With so much attention being paid these days to what’s in our food, it’s no surprise that we’re also paying more attention to what we cook with. Some traditional nonstick pans still contain harmful chemicals that leach from the nonstick coating, so more and more cooks are turning their attention to ceramic pans for a nontoxic alternative.
Ceramic pans are not actually ceramic—they’re made of metal with a ceramic nonstick coating. They’re easy to clean, non-reactive, and often less heavy and costly than more traditional pots and pans.
If you’re searching for a set that features this innovative coating, keep reading and check out our picks for the best ceramic cookware sets.
This attractive set of ceramic cookware from newcomer Caraway Home comes in an assortment of earthy colors and has clean lines that go well with a modern minimalist aesthetic. Abiding by their “Cookware Without Chemicals” ethos, their pans are made from aluminum with ceramic-coated interiors, and feature riveted stainless steel handles that have a subtle bump underneath to indicate where the “hot zone” starts so you don’t burn yourself. The pans are oven safe up to 550 degrees and will work with every cooktop, including induction.
It was hard to find much to gripe about with these pans. Our reviewer noted that the stainless handles get hot while the cookware is in use, but it’s easily remedied by keeping a potholder or folded dishtowel nearby for when you need to move your pans.
The complete cookware set includes a 10.5-inch frying pan, 3-quart saucepan, 4.5-quart saucepan, and a 6.5-quart Dutch oven, plus a handy lid storage organizer. Caraway Home recommends that you avoid using sharp-edged tools while cooking, and advises hand washing these pans to preserve the life of the nonstick ceramic coating.
Oven Safe Temperature: 550 degrees | Induction Ready: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: No
Retains heat well
Includes pan rack and lid holder
Comes in an array of beautiful colors
Hand wash only
On the pricier side
Stainless steel handles get hot
You might recognize the Bialetti name from their stovetop espresso pots, but they also make many other cooking products including ceramic-lined nonstick cookware. This mid-priced set won’t break your budget, while it offers better quality and more features than some higher-priced sets. Our reviewer liked that the metal on these pans is thick enough to prevent the hot spots you get with thinner pans and was able to achieve a nice sear on meat when cooking.
This set is oven safe up to 400 degrees, so you can pop a pan into the oven to finish cooking or keep food warm for serving. Handles are heat resistant, so you won’t need a potholder during stovetop use.
The pans are made from ceramic-coated aluminum with an anodized exterior for even heating and durability. The set includes a 6-quart Dutch oven with lid, an 8-inch sauté pan, a 10-inch sauté pan, a 1.5-quart saucepan with lid, a 3-quart saucepan with lid, and a 3-quart deep sauté pan with a lid. This set is not induction compatible. Hand washing is recommended.
Oven Safe Temperature: 400 degrees | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: No
Affordable but great quality
Heavy enough for even heating
Oven safe to 400 degrees
Hand wash only
Not safe for metal utensils
Not induction compatible
T-Fal was one of the innovators of the original nonstick cookware, and now they’ve branched out into ceramic-coated cookware as well. This set has a white ceramic interior that is scratch-resistant, stain-resistant, and dishwasher safe. Made from aluminum, the cookware heats quickly and evenly. The handles have hanging holes and the lids are made from tempered glass so you can peek at what you’re cooking without lifting the lid.
Our reviewer found the aluminum construction to be very responsive to heat changes, and the ceramic coating to be extremely nonstick. The only piece that was a bit tricky is the griddle—the combination of low sides and the very nonstick surface posed a challenge of not letting food slide off the pan while trying to flip it.
The set includes a 7.5-inch frying pan, an 11-inch frying pan with lid, a 1-quart saucepan with lid, a 2-quart saucepan with lid, a 5-quart Dutch oven with lid, a 10-inch square griddle, and six nylon tools that you can use in the pans. The cooking surface can be heated to 570 degrees, and the cookware is oven safe to 350 degrees. The pots and pans are a reasonable size, and the griddle is a nice addition to the set.
Oven Safe Temperature: 350 degrees | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: No
Easy to clean
Phenolic knobs and handles stay cool
Includes cooking utensils
Oven safe only to 350 degrees
Not induction compatible
Hand washing recommended
This set will add some color to the kitchen with an aqua exterior, a stain-resistant white ceramic interior, and black handles with stainless steel accents. The larger skillets have a textured surface that improves food release, useful for when you’re cooking a large piece of meat or fish, or when you’ve got the pan full of breaded cutlets. The lids are shatter-resistant glass with round knobs, and the set is oven safe to 350 degrees. For easy cleaning, the set is also dishwasher safe.
This aluminum cookware is lightweight for easy handling, while it also heats quickly and evenly. The set includes a 2-quart saucepan with lid, a 5-quart Dutch oven with cover, a 5-inch mini skillet, an 8.5-inch skillet, a 10-inch skillet, and 11.5-inch skillet with lid. The set also includes nylon cooking tools for use with the cookware: a slotted turner, a slotted spoon, and a solid spoon. While the mini skillet might have limited use, it would be fine for cooking a single egg or melting butter. An additional saucepan would be a nice addition, but the Dutch oven can be used for the same purpose.
Oven Safe Temperature: 350 degrees | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Heats quickly and evenly
Easy to clean
Only oven safe to 350 degrees
Some might find weight too light
If storage space is an issue in your kitchen, this colorful set nests neatly thanks to the removable handle that stays out of the way when it’s not needed. The set also includes two plastic lids, so some of the cookware can double as food storage containers. The ceramic coating is designed to be nonstick, scratch-resistant, and durable, but it’s suggested that you use pan protectors or towels in between the pans during storage to prevent damage to the cooking surface. The pots are oven safe to 455 degrees, but the lids and handle should not be used in the oven.
The set includes a 1.7-quart saucepan, a 2.5-quart stockpot with a glass lid for cooking and a plastic lid for storage, a 3-quart low sided stockpot with glass lid for cooking and a plastic lid for cooking, an 11-inch frying pan, one removable handle to fit all of the pans, and one pan protector.
While this is a great beginner set for small kitchens, it may not be sufficient for people who cook a lot. Also, the single removable handle might require some coordination when multiple pots are on the stove. Additional handles are available from the manufacturer.
Oven Safe Temperature: 455 degrees | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Great for those with limited space
Some pieces can double as food storage
Oven safe to 455 degrees
Might not be enough for advanced cooks
Single handle takes some getting used to
Cooking surface is prone to scratches
While it’s great to get a matching set of cookware all at once, larger sets mean you’ll need more storage space — and if you already have some cookware, you could be getting duplicates. Smaller sets take up less space, of course, but you might have to shop for additional pieces.
Because of the way ceramic materials bond to metal, most nonstick cookware is made from aluminum, which won’t work with induction cooktops. However, some nonstick cookware sets have stainless steel discs on the bottom of each piece, meaning that they’re induction compatible. If you have an induction cooktop or you might get one in the future, make sure your chosen set will work for you.
Much of today’s nonstick cookware is safe for use with metal utensils, so you don’t need to worry about damaging the surface when you stir. If most of your cooking spoons are silicone or wood, this won’t be an issue, but if you prefer metal spoons and spatulas, look for cookware that can handle those utensils.
Traditional nonstick cookware is coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)—commonly known as Teflon—a chemical that breaks down at high heat and releases toxic fumes that can cause an illness dubbed “Teflon flu.” Ceramic coatings are made from a sand-like mineral that doesn’t break down like PTFE does, making it a safer and more eco-friendly choice.
Yes. Pans made with a ceramic coating are often crafted from a base material (typically aluminum) then sprayed or dip-coated with a special coating made from silica, a component that is derived from sand. The resulting glass-like finish is nonstick and non-toxic, and won’t release dangerous fumes when the pan is overheated. It is an overall excellent alternative to traditional PTFE (also known as Teflon) coatings.
It can last for years, but like traditional nonstick cookware, it does require some special consideration and care. To prolong the life of your ceramic pans’ surface, avoid using sharp tools and utensils and opt to hand wash your cookware. The ceramic coating will wear away with time and you might notice that the surface isn’t as “nonstick” as it once was—it might be a sign to replace your pan.
It can, particularly if food is burned on. If you find that your pan is starting to discolor, you can try deep cleaning it with this technique involving hydrogen peroxide.
Since many dishwashing detergents contain harsh cleaning agents like bleach or citric acid, it is highly advisable to hand wash your pans with mild dish soap and a non-abrasive sponge. You can also clean stuck-on food with a damp sponge dipped into baking soda, gently scrubbing away any food particles.
To keep your pan’s surface scratch-free, use wooden or plastic/silicone cooking utensils. Metal utensils might create nicks, dents, or gouges in the surface which are not only unsightly, but can cause the pan’s coating to flake into your food.
Most ceramic pans are suitable for electric, glass, and gas stoves, but not induction. If you want a ceramic option but need an induction-friendly option, be sure the manufacturer explicitly states that their cookware is induction-ready.
Donna Currie is a food writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats. A self-professed “kitchen geek,” she’s written many roundups on a range of essential kitchen items, from the best cookware sets to the top seafood kitchen tools of the year.