Ceramic Cookware Suggestions

Hello Everyone,

Does anyone here have experience with ceramic cookware? I’m by no means a professional, just looking for something decent for my family that isn’t toxic.

I’ve been seeing Caraway ads and read a positive review on them but just wondering what other people think.

Thank you!

Hmm. I had to look that up. We have a good bit of ceramic bakeware but not pots and pans, beyond a Dutch oven.

When my wife and I merged households about 14 years ago we found we both had the same brand and vintage of cookware (stainless steel Farberware) and bakeware (white Corningware). We have other bits and pieces (a couple of Swiss Diamond covered sautes that are our most used pans, some Lodge cast iron, and quite old Pyrex oven-safe glassware come to mind). We only recently bought an enamel coated cast iron Dutch oven (fundamentally ceramic) that we are quite pleased with. I suspect our overlap is due to having made solid acquisitions at the same general time with the same general economic circumstances.

I did some poking around. This discussion seems credible:

This also:

Mechanically, ceramic cookware appears to be as subject to scratches from metal utensils as Teflon coated cookware.

A different set of Google searches that presuppose cooking surfaces are NOT safe provided a lot of results, but none with any credibility, not even lay credibility. Food Babe sort of conspiracy theories.

As I said, we’re quite happen with our enamel/ceramic Dutch oven. I can’t say it is any easier to clean than our stainless steel pots and pans. The Swiss Diamond pans (which are non-stick but not Teflon) are easiest to clean of anything we have.

I note that the Caraway pans cost about twice as much as today’s Farberware sets.

I’ll move my IR thermometer from my tool bag to the kitchen and try to remember to check pan temperatures regularly. Absent that, I think that concerns over toxicity of cookware coatings are not well founded. I’ve set up a recurring search in scholar.google.com to look for credible research.

ETA: First round of scholar.google.com results. Ceramic cookware made in Mexico, China, and some European companies have been found to contain lead despite marketing statements to the contrary. Cite: CMAJ.

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Ceramic v nonstick like Teflon are pretty much the same in terms of performance, safety, and durability with Teflon having a slight edge. US ceramic and new Teflon are both safe. It boils down to your preference.

That’s my opinion.

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You make it so much simpler than I. grin I did have footnotes. big grin

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Okay. Enter the luddite. Been cooking since fire was discovered. Have used aluminum, cast iron, Corning, crappy stainless, All-Clad, many incarnations of teflon.

Question: what is the advantage of supposed non-stick? I can count on one hand the times I have actually fried an egg without any emollient/fat. I just don’t get the point of extraordinarily difficult to care for non-stick that cook better with a bit of oil or butter. Taste is better, cooking process certainly less complicated with some fat. Very late in life, I have learned that if I have a pan that has accumulated a cooked on gunk, I just give it a squirt of detergent, splash of water and let it sleep overnight. Washes like a juice glass in the morning. Just my take…

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I do like non-stick for eggs and home fries/hash browns. I buy Costco grade for them, and replace when needed. I won’t make a pricey investment on the stuff.

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Bless you. Someone must stick up for when new technology is not in fact demonstrably better than old.

However I do find some variety of non-stick is generally easier even with a fat. We rarely use our two stainless steel pans. We have some cast iron but my wife dislikes the weight. Our go-to pans for day to day are the two 12" Swiss Diamond pans (whatever their composition, not Teflon) and a big 16" aluminum Teflon pan for big stir fries. As you say, the fat is as much for taste as lubrication so it must go in anyway.

In our case we have a family disagreement about soaking pans. My wife prefers them stacked in the sink which I find awkward as it blocks the sink. I prefer soaking them on the counter adjacent to the sink which my wife doesn’t like. Soaking is therefore the exception rather than the rule.

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I move them to the stove where they are out of the way until morning. We seldom have a cooked breakfast in town, and with 6 burners there’s room for all.
I do have a half dozen non-stick pans that I use with fat, and one that I have let “season” with at least an 1/8th inch of ??? whatever makes up seasoning! It looks terrible but cooks amazingly.

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What’s Costco grade? Between Wally world grade and Professional grade?
:wink:

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Just a facile way to explain 3 non stick pans for about $20, lol. They’ve got some substance to them, but not the cheapest of the cheaps @bbqboy.

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Fellow Luddite here. You have company! I’m even more Luddite-y as I don’t do non-stick at all.

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Didn’t occur to me when @pilgrim first posted but now: an ironic discussion of being a Luddite on an Internet forum. The mind reels. grin

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You guys are a real life insurance ad.

My grandfather stopped moonlighting at 88. He worked full time until about 91. My father is now 91 and still working, white collar (unlike grandpa). I’m 61 and think I have another easy twenty years in me, perhaps forty. So yep, we’re money makers for the life insurance industry.

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Working or living…both? I haven’t a clue on my life expectancy but as for working I doubt I’ll ever stop. I might slow down a bit but can’t imagine stopping. Surely once I did I’d be pushing up daisies the next day.

Working and living. I’m going to have to transition back to something less physically demanding at some point. Genes are pretty good in my family and we all tend to work until near death. Causation is not clear. Stopping work may indeed induce death.

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Three years ago I sold a business that was far more work and stress than it was worth. Today I only work my other company and it’s a walk in the park. There’s very little distinction between work and my private life. It’s a rather perfect balance which has me saying I doubt I’ll ever stop. They are me and I am them.

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I set up a Google Scholar search about Teflon and other non-stick materials when this thread was active. I get an email every day with a handful of new things on the Internet that have some scholarly component. Most have been graduate theses and dissertations. This is interesting for two reasons. First, most are launched with the preconceived expectation that Teflon et al are bad for you and will make you sick, so conclusions to the contrary means author(s) have changed positions. Second, they have a ton of underlying footnotes to other often more rigorous studies.

What I’ve learned is that eating Teflon flakes from deteriorating cookware has not been shown to have any adverse affect. What does have health affects is sustained high heat leading to outgassing. In principal over 500F, but only consistently demonstrated for heat above 730F for sustained periods in excess of four hours. The resulting syndrome is referred to as “Teflon flu” and has similarly symptoms as the flu.

Please note that I generally scanned Introductions and Conclusions and looked up a handful of footnotes with interesting titles from each study.

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@Auspicious A whippersnapper! ( JK! I looked it up and you may be young, but not inexperienced! grin

I am not opposed to working, but I am about to stop doing it for money! Not sure if it’s genetics, but the actuaries already have me counting down. I am not going out lamenting. I remember that word among my mother’s last.

Life can be short, I like a few nonstick for omelets, and I don’t soak my steel pans.

I also love my greenpan. I don’t see mine in this link. I’ve had it forever.

It’s beat up, but I use it almost every day.


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