A kitchen becomes more alive with the tinkling of utensils on the stovetop or at the sink. Even though cookware is the most basic item of a kitchen, choosing the right one gives quite a hard time. Among all types of cookware we use, ceramic & stainless steel are two of the most common cookware. So it’s time to stop the confusion and learn to make the perfect use of ceramic vs stainless steel cookware!
Using the wrong pots or pans for the wrong food is like a universal mistake, everyone does that. Not all types can provide the optimum heat or support your dish needs. Some pots are good for making braised or fried foods. On the other hand, some are good for cooking delicate food items like an omelet or pancake. The question is which one to use for which purpose?
Different Types Of Cookware
As we all know, there are many types of cookware available in the market. For example- stainless steel, ceramic, nonstick, cast iron, copper coated, etc. All these types are widely used for different types of cooking.
Having an idea about different types of cookware is important. Because each of them gives the best result in only specific types of cooking. You can definitely use them for any type of cooking, but our experience says using the wrong cookware only ends up spoiling them. Besides, certain cookware needs different types of care and maintenance. So it’s wise to know the specific uses of them.
Although we’re going to talk about only stainless steel and ceramic cookware, let’s give you a little idea about other types of cookware too.
The most popular and commonest cookware in every household is probably the nonstick cookware. From bachelors to home cooks, nonstick is the ultimate savior to make the cooking hassle free.
No sticking and easy cleaning earned them the iconic fame that they have. We all know the secret behind the nonstick coating, the coating is made of Teflon. Teflon is a polymer of a certain organic compound discussing which we’re not going to bore you.
We use nonstick cookware for almost every cooking. Starting the day with a sunny side up egg or finishing the day with dinner, there is actually no food that we don’t cook using a nonstick pan. This type of cookware became so popular and helpful that the pots of certain appliances now come with a nonstick coating like a rice cooker or a slow cooker pot.
Despite its immense popularity, a lot of people said goodbye to using nonstick cookware due to health reasons. If you’re a health conscious person, you already know there are numerous allegations against nonstick cookware being toxic and carcinogenic for health.
Keeping the pan on high heat triggers the carcinogenic element to release and incorporate with the food, increasing the health risk. Besides, even the best quality nonstick pans don’t last that long. No matter how gently you handle it, the nonstick coating of most of the nonstick cookware gets spoiled.
Still, you can avoid the health risks by using the best quality nonstick cookware. So do not hesitate to continue using your favorite nonstick pan.
Cast Iron Cookware
The only cast iron cookware that everyone has is a cast iron skillet. There are other cast iron utensils, but this is the most popular one. Cast iron skillet is one of the best investments in your kitchen. Because, with proper maintenance, it lasts forever.
A cast iron skillet is a perfect choice for any cooking that needs high heat. This pan literally makes the best steak you will ever have. Besides, it’s the only thing you’ll ever going to need to make a skillet cookie.
You can even make a nonstick effect on a cast iron skillet! Oil it properly and smoke it at a high point. Nonstick cookware right at your some without any nonstick coating! It’s great if you have health concerns with nonstick pans too.
Just like the versatile use it has, a cast iron skillet is however, not suitable for those who don’t know how to take care of it. Your best investment will turn out to be a waste of money if you do not maintain your cast iron skillet properly. So if you’re a lazy cook, it would be right not to spend your money on a cast iron skillet.
Other than cast iron skillet, another great utensil that most of us have is a cast iron Dutch oven. This doesn’t have much problem like a cast iron skillet, so it’s safer to use. Even if you don’t have a slow cooker, use your Dutch oven! Check out our post on How to use Dutch oven as slow cooker to make more creative uses of your Dutch oven.
Copper cookware is the new nonstick cookware with more effective nonstick features and “no health concern”. You might be familiar with copper cookware with viral YouTube videos of slipping off every last bit of food from its surface. When we tried out some copper cookware, that was not the exact scenario. But we were pretty happy with the result.
Copper cookware is said to be longer lasting than Teflon coated cookware. We couldn’t reach to a verdict yet, but copper cookware does seem pretty long-lasting. Although we still have to handle the cookware gently and delicately like a Teflon coated one.
The only problem with copper cookware is, they are super expensive. Buying a set of copper cookware may cost you a fortune if you’re not a generous shopper. But the service is quite excellent we must say.
Anyways, enough about the other cookware, these three types of cookware actually don’t hold a candle to classic stainless and ceramic cookware. Stainless steel being all-purpose and ceramic being the best alternative of nonstick? The game is on!
Ceramic Vs Stainless Steel Cookware: Our Favorite
Although these two are different in material and feature, both of them are excellent for versatile cooking options. They have certain pros and cons that makes them different from one another. We will discuss certain parameters to help you choose the most suitable one for you.
So let’s dig in—
Variety Of Utensils
As you know, stainless steel cookware has a wide range of utensils to offer. From a mere frying pan to a stovetop pressure cooker, stainless steel cookware is everywhere! Pots, frying pans, woks, pressure cookers, saucepans, stock pots, stainless steel cookware includes literally every kitchen utensils. Ever looking for the most long lasting utensils, stainless steel is right there for you.
On the other hand, ceramic cookware are confined to cooking pots and pans. Most of the ceramic cookware sets contain 5-6 utensils. Mostly frying pans, sauce pans, and cooking pots, they are still enough to run a solid kitchen.
Naturally, all the stainless steel cookware is made of stainless steel. Some parts like the handle or lids may be made of other materials, but the main body is always made of stainless steel.
Some handle may contain non conductive or wooden material for easy holding. Also, most of the lids are glass lids with non conductive holder. Other than that, the material is meant to be long lasting. It will never form a rust or never get broken, solid material is all we are talking about.
On the contrary, ceramic cookware, or more specifically ceramic coated cookware has a different material. It’s not made of ceramic all the way, just the outer coating is ceramic based. The actual utensils are made with mostly iron or stainless steel. This makes a huge difference in its durability and use.
The handles are always made of non-conductive material to let you hold the pot even if it’s hot. These utensils come with glass lids too. So, on that they’re similar.
Types Of Cooking
The cooking types certainly an important parameter of this comparison. Because these two types are different in heat stability, heat retention, and more importantly, the delicacy of the food.
First of all, given what their materials are, it’s obvious stainless steel has better heat conductivity and stability. That means it can cook really fast and doesn’t take a long time to heat up. You can lift up the heat as high as you want. So it is perfect for any type of cooking that requires low to high cooking range. Like for stir fry or sauté, stainless steel is the right choice.
Stainless steel cookware is suitable for other cooking styles too. For example braising, searing, boiling, poaching, etc. This cookware is actually great for making steaks or even grilling too. You need a high heat cooking, then stainless steel is your friend.
You can even use a stainless steel pot anywhere you want. No matter it’s stovetop, oven or even broiler, stainless steel should be your ultimate choice.
One thing that the stainless steel cookware isn’t good at is heat retention. As the material is a strong heat conductor, it cannot hold heat to the utensil. So any time you’re making mashed potatoes or pasta, stainless steel is not the ideal choice.
Ceramic Coated Cookware
Unlike the stainless steel cookware, the ceramic one is great for heat retention, but not for conducting heat. Because of its material, you can not use the utensil on a high flame. Otherwise, the ceramic coating will get destroyed. Besides, a ceramic cookware isn’t good either for heat conductance. So, it takes a long time to heat them up and get the right temperature to start cooking.
Despite having a poor heating performance, the coating and heat retention made it great for certain types of cooking. You can’t cook anything delicate in a stainless steel pan, but you can do so in a ceramic coated pan. Like making a pancake or cooking a sunny side up cake, ceramic cookware definitely has its own perks of having a nonstick coating.
Despite not providing the best outcome, you can definitely use a ceramic pan for sauteing or braising or any other cooking styles we mentioned earlier. But to get the optimum result, we would still prefer a stainless steel pan.
Another plus point of using ceramic cookware is its amazing heat retention feature. So any time you’re making pasta or spaghetti, your ceramic pan won’t let it become cold. Besides its amazing for making a grilled cheese sandwich or any grilled sandwiches you like.
A ceramic cookware is, however, not suitable for using in oven or broiler. You should only use it on the stovetop. So this is kind of a drawback for such beautiful looking cookware like them. Overall, both of them are actually excellent for any type of cooking.
Nonstick performance is the parameter where the ceramic cookware is a winner. Stainless steel cookware doesn’t come with any nonstick coating. So some food tends to stick a lot to it, like eggs or pancakes.
The ceramic coating on ceramic cookware actually acts as a nonstick coating. So you can use it like any nonstick cookware. Making crepes or pot stickers are no longer difficult to flip and take out! Nonstick coating also makes it way easier to wash and reuse the pot.
Although not having nonstick is sometimes a blessing. When you’re braising or searing something, the burnt bits actually add more flavor to the recipe. So it makes your food even better. And obviously, not having any sort of coating lets you heat the pan up real high. So you don’t have to lose everything at all.
One of the major points of their differences is their maintenance. Obviously, ceramic coated ones are easier to clean than stainless steel ones. You even do not need to soak the utensil. Just use some soft sponge with dish soap and everything is cleaned!
Even though, ceramic cookware is quite a high maintenance product. Because the ceramic coating is quite delicate. So you really need to make sure it doesn’t lose the coating. You shouldn’t use on too much high flame. Also, you shouldn’t use any harsh spatula or spoons. Only use wooden or silicone spatula to protect the coating from any damage. Do not use a dishwasher to clean the cookware, only hand wash them.
Although washing stainless steel cookware is not easy, they will get better marks in maintenance. Because everyone knows stainless steel cookware requires literally zero maintenance. You do not have to use it carefully nor treat it delicately. It will form no rust, you can use it any way you want to use. Throw it in the dishwasher or hand wash it, a stainless steel pot is meant to serve you for a long time.
We kind of discussed how long lasting a stainless steel cookware is. You can literally use it forever without any damage. Although the bottom gets thin upon long term use, you can still use it for making sauces or stocks. If you buy heavy bottom cookware, you’ll not have to worry about that either. Stainless steel doesn’t suffer from rust like a cast iron cookware. So you do not have to worry about that. Use it any way you want, and leave the utensil even to your next generation.
Ceramic coated cookware, however, isn’t as durable as stainless steel ones. You can use it for a long time, but the ceramic coating gets washed away over time. After a certain period of time, a ceramic coated cookware becomes unusable. So, considering the durability, stainless steel gets the point.
The price range is another great thing to consider. Because these two types of cookware have a huge gap in the price range. Ceramic cookware is quite expensive compared to stainless steel ones. But that doesn’t make it a deal breaker! Considering its service and facilities, ceramic cooker has quite a neck to neck impression like a stainless steel one.
Although stainless steel cookware isn’t cheap either, a set of good quality stainless steel cookware can cost you a good amount. But considering all its aspects, they’re totally worth every penny!
Considering all the parameters and aspects of both of these cookware, stainless steel is a clear favorite to us! We can’t get over how versatile and durable they are. It’s a value for money too. But ceramic cookware is actually perfect for you no matter how inexpert you are.
If you do not want a lot of hassle in your cooking, you should choose ceramic cookware. You do not want your food to stick again and again to the pan, you should choose ceramic cookware. If you aren’t a cooking expert, ceramic cookware is a definite choice! Because not everyone can cook in stainless steel cooker. So ceramic cookware is an excellent choice too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ceramic cookware doesn’t contain any traces of Teflon or any toxic chemical. So yeah, you can be tension free about using ceramic cookware.
Ceramic is definitely better than Teflon, it doesn’t get damaged easily and doesn’t have any health hazard or anything that be potentially threatening for health.
Ceramic cookware doesn’t contain any toxic chemical element. So ceramic cookware isn’t actually toxic.
Ceramic cookware is dishwasher safe. But it’s actually better to hand wash it.
You should always hand wash ceramic coated pan to avoid any potential damage of the coating. Use a soft sponge and liquid dish soap to wash the cookware.
So there goes our in depth discussion on ceramic steel vs stainless steel cookware. We hope this article helped you to make a suitable choice for you. If you have any questions about cookware, leave us a comment! We would be glad to get back to you with answers. Until then, happy cooking!