When it comes to home cooking, a nonstick option is a must-have essential for many cooks. The only downside is that traditional nonstick pans are treated with chemicals like polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), also known as Teflon. While there is insufficient data around the danger of PTFE, many home cooks nowadays opt for non-chemically treated cookware. Luckily, ceramic cookware has stepped in, and these versatile pieces are stealing the spotlight.
Ceramic cookware is naturally nonstick, so it’s not treated with additional chemicals. Ceramic can also withstand ridiculously high temps, and it heats evenly for perfect cooking. And the best part? "With proper care and use, ceramic cookware is designed to last years," says Jordan Nathan, CEO and Founder of Caraway. "Thanks to its naturally nonstick coating, food and grime will release in seconds, so there is no need for heavy scrubbing or the dishwasher.”
Here, we found the best ceramic cookware pieces, whether you're looking for a full set or just a single frying pan.
Best Overall: GreenPan Levels Ceramic Nonstick Stackable Cookware Set
Material: Hard anodized aluminum with Thermolon Minerals Pro ceramic coating | Stove Type: All except induction | Oven Safe: Yes, up to 400 degrees | Care: Dishwasher safe
Buying new cookware can definitely be daunting. With so many choices out there, if you’re going to invest in a new set you want to make sure you’re getting the best option for your needs. These pans are nonstick with a diamond-infused ceramic coating, making the interior incredibly strong and resilient, and they’re metal utensil safe and oven safe up to 400 degrees for any type of cooking.
Whether you opt to buy individual styles or as a set, these pans will help to release food easily, without the addition of toxins like PFAS. And for the cook who loves an organized kitchen? This line is also totally stackable, allowing for easy storage. You’ll want to place protectors in between the pans as you stack to keep them looking fresh and new, but ultimately this is the best overall option for a full set with all of the benefits of ceramic cookware.
Best Budget: Cuisinart Advantage Nonstick Ceramica XT 11-Piece Cookware Set
Material: Aluminum with titanium reinforced ceramic coating | Stove Type: Gas, electric, glass ceramic, halogen | Oven Safe: Yes, up to 350 degrees | Care: Dishwasher safe
Buying a full set of cookware can be an expensive purchase, but thanks to this Cuisinart set you can get all the essentials without breaking the bank. The set includes two saucepans, a sauté pan, and a stockpot—all with covers—as well as a skillet and steamer insert.
The set is available in three colors—black, black with copper, and red—so you're sure to find one that fits in your kitchen. Regardless of which color you choose, each pan has silicone handles that'll stay cool on a stovetop, and each piece is safe up to 350 degrees.
Best Splurge: Caraway Cookware Set
Material: Aluminum with ceramic coating | Stove Type: Gas, electric, induction | Oven Safe: Yes, up to 550 degrees | Care: Hand wash recommended
There are three things to look for in ceramic cookware that are totally worth the extra splurge: color, quality, and convenience. And this set from Caraway Home absolutely boasts all three. It features a nonstick coating free of PTFE, lead, nickel, and cadmium, plus works with induction stovetops (not always a guarantee with ceramic cookware) and is oven-safe up to 550 degrees.
The set comes with a frying pan, a sauté pan, a saucepan, and a Dutch oven, all with a perfectly sized pan storage rack and lid storage that can easily be tucked away in a cupboard, without the hassle of trying to stack pans and lids. The best part is that there are six gorgeous colors to choose from, so you can go straight from stove to serving.
What Editors Say
"On of the things that stands out the most about these pans is how solid they feel. While they aren't quite as sturdy as cast iron, they are wonderful at retaining heat and never feel unstable on my gas range, unlike my lighter nonstick cookware set." — Kate Geraghty, Editorial Director
Best Multi-Purpose: Our Place
Material: Aluminum with ceramic coating | Stove Type: Gas, electric, induction | Oven Safe: No | Care: Hand wash recommended
More of a one-pan-fits-all kind of cook? Utilize a piece that can cook anything from sautéed veggies to steamed dumplings to a homemade curry. With heavy-gauge aluminum at its core and a ceramic coating, this is one of the most versatile pans you can buy, helping you to cook just about anything. The aluminum base is designed for quick and even heating, while its coating allows for easy nonstick cooking with an entirely dishwasher safe exterior.
The Always Pan is the perfect size for any recipe, and it’s compatible with any type of cooktop. Plus, it’s free of PFAS and PTFE. The pan is equipped with an easy-pour spout (no more messy ladles), a steamer basket for easy vegetable steaming, and a spatula with its own built-in spoon rest for mess-free cooking. The modular lid locks in heat and steam when you want it or lets it off as needed, and it comes in a variety of different colors to match any kitchen’s palette.
Best for Small Kitchens: Neoflam Midas 9-piece Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set
Material: Aluminum with ceramic coating | Stove Type: Gas, electric | Oven Safe: Not listed | Care: Dishwasher safe, hand wash recommended
There are definitely benefits to small living spaces. But small kitchens? Storage can be incredibly complicated, and you don’t want to add any unnecessary cookware if it doesn’t have the perfect home. Having a great set of pots and pans is important, but when it comes to stacking and storing, there’s nothing that stands in the way more than handles.
Luckily, this set takes that out of the equation, providing an easy storage solution. This ceramic cookware set from Neoflam is designed with detachable handles, making stacking and storing so much simpler. The set comes with all of the benefits of ceramic cookware, with a nonstick ceramic coating, as well as being scratch-resistant, long-lasting, and durable. The set is complete with two sizes of stockpots and two sizes of frying pans with glass lids for cooking, as well as plastic lids to turn the pots into storage containers once you’re ready to put the food away.
Best Frying Pan: Great Jones Large Fry
Material: Aluminum and stainless steel with ceramic coating | Stove Type: Gas, electric, induction | Oven Safe: Yes, up to 500 degrees | Care: Hand wash recommended
Frying pans can be pretty versatile pieces of cookware, so having a good one in your arsenal is a must. Great Jones' is everything you could want in a frying pan—it's nonstick, scratch-resistant, and safe for all stovetops (including induction). The pan is available in two sizes—small and large—and has a 30-day trial with free returns, but we have a feeling you'll have this one in your collection for years to come.
Best Baking Dish: Staub Rectangular Ceramic Baking Dish Set
Material: Stoneware with ceramic and porcelain coating | Stove Type: Not listed | Oven Safe: Yes, up to 575 degrees | Care: Dishwasher safe
There’s a science to prepping an incredible casserole dish, and a lot of it has to do with moisture retention. These ceramic stoneware casserole dishes from Staub come in a set of two different sizes for the perfect bake, and each piece is made of stoneware, which doesn’t absorb moisture and retains heat throughout.
Because they’re ceramic, you can also take the dish straight from the oven to the fridge without any worry of cracking or chipping. The exterior and interior coating is both scratch- and stain-resistant, and you won’t have to scrub too hard to get food off. This set allows you to choose the proper size to pack in your ingredients for the perfect casserole, rather than a pan far too large that doesn’t retain heat within the meal as well. They’re also safe in the oven, under the broiler, reheating in the microwave, fridge, freezer, and dishwasher.
Overall, we recommend the GreenPan Levels Ceramic Nonstick Stackable Cookware (view at Food52) because the set is easy to store and provides all the key benefits of ceramic cookware. It's also available in two sizes so you can get just what your kitchen needs. For a budget-friendly option, consider the Cuisinart Advantage Ceramic XT Cookware Set (view at Amazon). The set is available in three colors and includes all of the basic cookware essentials.
What to Look for in Ceramic Cookware
There are tons of different cookware styles out there, so determining which type you need will help narrow down the selection. A few popular styles include sauté pans, saucepans, stockpots, and skillets—you can usually get all the essentials in a set, but most are sold individually if you only need a few pieces. Some cookware may even come in different colors, so consider if you're going to leave your pieces out on the stove in between uses. If you're going to have them on display, be sure to choose a color that matches your kitchen.
The price of cookware depends on a few key factors—brand, size, and quality, to name a few. Buying pieces individually can be a more affordable route, but if you foresee needing more than one or two pieces of cookware in your kitchen, it's more economical to buy a full set—depending on the brand, you're likely to save more money in the end.
Cookware varies in size but luckily, most brands offer a range so you can find what works best. If your kitchen is a smaller space, it's also worth noting sets that are made for just that. From stackable styles to designs with removable handles, there are plenty of options out there to suit your needs.
Is ceramic cookware safe?
Ceramic cookware typically isn't made from 100 percent ceramic, but rather has a metal core (usually aluminum) and then is covered with a ceramic coating. The main safety issue with ceramic cookware is that the ceramic coating will chip, allowing the metals underneath to seep into the food you're cooking. To prevent this, be sure to use non-metal utensils when cooking to avoid scratching, and stick with high-quality cookware that is made with several layers of ceramic coating.
How long does ceramic cookware last?
Ceramic isn't as durable as cast iron or stainless steel, but it can last for many years if you take care of it well enough. The stronger and more reliable the coating, the longer it will last, so be sure the cookware you're buying contains multiple layers of the ceramic coating. Using less abrasive cooking utensils, like wood and silicone, will help to increase the life of your ceramic cookware, as does hand washing.
How do you clean ceramic cookware?
It is essential to clean your ceramic cookware with safe and gentle cleaning methods like sponges and dishcloths. Harsh cleaning tools like steel wool on the coated non-stick surface will scratch and damage the coating, and using the dishwasher (even when the product is listed as dishwasher-safe) can also diminish the lifespan of your cookware.
Why Trust MyDomaine?
This article was written by Molly Allen, a freelance writer who specializes in lifestyle and food content. To write this article, she consulted experts and editors, selecting products based on their materials, construction, and durability. She only selected products from reputable brands that do not use potentially harmful materials in their cookware.
Adrienne Jordan, a freelance writer who specializes in home and kitchen content, also contributed to this article. She consulted experts and researched the pros and cons of ceramic cookware.
Radulovic, L.L., and Z.W. Wojcinski. "PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene; Teflon®)". Encyclopedia Of Toxicology, 2014, pp. 1133-1136. Elsevier, https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-386454-3.00970-2.