Food Sticking on Ceramic Pan – How to Avoid?

Are you tired of having your fried egg turn into scrambled because it got stuck to the bottom of your ceramic pan?

How often do you lose that delicious crisp skin of a piece of salmon because you couldn’t get it to release from the pan?

Food sticking on a ceramic pan can be such a hassle to deal with, not to mention it makes you lose out on the best parts of your meal!

If you’re dealing with food sticking on your ceramic pan regularly, you’re at the right place!

There are many tips and tricks on how to avoid dealing with this mess. Let’s cover all of them today!

Why Do Ceramic Pans Lose their Non-Stick Property?

Like other pans, ceramic pans can get damaged over time.

When you use metal cooking tools on a pan or if your food has acid in it, such as lemon juice, the integrity of the surface is compromised which means that less oil will be required to prevent sticking.

This causes more heat and friction during cooking which may cause small scratches to form in the ceramic coating.

Damage can also happen when you place a hot pan on a cold surface or drop it on your floor!

These incidents may not seem like much, but they can cause scratches and cracks that further impact the non-stick properties of your pan.

Tips to Avoid Food Sticking to Ceramic Pan

If you’ve bought yourself a good ceramic pan with a sturdy non-stick coating, you probably expect it to last a few years at least.

Spending your hard-earned money on a good quality pan only for the food to start sticking can be extremely disappointing.

Here are some tips on how you can prevent your food from sticking to your ceramic pan.

1. Wash With Mild Detergent

Before you use the pan for the first time, always wash it first! Use a mild detergent along with warm water to get rid of all the dust and any possible stains. This ensures you start cooking on a perfectly clean slate without any particles or debris causing the food to stick.

Moreover, you should make it a practice to go over the instruction manual and see what it has to say before using a new pan.

There will be pointers and guidelines on how to season and prepare your pan for the first use.

They will probably ask you to condition the non-stick coating as well. This is done by rubbing on oil to your pan to activate and preserve its non-stick abilities.

2. Lower the Flame

Your pan probably boasts a high heat tolerance range, and you will be tempted to give it a spin. But, we’d advise you not to. Just because your ceramic pan can take a high flame for long periods doesn’t mean you have to utilize it!

While it may seem more practical to cook at super-hot temperatures for time efficiency and energy saving, it can have quite the opposite effect.

Cooking at too-hot temperatures often causes the nutritional components of your food to break down and separate. Moreover, it will put on needless pressure on the non-stick coating and even cause your food to burn.

Why risk it all just to shave off a few minutes from your meal prep time?

A better cooking method uses medium to medium-high heat, so your food cooks through and tastes better without that burnt aftertaste.

You should also be careful when preheating your pan. Opt for low heat and only turn it up after you’ve added the food to your pan.

3. Add Something before Heating

Make this a rule you always remember – never heat an empty pan, especially not one with a non-stick coating!

It is always better to add oil, water, or even shortening before turning on the heat.

This ensures that your non-stick coating doesn’t have to take on all the brunt of the heat, and it can be dispersed well.

4. Be Gentle

A quirky yet highly effective piece of advice for taking care of your pan’s surface is to treat it like your own skin.

With new technology and manufacturing processes being used, the non-stick coating of your ceramic pan isn’t quite as delicate as it used to be. It can even take on limited amounts of rough treatment and scrubbing pads.

However, that doesn’t mean you start scraping the surface and using abrasions to get rid of the food sticking to your ceramic pan. Instead, be gentle with the internal surface and use the handling instructions given in the manual.

Try to avoid using knives, metal cutlery, and other harsh utensils on your pan. Steel wool is a no-no as well!

5. Don’t Use as Storage Container

Your ceramic pan is a stunning piece of cookware, but that is all it is. You should never make it a practice to use your pan as a food storage container.

When you have leftovers, especially if you’ve finished off the final touches of your food in the pan itself, it can be quite tempting just to cover it and stick it inside your fridge.

However, cold temperatures and food don’t mix well inside your ceramic pan.

It will cause staining on the gorgeous surface of your pan, which you will want to get rid of by scrubbing or harsh washing. This will damage the non-stick coating and cause food to stick to your ceramic pan.

6. Let it Cool Down

Sudden temperature variations can cause even the best quality of non-stick coatings to warp and become ineffective.

If you put a hot pan in the sink and run cold water over it, you can expect the non-stick coating to stop working within the next few weeks. This means your food will stick to the pan’s surface more readily and cause a mess.

If, for whatever reason, you just have to put your pan in the water right after cooking, opt for a warmer temperature. Cold water will do more damage than warm water, so use the latter instead to minimize the chances of warping.

7. Clean Your Pans Right

After a long day at work and then coming home to prepare dinner, most of us simply have no energy left to do the dishes.

So, we just load them up in the dishwasher and let it do its magic while we relax on the couch and catch up on our favorite TV shows.

But did you know your dishwasher might be responsible for the food sticking on your ceramic pans? Even dishwasher-safe pans are at risk of a damaged non-stick coating when cleaned in the dishwasher.

Moreover, all it takes is one misplaced knife or fork, and your pan will be wrecked.

Always try to wash your ceramic pans by hand, even if you do it the next day. It is still better than loading them in the dishwasher.

If you have a lot of food debris build-up or are stuck with residues, here is an easy-to-make formula so your pans can shine like brand new.

Use this Magic Formula

Take 3 tablespoons of bleach, 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap, and 1 cup of warm water. Mix these components well and apply them to your pan’s surface using a sponge or plastic washing pad.

Rub in the formula well and leave it on for 15 minutes. Then, wipe off the formula, rinse your pan well and wash as normal to reveal a sparkly clean surface.

Can You Get the Non-Stick Back on Ceramic Pans?

Luckily enough, you can get the non-stick effect of your ceramic pan back!

In general, coated pots and pans are relatively easy to clean and wash up.

However, as with anything, they too are susceptible to wear and tear. With regular use, your ceramic pans are likely to get scratches, stains, and grease build-up, all of which tampers with its non-stick properties.

So, the best way to undo this damage is by planning a thorough cleanup of your pan. You will also need to re-season the scratched and worn down areas, so food no longer sticks to your pan. Here is how you can do both;

  • Step 1 – Mix 1 cup water with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and ½ a cup of white vinegar.
  • Step 2 – Add this mixture into your ceramic pan and set it on the stove.
  • Step 3 – Turn the flame up to medium heat and let the mixture come to a boil.
  • Step 4 – Reduce the flame just enough that the mixture continues to boil. Leave it on the stove for 10 minutes.
  • Step 5 – Drain out this mixture and wash your pot (once cooled down, of course!) with gentle dish soap and a sponge.
  • Step 6 – Once it is almost dry, add vegetable oil on the surface of your ceramic pan to re-season it and bring back the non-stick goodness.
  • Step 7 – Rub in the vegetable oil all over the surface and try to keep it lukewarm for a few minutes for the best results.

Your ceramic pan is non-stick once again! Now you can sear your salmon or cook delicious, creamy sauces without worrying about things getting stuck to the bottom or finding a weird, black residue in your food.

Final Words

Now you know how to ensure your food doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pan. You also have step-wise instructions on how to bring back the non-stick properties of a ceramic pan at home.

Always remember that washing your pans by hand might seem more troublesome, but the end result is more rewarding as well.

Just because something is safe to be put in the dishwasher doesn’t mean you have to utilize that property. Dishwashers are known to cause the non-stick coating in ceramic pans to break down.

Furthermore, always use mild dish soap and a soft sponge to clean out your pans.

Don’t scrub or scrape with steel wool and always try to use the right utensils (not metal!) as per your pan’s material.

Best of luck in your kitchen endeavors!

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