The best ceramic cookware sets have a few things in common: they are nonstick, free of toxic chemicals, easy to clean, and very affordable. Choosing a set that’s best for you will depend on how you cook and the importance you place on durability.
If you are in a hurry and want to know our top pick for the best ceramic cookware sets for health-conscious cooks, we recommend the Tramontina Gourmet Ceramica Deluxe 10 Piece Cookware Set.
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In this article, we will review the following ceramic cookware sets:
What Do We Mean By Best Ceramic Cookware Sets?
Ceramic cookware comes in two varieties or types: pure and coated. Pure ceramic cookware goes through a process of shaping and firing in an extremely hot furnace or kiln. The clay pots also undergo a glazing process that allows them to hold liquids and makes it tough and very heavy.
The chief benefit of using pure ceramic cookware is that it is free of metals such as lead, cadmium, plastics or other chemicals. Since it is primarily made of clay, it is naturally non-toxic and non-reactive in the food preparation process.
Ceramic coated cookware is what most people think of when looking for a healthy nonstick alternative to Teflon. Unlike Teflon, the polymer coating applied to the cooking surface doesn’t contain Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) or Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Both are toxic and carcinogenic.
Types of Ceramic Cookware
As mentioned earlier, pure ceramic cookware is very heavy and hard to handle when heated. This can pose problems when trying to remove food from the oven or from stove to table.
On the other hand, coated ceramic cookware is lighter in weight. That’s because it is usually made of stainless steel with an aluminum core that has been anodized. The anodization process involves making a soft metal like aluminum harder. This has nothing to do with the nonstick coating. It is a process that helps the surface become more scratch-resistant and shields it against corrosion.
Coated ceramic cookware is designed to be oven-safe at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of cookware is simply not designed to withstand high heat. Be sure to check the instructions on your particular brand to stay in the oven-safe temperature range.
Since ceramic nonstick has a metal core, it is not meant for use in the microwave.
For the most part, coated ceramic nonstick cookware can be used on gas, electric or induction stovetops. However, this may not be the case across the board. Some brands are not compatible with induction cooktops because of the heat factor.
When you cook on an induction stove, it’s not the burner (induction coils) that’s cooking your food. The induction coils produce magnetic fields that cause a warming reaction in steel-based pots and pans.
This is problematic for ceramic nonstick cookware which is extremely sensitive to heat and is designed for lower temperature cooking.
Ease of Cleaning
The thing I love most about cooking with ceramic nonstick cookware is how easy it is to clean. It’s shocking how food just glides out of the pan, and how easy it is to clean with dish soap and a non-abrasive sponge or soft nylon scrubber.
Most cookware sets are labeled ‘dishwasher safe’, but I prefer to hand wash my ceramic nonstick pots and pans. That’s because the surface coating can be easily damaged or scratched and lose its nonstickiness.
Discoloration and Sticking
The two biggest complaints amongst ceramic nonstick cookware owners center around cooking surface discoloration and sticking. These issues can be addressed in three ways:
- Choice of fats and oils used in cooking
- Cooking temperature
- Utensils used
Fats and oils: When you fry foods in ceramic pans it is best to keep the surface area covered with liquid or moist food. When you cook ‘dry’ you create surface hot-spots that will damage the ceramic coating.
Stains and sticky areas happen when cooking sprays and oils are heated past their smoking points. When this happens impurities and fat residues form on the surface, damaging it.
Cooking temperature: High heat should never be used when cooking with ceramic coated nonstick cookware. Extreme heat will create hotspots that result in discoloration and sticking.
Utensil Use: In addition to taking care of how you wash your cookware, you should also pay attention to the utensils you use while cooking. Bamboo, nylon, plastic, silicone or wood utensils are best. They mitigate damage to the surface coating caused by scratches. Avoid using any type of metal utensils at all costs (even if the manufacturer says it is safe).
The cool thing about this cookware is the design choices you have. Instead of settling for standard grey or black, your color options include vivid reds, blues, yellows, greens and more. There are color choices to match almost any decor.
Although ceramic cookware sets are very affordable, the price should not be your only consideration. It really comes down to how you cook. If you do a lot of simmering, then venting glass lids may be important. If you plan on using your pots as refrigerator storage units, then factor that into your buying decision. The important thing is to base your purchasing decision on the value you want from the cookware set.
The fact that coated ceramic cookware is so affordable will make what I’m about to say next a bit easier to take. Don’t expect the nonstick coating to last forever. It will wear off over time and lose its slipperiness.
Our List of The Best Ceramic Cookware Sets
This 10 piece Tramontina Gourmet cookware set comes with an 8-inch frying pan, a 10-inch frying pan, an 11 inch covered deep skillet, a 1.5 quart covered saucepan, a 3 quart covered saucepan, and a 5 quart covered Dutch oven.
There are many things to like about this cookware set. First of all, Italian design really stands out. Although this cookware set is made in Italy, it is assembled and packaged in the United States. If you’re big on ‘buying American’, you get the best of both worlds.
Tramontina Gourmet cookware is made with heavy-gauge cold-forged aluminum. As a result, the pans have a more balanced feel to them and ensure comfort and stability. Since the cooking surface is free of harmful toxins, you don’t have to worry about chemicals leaching into your food.
The stainless steel handles feature soft grips on the lid tops and sides. This makes the cookware easier to handle and cool to the touch.
I love that there are four shatter-resistant tempered glass lids included in the set so you can monitor the cooking process. The set includes lids for the saucepans, Dutch Oven, and the deep skillet.
All in all, the Tramontina Gourmet Ceramica cookware set is a good investment.
|✔ Made in Italy, assembled in the USA||✘ Not recommended for induction stovetops|
|✔ Heavy gauge, cold-forged aluminum construction||✘ Smaller pans prone to tipping over due to the weight of the handle|
|✔ Oven-safe up to 350F, 176C|
|✔ PFOA, PTFE, lead, cadmium-free nonstick interior|
|✔ Ergonomic, soft-grip cast stainless steel handles|
|✔ Compatible with gas, electric, and ceramic stovetops|
|✔ Heat and shatter-resistant tempered glass lids|
The set consists of a skillet, a covered deep fry pan, a small covered saucepan, a large covered saucepan, a covered everyday pan, a covered dutch oven, and a steamer insert.
The Cuisinart Green Gourmet Nonstick 12 Piece Cookware gets high marks for cooking evenness, nonstick food release, heating speed and even simmering in lab tests. Also highly rated is nonstick surface durability, handle sturdiness and handle the temperature during heating.
Based on customer reviews, there are three main issues:
- The nonstick coating doesn’t last
- Metal lids can get very hot
- A film layer develops on the nonstick surface after a few washes
The durability of the nonstick coating depends on how it is treated through use. There can be several reasons for the premature wearing-away of the coating:
- Not seasoned according to manufacturer’s recommendations
- Cookware was cleaned in a dishwasher, not by hand
- Metal utensils and/or scrubbers used to clean surface
- Cookware was used with high heat
The dishwasher can leave a film on the surface of the pot or pan which can scratch and erode the coating after a few months. That’s why handwashing is the recommended cleaning option (without using nylon or plastic scrubbers). You should also avoid metal cooking utensils at all times. Seasoning and re-seasoning your cookware at least every six months will also help.
|✔ Free of PTFE and PFOA||✘ Metal handles can get hot|
|✔ Oven and broiler safe||✘ Lack of glass lids|
|✔ Excellent cooking evenness|
|✔ High heat conductivity|
|✔ Riveted stainless steel handles|
|✔ Eco-friendly nonstick coating|
The set includes 7” and 9.5” open frypans, a 2 quart covered saucepan, a 3 quart covered saucepan, a 2.5 quart covered skillet, a 5 quart covered stockpot, a stainless steel steamer, and 3 multi-purpose nylon cooking utensils. There are 4 steam venting glass lids included in the package.
This is a pretty inexpensive cookware set that has many wonderful features, including glass lids, a high heat tolerance (oven and broiler), and is virtually toxin-free. But keep in mind that ceramic nonstick cookware is still heat-sensitive on the stovetop and you still need to be careful with it.
In controlled independent lab tests, Blue Diamond was rated excellent in the heating, simmering and ability to handle temperature categories. It also scored high for cooking evenness, food release and nonstick durability.
Blue Diamond is advertised as being safe for metal utensil use. However, many people have had issues with scratching and chipping. If you ignore the infomercial advertising hype and stick to the basics of cooking with ceramic nonstick pans you should be OK.
- Stick to medium to low heat
- Avoid cooking with oil that burns or oil sprays
- Allow the pots to cool before washing (avoid the dishwasher)
- Use non-abrasive scrubbers or cloths to clean
|✔ No PFOAs, PFAs, lead or cadmium||✘ Not recommended for induction stovetops|
|✔ Snug-fitting glass lids||✘ Handles can become very hot|
|✔ Suitable for gas, electric, halogen or ceramic stovetops||✘ Very lightweight|
|✔ Oven and broiler safe up to 850F|
|✔ Metal utensil safe|
|✔ Warp-control base|
You get an 8-inch fry pan, 9.5-inch fry pan, 11-inch fry pan, a 3-quart skillet, 5-quart casserole, and 4 matching lids.
I have used a GreenPan 10.5-inch skillet for a year and can say, without hesitation, this brand of cookware is a quality product. The Valencia Pro Collection takes it up another notch.
Their Thermolon™ Minerals ceramic nonstick coating is metal utensil safe. Even if you overheat the pots and pans the cookware is guaranteed not to discharge any toxic fumes; it has not PFOAs, PFAs, lead or cadmium.
The two biggest issues most people have with this set is that the lids are not made of tempered glass and pot handles may get very hot during the cooking process.
|✔ No PFOAs, PFAs, lead or cadmium||✘ Lid handles get hot on some pots|
|✔ Oven and broiler safe up to 600℉||✘ Glass is not tempered|
|✔ Metal utensil safe Thermalon ceramic nonstick coating|
|✔ Suitable for all stovetops, including induction|
|✔ Durable, heavy anodized reinforced body|
|✔ Riveted stainless steel broiler-safe handles|
|✔ Drip-free pouring rim|
The Cook N Home Cookware Set comes with 1 and 2-quart saucepans, a 3-quart casserole, a 5 quart Dutch Oven, an 8-inch fry pan, and a 9.5-inch fry pan. 4 tempered glass lids are included.
If you are looking for a very inexpensive ceramic nonstick cookware set, then Cook N Home may be the brand for you. It can handle all the ‘light cooking’ basics.
One of the best features of this cookware is the anti-slip handles. They give you a secure, comfortable grip and stay cool throughout the cooking process. This safety feature goes a long way toward avoiding burns from touching a hot handle or accidentally dropping a pot.
This is not a set you should expect to last years and years. But, for the price, it is a good starter set for you or a son or daughter’s first apartment.
|✔ No PFOA, PTFE, lead, or cadmium||✘ Not recommended for induction stovetops|
|✔ Oven safe up to 350℉||✘ Handles may come loose over time|
|✔ Anti-slip handles|
|✔ Tempered glass lids|
|✔ Thick gauge aluminum provides even heat|
|✔ Suitable for gas, electric, glass, and halogen stovetops|
As I said at the beginning of this article, how you cook and the importance you place on durability will determine how you define the best ceramic cookware set for your needs.
Each one of these sets has features that set them apart, but we chose the Tramontina Gourmet Ceramica Deluxe 10 Piece Cookware Set as the winner of this roundup.
This set has everything you need in a quality ceramic cookware set. The ceramic coating is free of harmful chemicals like PFOA, PTFE, cadmium, and lead. The soft-touch feature added to the stainless steel handles and lids is great in terms of usability and safety. The tempered shatter-proof glass on the vented lids is another great feature.
Not only is it a beautiful ceramic cookware set, but there is quality built-in across the board. However, all the products reviewed here are great choices if you’re looking for a good ceramic cookware set.