Do you have the kitchen tools you need to make food that’s delicious, and most importantly, safe?
Making an informed decision between ceramic vs stainless steel or Teflon can not only help you enjoy your cooking more and make tasty food, it can also help you make sure your meals are healthy and natural.
So read on and find out which cookware is safest for your family!
Ceramic vs Stainless Steel vs Nonstick Teflon
Teflon focuses on convenience, while stainless steel is all about durability and versatility. In some ways, ceramic is a middle ground option, with some of the advantages of the others.
Teflon pans helped revolutionize cooking with their oh-so-convenient nonstick surfaces.
Unfortunately, while Teflon is safe to use at low to medium temperatures, at temperatures of over 570 degrees Fahrenheit, they can start to emit toxic fumes! Many of us are used to cooking at high temperatures, so using Teflon means either ending up with the Teflon flu, or learning a new style of cooking.
Of course, if you’re used to keeping your cooking temperatures low, then Teflon can still be a great choice. Its nonstick surface makes it easy to cook with and easy to clean.
Other pans can require the use of lots of unhealthy oil to keep food from sticking, but with Teflon, you have the freedom to use only as much oil as you think will make the healthiest and most delicious meal.
To keep your Teflon pan working, you’ll have to make sure not to use rough metal utensils on its nonstick surface. However, no matter how careful you are, you’ll still need to replace a Teflon pan every few years.
If you’re cooking an especially sensitive food like fish or eggs, then Teflon can be your best friend. Just keep the temperature on low to medium!
Is stainless steel nonstick? No. But in a stainless steel vs nonstick comparison, stainless steel wins in almost every other way!
Stainless steel is used by professional chefs because of its versatility and durability. So many options open up when you don’t have to tiptoe around a fragile cooking pan!
Stainless steel is less fragile than nonstick pans, so you can use metal utensils on it, not just wood or plastic. If your stainless steel pan has a stainless steel handle, then you can put the whole pan right into the oven, great for cooking breads or cakes!
Stainless steel pans can take as much heat as any chef might need and stay non-reactive, meaning your food won’t pick up metallic flavors or toxic chemicals.
A stainless steel pan is also miles more durable than nonstick alternatives. Buy a good stainless steel set and you can use it for decades! That’s so much better than having to buy 10 new cookware sets over 20 years of cooking.
Many pans, whether steel or nonstick will conduct heat unevenly, leading to burned spots on your food. But a quality stainless steel pan has superior heat transfer, making sure you can produce well and evenly cooked food for decades.
On the other hand, you may need to use a little more cooking oil than you might be used to keep your food from sticking to your stainless steel.
Also, since stainless steel isn’t non stick, it can be a little harder to clean. But with a few specialized cleaning tips just for stainless steel, you can learn how to keep your stainless steel gleaming with a minimum of hassle and time.
You can soak a stainless steel pan in water to help ease the cooking process, not something you could do with a cast iron pan. If you have to, stainless steel pans are also perfectly safe to throw into the dishwasher.
Their superior durability means you can go all out scrubbing a stainless steel item clean. And for especially tough jobs, Bar Keepers Friend is a natural and powerful cleaning tool for stainless steel.
Ceramic cookware is becoming more and more popular as a reaction to some of the weaknesses of Teflon and stainless steel.
A professional chef might have the training to know how to get anything they want out of a stainless steel option, but some of us just need something convenient and easy. Ceramic provides the convenience of a nonstick surface, without the dangers of toxic fumes that Teflon produces at high temperatures.
Some food items are even cooked best on a non stick surface, no matter how good you are with stainless steel. Omelets and crepes can require a delicate touch and are so much easier to cook on ceramic.
You still can’t use high temperatures with ceramic pans, but not because it’s not safe. The glazing of the ceramic coating occurs at high temperatures, so it’s important to avoid those same high temperatures to avoid undoing the glazing.
Ceramic coatings work fine up to medium-high stovetop settings, but you may still need a more robust stainless steel option for cooking foods that require a high heat setting.
While ceramic pans provide the nonstick benefits of Teflon without the toxic fumes, their coatings do often have unhealthy chemicals like lead and cadmium. While a well-made ceramic pan is still safe to use, Green Life pots and pans and others include fine ceramic options that contain no lead or cadmium, so you can enjoy a ceramic frying pan that’s nonstick and nontoxic.
If you look at the durability of stainless steel vs nonstick ceramic, you’ll find that ceramic pans don’t last nearly as long, so you’ll need to replace them every couple of years or so.
Your Tools of Cooking Creation
Choosing between ceramic vs stainless steel is just one among many judgment calls you’ll have to make as you outfit your kitchen with your own unique set of tools. Check out my other cooking tips as well as articles about travel and homemaking!