With the joy of easy food release, non-stick cookware has grown in popularity over the last few decades. As time and technology roll on, we are learning, however, that traditional non-stick coatings are often made with nasty chemicals, like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which seep out during the cooking process and pose health risks.
In steps the development of non-stick ceramic cookware. All the convenience of a non-stick surface without any nasty health risks.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the science behind non-stick ceramic cookware, looking at the processes and input material used to design non-stick surfaces, the health and environmental benefits of ceramic coatings as well as their performance features and durability.
The Science of Ceramic Coatings
Ceramic coatings are made from a myriad of materials, including silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide, and aluminum oxide. These materials are combined to form a liquid which is then used to coat the cookware surface. Next, high heat is applied to the liquid in order to bond it to the surface as a thin, non-stick coating.
The beauty of ceramic coatings is thanks to the smooth, silky, slippery surfaces that stop food from sticking while it’s being cooked.
Essentially, the non-stick ceramic surface repels water and oil, preventing the food from sticking to it.
Compared to the more traditional non-stick coatings, these ceramic coatings have a few benefits. The key benefit is centered around the fact that they do not contain harmful chemicals like PFOA. In addition, non-stick ceramic cookware is described as more hard-wearing and longer lasting. A practical benefit for busy cooks is that the surfaces are less likely to scratch. They also don’t release toxic fumes when heated, making them a healthier choice.
How Ceramic Coatings are Applied to Cookware
The process of applying ceramic coatings to cookware is a complex one that involves multiple steps. The first step is to prepare the surface of the cookware by removing any oils, grease, or other debris. This is typically done by sandblasting or chemical cleaning. The surface of the cookware is then treated with a primer, which helps the ceramic coating bond to the surface of the cookware.
There are a variety of different methods used to apply ceramic coatings to cookware. One common method is a spray-on application, which involves spraying a liquid ceramic coating onto the surface of the cookware. The layer is then heated at high temperatures to bond it to the surface of the cookware.
Another method of applying ceramic coatings is electrostatic application, which involves charging the ceramic particles and then spraying them onto the surface of the cookware. The charged particles are attracted to the surface of the cookware, creating a more even and uniform coating.
When choosing ceramic-coated cookware, it is essential to consider the application process used to apply the coating. Spray-on coatings are generally more affordable, but they may not be as durable as electrostatic coatings. Electrostatic coatings are more expensive but provide a more even and durable coating that will last longer.
In addition to the application process, it is important to consider the thickness of the ceramic coating. Thicker coatings will generally last longer and provide better non-stick performance, but they may also be more prone to chipping and peeling.
Durability and Performance of Ceramic Coatings
I touched on earlier that ceramic coated cookware is known to be long-lasting and hardier than other traditional non-stick coatings. Unlike older technologies, your ceramic-coated cookware is less likely to scratch and is also more resistant to stains.
A key benefit of ceramic-coated cookware is its ability to distribute heat evenly. Ceramic coatings have excellent heat retention properties, which means that they can maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. This not only helps to ensure that your food cooks evenly but also reduces the likelihood of hot spots and burning.
Ceramic-coated cookware is also easy to clean. Other traditional non-stick coatings can be difficult to clean and may require harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers, ceramic coatings can be cleaned with mild soap and water.
To maximize the performance of your ceramic-coated cookware over time, it is vital to handle it with care. Avoid using metal utensils, which can scratch the surface of the ceramic coating, and instead opt for silicone, wood, or plastic utensils. Additionally, avoid using high heat settings, as this can cause the ceramic coating to break down over time.
Storing your ceramic-coated cookware carefully is very important. The key is to avoid stacking your piece with heavy items on top. This will prevent dents and scratches.
Environmental Benefits of Ceramic Coatings
Ceramic-coated cookware not only offers superior performance and safety benefits, but it is also environmentally friendly.
One of the top environmental benefits of ceramic-coated cookware is its long lifespan. Unlike traditional non-stick coatings, which can wear off over time and require frequent replacement, ceramic coatings can last for years with proper care. Since ceramic coatings are long-lasting, you won’t have to replace your cookware as often, which means fewer items in landfills and less environmental impact.
In addition, ceramic coatings are made using sustainable materials and production methods. Unlike traditional non-stick coatings, which can contain harmful chemicals and materials, ceramic coatings are made without PFOA, PFAS, or other toxic substances. This makes them a safer and more sustainable choice for your home and the environment.
Wrapping it up
The science behind non-stick ceramic cookware is impressive, with its durable and long-lasting properties, even heat distribution, and safe and sustainable materials. Ceramic-coated cookware is not only a healthier choice for you and your family, but it is also a more sustainable and enjoyable cooking experience.
By choosing ceramic-coated cookware, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are using a safe and healthy cooking option that will last for years to come. So, go ahead and make the switch to non-stick ceramic cookware for a healthier, more sustainable, and enjoyable cooking experience.