Ceramic pan with oil

Using Cooking Oil on Ceramic Pans: 3 Ways to Removed Burnt Oils!

Are you new to the wonderful world of ceramic pans? You’ve probably heard that there’s a list of what to do and what not to do when using a ceramic pan. And there’s a hefty amount of confusing information on the topic of cooking oils.

In this article, I want to once and for all explain to you everything you need to know about cooking with oil on a ceramic pan.

How do you get burned oil off a ceramic pan?

Ceramic pan broken with stains
Ceramic pan broken with stains

It’s easy to burn oil on your ceramic pan. Depending on the type of oil, you might find one oil burning a lot quicker than another.

If you find yourself looking at a ceramic pan that’s got stains of burnt oil, you should follow the 3 methods below.

Method 1: Soak your pan in hot water.

  1. Soak your pan in hot, soapy water.
  2. Leave it in for 20 minutes or until the water cools.
  3. Scrub off any particles still on the pan.
  4. Dump out the water.

Method 2: Boil water and vinegar.

  1. Place a 1–4 ratio of vinegar to water in the pan.
  2. Cook the ceramic pan with the mixture until it boils.
  3. Let it cool.
  4. Using a soft sponge, gently wash the pan.
  5. Dump out the mixture.

Method 3: Baking soda

  1. With an empty ceramic pan, sprinkle baking soda on the stain.
  2. Let the baking soda sit for about 15 minutes.
  3. Using a soft sponge, gently scrub that area.
  4. Rinse out the baking soda with water.

Is it bad to use oil on a ceramic pan?

Using oil in a ceramic pan is generally considered acceptable, though with specific guidelines to optimize both your cooking experience and the longevity of the pan. Ceramic pans, prized for their non-stick qualities, often require little to no oil for most cooking tasks, thanks to their slick surface that ensures food slides off easily. When it comes to adding oils for flavor enhancement or as part of a recipe, it is recommended to use them sparingly. This approach not only aligns with the manufacturer’s advice for maintaining the integrity of the pan but also caters to health-conscious cooking practices by limiting the amount of added fat.

It’s crucial to select the right type of oil based on your cooking temperature. For example, extra virgin olive oil, with a relatively low smoke point of 160 °C (320 °F), might not be the best choice for high-heat cooking. Reaching or surpassing an oil’s smoke point can lead to the release of harmful fumes and carcinogens, along with an unpleasant burnt flavor. Therefore, for higher temperature cooking, consider using oils with a higher smoke point, such as avocado oil or refined olive oil, to avoid these issues.

Another key point to remember is that excessive oil usage can lead to build-up over time, potentially compromising the non-stick surface of your ceramic pan. In this case, less is more—using just enough oil to lightly coat the pan or to add flavor to your food is sufficient. This approach not only preserves the pan’s functionality but also supports healthier cooking methods by minimizing the need for additional fats. Additionally, when using oil, it’s best to add it to a cold pan and then heat them together, which can help prevent overheating and damage to the pan’s surface.

What cooking oils should I use on ceramic pans?

  • Virgin Olive Oil: Different from its extra virgin counterpart, virgin olive oil strikes a balance between flavor and heat tolerance, making it suitable for ceramic pan cooking without excessively high temperatures. With a smoking point of 210 °C (410 °F), it allows for a variety of cooking methods, from sautéing vegetables to pan-frying fish, while adding a mild olive taste to dishes without the risk of overheating and damaging the pan.
  • Sunflower Oil: Known for its light flavor, sunflower oil is versatile and healthy, boasting a rich content of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats while being low in saturated fats. Its high smoke point of 227 °C (441 °F) makes it excellent for medium to high-heat cooking in ceramic pans, perfect for everything from stir-frying to baking, ensuring dishes are cooked thoroughly without any harmful smoke.
  • Canola Oil: Appreciated for its neutral taste and health benefits, canola oil is another fantastic choice for ceramic pans. Its low saturated fat content and balance of fatty acids promote heart health. The smoke point ranging between 220 and 230 °C (428 and 446 °F) permits a wide range of cooking activities, including grilling and searing, without fearing the development of a carbonic layer or the oil breaking down.
  • Avocado Oil: With its high content of unsaturated fats, along with vitamins and antioxidants, avocado oil not only contributes to healthier cooking but also supports the body’s absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. With a smoking point of 221 °C (430 °F), it is ideal for high-heat cooking in ceramic pans, such as searing meats and roasting vegetables, adding a subtle flavor enhancement to the meals.
  • Grapeseed Oil: A byproduct of winemaking, grapeseed oil is celebrated for its high smoke point of approximately 216 °C (421 °F) and its polyunsaturated fat content. It is an excellent all-purpose oil for ceramic cookware, suitable for frying, sautéing, and dressing, imparting very little flavor to dishes and thereby preserving the original taste of the ingredients.
  • Refined Coconut Oil: While unrefined coconut oil has a low smoke point, refined coconut oil can withstand higher temperatures, with a smoke point of about 232 °C (450 °F). It’s an excellent choice for baking and sautéing in ceramic pans, providing a hint of coconut flavor that can complement many dishes, from curries to sweet treats, without the worry of creating smoke or harmful byproducts.
  • Peanut Oil: With a high smoke point of 232 °C (450 °F), peanut oil is ideal for deep frying and stir-frying, offering a robust, nutty flavor that enhances the overall taste profile of Asian cuisines and fried dishes. Suitable for ceramic cookware, it allows for cooking at higher temperatures without the fear of the oil smoking or breaking down, ensuring a delicious outcome.

Best tips on using ceramic pans with oil

  • Use low to medium heat: High heat is the enemy of the non-stick coating on your ceramic pan. Even though ceramic can endure high temperatures, the coating can be damaged by excessive heat. Cooking at medium or lower heat settings can prevent damage and keep your food from sticking. If you use oil, keep temperatures moderate to prevent oil from burning.
  • Wash your ceramic pan before using it: Always wash new pans before using them to remove any potential manufacturing residues. Rinse the pan with warm water and a soft scrub brush, then dry with a towel. This will remove any dust, dirt or small particles that might have accumulated during production or shipping.
  • Season the pan properly: Although most ceramic pans don’t require seasoning, some manufacturers recommend it to help prevent food from sticking. To season, rinse and dry the pan, apply a small amount of oil, heat it gently, then let it cool and wipe away any excess oil. Seasoning your ceramic pan decreases the need for using high quantities of oil or fat during cooking.
  • Avoid using cooking sprays: The chemicals in cooking sprays can eventually harm the surface of a ceramic pan. It’s better to use regular oils or a mixture of oil and butter to coat the pan lightly, making it easier to clean after use.
  • Don’t shock a hot ceramic pan with cold water: The rapid temperature change can harm the finish of your ceramic pan. Always allow your pan to cool naturally before washing it.
  • Avoid using metal utensils: Metal can scratch and damage the surface of your ceramic pan. Use utensils made from wood or plastic which are gentle and safe to the non-stick surface of your pan.
  • Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals: Chemicals like bleach or ammonia can damage the ceramic pan’s coating over time. Use gentle dish soap or a dedicated ceramic pan cleaner, and always scrub with the soft side of a sponge, not a harsh scrub pad.
  • Hand wash your ceramic pan: Dishwashers can harm the coating of ceramic pans, especially if you season it regularly. Hand wash your pans to keep the non-stick surface working effectively for longer.
  • Gradually Heat the Pan: Avoid heating your ceramic pan on high heat immediately. Starting with a low setting and gradually increasing the heat will distribute it evenly and protect the coating.
  • Do Not Store Food in The Pan: Storing food in the ceramic pan can speed up the deterioration of the coating. After cooking, immediately transfer any leftovers to a storage container.
  • Use Suitable Oil: As we discussed earlier, it’s crucial to use oils with a suitable smoke point that can handle the temperature of your cooking process without breaking down and producing unhealthy smoke or damaging the pan.

What’s the difference between all-ceramic and ceramic-coated pans?

If you are in the market for ceramic, you might have run into 2 different options. One is a metal pan with a ceramic coating and the other is fully made out of ceramic.

All-ceramic pans are made from a combination of clay, quartz, and other minerals. They are molded and hardened by extreme temperatures, sometimes as high as 1045°C (1915°F). The pans are then glazed to give them the shine and luster effects as well as their non-sticky features. This shine and non-stick property can last for dozens of years.

Ceramic-coated pans are probably the most popular of the two options. Most of these types of pans have an aluminum or stainless steel interior while being coated with a non-stick ceramic layer. These types of pans are plagued with the issue of being worn down and after only 3-5 years, they lose their luster and begin to have food stuck to them. Look for pans that advertise having several layers of ceramic coating. Those are the ones that will eventually last longer and be more durable.

My best recommendation if you want the longest-lasting pan is to go with the 100% ceramic version because it will likely last for dozens of years. However, it is much more expensive than the other option. If you want a more affordable non-stick pan, I would suggest sticking to the ceramic-coated pan. These are highly affordable but last only about 3–5 years.

Are ceramic pans toxic?

Real ceramic is a combination of clay and minerals. Basically, it’s made of all-natural ingredients and these ingredients are highly unlikely to be toxic to humans.

If your ceramic cookware is 100% ceramic, then it’s made of purely natural substances. This means that it doesn’t have chemicals and that it doesn’t leach heavy metals.

A few of the materials that tout themselves as ceramic-coated pans that you should stay away from are:

  • PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid)
  • PFAS: polyfluorooalkyl substances
  • PFOS: perfluorooctane sulfonate
  • PFBS (perfluorobutane suflonate)
  • GenX chemicals

These are all chemicals currently being studied and monitored for concerns linked to cancer. The American Cancer Society is keeping a close eye on the situation and you can find their article about it here.

Does ceramic cookware work on induction cooktops?

The answer is no. For induction to work, the pan has to be made of ferromagnetic materials, which are cast iron and many other types of stainless steel materials. The pan must have some sort of attraction or link to magnetic properties.

If you want to test this to see if your ceramic pan can be cooked by induction, simply place a magnet next to it. If it sticks, then you have a good chance the ceramic can cook.

If your ceramic cookware isn’t made with any magnetic properties, then it won’t work on an induction stove.

Are ceramic pans oven-safe?

Normally, you would find that if you placed a ceramic nonstick-coated pan in an oven, it would do just fine. Nonstick ceramic pans can still be safe up to 420–500°F.

If it were 100% ceramic cookware, then you’re in luck, because that kind of material melts at 1000°C (1800°F).

So, yes, ovens are perfectly fine with ceramic pans.

Why is my ceramic pan sticking?

Ceramic pans are popular for their non-stick surfaces, but over time, you might find yours starting to stick, which is frustrating and seemingly counter to its intended design. The primary reason behind this is the wear and tear on the pan’s coating. As ceramic pans age, their outer non-stick layer can degrade due to several factors. Continuous use of metal utensils can create micro-abrasions on the surface, which disrupt the smoothness required for non-stick cooking.

Incorrect cleaning methods, such as using abrasive sponges or harsh chemicals, can wear down the coating faster. Moreover, cooking with oils at high temperatures can cause polymerization of the oil on the surface, leaving a sticky residue that not only affects the non-stick performance but can be challenging to remove without causing further damage.

The build-up of charred food particles over time, especially if the pan is not cleaned thoroughly after each use, adds to the problem. The cumulative effect of these practices disrupts the integrity of the non-stick surface, leading to food sticking to your ceramic pan. Preventive measures like using proper utensils, cooking at appropriate temperatures, and adhering to recommended cleaning practices can help extend the life of your ceramic pan and maintain its non-stick qualities.

The bottom line

Most people would say that the combination of olive oil and ceramic pans is not such a good idea. But there is a way around this if you must use oil in your next meal. Always keep the heat low and use as little oil as you can.

the factAfter you’ve done your cooking, follow the steps I’ve listed above to clean and wash your ceramic pan. I’d avoid the dishwasher due to its abrasive nature and the that it might damage your ceramic coated pan.

In my opinion, it’s important to stay ahead of the game when deciding how and when to use ceramic pans. And that means you should know how to deal with issues regarding cooking oils and ceramic pans.

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