by editorial team and Sophia Ruan Gushée
Ceramic-coated versus Teflon cookware: Which one is healthier? Below are key pros and cons of ceramic-coated cookware versus Teflon-coated cookware.
Teflon has been made with chemicals in the perfluorochemicals (PFC) family. These chemicals may leach into food during cooking; and they may contribute to liver, pancreatic, testicular, and breast cancer, thyroid issues, birth defects, and immune system damage.
Teflon cookware is popular for its nonstick properties, and can create cookware that's more durable than ceramic-coated cookware (it may not wear as quickly).
Ceramic coatings are made of ceramic, which is clay that has been hardened by heat.
Ceramic is often considered nontoxic. When the ceramic coating wears off (ceramic coating wears off faster than Teflon coating), food is exposed to the metal under it, and the pan’s non-stick features no longer work as well.
The safety and life expectancy of both Teflon- and ceramic- coated cookware can be increased by using wooden cooking utensils so that the surface does not become scratched. Avoid metal mixing spoons, utensils, spatulas, and other cooking tools that can easily scratch cookware surfaces.
When identifying which nonstick cookware option best suits you, consider these two factors:
Teflon cookware is made with risky chemicals in the PFC family. PFCs may leach into your food when using Teflon-coated cookware under certain conditions. These chemicals may contribute to health conditions. Ceramic-coated cookware would help you avoid these PFCs. However, Teflon is more durable and lasts longer than ceramic-coated cookware.
Ceramic coated cookware has often not been made of chemicals, which made it a popular nontoxic option. With advances in technology, however, manufacturing ceramic may have introduced more health risks. Ceramic-coated cookware often wears out before Teflon. Using wooden cooking utensils can help protect the longevity of the nonstick properties of ceramic-coated cookware, but they don’t prevent other sources of wear and tear (like scrubbing the pan clean). So beware that ceramic-coated cookware may need to be replaced more often than nonstick pots and pans.
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