Are Glazed Ceramic Pans Safe?

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Are ceramic pans safe
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I’ve been slowly switching my kitchen over to ceramic pans since I had the chance to try ceramic cookware last year. I researched cookware options for months and wanted to find an option that was:

  • Easy to clean
  • Cooked evenly
  • Was non-scratch or non-stick
  • Most importantly: non-toxic

I finally settled on Xtrema ceramic cookware and have been really happy with it.

Since then, I’ve received a few emails asking for more information to support the safety of the glaze used on ceramic cookware.

Is Ceramic Cookware Safe?

I reached out to the company I got my cookware from to find out more information and received this reply:

“Our Xtrema cookware is made of 100% inorganic ceramic minerals and so is our ceramic non-scratch glaze. All ceramic glazes are made of various inorganic minerals and oxides. The oxides give the glaze it’s strength, color and glossiness. Our ceramic cookware and it’s ceramic glaze contain no metals or lead and cadmium. In the USA all ceramic products have to pass California Prop 65 before the product can be sold in the USA. I have attached an article about California Prop 65. Also, we continue to test every shipment that is made to guarantee that our product passes the California Prop 65 standard as well as the USA – FDA standards for lead and cadmium.

We publish our test results on our web site: https://xtrema.com/pages/product-testing We have never found any other cookware company in the world that publishes its tests results for heavy metal leaching as well as their California Prop 65 results for lead and cadmium.”

Why Ceramic?

I personally use ceramic since it cooks evenly and doesn’t leach chemicals. I also have cast iron and stainless steel and use them occasionally, but even “safe” cookware options can be problematic. I avoid traditional non-stick and aluminum pans completely…

From this article:

“Teflon cookware is probably the all-time worst of all cookware. Johns Hopkins Medical Center says the chemical PFOA, used in manufacturing Teflon, is now found in the bloodstreams of nearly everyone in the U.S. Early studies suggest that high PFOA blood levels in humans are linked with cancer, high cholesterol levels, thyroid disease and reduced fertility. Teflon surfaces break down and end up in your food and when heated to high temperatures, emit fumes which cause flu-like symptoms in humans (AKA: polymer fume fever) and can be fatal to birds. Manufacturers have to eliminate PFOA from all cooking products by the year 2015.

Aluminum cookware is one of the most common cookware to use, but can be very toxic as this heavy metal is absorbed into all food cooked in it. The aluminum released into foods during cooking ends up in your body. Excess aluminum has been associated with estrogen-driven cancers and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Copper cookware is the choice of many because it conducts heat so well. Copper cookware releases copper into the food to be eaten and usually also has nickel in the coating, which is another toxic heavy metal and can be very allergenic.

Cast iron cookware is very durable but iron is constantly leaching into the food, changing the enzymes in it. Iron can reach toxic levels in the body with regular use and becomes a pro-oxidant which causes stress, oxidation and eventually disease.

Ceramic, enamel, and glass cookware may be manufactured with lead which can give the product color uniformity. The level of lead in each product is set by the United States – FDA and California Prop 65 – Never cook with anything labeled “for decoration only.

Stainless steel cookware is made from a metal alloy consisting of mostly iron and chromium along with differing percentages of molybdenum, nickel, titanium, copper and vanadium. But even stainless steel allows other metals to leach into the foods. The principal elements in stainless that have negative effects on our health are iron, chromium and nickel.”

What to Do?

As with anything, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I can’t afford to completely replace all of my cookware overnight, and I don’t think that some of the other options are that bad compared to some other lifestyle factors (not eating vegetable oils, getting Vitamin D, etc) .

I’m slowly asking for safer cookware for birthday and Christmas gifts, and in the meantime, I’m using steel and cast iron when I have to. I do make sure to avoid non-stick and aluminum cookware completely.

If you want to try ceramic cookware, Xtrema has extended a discount code for Wellness Mama readers. Use the code “WM15X” and click here to get a 15% discount.

What cookware do you use? Share below.

Sources
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

211 responses to “Are Glazed Ceramic Pans Safe?”

  1. Angela Plicht Avatar
    Angela Plicht

    Hi Katie! I know this is an older article, which is perfect because I’m curious to hear how your Xtrema is holding up. Would you mind sharing? Also, are you able to address questions about Pampered Chef? It’s clay-based. They’re their original (but redesigned) unglazed clay Stoneware and then they also have a glazed clay line known as Rockcrok. Thanks so much for helping us create safer homes for our families.

  2. Poonam Avatar

    Is it ok to cook in the Xtrema pots when they crack ? I have 3 pots from them. There were times when I forgot that the gas stove was on and the pots cracked due to extreme heat. They dont leak but I am just wondering if any of the pot’s components are leaching into the food. I have emailed their customer support as well.
    My husband sent me a link for a new non-toxic brand called Carawayhome. The website isn’t functional yet but I registered to be informed about the same. Have you heard of this new brand ?

    Thanks !

  3. Lisa Avatar

    I’m sorry if this has already been asked, but I don’t have time to read through all the comments. I’m considering buying a Ninja Foodi instead of the Instant Pot, but my main concern is the insert is made of ceramic-coated aluminum. Is this a safe product to cook in? Will the aluminum “leach” through to the food or does the ceramic coating prevent that? Thanks for your help and excellent site!

  4. Ashleigh Avatar
    Ashleigh

    Wellness mama, did you use this cookware while pregnant? If so did you have healthy children? I am asking because of current web claims that show heavy metals (lead, cobalt, etc) in Xtrema brand cookware. OH and because I’m currently pregnant and have been using this brand!

  5. Chris Avatar

    It seems to be all over the internet that cast iron pans add a significant amount of iron to your food, but very few mention that it’s “nonheme“ iron, which I’ve read your body only absorbs around 5% to 12% of (unless you eat/drink something else to help absorption).

    Any chance you’ve been able to confirm if this nonheme thing is true? Seems odd so few sites have mentioned it, but it’d be nice to use cast iron pans without worrying.

  6. Tabetha Avatar
    Tabetha

    Are there any other cheaper ceramic brands you would recommend?

  7. Carol L Avatar
    Carol L

    Since there are no dates on this post (as usual) I have no idea if it is still being monitored, but here goes anyway: I note all of these comments, and probably even the post, is regarding cooking with pots and pans. What about baking? (There may have been one or two comments regarding baking…) I can’t find ANYTHING but teflon or silicon (won’t bake in it, use for cold only) to use for mini muffins! Any suggestions? I did find one pan on Amazon that said it had none of the bad stuff: “Ceramic Coating is FDA, California Proposition 65 and European Union Approved. The Ceramic Coating is Cadmium, Lead, PFOA, PTFE and PFOS Free” I need to find out where they are made, though.

  8. Naomi Avatar

    Thanks for this article. What’s the highest temperature that you recommend when using this pan on a stove top. Don’t some pure ceramic pots need infusion plates? Thank You!

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