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Which Cookware Will Fit Your Kitchen Needs: Ceramic vs. Hard Anodized?

Cookware Advice

Moms, dads, and professional chefs know that using the right cookware can make a real difference in food preparation.

Today it is easy to get confused by the overwhelming amount of information and opinions online when you are trying to find the best cookware for your kitchen. Some say it is better to use ceramic cookware while others prefer hard anodized cookware as their top pick.

I am keeping the focus of this post to help you make an informed choice on ceramic vs hard anodized cookware.

Both have their merits and demerits and depending on whether you prefer hard anodized or ceramic cookware or vice-versa both should serve you well over a period of time.

CERAMIC COOKWARE

ceramic vs hard anodized

Ceramic cookware refers to pots and pans made from clay and fired in a kiln. They have a hard glaze finish that protects the cookware.

This kind of cookware is popular among chefs and different cultures have been using it for about 10,000 years. There are actually several different types of ceramic cookware.

You will see sauce pots, skillets, and pans that are versatile for any type of cooking. Nonstick ceramic cookware was introduced in 1940. It was also referred to as Teflon-coated nonstick cookware.

The cookware industry has innovated over the years and is more common in homes across the world. In fact, you can see nonstick ceramic pans all over the world, making it one of the most common types of cookware.

PROS

CONS

  • People love ceramic cookware because it helps save energy by reducing the amount of time you have to spend cooking.
  • It takes less time to make your special dish in a ceramic pot compared to using a stainless steel pot.
  • As mentioned above, ceramic cookware is versatile and is suitable for many kinds of stove-tops.
  • Ceramic cookware is also safe for microwave ovens, toaster ovens, and outdoor grills.
  • Because this kind of cookware is made without lead, aluminum, copper, or cadmium, it enhances the taste of herbs and spices giving a superior taste to the dish.
  • Teflon nonstick ceramic cookware is also famous for its durability. Use it with silicone or wooden utensils so that the pans and pots won’t scratch.
  • Most of the disadvantages of ceramic cookware apply only to the nonstick variety. 
  • Most professional chefs do not recommend it since it contains PFOA and gets scratched easily.
  • Avoid using metal utensils or baking at temperatures exceeding 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • On the other hand, if it is your first time using traditional ceramic cookware, the most inconvenience would be your food sticking to the pans.

7 COOKING BENEFITS THAT ARE SPECIFIC TO CERAMIC COOKWARE 

LEACHING

These cookwares does not leach trace metals or dangerous chemicals from the cooking surface to the food and hence there is no affect on flavor or health.

CHEMICAL COATING

There is no coating of any toxic or harsh chemical coating into the food.

ENDURANCE

​Ceramic cookwares endure temperatures as high as 2500 plus degrees fahrenheit.

CONFUSION WITH POTTERY​

  • ​Some people confuse pottery with ceramic.
  • Pottery tends to be brittle and weak and is used mostly for decorative purposes.
  • Sometimes imported pottery may contain lead and this can leach into the food on heating.

COOKING AND BAKING BENEFITS

  • You can save time and energy with ceramic cookware. Although it takes a little longer to heat up for even cooking, its heat retention is longer and more efficient.
  • This can also be a factor in your buying decision.
  • While pure ceramic cookware is more expensive than ceramic glazed or coated cookware, what you gain health-wise may outdo the immediate pain of the price.​
  • They can endure cleaning from a steel wool pad as these pots and pans are quite tough.

CLEANING CERAMIC COOKWARE

  • These cookware can be cleaned easily and because they are nearly non-stick you should not have issues with burnt food mess.
  • Ceramic cookware cleaning can be done by hand or dishwasher. Check the manufacturers instruction on dishwashers to be on the safe side.​

RESISTANCE TO CRACKING

  • Cookware made from ceramic are cracking resistant and consequently they give an enormous advantage over glass cookware or bakewares.
  • In fact, you can use a high quality one on glass or gas stovetops, ovens or under a broiler.
  • A lot of people find this type of cookware attractive as well.

HARD ANODIZED COOKWARE

hard anodized vs ceramic cookware

Nonstick cookware was associated with health risks. As a response, hard anodized cookware was developed in 1968. These pans and stockpots are 100% PFOA-free and scratch resistant unlike the first version of nonstick ceramic cookware.

This cookware is made using light or medium-weight hydroelectrically treated aluminum  It also has a layer of oxidation to give nonstick consistency.

WHAT IS HARD ANODIZING ?

hard anodized aluminium cookware

  1. Hard anodizing is an electro-chemical process where aluminium is hardened (hard anodized aluminum is 30% harder than stainless steel).
  2. During this hard anodization process, aluminum is submerged in an acid bath, after which it is subjected to electrical charges.
  3. This creates a chemical reaction in which the surface of the aluminum combines with oxygen to become aluminum oxide.
  4. This reaction is also referred to as asoxidation.

HOW DOES THIS HARD ANODIZING HELP ?

DURABILITY AND RESISTANCE TO CORROSION

hard anodization of aluminium

  1. Hard anodized surfaces are durable and resistant to corrosion or abrasion.
  2. In fact a hard anodized pan is one of the most durable pan you can buy and will last a long time.

OTHER APPLICATIONS

  1. These surfaces are also resistant to chipping or peeling.
  2. Did you know that anodized aluminium is used in satellites to protect them from wear and tear in space as well as for coolers or grills in the food industry?

CHEMICAL STABILITY

non toxic anodized aluminium

  1. Anodized aluminium is not toxic and does not decompose.
  2. Elevated levels of heat do not damage the anodized finish due to their high melting point (1221 degrees fahrenheit).

NON POROUS

nonstick anodized aluminium cookware

  1. Hard anodizing tends to make cookware surfaces smooth to the point where they almost become non-porous.
  2. Note that pores are the reason food typically sticks more to metal cookware.

PROS

CONS

Hard anodized cookware can also be used for very high temperatures without releasing fumes which could be toxic.

Recent innovations have also made the handles more comfortable to grip so you can move pots and pans around even when they are hot.

This cookware can also withstand oven temperature as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit.



The prices of these sets are higher compared to traditional cookware since hard anodized cookware has to go through the anodizing process

Another thing is the potential health concerns. Although most brands in the market will say that they are safe and PFOA-free, the protective layer locking in the aluminum does not last forever.

The risk of aluminum contaminating the food you cook is somewhat negligible, yet some consumers still prefer not to buy them.

Both types of cookware have their own distinct features that can make cooking more exciting and easy. Choose ceramic cookware, if you prefer the traditional way and choose hard anodized if you want more convenience and safety. 

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