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When it comes to home cooking, a nonstick option is a must-have essential for many cooks. But what about all of the news in recent years about the safety of nonstick pans? 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 such as Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) which have been known to be present and harmful in some nonstick options. Ceramic can also withstand ridiculously high temps, and it heats evenly for perfect cooking. And the best part? When you’re done prepping a stunning dish, ceramic cookware is incredibly easy to clean, releasing food effortlessly without having to scrub and scratch your cookware with steel wool.
Here, the best ceramic cookware.
Best Overall: GreenPan Ceramic Nonstick Stackable Cookware
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 54C-11BK Advantage Ceramica XT 11-Piece Cookware Set
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 includes two saucepans, a saute 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 piece has silicone handles that'll stay cool on a stovetop and are oven safe up to 350 degrees.
Best Splurge: Caraway Cookware Set
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, Teflon, lead, nickel, and cadmium, and the mineral-based interior promises not to leach toxic materials into otherwise clean and healthy ingredients you’re cooking with. Its eco-friendly coating releases less CO2 as opposed to other coatings, it allows you to cook with far less oil or butter, and ultimately helps food come out easily, eliminating the need for scrubbing while cleaning.
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. There are five gorgeous colors to choose from to match your favorite color or kitchen décor, and they’re so pretty 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 non-stick cookware set." — Kate Geraghty, Editorial Director
Best Multi-Purpose: Our Place The Always Pan
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 non-toxic, free of Teflon, 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, depending on your dish, for the perfect cook, and it comes in four different colors to match any kitchen’s palette.
Best for Small Kitchens: Neoflam Midas 9-piece Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set
There are definitely benefits to small living spaces, like less cleaning when it comes to sweeping and vacuuming. 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 option takes that out of the equation, providing an easy storage solution. This ceramic cookware set from Neoflam is designed with detachable handles, letting you take each of the handles off, 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 and 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
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, made with a non-toxic coating, and scratch-resistant. It's even dishwasher friendly too so you can clean it with ease.
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 Universal Lids Set: Equal Parts The Cookware Set
One of the most frustrating features of cookware can be the need to find a matching lid while you’re right in the middle of cooking dinner. If you’ve been there, scrounging through the cupboard for the lid that fits the pot you’re using, without it being too small and falling in, this is the best option for universal lids you never knew you needed.
The Cookware Set's ceramic coating is free of Teflon, PFOA, or lead, and it’s designed for use on all stovetops including induction, gas, and electric, as well as oven safe up to 450 degrees. The set is perfectly designed to stack and store, with two pans and two pots and two universal lids to match.The non-stick coating stays slick so you can cook with less oil and the interior offers super quick clean-up, whether doing a scrub in the sink or adding them to the dishwasher.
Best for Casseroles: Staub Ceramic Stoneware 4-Piece Set
Making the decision to invest in better cookware means coming to the realization that even though you can cook a casserole in the same pan you used for your friend’s birthday cake, it doesn’t mean you actually should. There’s a science to prepping an incredible casserole dish, and a lot of it has to do with moisture retention. You certainly don’t want a dish you prepped for hours to come out too runny, right? These ceramic stoneware casserole dishes from Staub come in a set of three different sizes for the perfect bake. 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 out of the dish. 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.
Best Dutch Oven: Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven
Le Creuset has long held the reputation for dutch oven options, dating back to its original debut in 1925. The Le Creuset Cocotte has served kitchens and families well for decades, and it’s such a durable piece that many families still have the dutch oven that was passed down amongst their relatives for years. This option varies in sizing and can accommodate everything from slow-cooking roasts to soups to even baking bread.
Its cast-iron base is ideal for great heat retention while cooking, and it can be used in oven temps up to 500 degrees, along with electric, gas, and ceramic cooktops and even outdoor grills. Its ceramic coating prevents sticking and staining so food releases easily, and its shock-resistant exterior is coated to prevent chipping and cracking. Choose from over 21 different color options for the perfect fit to match any personality—you'll use this piece of cookware for years to come.
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 sautee 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.