Ceramic vs Teflon Frying Pans

When looking for new nonstick cookware there are two commonly used materials: ceramic and Teflon. They are both nonstick and safe but differ slightly in performance. We outline the basics below.


Teflon Cookware

Teflon is the brand name for the substance called Polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE). It was patented in the 1930s and was first used in cookware in the 1960s. Dupont branded PTFE as Teflon (this is the generic name most people use today when talking about PTFE) when it launched its nonstick  cookware. 

Teflon cookware used to contain trace amounts of the chemical Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) which was supposed to burn off during manufacturing. This toxic chemical was linked to cancers and other diseases in the 2010s, and manufacturers were banned from using PFOA). 

Since 2015, Teflon coated fry pans are PFOA free and safe and according to the American Cancer Society, “there are no known risks to humans from using Teflon-coated cookware.” The pans can be safely heated up to 260℃ before they release toxic fumes.


Ceramic Cookware

Ceramic pans are not 100% ceramic and are typically made of a metal, like steel or aluminum, and coated with a ceramic nonstick surface. This nonstick surface is composed of sand and gets its nonstick properties from the Sol-Gel process which applies and cures a silcon gel to the pan. The Sol-Gel layer begins to dissipate after use and eventually loses its nonstick qualities. 

Ceramic coating, in general, contains no PFOA or PTFE. However, some ceramic manufacturers include PTFE to increase the durability of their coating. Ceramic pans are typically okay to use up to 260℃ before they discolor and 560℃ before they degrade.


Nonstick Performance

Teflon and ceramic coating pans are both nonstick and easy to use. However, when comparing customer reviews on amazon, Teflon outperforms ceramic for nonstick qualities. Ceramic coatings lose their nonstick qualities faster than Teflon and many customer reviews complain that the ceramic coated pans are no longer nonstick after one month to a year. Overtime, all nonstick pans lose their nonstick effectiveness dependent upon coating type used, quality of coating, use and care.


Which is Best?

Ceramic and Teflon coated cookware are similar and the decision comes down to performance. Ceramic cookware loses its nonstick qualities quickly after first use and typically loses its nonstick properties within one to two years. Teflon cookware, however, retains its nonstick qualities for years and can last up to five years depending on proper use, care, and how often you use it.  

H Cookware uses a non-toxic, PFOA-free, PTFE coating on our nonstick frying pans. We apply a three-layer and three-baking technique to provide a durable and excellent performing nonstick pan. They can be used up to 260℃, and are easy to use and clean. Do not use metal utensils or abrasive brushes, and hand wash with soap and your pans will perform for years.

Written by Peter Kim
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