Are ceramic cookware worth the investment?
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We love the look of beautiful ceramic cookware (hello Instagram-ready dishes), but how do these pots and pans perform in the kitchen? We tried them out and can give you the scoop!
For serious cooks, choosing the right cookware can be a tough decision. You want the set you choose to be versatile enough to allow you to prepare quick dinners on weeknights, relaxed brunches on weekends and everything in between. The right set should also be durable, fit your cooking style and have a long life. That’s a tall order!
After doing some research, I decided to ditch my aluminum cookware and switch to ceramic. Specifically, I tried these great pots and pans from Caraway Home.
What is Ceramic Cookware?
Ceramic cookware is metal cookware with a ceramic coating. It is this coating that distinguishes these pans from their stainless steel, aluminum and other non-stick cousins. The ceramic finish on these pans is free of PTFE and PFO (commonly known as Teflon) as well as heavy metals. The mineral coating on ceramic pans is naturally smooth, so your food won’t stick.
This coating also distributes heat evenly across the cooking surface, ensuring that food cooks evenly whether it’s in the center or on the edges of the pan.
Why Caraway Home Cookware?
What made the Caraway set so appealing to me is that the company offers a streamlined cookware set: a Dutch oven, sauté pan, casserole and frying pan with matching lids. Although I’m a serious cook – I cook almost every day – I don’t have a large kitchen. Narrowing my kitchen utensils down to these essentials has been pretty interesting.
To keep kitchen utensils organized, Caraway includes a pot rack and a storage solution for your lids. Everything fits on one shelf in a space that is less than 17 inches. This can give you more space in your cabinet or just more room for pretty pots and pans.
Plus, Caraway’s line of cookware is oven safe up to 550ºF, which means pots and pans can easily go from the stovetop (you can use them on electric, gas or induction burners) to the oven to finish a dish. This heat resistance is reassuring to me, as most other non-stick cookware is only safe up to about 400ºF.
And how can I forget a major appeal of this particular brand: the colors. Yes, performance comes first, but if I can find a good product and it looks good, I’m sold. Caraway offers its cookware in sage green, navy blue, cream, light gray and a pink shade called Perracotta.
How Does It Work?
After opening my new cookware, I decided to put it straight to work preparing dinner for the evening. Using an abundance of fresh garden vegetables, I made a quick curry accompanied by coconut rice.
Even with the best non-stick pans, rice, especially coconut glutinous rice, tends to stick to the pan. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rewashed my old pan after finding rice residue on the bottom (an embarrassing amount). But after letting this ceramic pan cool, I washed it with hot soapy water and let it dry. To my surprise and delight, it was spotless. As for the turmeric curry, a spice that tends to stain hands and dish towels, the leftovers slid out of the pan into a lunch box – no yellow stains to be found.
Later in the week, I made pork and ginger lettuce cups. The large saute pan heated up quickly (much faster than my cast iron skillet) and evenly to brown the pork. The skillet could easily accommodate a double batch of this fresh, easy dinner – maybe even a triple batch if I had a lot of mouths to feed.
I admit that after munching on these dishes all evening, I was worried about cleaning up the hoisin sauce that so often lingers in the molds. Just like the other dishes I made, cleaning these ceramic pans was a breeze.
I’ve only had these pans for a short time, but they are a pleasure to use. They perform well, clean up easily and look great on the table. Having pans that double as serving utensils is a big plus for me: less dishes to wash!
A few other considerations about ceramics
A few things to consider before deciding to buy ceramic cookware:
- Hand washing is recommended: Don’t put these cookware in the dishwasher to make them last a long time. The good news is that the non-stick effect of ceramic cookware makes it very easy to clean. While you’re at it, avoid abrasive products. A sponge or cloth will do.
- No metal cookware: If you’re used to cooking with other non-stick cookware, you’ll be familiar with this tip. To avoid scratching the ceramic coating, use wooden, nylon or silicone utensils.
- Let it cool: While it may be tempting to throw a hot pan in the sink after a meal, it’s best to let ceramic cookware cool before throwing it in the sink. Sudden temperature changes can affect the durability of any cookware, not just ceramic. This is the same reason you need to be careful with extreme temperatures and your Pyrex dishes.
- Price: Ceramic cookware is more expensive than basic aluminum cookware. Buying a set is an investment, but it’s worth it for serious cooks.
So, should you buy ceramic cookware?
If, like me, you’re in the market for new cookware, take a look at ceramic coated cookware. These pots and pans are exceptional quality: They heat up quickly, distribute heat evenly, are versatile (from stovetop to oven) and are easy to clean. These are important considerations when buying new cookware.
Sure, washing dishes by hand is a chore that many would rather avoid, but for me, the extra effort is worth the performance in this case. For now, I’m looking forward to all the great dinners I’ll be cooking and the beauty of the dishes served in these pink pans.