Ceramic cookware is the future cookware of the culinary world, delivering a reliable and flavorful cooking experience without the many harmful chemicals found in non-stick coatings. These highly durable, long-lasting pans resist scratching, withstand extreme temperatures, and improve the health of your food without having to use large amounts of oils. Ceramic cookware is non-reactive, so nothing you cook ends up with a funky flavor. What’s not to love?
Even with all of the benefits and versatilities of ceramics you want to take good care of your ceramic cookware to make it last even longer. Learning how to clean ceramic pans and how to take care of cookware in general helps you create your best culinary work possible.
Why Proper Cleaning and Care Is So Important
The most obvious reason to keep your ceramic cookware clean is for hygienic reasons. Removing food particles makes the pans sanitary for the next use. Regular and thorough cleaning also keeps your pans looking like new. Sure, that is an aesthetic thing, but it’s always a nice feeling to pull out your fresh-looking pans for cooking. Regular cleaning prevents unattractive food build-up and stains that make your ceramic cookware look prematurely worn.
Proper cleaning also helps the ceramic pans perform well. Leftover food particles can build up over time and interfere with the non-stick performance of the ceramic pans. That causes food to stick, which makes cleaning more difficult. Maintaining the non-stick quality of your ceramic cookware makes your time in the kitchen more enjoyable, with reliable results that taste great. Cleaning helps protect the investment you make in ceramic pans, so you won’t have to replace them anytime soon.
Prepping New Ceramic Cookware for Use
If you have a brand-new shiny ceramic pan waiting to be used, take a little time to prep it before whipping up your first dish. Remove any labels and packaging from the cookware so they do not melt onto the surface.
Before you discard all of the inserts and manuals that came with the pans, give them a thorough reading. The manual gives you lot of tips and information on the features of the particular pans you purchased. While the cleaning and maintenance are basically the same for all ceramic pans, the manual gives you a better idea of how to treat your pans.
Wash the pan with warm, soapy water to remove any dirt or debris left over from the manufacturing and shipping process. Dry it off, and you are ready to get cooking.
Using Proper Utensils
Whether you sauté, stir fry, simmer or sear, you will need utensils to cook your food to perfection. Ceramic cookware is naturally durable and resistant to scratches, so most utensils are suitable to use and won’t cause damage. However, choosing utensils that are a little easier on the pans helps extend the life of the cookware.
The best types of cooking utensils to use with your ceramic pans are plastic, silicone, wood or nylon. These utensils are easier on the ceramic non-scratch cooking surface.
Avoid using metal cooking utensils on ceramic cookware when possible. These types of utensils sometimes have sharp or rough edges that can damage the coating. This is particularly true for lower-quality ceramic cookware that may not have as durable construction as higher-end brands. Never cut food directly in the pan with a knife. Transfer food to a serving platter before you cut it with a knife to prevent damage to the ceramic surface.
What does your cooking method have to do with caring for your pans? Quite a bit, actually. If you want your ceramic pans to look great, maintain their high gloss surfaces and last for as long as possible, using them properly is important.
Ceramic cookware stands up to the heat in the kitchen. The pans can withstand up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to metal cookware, which can melt at 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. That gives you a lot more flexibility in how you use your ceramic cookware and reduces the risk of damage and fires.
Many ceramic pans are safe to use on gas or electric stovetops, in the oven, under the broiler and in a toaster oven because of the high tolerance for heat. Check the manual for your specific pans to determine limitations on use. In some cases, the construction of the handles or other components makes the pans ill-suited for certain cooking applications.
Even though ceramic cookware is highly durable and withstands high temperatures, it is always best to err on the side of caution. Showing your cookware a little TLC when you use it extends its life even more and avoids unnecessary roughness.
Protecting Your Ceramic Cookware
Empty or dry ceramic pans should only be used over very low heat. For example, if you are heating up an empty pan before adding your ingredients, turn it to the lowest setting. The same rule applies when you have food in the pan without water or another liquid in the mix. Ceramic pans filled with water or other liquids are fine to use over higher medium heat. By following this low-heat guideline, you:
- Increase the longevity of your pan
- Prevent damage to your stovetop
- Lower the risks of burning food onto the surfaces of the ceramic pan
- Make the cleanup routine a lot easier.
Ceramic is naturally a non-stick cooking surface, so you often do not need any grease to cook food without sticking. If you like the flavor of a little oil or butter, use only a small amount in the ceramic pan. Using a large amount of oil or butter is unnecessary and may lead to build-up on the pan’s surfaces. Keep in mind butter tends to burn at high temperatures, so if you use it in your ceramic cookware, place the pan over low heat to prevent a burnt-on mess.
Extra virgin olive oil is not usually recommended, as it can leave a thin carbonized layer on the ceramic pan due to the oil’s inability to withstand high temperatures. By avoiding extra-virgin olive oil, you reduce the potential for a dulling layer that could interfere with the natural non-stick properties of the pan.
How to Clean Ceramic Cookware
Grab your dishwashing gloves. You will need them when you wash your ceramic pans. While ceramic cookware is generally considered dishwasher safe, it is recommended to wash it by hand every time to make it last longer. The good news is the smooth surface makes the pans relatively easy to clean unless the food is scorched onto the surface.
Here is what you need to do to clean your ceramic cookware:
- Let the pan cool completely before submerging it into the water. Never put a hot ceramic pan directly into cold water. While the pans can handle extreme temperatures on both ends of the thermometer, the sudden and significant temperature change can have effects on your cookware.
- Wash the ceramic cookware in warm, soapy water as you would wash other pans and dishes. Use a sponge or clean dishcloth on the pan to thoroughly remove all food particles.
- Wipe both the inside cooking surface and the exterior cooking surface of each pan. Pay close attention to edges and the points where the handles connect, where food often collects.
- Rinse the pan thoroughly with clean water.
- Inspect the pan to look for any missed food particles.
- Dry the pan once it is clean.
What to Do About Burnt or Stuck-on Food Remnants
We can’t all be Julia Child — and surely she burned her fair share of recipes, too — so do not worry if eventually you end up with burnt food on your ceramic cookware. It may put a damper on your dinner plans, but a few simple tricks can get your pan back to its normal self.
Order a pizza, and reach for a cleaning utensil that you already have in the kitchen. A nylon or wooden spatula or Brillo or SOS pad comes in handy to get your dinner unstuck.
Soak the pan in a little warm, soapy water for several minutes. That soaking time helps loosen the food. Scrape at the burnt food with the spatula as it soaks to release the remnants. Let the pan soak longer if the food does not come off easily.
If simply soaking does not do the trick, try putting the pan on the stove with the water in it. Heat the skillet and continue using the spatula to remove the stuck-on food, being careful not to splash yourself with the hot water. Adding some baking powder to the hot water can also help ease off the burnt-on food particles.
Still stuck on cleaning up the burnt-on food? Thanks to the durability of ceramic cookware, you can use a little extra scrubbing power without causing any damage to the surface. Powdered cleaners, such as Comet, Ajax and Bon Ami and Baking Soda are safe to use on ceramic cookware because it will not scratch the ceramic cooking surface.
Dealing With Stains on Ceramic Cookware
Even with diligent cleaning, you may notice some foods leave behind stains on your ceramic cookware. On the other hand, perhaps you never really got all of that scorched food off your pans. These stains do not usually interfere with the pan’s performance, but it just does not look as pretty as it did when you first bought it.
Before you decide to buy new ceramic pans, give a few products you likely already have at home a try. Baking soda is an effective cleaning product when it comes to ceramic cookware. It will not damage the surface of the ceramic pan, but it will help to gently lift the stains left behind during your latest cooking sessions. Vinegar combined with water has a similar safe cleaning effect that may help remove stains from your ceramic cookware.
Rub a little bit of baking soda onto the stain, using a circular motion. Wetting the pan helps create a paste that you can easily rub onto the surfaces. You can pair the baking soda with a cleaning brush for extra help in getting rid of the stains.
If you own durable, scratch-resistant ceramic cookware, you can really give the pan a good scrub with the cleaning power of steel wool. If the baking soda does not do the trick even with steel wool to assist, experiment with the different powdered cleaners. Keep the cleaner that seems to work the best for you on hand for easy clean ups with your ceramic cookware.
Storing Ceramic Pans to Make Them Last
The scratch-resistant quality of ceramic cookware means it stays durable even during storage, but it does not hurt to store the pans carefully for maximum protection. Make sure the pan is completely dry before you put it away after use. Let the pan air dry, or wipe it down with a clean, dry towel.
Avoid stacking other cookware directly on top of your ceramic cookware during storage. The contact can cause damage to one or both pans. The hard construction of ceramic can make it potentially damaging to other surfaces. Some ceramic pans may also have rough surfaces on the bottom. Our ceramic cookware features ceramic rings on the bottom, which can cause damage to surfaces such as glass stovetops and kitchen counter tops.
If you are like many people, your kitchen storage space is limited. You may need to stack your pans as a way to save on storage space. If this describes your kitchen situation, use polyester pot protectors or place a cloth napkin or kitchen towel between each pan. The napkin, cloth or pan protector serves as a cushioning layer that keeps the pans from banging into one another, scratching each other or otherwise causing damage that can decrease the life of your cookware.
Other storage tips:
- When you store your ceramic pans, put them in a spot where they will not fall and where nothing will fall onto them. Dropping your ceramic cookware can cause damage, as can falling objects.
- Store the pans on a flat surface where they will not get knocked down.
- An enclosed cabinet is ideal, as this keeps the pans clean and protected.
Keep Cooking With Ceramic
Your ceramic cookware can handle a lot of heat and a lot of cooking techniques. Proper cooking use and regular cleaning keep your ceramic pans in peak condition, so you can reign supreme as the neighborhood champion of home-cooked meals.
Choosing Xtrema ceramic cookware gives you the added confidence of a highly durable design that will not scratch, no matter how much you need to scour the surface to remove those bits of food and grease. Get into a routine of cleaning and caring for your ceramic pans to protect your investment and enjoy years of non-stick cooking.