How Long Do Ceramic Non Stick Pans Last?

Published on 02/07/2024 · 11 min readExplore the lasting power of ceramic non-stick pans in our guide! Learn what sets them apart, care tips, and why they're a must-have in modern kitchens.
Melissa Nicholson, Kitchen Expert
By Kitchen Expert Melissa Nicholson

Tl;dr: There are many nonstick pans on the market today, and ceramic nonstick is one of the more recent types you may have noticed. Like other nonstick materials, ceramic nonstick easily releases food, prevents sticking, and cleans up in a breeze.

I have tried every type of pan and consider myself a stainless steel gal. However, when cooking with ceramic nonstick, I can see what all the fuss is about. They are pretty (I like the look of ceramic) and wonderfully easy to clean. I won’t give up my stainless steel; however, just as I have cast iron and other pieces to choose from, I keep GreenPan ceramic nonstick pans on hand when I prefer a nonstick surface.

One of my favorite things to cook in ceramic nonstick is fish. No matter how much oil or butter I add to stainless steel or cast iron, fragile foods can stick. Nothing is more frustrating than losing half of a piece of fish to the bottom of a frying pan.

You likely have a ceramic nonstick pan or two or are considering adding some to your collection. Since it’s a newer type of nonstick finish, it begs the question, how long do ceramic nonstick pans last?

In this article, we’ll answer that as well as other questions, such as what ceramic nonstick is and whether it’s useful for every type of meal preparation. And if you have further questions about ceramic nonstick cookware, feel free to reach out to a Curated Kitchen Expert to get answers. They will be happy to help you with all of your kitchen inquiries.

What Is Ceramic Nonstick?

You may be surprised to learn that a ceramic nonstick pan isn’t ceramic at all. They get their name from the way they look. The nonstick surface looks like ceramic, but the material used to create that pretty nonstick is called silicone. The pan can be any form of metal, such as stainless steel or aluminum; however, the interior is lined with silicone, creating a slippery surface and a ceramic look.

Why Ceramic Nonstick Pans Are Helpful

Every tool in your kitchen has a job, including your pans. Most people choose a variety to have on hand, even if they have a favorite. The reason for the variety is that each pan works differently. Some methods, such as searing, won’t do as well in nonstick. Your steak must sear quickly at a high heat, which is not good for a nonstick pan since high heat can begin to break down the nonstick surface.

So, why own ceramic nonstick if there are things that don’t cook well in it? Just as a steak sears best in cast iron and white sauces turn out beautifully in stainless steel, some foods are happiest in a ceramic nonstick pan. Let’s look at a few.

Photo by Melissa Nicholson

  • Eggs
    • I do not like it when my eggs turn brown. I often cook my one morning egg, either fried or scrambled, in a small stainless steel skillet bathed in butter. However, if cooking multiple eggs, I turn to nonstick and use my GreenPan Rio 12-inch ceramic nonstick skillet. GreenPan is the original ceramic nonstick brand.
    • The stainless steel is too risky for me when managing more than one. A ceramic nonstick pan makes cooking eggs easy. They won’t stick (still use butter for flavor), making it easier to keep them from browning, and they slide right out of the pan.
  • Fish
    • As mentioned above, fragile foods, especially fish, cook beautifully in ceramic nonstick.
  • Cheesy Dishes
    • My family teases me that if a recipe says to add one cup of cheese, I will certainly add two. Cheese makes everything better, but we can discuss that at another time.
    • The problem when cooking with cheese in ceramic dishes is that its wonderful ooey-gooeyness can quickly stick to a pan, making cleanup time a bear. I prefer nonstick to avoid losing any glorious cheese to the pan.
  • Pancakes
    • It’s funny — I begin many of my meals with butter, but when it comes to pancakes, I prefer the flavor of them cooked in a ceramic nonstick skillet with no butter. The butter comes afterward when you pile the pancakes on your plate.

What to Consider When Choosing Ceramic Nonstick Pans

There are quite a few good brands out there selling ceramic nonstick cookware. How do you choose? It’s essential to understand the durability of ceramic nonstick, the sizes they come in, and how much you should expect to pay.

Is the Pan Durable?

You, of course, want durable nonstick cookware. The best way to know is to take a good look at the construction of the pan. Look for the following features for durability:

  • A thick bottom made of aluminum, copper, or stainless steel
  • Secure handles with strong rivets
  • A thoroughly covered, nonstick surface
  • A pan base of aluminum or stainless steel

Do Ceramic Nonstick Pans Come in Several Sizes?

Yes! Ceramic nonstick pans come in all shapes and sizes, including:

  • Dutch ovens
  • Stockpots
  • Small and large skillets
  • Saute pans
  • Fry pans

You can purchase open stock or cookware sets in ceramic nonstick.

How Much Should a Ceramic Nonstick Pan Cost?

Just like all cookware, prices vary for ceramic nonstick pans. The factors that determine the price are quality and size. Prices for a ceramic nonstick pan range from about $10/pan to $200/pan and more for sets.

A pan with higher-quality materials, such as hard anodized aluminum like the GreenPan Valencia Pro, or extra silicone coatings for greater scratch resistance will cost more than cheaper counterparts. And, of course, an 8-inch fry pan will likely cost less than a 12-inch skillet.

What Are the Different Types of Ceramic Nonstick Pans?

Not all ceramic nonstick cookware is the same. Just as stainless steel has different levels of performance because of the materials, so does ceramic nonstick. Let’s look at the different types.

Thermolon-Coated Pans

GreenPan is the only brand that uses Thermolon to create a ceramic nonstick surface. They make the coating themselves from sand.

Benefits:

  • No PFAS
  • No adhesives
  • No toxins
  • Something for every budget

Keep in mind:

  • Can crack and chip over time

Ceraforce XTREME-Coated Pans

Ceraforce is a ceramic nonstick coating made popular by Zwilling.

Benefits:

  • 50% longer lasting than Zwilling’s previous nonstick surfaces
  • Safe to use with metal utensils
  • Toxin free

Keep in mind:

  • Tends to be a bit more expensive than other brands

Traditional Ceramic Nonstick

Traditional ceramic nonstick surfaces are made with silicone that is sprayed onto a stainless steel or aluminum pan and then baked.

Benefits:

  • Widest price range and is found in most stores

Keep in mind:

  • Nearly impossible to determine how many coats of silicone a pan has, which makes it tough to know how durable it is
  • Traditional silicone surfaces are seldom metal-utensil-friendly

Diamond-Infused Ceramic Nonstick

Some brands, such as OXO, offer diamond-infused ceramic nonstick coatings for incredibly slippery surfaces.

Benefits:

  • Extra-nonstick surface for easy cleanup
  • Often oven safe up to 600°F

Keep in mind:

  • You’ll pay a little more for diamond-infused ceramic nonstick
  • Harder to find in stores

Though each type of ceramic coating is different, they vary only slightly. In the end, ceramic nonstick doesn’t last forever like other materials; however, you will get what you pay for in ceramic nonstick.

Features to Look Out for When Buying Ceramic Nonstick Pans

There are many features to consider in ceramic nonstick pans, and we’ve discussed some of them along the way. The following are the most important features I feel you should look for when choosing ceramic nonstick cookware that will last.

Oven Safe

Most ceramic nonstick cookware claims to be oven safe; however, it varies. Many pieces are only oven safe up to 500°F. Other brands, such as OXO Professional nonstick fry pans, are oven safe to 600°F. The ability to go from stovetop to oven at high temperatures is only an essential feature to look for if that’s something you find necessary when cooking.

Benefits:

  • Easily go from stovetop to oven with one pan
  • Reduce the number of pots and pans needed when cooking since an oven-safe pan can perform multiple tasks

Keep in mind:

  • Ceramic nonstick cookware is fairly new, and some people feel it’s risky to heat the nonstick coating to high temperatures
  • Oven safe isn’t the same as broil safe. Unless you are using the OXO Professional nonstick fry pans that are safe to 600°F, the broiler is too hot for most nonstick pans

Construction

Ensure the cookware you choose is of excellent construction with the following features:

  • Stainless steel or aluminum base
  • Thick bottom
  • Riveted steel handles
  • Proper ceramic nonstick coating

Benefits:

  • Excellent construction means a pan that heats evenly and won’t warp
  • Riveted handles ensure safety when lifting the pan
  • A strong ceramic nonstick coating leads to easier cleanup after cooking and less food sticking to the pan

Keep in mind:

  • You will pay more for nonstick pans with a thicker bottom
  • The best ceramic nonstick coating will still eventually wear off

Easy to Maintain

The great thing about ceramic nonstick pans is that they are all easy to maintain. The nonstick finish makes cleaning up after cooking almost enjoyable. Still, you may enjoy the following features for the easiest maintenance:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Metal-utensil safe

Benefits:

  • Although most nonstick surfaces are easy to handwash, having the ability to throw them in the dishwasher is convenient
  • When you choose ceramic nonstick materials that are metal utensil friendly, you don’t have to invest in a variety of utensils

How Long Does Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Last?

Photo by Melissa Nicholson

Different variables play a part in how long ceramic nonstick cookware lasts. Issues such as the quality of the pan, how it's maintained, and what type of heat it endures all affect how long it will last. Still, even the best ceramic nonstick cookware won’t last forever the way stainless steel and cast iron can.

You can expect to replace your nonstick ceramic cookware about every three years and even sooner for lower-quality pans. The most common issue is that ceramic nonstick cookware will eventually scratch. Once it does, the finish won’t be as nonstick, food will get stuck, and cleaning won’t be pleasant as particles get stuck in the scratches.

How to Choose the Right Ceramic Nonstick Cookware

Now that you are armed with all the best ceramic nonstick information, it’s time to choose the right ceramic cookware for you. Let’s look at the three types of cooks and which set may suit each of them best.

Tom

Tom is relatively new to cooking and is looking to expand his cookware collection to include ceramic nonstick cookware. He doesn’t want to commit to an entire set to start with — he wants to start slowly and see where things go.

Features Tom should look for:

  • Hard anodized aluminum
  • Induction safe
  • Metal-utensil and dishwasher safe

Ceramic nonstick pan example: GreenPan Valencia Pro Covered Everyday Pan - 11-inch

Cate

A long-time novice cook and general kitchen enthusiast, Cate wants to start entertaining more at home. She is interested in buying a set of ceramic nonstick cookware that will look attractive, be comfortable, and be easy to use, as well as be safer for the environment.

Features Cate should look for:

  • Aluminum core for even heating
  • No-spill pour spouts
  • Comfortable handles
  • Stylish look of stainless steel

Ceramic nonstick pan example: Zwilling Clad CFX Stainless Steel Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set · 10-Piece Set

Gary

As a professional cook, Gary wants top-of-the-line cookware with superior nonstick performance. He needs to be able to rely on his ceramic nonstick cookware to heat quickly and evenly while also being easy to clean and maintain.

Features Gary should look for:

  • Hard anodized aluminum for even heat distribution
  • Induction-cooktop safe
  • Exceptional nonstick, durable surface

Ceramic nonstick pan example: OXO Ceramic Professional Non-stick · 10-Piece Set

Find the Right Ceramic Cookware for You

As you choose your ceramic nonstick cookware, remember that there is no nonstick cookware that will last a lifetime. Expect to replace yours anywhere from every one to three years. For the best results, look for durability, low maintenance, and the best price to suit your budget.

For more suggestions and information about choosing ceramic cookware and how long it lasts, please reach out to our Curated Kitchen Experts, who are always happy to assist you.

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Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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