Is ceramic the best cookware to buy?

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by mrssee23, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. mrssee23

    mrssee23

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    I am a stay at home mom and get a lot of my cooking info from tv shows, magazines and books. I recently heard a celebrity chef say which type of pan was the best to buy but I cannot remember what he said. I believe he said ceramic, but with children in the house I may have heard incorrectly. Any thoughts on this subject?
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    There are two categories of ceramic they may have referred to. Ceramic coated cast iron and/or non-stick ceramics.  I suspect they were talking about the ceramic coated cast iron. Or they were shilling a sponsors over-priced non-stick ceramic brand. 

    For the kinds of things I interpret you to be cooking, I think you'd be fine with inexpensive non-stick (teflon) coated aluminum fry pans. Don't go expensive here. It's not worth it. I think it's worth the extra versatility for these pans to have all metal handles so they can go in the oven under the broiler. Stay cool handles aren't worth the limitations they impose. These will last you 2-4 years most likely, then need replacing. Keep your eye open for good cheap replacements at all times so you have a replacement pan in storage ready to take over when one of these cheapies fails. A 12" non-stick pan shouldn't exceed $25.00 right now that meets my criteria. 

    For saucepans and pots, stainless with a heavy disk bottom will work great and they're not expensive.  You want the least amount of pan sticking out past the disk as possible. Lots of really cheap cookware has fairly exposed edges that will scorch your food so watch out for that. Sizes are sort of determined by how many you cook for. I'm fond of 2 and 4 quart sauce pans. 1 quart saucepans aren't really that useful imho.  12 quart is the generally recommended stock pot size and I agree. But you might feel that's too big. A 6 quart-ish dutch oven style is also handy for braises, stews, soups and such. 

    I would add a quality tri-ply clad 12" saute pan as well. There are some things that just need to develop fond and be non-reactive and this is the way to do it. These don't have to be expensive. Tramontina makes a good one you can get on-line at walmart.com for about $50.00. Or Calphalon on sale and such. 

    Generally, sets are not recommended. 
     
  3. french fries

    french fries

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  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    That's true. 
     
  5. chefleny

    chefleny

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    I agree with phatch about keeping inexpensive pans in stock as replacements, UNLESS, of course, you don't feel like replacing your pans every year or two.  I personally use Le Creuset enameled cast iron for my pots.  I totally get it that people don't want such heavy cookware (including my wife), or such a heavy price tag, but it's lasted for a REALLY long time now.  I bought some of the Simply Calphalon Ceramic Nonstick pans for my wife about a year and a half ago, and to be honest, they are pretty amazing.  They heat well and cook evenly, and they are lightweight.  You can get a set of two at Bed, Bath and Beyond for around $50, and eighteen months into them, they are holding up well.
     
  6. mrssee23

    mrssee23

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    Thank you all. Buying good pans can be scary especially reading all of the different reviews online. Not sure all are truthful
     
  7. french fries

    french fries

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    Advice you'll often see on forums such as this one is to go to a professional restaurant supply store (or visit one of their online counterpart). They usually have very good quality basic equipment without costing an arm and a leg. You won't see the all new shiny bright polished $220 All clad pan there, but you'll find a solid $65 alternative that is a bit less shiny but performs just as well. 
     
  8. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Soooooo true!
     
  9. tomvoell

    tomvoell

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    WHAT? Recommending inexpensive Teflon?? NOOOO! Teflon has been proven to be unsafe for your health, and especially the inexpensive stuff! I would NEVER EVER buy or even use any Teflon! The best cookware IMHO and is what I use every day, is cast iron
     
  10. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Normally I wouldn't do this, but nothing has been "proven". Please read this, from one rather authoritative source:

    http://m.cancer.org/cancer/cancerca...thome/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid--pfoa

    And this:

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.good...nonstick-cookware-safety-facts/?client=safari

    Be educated; not scared!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  11. Nichee Alejo

    Nichee Alejo

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    I would recommend stainless steel cookware. Aside from being corrosion-resistant, most grades are heat-resistant and can withstand acids and salt. The stainless steel type 316 is the food-grade material. Moreover, it is very easy to clean. After rinsing with soap and water, it can be shiny and smooth once again like good as new. They also last a long time as it requires very little maintenance. Just make sure you dry them with a good dish towel. Chefs like to work with stainless steel both for their cookware and kitchens. I don't see any reason why moms shouldn't do so, too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  12. rick alan

    rick alan

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    The 8 and 10", $44 for the pair, calpholon unisons lasted less than 2 years as far as slippery non-stick goes. A ceramic 8" kitchenaide I got at a discounter for $12 has lasted over 2 years now, but has definitely lost a lot of slip. I'm still using the unisons as they are otherwise good pans, but I actually have to season them now. Don't buy them online as they have a high percentage of serious coating flaws, I had to bring back 3 sets before getting a decent pair (they were only available from this B+R on special order mail delivery).

    You now things just get better all the time, but coated stuff are all throw away right now so far as I've seen. For an omelet pan I am going seasoned carbon as that is where a need good slip, and the shapes are better (higher rims), than I can seem to find in reasonably priced non-stick.
     
  13. oldarpanet

    oldarpanet

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    Anyone have opinions on the Scanpan from Sur la table?

    I have a couple and they seem to be quite good promising to last a good long while.
     
  14. loomchick

    loomchick

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    I consider our ScanPans to be marital aids. My husband insists on cooking with metal utensils no matter what. The Scanpans (nonstick) hold up to his abuse and work very well.
     
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  15. rick alan

    rick alan

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    They don't last, that's the problem.
     
  16. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you explain why you think they're a good value?
     
  17. rogernelson

    rogernelson

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    Ceramic is a newer material in the world of nonstick cookware. It’s widely considered to be the safest and most environmentally friendly option. Ceramic is free of PTFE and PFOA (more on PTFE and PFOA below). Ceramic coatings come in a wide variety of styles and colors.