Ceramic vs Teflon Frying Pans – What You Need To Know!

Are you looking to buy the best non stick pan for yourself? Are you confused about the different frying pan materials? If your answer to these questions is in the affirmative, you must continue reading this article. Here, we will discuss the difference between the two non-stick cookware materials – Ceramic vs Teflon Frying Pans

The Popularity of the Materials

If you have been shopping for cookware for some time, you’ll know that ceramic cookware is relatively new. When ceramic cookware was introduced in the early 2000s, there was a lot of debate about the products. The materials were more or less shunned. 

However, as people started using the products, they realized that ceramic cookware is here to stay.

PTFE or Teflon was the pioneer of non-stick cookware. Teflon gained fame as the king of cooking materials, and the reasons for that are many. There is no doubt that Teflon cookware has been around for a while as it is not going anywhere.

Are ceramic fry pans better than Teflon?

Ceramic frying pans and Teflon frying pans are both great to use. Remember to buy it from a reliable manufacturer and use them with care. Both ceramic fry pans and teflon frying pans has the same problem, both of them are not as durable as other materials.

Ceramic Frying Pan

Color frying pan isolated on white background
Color frying pan isolated on white background
By Michal Dzierzynski

Ceramic has been around in the market lately because it is considered one of the most environmentally-sound cookware materials. It is also known to be one of the safest materials out there. When you look for ceramic frying pans, you will find two further variants that are discussed below. 

100% Ceramic cookware

This is not the most popular variant of cookware that you can find in the market. However, it is a well-liked product by the people who actually use it. 100% ceramic pans are made of a mixture of quartz, minerals. Naturally, all of these materials are made to be completely free of chemicals. 

Ceramic is considered to be a healthier option over Teflon because the material does not contain PFOA. However, with the material composition, you can view a ceramic frying pan as a clay frying pan with a natural glaze of ceramic materials.

Ceramic Coated Pans

As mentioned earlier, 100% of ceramic pans are not readily available in the market. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, ceramic pans are not entirely made of ceramic materials. When you buy a ceramic coated frying pan, you get a pan made of either aluminum or steel base with a thick ceramic coating over it. 

This ceramic coating is so thick that you will hardly know that the steel or aluminum base exists. The hick non-stick layer of ceramic is made of several variants of mineral-based blends. The biggest reason why 100% of ceramic pans are not as favored as ceramic coated pans is that ceramic is not a great conductor of heat. However, ceramic does retain heat perfectly.

Teflon Frying Pans

Old Heavy Duty Teflon Frying Pan Isolated On White Background
Old Heavy Duty Teflon Frying Pan Isolated On White Background
By Berka7

Teflon is merely a brand name for a non-stick coating that is put on cooking ware. This coating is made of a chemical called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This chemical coating gained prominence in the 1930s is a non-stick, non-reactive surface ideal for cooking purposes. 

The coating is called Teflon because it is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene. The strong carbon-fluorine bonds make Teflon extremely reactive. Therefore, it was initially used to add strength to the skillet and pans. However, over time, makers realized that the coating is also non-stick when all companies started going berserk over coating their pans with Teflon. 

The reason why people had started looking for Teflon was the safety concerns that come with the products. If exposed to high temperatures up to 500o F, PFTE tends to release toxic fumes. The Environmental Protection Agency reckons that these fumes are a carcinogen, hazardous for the environment and the human body. 

There are two variants of Teflon material that require discussion.

Stainless Steel Pans with Teflon

Stainless steel cookware with Teflon coating is extremely popular for its reliability and durability. These pans are generally made of metals such as nickel, molybdenum, and chromium, along with steel. These pans are meant to be used by professionals due to their longer lifespan. However, it is important not to scrape off the Teflon coating with abrasive cleaners.

Hand-Anodized Pans with Teflon  

Most hand-anodized pans with a Teflon layering on top of them are preferred to be used in households. These pans are non-reactive and have excellent heat conduction. They are also lightweight and thin, which makes them easy to store. 

Ceramic vs Teflon Frying Pans – What’s the difference?

Ceramic vs Teflon Frying Pans

In the previous sections, you have gone through an overview of both of the non-stick cookware materials. However, the purpose of the article is to show you the key differences between the two. Given below are some criteria that are important to be considered while comparing the two materials.

Non-Stick Capabilities

Both Ceramic and Teflon are non-stick materials, which is why they are popular in the market. Therefore, it is vital to check how their non-stick capabilities compare to each other. 

Both the surfaces allow you to cook food without having to use too much oil in the pan. Sue to the excellent non-stick capabilities of both the materials, you do not have to worry about your food sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Some people, however, believe that ceramic fry pans have better non stick capabilities. However, the number of coatings plays a significant role in this distinction. That is because ceramic is weak, and it comes off if only a few layers of the material are used. 

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Ceramic vs Teflon Frying Pans – Safety

The most significant distinction between ceramic and Teflon pans is the safety you can achieve with the two materials. Is ceramic non-stick cookware safe? Ever since Ceramic pans have come into the market, people have started reacting negatively towards the off-gassing that PFOA containing Teflon emits. 

The problem is that not only do PFOA fumes damage the environment, but they might also contaminate your food. To avoid this problem, many manufacturers have stopped adding PFOA in their Teflon coating. However, the strength of the material has been compromised.

The problem with Ceramic cookware is that it is believed to have lead or cadmium content. However, most US-based manufacturers use lead-free materials. However, if you are using a 100% ceramic pan, a cheap quality ceramic pan, or a chipped ceramic pan, you must be extra vigilant. Any of these scenarios can lead to lead or cadmium to seep into your food.

While both the materials have their own safety issues, lead-free ceramic is the same as ceramic made with lead. Therefore, it might have an advantage over Teflon. However, that is true only if the frying pan is bought from a high-end, reliable source. 

There are legitimate safety concerns with some nonstick coatings and other types of cookware available on the market. You can visit the website of the Cookware Manufacturers Association to learn more about latest advances in manufacturing, retailing, distribution and materials.

Price

The pricing of each product depends on various factors such as brand, size, and make, to name a few. However, on a general note, Teflon frying pans are cheaper than Ceramic frying pans. The easy availability of the chemical allows manufacturers to produce in bulk. Bulk production is always beneficial to reduce the price of the products.

Ceramic vs Teflon frying pans – Durability

Durability plays an essential role in determining the cost-efficiency of the product involved. The durability of non-stick cookware is always a big question as compared to cast iron or other materials. When comparing Teflon products’ durability with ceramic products, we would discuss the non-stick products’ properties.

The exact lifespan of non-stick cookware depends on how you use them and how thick the layering is. However, the basic lifespan of both the coatings is almost the same. Both the layers can generally stay for no more than 3-5 years. You can increase the lifespan of products by using soft spatulas and cleaners to maintain the pans.

Ease to Use

The ease of use generally has nothing to do with the type of material used to make the frying pan. Other than the utensil’s weight, there’s nothing the material attributes that can change the product’s usability. However, when comparing ceramic frying pans over Teflon frying pans, there is a significant distinction to be noticed. 

Ceramic non stick pans do not come with a magnetic base. Therefore, they cannot be used on induction stoves. Teflon frying pans, on the other hand, come ready with a magnetic base. They are the go-to product if you enjoy cooking on an induction stove. 

Heat Retention

As mentioned above, ceramic is not a good conductor of heat. However, it has excellent heat-retention properties. Therefore, you can continue cooking in a ceramic frying pan for about 2-3 minutes even after you shut off the heat source. This is a convenient property that helps in saving gas and keeping food warm for a more extended period.

Final Verdict

Ceramic vs Teflon frying pans: 

Most of the above criteria prove that both ceramic frying pans and Teflon frying pans are great to use. If you buy your non-stick frying pan from a reliable manufacturer and use the frying pans with care. 

Not sure wih one to buy? Here’s the list of the best ceramic fry pan

The major problem with non-stick cookware is prevalent with both the materials. Both ceramic and Teflon are not as durable as other materials. However, you can use them for a long time, depending on how well you care for them. Cooking on a low-heat in non-stick cookware will surely help you reduce oil consumption without contaminating your food.