Nonstick vs. Ceramic Skillets: Which Should You Buy?

A nonstick cooking floor generally is a pleasure to work with. They’re really easy to make use of and clear, and even low-stress to buy since there’s no real need to put money into an costly nonstick skillet. We’ve tested loads of pans and the reality is that nonstick coatings—whether or not ceramic or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)—will all finally put on out, regardless of how nicely you maintain your cookware.

Should you’re out there for a brand new skillet to flex your omelet-making abilities, it’s straightforward to fall down a rabbit gap of countless debating between a ceramic or a standard nonstick end. In reality, both possibility is completely high-quality when it comes to efficiency, nevertheless, ceramic is much less sturdy than conventional nonstick. Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at each supplies.

Well being and Eco-Friendliness


Tramontina 10-Inch Professional Aluminum Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan


Conventional nonstick pans are metallic pans coated in PTFE (Teflon is a typical model identify). This coating was as soon as made with a similar-sounding substance known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), till research confirmed dependable hyperlinks between PFOA and each health concerns and negative environmental impact. Although PFOA has been out of the Teflon recreation since 2013 and PTFE is extensively thought of protected, the coating might launch gasses when heated to excessive temperatures. Like many substances we’re uncovered to, whether or not PTFE continues to be poisonous to our well being is debated, so making use of those nonstick skillets in the end comes down to non-public selection. 

In terms of ceramic except you’re utilizing cookware that’s 1) truly manufactured from ceramic and a pair of) is sufficiently old for its glaze to doubtlessly contain lead, you’re possible high-quality to imagine you’re working with a non-toxic software. The so-called ceramic coating on in the present day’s ceramic skillets is a sequence of skinny layers of silica, which comes from sand and is utilized with a sol-gel course of, which implies the coating is of course derived. Should you’re involved about PTFE off-gassing, a ceramic skillet might really feel like a extra snug selection. 

To keep away from the discharge of fumes and to assist the nonstick floor stay slippery for so long as potential, it’s finest that each conventional nonstick and ceramic skillets usually are not uncovered to excessive warmth or heated whereas empty. Get these eggs, fish filets, or pancake batter within the pan ASAP!

Efficiency and Longevity

red copper pan

For essentially the most half, you don’t actually want a nonstick skillet. Most of the time, you’re high-quality—or certainly higher off—utilizing the likes of stainless steel, carbon steel, or cast iron. A nonstick skillet is good to have available for the aforementioned eggs and fish and issues which might be very delicate, nevertheless it actually shouldn’t be your go-to for day by day cooking. 

Whereas ceramic coating tends to be extra brittle than Teflon and thus break down quicker and be extra prone to scratches, it’s price repeating that each one nonstick cookware, whether or not it is coated in Teflon or ceramic or another fancily-named proprietary coating, will finally put on out. The unavoidable mixture of warmth, contact with utensils (even wooden or silicone ones), and washing (sure, even by hand) will slowly cut back the effectiveness of that after slippery-smooth coating—which is strictly why we don’t advocate dropping a bunch of money on an costly nonstick skillet. It most likely gained’t final various years if you happen to’re utilizing it on a semi-regular foundation. 


Severe Eats / Donna Currie

Although we wish to preserve our nonstick spending underneath $50, the sky is the restrict in terms of cookware. However we merely don’t advocate spending over $100 on a pan you’ll for certain want to switch in a number of years.

Ceramic skillets have a tendency to begin at the next worth than Teflon-esque nonstick pans; usually accompanied by advertising that touts its non-toxic or naturally derived properties. Once more, if PTFEs are a priority for you, spending an additional $15 or $20 on a ceramic skillet might be definitely worth the tradeoff of a doubtlessly shorter floor lifespan. 

The Conclusion (or Not)

Severe Eats / Donna Curie

As a lot as we love a possibility to say that one kind of software is certainly higher than one other, the nonstick vs. ceramic skillet debate is just not a kind of instances. It’s a matter of desire, and so long as you don’t make investments an excessive amount of cash—or cling too excessive of hopes—on anyone specific nonstick floor, you possibly can fry eggs to your coronary heart’s content material. (For a number of years, anyway.)


What are the perfect nonstick skillets?

Following our tests of 16 nonstick skillets, we named the T-fal Professional Total Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Fry Pan our favourite conventional nonstick, whereas the BulbHead Red Copper 10-Inch Pan was our favourite ceramic skillet. 

Ought to I purchase a ceramic nonstick skillet?

You probably have issues about off-gassing or usually really feel extra snug with a coating derived from pure supplies, then sure, a ceramic nonstick skillet is the precise selection. By way of efficiency, although, ceramic coatings have a tendency to wear down extra shortly than standard nonstick surfaces.

Why is my nonstick skillet sticking?

In case your nonstick skillet is now not nonstick, it’s time to say goodbye and buy a alternative. Sadly, as soon as the nonstick coating begins to interrupt down, there’s no restoring the end. If the coating is in any other case intact, you should buy your self a number of further makes use of by cooking with oil or butter, however by no means proceed to make use of a nonstick pan with seen flaking or chipping.

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