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being a passionate home cook I of couse like working with good kitchen tools... Besides my precious knives I need good pots and pans...

Lately I've seen a lot of advertisements for pans with a ceramic coating, and today I saw those pans in my kitchen supply store...

They are (according to the advert) cast aluminum pans with a ceramic coating on them... they are said to be useful for every kind of stove, from gas over electro, ceran or induction... and they are said to be extremely robust and should cook evenly and so on...

But before buying one I wanted to ask you whether you have experience with those kind of pans? Are they really indestructable? Will working in the pan with forks or knives harm the coating? Will dishwasher usage harm the pan?

What results do you have with those pans? Is food sticking to the pan or is it really going off like nothing?

Would be great if you could provide me with some information and experience about those pans...

Thank you!

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The cooking surface has a ceramic covering not just the outside? I've seen that with dutch ovens where I thought it was to prevent corrosion but that wouldn't make sense for aluminum. –  Sobachatina Mar 26 '11 at 19:26
    
no really on the cooking side... it's said to be "ultra-anti-sticky" (I'm German so it's not always easy to find the right term)... and ultra-durable since it's ceramic... –  evident Mar 26 '11 at 19:33
    
is this just a translation of "non-stick" ie Teflon or similar? –  Martin Beckett Mar 27 '11 at 1:30
    
Well it's hard to describe for me... it really had like a white-ish (ceramic-color) coating on the cooking side... it was not a usual teflon coating... and they said that nothing will stick to it, so even eggs or anything will move around easily in the pan (without usage of oil)... –  evident Mar 27 '11 at 9:49
    
I've found that the non-sticky-ness of the white ceramic pans wears out in no time flat. The ceramic doesn't come off or anything, but it's no longer non-stick; if anything, it's extra-sticky. It might be possible to extend the life of the coating by not putting the pan in the dishwasher (as the instructions state), but with my mother around, that just ain't gonna happen in my house. –  Marti Dec 5 '13 at 14:38
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I have two ceramic-coated skillets (one aluminum, one cast iron; both coated on the inside with ceramic) and they are decent. There is still some sticking of food, but it is very manageable. It also doesn't (so far) peel off like the Teflon (or other non-stick coating) always did, so I feel much better about preparing food without the negatives of that stuff getting into my food.

As far as cooking, one of the skillets (standard shape/size) cooks very well. The other is a large skillet that is almost wok-shaped (but not quite) and it cooks things very differently from what I am used to, but I am pretty sure that's due to the pan style and not the material.

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And even if ceramic did come off that would be perhaps unpleasant to bite into but not toxic like teflon. –  Sobachatina Mar 28 '11 at 21:00
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@Sobachatina : 'unpleasant to bite into' could be a cracked tooth ... which could be years of dental pain ... I'd think the advantage would be that it should be obvious from cracking of the coating's showing signs of wear and/or blatant holes if parts have come off. –  Joe Mar 29 '11 at 10:36
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They are useful, as long as they last.

The problem with ceramic is that it is perfectly slick when bought, and degrades over time. Unlike Teflon, it is not about scratching or overheating. No matter how careful you are with your pan, it will lose its non stickiness after a year of daily use.

I don't know if there is a scenario where they are good. If you buy the quality ones, they are expensive, and it is no good to pay much money for a product which only lasts a year. If you want to buy cheap ones and change them often, you don't get good heating quality because the part underneath the coating is not good. Maybe, if you have a few items which will stick on anything else (fish pan fried at low temperature) and you make them rarely, it could be a good idea to buy one and use it for these items only. But that wouldn't be worth it to me.

After I had this experience with ceramic (which is confirmed by other sources, inclusive Amazon reviews on the most expensive brands available here), I decided that they don't deliver what they promise. I continue using Teflon for non-stick at low temperatures, and it does not degrade then. (I know lots of people who throw their Teflon out each year because they turn the burner all the way up - that's the wrong way to do it). For high-temperature frying, I rely on the old ways - steel or seasoned iron with sufficient fat in the pan.

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