Are you wondering how to cook with ceramic pans?
These can be some of the most attractive kitchen cooking pans to have and not just based on their looks.
Ceramic pans are known to have plenty of benefits, and people who have used ceramic pans have become life-long fans.
They’re incredibly versatile and can be used in the oven and steamer, grill, toaster oven, stovetop, and convection cooktops too.
In this article, I will show you how to cook with ceramic pans and the things you need to keep in mind to make sure you get the best out of your ceramic pan.
How to Cook with Ceramic Pans
Ceramic pans have to be used in a certain way. Unlike metal pans, you can’t just pick up the pan and start cooking. You have a higher chance of ruining the ceramic coating of the pan or just ruining the pan completely.
A well-looked after ceramic pan can easily last you for years, if not decades.
So, if you want to learn how to cook with ceramic pans, the following are some of the best practices that you should follow in the kitchen:
Always Wash First
If you’re using the ceramic pan for the very first time, make sure to give it a good wash.
Remove all the packaging and labels and wash the pan, using warm, soapy water. After this, dry the pan using a dish towel, and you’re done. It is ready for use.
This is necessary to remove any dust particles, sealants, and other chemicals that the pan may have come in contact with while it was being shipped.
To get rid of the sticker glue residue, do not scrub the pan roughly. Instead, let the pan soak in the warm water and then clean it properly.
It might seem like an extra step, but it ensures that the first meal you cook is not contaminated in any manner.
Season the Pan Properly
While ceramic pans usually do not have to be seasoned, there are certain variations in the market that do require seasoning.
They have to be seasoned before first use and then seasoned periodically once or twice a year. To season your pan, you have to do the following:
- Rinse and dry the pan thoroughly before using
- Take soft, tissue paper and apply one tablespoon of cooking oil (canola, grapeseed or even peanut oil)
- Now, you can either pop the pan in the oven or heat it on the stove
- For the Oven – Preheat it to 250o F and put the pan in it for 3 minutes
- For the Stove Top – Heat the pan on medium heat for 3 minutes
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool
- Use some more tissue paper to wipe away any excess oil
- Repeat this treatment twice a year
Seasoning your pan like this can ensure that you are using it properly.
While some people prefer to season the pan every time they cook, make sure to pay attention to manufacturer instructions here.
No Cooking Oil Sprays
If you’re cooking on ceramic pans, never use cooking oil sprays for coating the pan. The aerosol sprays often contain other chemicals that can break down the ceramic coating.
They also cause a layer to build-up on the pan, which can be extremely difficult to clean up.
Avoid using virgin olive oil as it tends to burn on high heat and will create a carbonized layer on the ceramic pan.
Instead of cooking oil sprays, use a small amount of butter or any other oil. Gently coat the entire pan with a thin layer before you start cooking. This is easier to clean up and will not create a layer on the pan.
No Metal Utensils
When cooking with ceramic pans, do not use any metallic spoons, forks or other utensils.
These can have sharp edges and will cause scratches on the surface of the pan. As the pan gets scratched up, more and more of the coating will erode, and the pan will diminish in usability. Instead, you should opt to use wooden, nylon, or silicone utensils for cooking.
You can find rubber spatulas that are safe for cooking and will not mark the surface of your ceramic pan.
Additionally, avoid cutting anything up while it is in the pan. Knives are also known to have sharp points that can ruin the pan.
Even replace the metal tongs with wooden chopsticks for maximum safety. It will help improve the longevity of the ceramic pan.
Avoid Washing with Harsh Chemicals
When you are washing your ceramic pans, do not use any harsh or strong chemicals. Ceramic pans can be a bit more delicate, and the harsh chemicals can end up ruining the coating it has.
Avoid using scouring powders, scrubbing pads made of nylon, and soap pads made from steel wool.
These are incredibly rough and abrasive, and while they might leave the pan spotless, you will see that over time, they also ruin it. Being gentle in your cleaning methods will improve the shelf-life of your ceramic pan and keep the coating intact.
For stubborn stains or burnt food, soak the pan in warm water and use an organic pan cleaner. These are gentle enough to get all the burnt food off and ensure that you don’t face any issues.
Cannot be Washed in the Dish Washer
For washing your ceramic pan, relying on hand washing is the best option. This is because many ceramic pans are not dishwasher safe.
The coating they have can get damaged, plus washing them improperly can cause scratches on their surface.
Hand washing can be done quickly and warm, and soapy water is often enough to get the pan clean.
If you’re seasoning it, you should avoid putting it in the dishwasher as the seasoning oil might get washed entirely off too.
Do Not Use High Temperatures
One of the critical things you need to learn about how to cook with ceramic pans is that you should never use high temperatures when cooking.
At most, use low to medium heat because ceramic pans are great conductors of heat. Leaving them on high heat for prolonged periods of time can cause significant damage to the ceramic pans.
If you want to preheat the pan, set it on low heat and the pan will be ready and also ensures that food is cooked more evenly. Never let the pan boil dry and do not allow the oil to heat for more than a few minutes before you add any food to it.
Bring it Down to Room Temperature
If you are done cooking with the pan, do not push it into the sink and turn the tap on.
Allow the pan to cool before you start to wash it. Drastic temperature changes can cause damage to the non-stick coating on the ceramic pan. This will cause the pan’s cooking abilities to reduce.
In some cases, the pan might also start to get deformed or lose shape because of it.
By allowing it to come to room temperature, you can avoid all this from happening. In most cases, this means that you wait for an additional two to three minutes because of it.
Never Leave it Empty on the Burner
Another thing that you should avoid doing is leaving the pan on the hot stove burner when you are cooking, after preheating, you should add food to it.
By leaving the pan empty, you can cause it to warp, ruin its surface, and even distort the shape of the cookware.
This will also increase the chance of discoloration and staining, and you will not be able to wash it out.
Heat stains can ruin the beauty of the ceramic pan. In such cases, you will have to get a new ceramic pan for your kitchen.
Do Not Drop the Pan
Despite the fact that ceramic pans come at a premium price, they can be delicate and require careful handling.
Accidentally dropping the pan can cause the ceramic coating to get scratched. It can also increase the chances of the pan getting cracked.
The durability and life-cycle of ceramic pans are shorter, but when you throw the pan around, it will decrease further. Careful care is necessary, so make sure to store them properly. Even when handling them, avoid dropping the pan.
Do Not Add Cold Foods Immediately
When cooking with frozen foods, make sure to thaw them completely and bring them room temperature before adding them to a hot ceramic pan. Doing so can increase the chances of cracking the ceramic coating and ruining the pan completely.
In many cases, the pan can crack entirely and will be ruined. Ceramic pans are extremely sensitive to sudden temperatures changes and can crack when used like this.
Even adding cold water to the pan should be done with care. As long as it is room temperature, you don’t have to worry about this aspect.
By paying attention to the tips mentioned here, you can learn how to cook with ceramic pans and avoid many of the pitfalls with ease.
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