of food sticking.
5. WearEver C94433 Pure Living Gold Ceramic Jumbo Cooker, 3.5-Quart
The WearEver C94433 Pure Living non-stick ceramic coated jumbo cooker is PTFE, PFOA and Cadmium free. With a 3.5-quart capacity, its scratch resistant coating offers a more durable ceramic pan. The base of the pan is convex, raising the middle slightly so that liquid can drain to the outer base of the pan.
This drainage may need a little extra consideration with daily cooking routines to prevent any under or overcooking of food in different parts of the pan. There is a limited lifetime warranty on this pan and it is oven safe up to 350°F and stove safe up to 700°F. Complete with a lid, it is suitable for all cooking surfaces except for induction. This pan is also dishwasher safe.
6. Tramontina Metallic Copper Ceramica 10" Fry Pan
The metallic copper Tramontina Ceramica 10" fry pan is constructed from cold forged heavy gauge aluminum to offer a fast and even heat distribution during cooking. The easy to clean metallic copper ceramic interior is non-stick and free from PTFE, PFOA, cadmium and lead. Made in Italy, the Tramontina’s riveted stainless steel handle has a soft grip and cool touch finish.
Like other ceramic pans, it can be worth taking a little more care when using, cleaning, or storing as the ceramic coating can be more susceptible to scratches, dents, or other types of damage. Dishwasher safe, the Tramontina is also oven safe up to 350°F and is suitable for electric, ceramic and gas stoves. It comes with a lifetime warranty.
7. All-Clad HA1 Hard Anodized Non-stick Frying Pan
The All-Clad HA1 hard anodized non-stick frying pan with lid is suitable for all stove types including halogen and induction. This is a hard anodized aluminum pan offering even and quick heating and easy cleanup. It has a non-stick scratch resistant coating that is free from PFOA and its bonded base is anti-warp.
The manufacturer does make recommendations around cooking temperatures and users may find it helpful to take note of these in case of a warranty claim. Although some users may find the shape of the handle may not be as comfortable as it could be, this 12" pan is oven safe to 500°F and can put in the dishwasher.
8. Chantal Induction 21 Steel 11" Ceramic Coated Fry Pan
The 11" Chantal SLIN63-24C Induction 21 steel ceramic coated fry pan comprises of nickel-free steel with copper melted into it for improved heating. It also contains titanium to increase its durability and strength. Suitable for all stove tops including induction, it also has ergonomic stay cool handles.With a two year limited warranty, it is oven safe up to 500°F and has a dripless pouring rim. The premium ceramic coating is PTFE and PFOA free.
9. GreenPan Paris Ceramic Non-Stick Fry Pan Set
This set of 10" and 12" open GreenPan Paris ceramic non-stick fry pans has a Thermalon ceramic non-stick, manufactured without lead, cadmium, PFOA or PFAs. You can use metal utensils with these fry pans and their heavier duty, hard anodized exterior helps reduce the risk of scratches.
GreenPan were the first company to utilize ceramic non-stick technology ten years ago. Designed to heat quickly even when low heat is used, some users may wish to spend some time refining their cooking practices to avoid food from burning during cooking.
10. Xtrema 4.5" One-Egger 100% Ceramic Skillet/Frying Pan
The Xtrema One-Egger is a compact ceramic 4.5" fry pan, ideal for cooking an egg or other small foods. This pure ceramic metal-free pan is suitable for use on the stove or grill, in the oven or the microwave. Xtrema ceramic cookware is FDA-approved and meets the California Prop 65 standards.
The manufacturer recommends that cooking should be ‘low and slow’ to avoid any thermal cracks and users are also recommended to oil before frying to help minimize any sticking. Non-metal utensils should be used.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Product
The Difference Between Ceramic Cookware and Ceramic Coated Cookware
The range of true ceramic pans is extremely limited, which is probably why retailers tend to advertise ceramic coated cookware and pans as ceramic cookware; although they are two completely different products. Many of us presume that the ceramic fry pan we are looking to buy is metal (usually aluminum) that is ceramic coated; and that is often exactly what we want.
True, classic, or pure ceramic cookware is made from 100% clay, quartz sand and minerals. Once this mix is shaped, it is fired to 1915°F. This allows the cookware to vitrify, making it impervious to water. Only after vitrification has happened is the cookware safe to come into contact with food. Ceramic cookware is also glazed to provide a waterproof and often decorative surface.
Correct vitrification is one reason ceramic cookware should always be bought from reputable manufacturers as they test the clay and monitor firing to make sure that vitrification has been carried out properly i.e. has made sure that the ceramic is safe for food use.
Cookware that is ceramic coated is usually made from a metal such as aluminum that is then coated. Sol-gel is the chemical process that produces ceramic coating. Sol-gel coatings may be more accurately described as ceramic-like as they have many of the same features of ceramic, but to a lesser extent.
True ceramic pans are heavier and do not contain aluminum or other metals like the ceramic coated cookware available.
Like any ceramic items, extra care is needed when handling either ceramic or ceramic coated pans during cooking and washing to try to prevent chipping or denting of the ceramic or even accidental breakage.
Coating Ceramic Cookware Using Sol-Gel
The process of sol-gel is the main way in which ceramic coatings are produced for pans and other household and industrial items.
A liquid ceramic solution is converted to a gel that can be sprayed on to any metal surface. The gel can be also used as a dipping solution for the metal. Once the sol-gel is applied, the cookware (or other types of product) is then cured at high heat.
There are five chemical components needed for creating a ceramic coating:
- A binder which allows the coating to stick to the surface of the cookware;
- Pigment for whatever the finished cookware color will be;
- A non-stick component which allows release;
- Reinforcing agents help to increase strength and resistance to wear and tear;
- A solvent or water ‘carrier’ that contains the four chemical components above.
Once curing takes place, the carrier has evaporated, and the binder has been chemically altered or synthesized – giving the hard surface that looks and behaves like a true ceramic.
Like all other types of coatings, there are distinct types of sol-gel used. How many ‘packs’ are used to make each layer varies between manufacturers, as can the time needed to mix the coatings.
This type of ceramic coating will degrade even when used normally, often lasting around three to five years, depending on how often used the cookware is used and how well it is cared for.
Using Ceramic on The Stove
True ceramic cookware is usually suitable for all stoves except induction. It cannot be used on an induction stove top as there is no metal in the ceramic – metal is needed for magnetic induction to work.
Although ceramic is suitable for a glass top stove, there is a risk of damaging the stove top if a ceramic pan is dragged across it, so users who do have ceramic cookware on a glass-topped stove really do need to take extra care when cooking to reduce the risk of damage to the stove top.
Much of the ceramic coated cookware available is suitable for all stove tops except induction as many have a gauge aluminum bottom which doesn’t conduct magnetic waves well. Some manufacturers now offer ceramic pans with an aluminum/stainless steel base that is suitable for induction, but it is always worth checking to ensure that the potential purchase would be OK for your induction stove.
A conversion plate or disc is one solution if you want to keep your ceramic pans when you’ve upgraded your electric stove to an induction model. These discs are usually made from stainless steel and so allow magnetic induction to work with a non-magnetic pan.
Ceramic Cookware, Heat and Warranties
A typical ceramic finish will not start to break down until a temperature of around 800°F is reached, unlike typical non-stick pans which can begin to breakdown and/or give off fumes from 500°F upwards.
It is recommended however that older, or less costly ceramic cookware not be used at higher temperatures than 450°F.
Pure ceramic cookware retains heat for some time after cooking and is suitable for microwave use; while ceramic coated cookware cannot be used in the microwave because of its metal inner.
Ceramic frying pans can cook quite differently to more traditional non-stick pans, so a little experimentation may be helpful to find the best cooking techniques. Manufacturers recommend that you try to use the lowest possible temperature that you can to cook the food. You should also try to avoid foods sticking and burning as carbonized stains are harder to remove from ceramic pans.
Some manufacturers may set maximum cooking temperatures for their ceramic coated pans and if damage occurs to a pan after cooking at high temperatures, then the warranty that they offer may not be legally binding if the damage has occurred through high temperature cooking.
Use of Metal Utensils
Unlike more traditional non-stick cookware, the manufacturer may say that it is safe to use metal utensils in true ceramic pans, although some manufacturers will recommend using non-metal utensils such as silicone, wood, or bamboo to stop metal particles from being deposited on the surface of the cookware.
Like typical non-stick pans, using metal utensils in ceramic coated frying pans may damage the ceramic coating, causing it to wear out faster. It is always worth double checking what the manufacturer says about using metal utensils and if still in doubt, then you may want to consider sticking with silicone or wood.
Why Ceramic Pans are Different to Other Types of Pan
Ceramic cookware does not tend to react with food, a reaction that in other pans may cause leaching of the lining into the food. Neither does ceramic need as much oil as other types of cookware such a stainless steel, although some manufacturers advise that their pans are oiled or ‘seasoned’ regularly. They may also recommend which oil to use, how it should be done and when it should be done.
The non-stick coating on ceramic pans is made up of Nano-sized particles. Because these particles are irregular, it means that the microscopic surface area of the pan is roughened - stopping food from touching the surface and making it non-stick.
Unfortunately, this also means that because food doesn’t touch all the surface of the pan, it is not always being heated as quickly or evenly as it would be in other types of pan. This means that ceramic cookware can also be prone to more ‘uneven’ cooking - hot spots and cold spots.
Some manufacturers have addressed this by adding materials such as titanium to the ceramic coatings, helping to improve heat and cooking efficiency. In some cases, these pans may heat faster than their hard anodized counterparts.
Storing Ceramic Pans
To help minimize the risk of chipping or denting, pans and other ceramic cookware should be put away carefully after cleaning. It can be helpful to place a soft clean towel in between ceramic pans and lids if they need to be stacked.
Cleaning Ceramic Cookware
Traditional ceramic cookware is dishwasher safe because of its surface. Cookware that is coated in ceramic should usually be hand washed to prevent damage from dishwasher detergents. Some manufacturers say their products are dishwasher safe, so it is up to users to decide how they are cleaned.
Handwashing in hot soapy water is usually enough to clean ceramic cookware. If heavily stained, then a pre-soak, or even an overnight soak, can be helpful.
Depending on what food has been cooked in the pan, then a half cup of simmering vinegar and a gentle scrub with a soft sponge may help remove a stain. Harsh cleaning solutions or scrubbing pads should always be avoided as these can damage the ceramic.
PTFE and PFOA in Ceramic Cookware
Neither traditional ceramic or ceramic coated cookware contains PTFE or PFOA (one of the two main PFAS) due to how it is manufactured.
PFOA is used in the production of PTFE non-stick coatings - the coatings found on traditional non-stick pans. Although PFOA is usually burnt off during the manufacture of PTFE, there are some health concerns as PFOA can stay in the body and environment for a long time and may possibly be able to cause cancer.
PTFE can cause some short-term flu-like symptoms if cooking temperatures get too high, which is why manufacturers of pans with a PTFE non-stick lining will usually give a maximum cooking temperature to minimize the risk of any fumes being given off.
Environmental Impact of Ceramic Cookware
It is suggested that use of the inorganic non-stick coating helps to make ceramic cookware more environmentally friendly, using less energy in production and releasing less carbon dioxide than the PTFE based processes (used in typical non-stick coatings on pans).
Cadmium and Lead in Ceramic Cookware
There are regulations in the US that prevents cookware from being sold or imported if it has traces of lead or cadmium in it. The FDA monitors levels of lead in foodware under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Cadmium and lead tends to occur through the use of minor materials during the ceramic manufacturing process, rather than being found in the ceramic, or ceramic coating itself. Allowable levels are set for glazed ceramic pottery such as tableware and any ceramic that contains lead must be labelled in a certain way.
The FDA has a relationship with the People’s Republic of China around ceramic imports and the FDA also issued industry guidance to resolve the issue of mislabeled items imported from Mexico – which may be wrongly labelled as ‘lead free’.
As there are a number of countries which manufacture ceramics and not all of these have the same rigorous regulations as the US in place, if you are purchasing ceramic cookware then look to buy from manufacturers who state that they meet US federal regulations, or the California Prop 65 for lead and cadmium content.
Ceramic and ceramic coated pans are becoming even more popular as we consider ways in which we can reduce the risk of impacts upon our health from the more traditional types of cookware. Although ceramic cookware can take some getting used to at first, it does offer a way to cook which could reduce the risk of food contamination and contribute less emissions to the environment.Whether you are considering investing in a pure ceramic pan or a ceramic coated frying pan, we hope that the information we have provided in this article will help you to make an informed decision about choosing the best ceramic frying pan for you and your family.