Does ceramic non-stick cookware “fail”, and if so, how


I've heard of pans with ceramic non-stick surfaces; it seems some reports on internet say they may "fail" in about 6 months.

How can these pans "fail"? Do ceramic-coated pans require non-stick-friendly devices?

Normal nonstick surfaces fail by getting scratched, having spray-on butter encrusted into it, and if damaged could release toxic coating. Do ceramic non-stick surfaces have a similar problem?

Best Answer

I have a ceramic-coated pan too, and always treated it with care (plastic utensils, no overheating, etc.) It failed too, after some time (I think I've had it for 9 months now, and used frequently).

Unlike a failed Teflon pan, it does not look or feel any different. But while at the beginning it was superslick, with everything gliding right off it in a fluid motion, now it is only moderately non-stick. I can still use it as normal, including for such problematic cases as omelets. But if I fry without fat, I need a spatula to dislodge the omelet from the surface. In contrast, when I bought it it was like polished ice. It is still more non-stick than, say, enamelled or seasoned iron, and definitely better than stainless steel. But it isn't as good as a good-quality PTFE.

If the non-stickness keeps at this level, I still think that it makes sense to buy it, if you have the money. They are expensive, especially the brand-name ones, but can give you nice, even heating. While they will give you less non-stick performance, they are more robust than PTFE - metal utensils don't damage them, they don't overheat as easily - and I found the non-stickiness sufficient. The nice thing about them is that the quality ones aren't thin aluminium, mine has a 10 mm sandwiched steel bottom - you don't get this in PTFE. So they can be used for applications impossible with PTFE, and will give you a better heating in the cases where PTFE would have worked.

On the other hand, you can decide to go traditional, with a combination of PTFEs for the sticky applications and iron or steel for everything else. It will probably give you a better tool for the stickies, as long as the PTFE coating itself doesn't fail through accidental overheating. It is up to you which style you prefer, but the ceramics aren't the panacea they are touted as.