The new ceramic coated nonstick pans are a far cry from Teflon — but how do you take care of them? Cleaning your nonstick pans correctly can be the difference between loving them for a lifetime and having to replace them way too soon.

Brands include GreenLifeCaraway, and GreenPan. There are also generic and off-brand versions, but this is an item where you generally get what you pay for.

Ceramic coated pans aren’t made of porcelain. They are made of metal and have a silica coating that is hard and slick, like ceramic. You’ll be impressed by the way your baked goods slide right out of the pan and your cooked foods don’t stick even when you use only a small amount of butter or oil for flavor.

Teflon pans can emit harmful fumes if they’re heated on high. Ceramic finish pans will not. However, high heat can damage your pans’ finish over time. In general, It’s better to choose stainless steel if you want to cook something at very high heat.

Don’t hesitate to use ceramic coated bakeware in the oven, though. It bakes evenly and stays good looking for years.

Teflon pans may also be made with PFOA and PTFE, chemicals that may be harmful to your health. This is true of old pans and occasionally of new ones as well, especially if they are not made in the United States.

Baby your ceramic coated pans

Ceramic coated pans may be healthier and more environmentally friendly (depending on the production methods used by the brand you choose), but they do require extra care.

  • Use silicone or wooden utensils. A metal spatula will scratch the finish.
  • Wash them by hand. This is not a lot of extra trouble, since these pans just don’t get food stuck to them. Wash them quickly in soapy water and let them dry before you put them away.
  • Let them cool before washing. You may run water into your hot stainless steel or cast iron pans and let them soak a bit, but don’t do this with your ceramic coated pans. If you burn food in the pan or for some other reason need to clean more deeply than usual, boil some baking soda and water in the pan, let it cool, and then wash it.
  • Use non-abrasive cleaning materials. A dish cloth or dish sponge and dish soap or Sal Suds, rather than brushes or magi erasers, will do a great job. If you use something abrasive, there will be lots of tiny scratches on the surface of your pan, and that will make food stick.

Not your grandmother’s nonstick pan

Older nonstick pans may not be safe to use, they probably won’t be effectively nonstick any more, and they definitely won’t be as attractive as the new ceramic coated ones. But you may not be able to pass the ceramic finish pans along to your grandchildren, either. Even with care, ceramic finish pans will get less slippery over the years.

You can season a ceramic pan. Coat the pan with a bit of oil and heat it slowly. Just as it begins to smoke, remove it from the heat and let it cool. This renews the finish. With care, however, you shouldn’t have to do this more often than every five years.

Taking a little extra time to care for special kitchen tools may be part of the housekeeping you want to do yourself. A Beautiful Day can take care of the parts you’d rather delegate. Contact us for a custom quote to meet your needs.