The words porcelain and ceramic often bring up thoughts of dolls, trinket boxes, and knick-knacks at Grandma’s house. Even in Grandma’s kitchen, there were ceramic mugs and fancy porcelain dishes. Lets talk porcelain vs ceramic cookware.
Like many consumers, I was once confused by the difference between these popular cookware options. But with research, experience, and more than one burned dish, I learned to appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of each. So, let’s take a look at how these two popular types of cookware compare.
How Porcelain and Ceramic Cookware Are Made
Pottery and ceramics have been around for thousands of years, but have changed and improved dramatically with innovations over time. Early ceramic pieces were made from clay, sand, crushed rocks, and plants. They were very fragile and didn’t last for years, much less decades. Cookware has come a long way, with good quality pieces lasting for generations.
Porcelain is a type of ceramic, and porcelain enamel is a mixture of porcelain and strong metal. Porcelain enamel cookware is usually made with a stainless steel, cast-iron, or aluminum base coated with a porcelain enamel layer bonded inside and/or outside the piece. It is hardened at a very high temperature.
Ceramic cookware is usually a metal base glazed with a nonstick ceramic coating then fired, or cured, in a kiln at a lower temperature.
It’s important to make an informed decision about a cookware purchase. The choice of cookware will determine the taste, appearance, simplicity, and even food safety.
When comparing porcelain vs. ceramic cookware, there are many similarities. Most of these similarities are helpful features that offer benefits to the cook.
Both types are highly safe, with no worries of exposure to toxic materials. Cookware sold in the U.S. must meet strict standards of safety.
Porcelain and ceramic cookware have nonstick surfaces that help reduce the use of fat, such as oil or butter, to keep foods from sticking in the cooking process. Using less oil or butter means fewer calories and grams of fat for a healthier lifestyle.
Unlike cast-iron cookware, porcelain and ceramic do not have to be seasoned. Because of their nonstick surfaces, they are easy to clean by hand with dish soap and water. Some people claim that it is possible to wipe the cooking surface with a paper towel for cleaning. Some pieces may even be dishwasher safe. Abrasive sponges or steel wool, which can scratch the surface, should not be used.
Both types can cook a wide variety of foods. It is safe to cook acidic foods, such as tomatoes, tomato sauce, or lemon, because the acid does not react with the nonstick coatings to release metals into the food. It is also safe to store foods in the cookware in the refrigerator. Allow the cookware to come to room temperature before placing it in the fridge.
Porcelain and ceramic cookware come in many colors and attractive styles for serving food at the dinner table. It is easy to choose pieces that complement the color scheme of the kitchen.
You should only use plastic, silicone, nylon, or wooden utensils when cooking as metal utensils will scratch the surface of these pieces.
When comparing porcelain vs ceramic cookware, you should consider the differences between them. These differences can help when deciding on cookware that will best meet the cook’s needs, and the needs of your household.
Porcelain enamel cookware can be used in high-temperature cooking, while ceramic cookware is best used for low-to-medium temperature cooking.
You can use porcelain enamel cookware on the cooktop and in the oven, but you should not use ceramic cookware in the oven. Ceramic cookware can warp in the oven, and the handles of ceramic pieces are sometimes made of plastic or other materials that will melt in the oven.
While you can buy lower-end or higher-end pieces in both types, porcelain enamel cookware will generally last longer than ceramic cookware.
While the price of any cookware will depend on the quality and brand, porcelain enamel cookware is generally more expensive than ceramic cookware.
Pros and Cons of Porcelain Cookware
● Porcelain-enameled cookware can go in the oven and on gas or electric cooktops. This feature is excellent for recipes that require cooking time on the stove, followed by cooking time in the oven.
● Porcelain cookware can last for years or decades. Grandma can buy these pieces for her kitchen and pass them down to the children and grandchildren.
● Porcelain cookware, especially porcelain enamel cast iron, can be hefty and challenging to move around the kitchen.
● If dropped or hit on a hard surface, porcelain enamel can crack or chip. Sudden temperature changes can also damage the finish. Also if you place a hot pan in cold water or on a cold surface, cracking or crazing can occur. Always allow the cookware to return to room temperature before placing or washing in cold water.
● Porcelain cookware can be very expensive.
Pros and Cons of Ceramic Cookware
● Ceramic cookware is usually lightweight, making it easy to move around while cooking, cleaning, and storing.
● Ceramic cookware is typically an affordable option.
● Ceramic cookware can sometimes warp if it gets too hot. In addition, the nonstick surface can wear off over time depending on the amount of use and how well it is treated. The cookware will last longer if the care instructions are followed.
● The surface of ceramic cookware is more porous, so it may easily stain or absorb odors and flavors. The surface is usually glazed to help prevent this from happening.
● Because of the potential staining, this cookware may require deep cleaning occasionally. After soaking in warm, soapy water, sprinkle with baking soda, and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Scrub with a non-abrasive sponge, dishcloth, or soft bristle brush to lift the stains away.
Having detailed information is important when looking at porcelain vs. ceramic cookware. Both are excellent choices, depending on the cook’s needs. Grandma probably would have loved having these easy-to-use and versatile pieces in her kitchen.
Choose high-quality cookware to make Grandma proud, and to have an heirloom to pass down to future generations.