Ceramic cookware is one of the best additions you can make to your kitchen. This cookware provides exceptional heating, effortless food release, and above all, a toxin-free non-stick cooking experience.
All the praises aside, ceramic pans can also lose their efficacy with time, like other cookware or kitchen appliances. You might experience an oh-so-great ceramic pan turning into a sticky mess that ruins anything you cook in it.
But the best thing about earthenware is that you can revive its non-stick properties by following some easy steps. If your ceramic non-stick pan is acting up, you’re in the right place.
This guide talks all about making ceramic pans non-stick again and keeping them in working condition for years at end.
So, read on, and let’s bring your favorite ceramic pan back from the dead!
Why Do Ceramic Frying Pans Lose Their Non-stick Coating?
Finding a problem’s root cause is important before we move towards finding its solution. We have seen home cooks claim that they take good care of their ceramic cookware, but it still gets damaged over time.
After some digging, it turns out that either they’re oblivious of a ceramic pan’s heat-bearing capacity or treat it like a cast-iron skillet – both practices are wrong for earthenware.
If you’re unsure what turned your great ceramic pan into a pretty useless one, look into the following reasons to know better.
Extreme Temperature Fluctuations
Ceramic pans have aluminum or copper bodies coated in a ceramic layer that offers excellent non-stick properties. Now, you can be carefree about the temperature while dealing with a 100% metal pan, but it’s different with ceramic cookware.
When you heat a ceramic non-stick pan, its body expands at a different speed than the top layer. Eventually, there’s a clash between the aluminum/copper frame and ceramic layer, which results in a distorted surface.
Therefore, manufacturers always recommend that you be careful when dealing with ceramic cookware and not expose these pans to extreme heat changes.
When you submerge a burning hot ceramic pan in cold water, it receives a heat shock that distorts its shape and affects its performance.
Similarly, using extremely high temperatures with ceramic cookware is another reason these pans lose their non-stick properties. So, never expose a ceramic pan to sudden heat shocks if you want it to be in your kitchen for a considerable time.
If food has burnt inside your ceramic pan, don’t go around scrubbing it with steel wool; it will ruin your pan.
No matter which kind of non-stick coating your cookware has, never use abrasive cleaners with it, or else, get ready to bin it soon after.
A ceramic layer reinforced over the metal frame shouldn’t come in contact with harsh cleaners. Steel wool, utensil scourers, and degreasers leave tiny scratches behind that impact a pan’s performance.
Apart from rough cleaning agents, chemical-loaded detergents are also a no-no for ceramic pans. These detergents slowly eat away the ceramic surface and render it useless.
Metal knives, forks, and spatulas are ceramic cookware’s enemies; keep them away from your favorite ceramic non-stick pan.
Even if you carefully glide the spatula around in a ceramic pan, it can still erode the non-stick surface.
Rubber and wooden utensils are ideal for ceramic pans as they don’t go hard on the non-stick coating and get the job done.
Regular Wear & Tear
You have been vigilant about the above factors, but your ceramic non-stick pan has still gotten bad? You’re not alone. These pans come with a time limitation, and once they cross that, their performance rapidly goes down.
Regular cooking and washing can slowly damage a ceramic pan and ruin its effectiveness if you don’t find a solution.
Absence of any Grease/Oil
Sure, not adding extra grease will keep your cholesterol levels in check, but it will also leave a sticky food mess for you to clean.
When you don’t add any oil/grease to the ceramic pan before other ingredients, your food starts to stick in it.
And when you take out the stuck-on food, it can slightly erode the non-stick layer underneath.
Therefore, you should always use some grease while cooking in a ceramic pan to enjoy hassle-free food release and protect the pan’s integrity.
How To Make A Ceramic Pan Non-stick Again?
Now that we know what causes a ceramic non-stick pan to go bad, it’s time for some repair. Although we cannot reverse the damage ceramic pans go through, we can minimize its impact and enjoy a good enough cooking experience.
Sure, you cannot re-coat your pan at home, but reviving its performance is still doable.
If you’re familiar with cookware seasoning, you already know what to do next. But if you’re a newbie, this easy-to-follow ceramic pan seasoning process will help you through this phase.
Season the Ceramic Pan
New ceramic pans are already coated with a non-stick layer, so you don’t have to season them right out of the box like cast-iron cookware. Instead, when a ceramic pan loses its non-stick properties, that’s the right time to season it.
Follow these steps to season your ceramic pan and regain its non-stick performance:
When there’s stuck-on dust or food residue in a pan, you can season it the right way. Therefore, start by thoroughly cleaning your ceramic pan.
- Fill your kitchen sink with warm soapy water and submerge the pan in it for a good rinse. If there’s grease build-up, use a rubber spatula to remove it.
- Once the pan is clean, wipe dry it and leave it on the dish rack for a while.
- Next, pour some high smoke-point oil (grapeseed and flaxseed oils are good options) into the pan and cover the entire non-stick coating in this oil.
- You can either spread this oil around with your fingers or use a kitchen towel instead; you’re free to choose.
- Make sure the oil doesn’t pool to either side of the pan, and it is just enough to form a thin layer over the non-stick surface.
- Place this pan on your stove and set the heat at low to medium level. High heat will quickly burn the oil, which is the opposite of what we want.
- Leave the pan over low to medium flame for 5-10 minutes, and you’ll see smoke emerging from it. Let it be for 2-3 minutes and turn off the flame.
- Set your ceramic pan aside and let it come to room temperature before moving forward.
- Once the pan is safe to touch, wipe it inside out with a kitchen towel to remove excess oil. And that’s all!
Seasoning is a great kitchen hack to make old ceramic pans non-stick again. Choose a good quality oil to season your pan, don’t rush the process, and you’ll surely love the results.
Give a Salt Rub to the Ceramic Coating
You should season a ceramic pan when its non-stick coated is scratched. But if this coating is intact and still your pan isn’t non-stick anymore, giving it a salt rub will do the trick.
Here’s how you can make a ceramic pan non-stick again with table salt:
- Add a generous amount of table or sea salt to your ceramic pan, make sure salt thoroughly covers the non-stick coating.
- Put the pan on a hob and set the flame to low; kill the urge to speed up the process.
- Salt’s color will slowly start to change, and it will soon become brownish. Once that happens, turn off the stove.
- Leave the pan to cool down and come back to it after an hour or so.
- Throw away cooked salt and use a kitchen towel to wipe the pan’s interiors. Upon wiping, you’ll notice that some dark particles have also come off along with the remaining salt; they are your culprit.
Hasty cleaning doesn’t take everything out of a ceramic pan, and a thin layer starts to develop over its ceramic surface with time.
This layer compromises a pan’s performance and impacts your food color, so removing it is essential.
How Do You Keep A Ceramic Pan Non-stick?
Seasoning isn’t a one-off process; you have to maintain it if you wish to enjoy effortless cooking.
When you regain a ceramic pan’s non-stick performance, provide it with the proper upkeep, and it won’t leave your kitchen for years at end.
Here are some easy tips to help you keep a ceramic pan non-stick:
Once you’re happy with the seasoning results, you can start cooking in the ceramic pan right away. But since regular usage will impact this seasoned layer, you’ll have to re-coat it.
Re-season your ceramic pan once every two months, and you’ll love its performance. Follow the above-explained process to make sure your ceramic pan is always spick and span.
Cooking at extremely high temperatures not only disturbs a non-stick coating but also causes metal warping. That’s why using a low-medium temperature with ceramic cookware is a smart move.
If you’re habitual of cooking at a blasting temperature, stop doing it right away and enjoy your ceramic pan for the years to come. Preventing heat shocks is another service you can do for earthenware.
Use metal utensils with stainless steel and cast-iron cookware , but don’t put your ceramic pan through this torture.
Buy nylon or wooden utensils if you don’t already have them because they will keep your ceramic pan’s coating intact.
Metal utensils and flatware leave minor scratches on non-stick surfaces that compromise your pan’s usability.
Yes, off the stove into the sink is a bad practice for ceramic cookware, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t regularly clean these pots and pans.
When you’re done cooking, let the pan cool down for a while and wash it with warm soapy water afterward.
Don’t put a ceramic non-stick pan in the dishwasher because it can damage its coating. Always wipe dry your pan before storing it to avoid rust and discoloration.
Although stacking isn’t the best way of storing ceramic cookware, you can still do it with some extra care. Spread kitchen towels or tissues in your ceramic pots and pans before storing them away; this trick will reduce the chances of collisions and scratches.
How Long Does Ceramic Non-stick Cookware Last?
Non-stick cookware isn’t heirloom-worthy, unlike our old, beaten cast-iron friends. This cookware is usable and safe till a certain timeline; once that passes, you can’t do much.
However, the tricky part is, not all ceramic cookware is made the same; you have to find out damage signs before deciding whether to throw a ceramic pan or not.
Ceramic cookware from high-end brands can last for 3-5 years in your kitchen if you take care of it. High-quality pots and pans have pressure-treated coatings that do well under harsh circumstances, so don’t worry if you have spent a good sum on this cookware.
On the flip side, cheap and mediocre quality ceramic cookware can give up within months of regular usage. First, you’ll notice slight discoloration, and soon there will be nothing non-stick about a poor-quality ceramic pan.
Therefore, you should opt for good-quality ceramic pans that don’t ditch you within months and offer impressive performance.
Ceramic non-stick pans are increasingly becoming kitchen staples; the credit goes to their convenience and practicality. However, these pans can get damaged after regular usage and impact your cooking experience.
Sure, breathing a new life into dead your dead ceramic non-stick pan is not possible; you can still make it fairly usable by following a few hacks. If your ceramic pan isn’t non-stick anymore, season it with high smoke-point oil to revive its performance.
After the first seasoning haul, re-coat your pan whenever it’s feasible for you and protect it from potentially harmful objects to enjoy its stay in your kitchen. Ceramic cookware indeed takes some practice and care before you get the hang of it, but the experience you get is worth all the hassle!