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. More and more cooks are turning their focus to ceramic pans as an alternative to many conventional nonstick options.
Ceramic pans are not actually entirely ceramic—they're made of some type 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. Newer technology has also created ceramic pans that are oven-proof, making them as versatile as stainless steel or hard anodized options.
To find the top ceramic cookware sets, we've put various popular sets to the test both in home kitchens and in our Lab. After combing through the test data, we've pulled together this list of the very best.
Caraway Cookware Set
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
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. These 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.
Price at time of publish: $395
Material: Aluminum | Number of Pieces: 7 | Oven Safe Temperature: 550 degrees | Induction Ready: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: No
"Even when cooking on low to medium heat, the pots and pans got really hot and our eggs and bacon cooked evenly and quickly." — Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester
Runner-Up, Best Overall
Oxo Ceramic Professional Non-Stick 10-Piece Cookware Set
Excellent nonstick capabilities
Good variety of sizes
Some pieces don't have lids
If you'd rather have a classic set of neutral cookware, but still want the benefits of ceramic, this 10-piece set from Oxo fits the bill. It has all of the pieces you'll need to fully equip a kitchen: two skillets, two saucepans, a high-sided sauté pan, and 5.2-quart casserole pot. Each is made with an anodized aluminum core with a black ceramic-coated interior, and very stylish and comfortable stainless-steel handles.
Above all, this cookware performed superbly when we tested it in a home kitchen. The cookware warmed up as it should—not so fast you burn the butter and not so slow that you begin to lose patience—with no observed hot spots. Our sauces didn't scorch or bubble over, and eggs didn't burn onto the pan. We were able to observe everything happening the pots thanks to the tempered glass lids, and even after weeks of cooking in these, they looked good as new.
Cleanup is also incredibly simple with this set. The handle rivets are streamlined into the interior, so there's a flat surface inside. We didn't once have to scrub food bits off an interior rivet. Even those these are easy enough to wash by hand, they can go into the dishwasher for a spotless cleaning.
Price at time of publish: $400
Material: Aluminum | Number of Pieces: 10 | Oven Safe Temperature: 600 degrees | Induction Ready: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
"For everyday cooking, these hit the sweet spot with their heating profile." — Donna Curie, Product Tester
Bialetti Ceramic Pro 10-Piece Hard-Anodized Aluminum Non-Stick Cookware Set
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
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 blow out 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.
Price at time of publish: $220
Material: Hard anodized aluminum | Number of Pieces: 10 | Oven Safe Temperature: 400 degrees | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: No
"These pots and pans are not dishwasher safe, but they’re very easy to clean by hand since the nonstick surface doesn’t hold onto any food—not even burned food." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
T-fal Initiatives Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set
Easy to clean
Phenolic knobs and handles stay cool
Includes cooking utensils
Oven safe only to 350 degrees
Not induction compatible
Hand washing recommended
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.
Price at time of publish: $90
Material: Aluminum | Number of Pieces: 16 | Oven Safe Temperature: 350 degrees | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: No
"We were pleasantly surprised to find that the pots and pans in this set are a good mix of small and large pieces, so it’s not just for singles." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Runner-Up, Best Budget
Farberware Ceramic Dishwasher Safe Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set
Heats quickly and evenly
Easy to clean
Only oven safe to 350 degrees
Some might find weight too light
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.
Price at time of publish: $110
Material: Aluminum | Number of Pieces: 12 | Oven Safe Temperature: 350 degrees | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Set for Small Kitchens
Neoflam Midas 9-piece Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Set
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
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 storage, 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.
Price at time of publish: $140
Material: Aluminum | Number of Pieces: 10 | Oven Safe Temperature: 455 degrees | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Skillet Set
GreenPan Padova 8-inch and 10-inch Ceramic Non-Stick Open Frypan Set
Excellent set with two versatile sizes
Adds fun pop of color to kitchen
Oven safe to 600 degrees
Hand wash recommended
When you're looking for nonstick pans, skillets are the number one item people go for thanks to the need for easy release when it comes to cooking foods that tend to stick (think eggs and pancakes). This set from GreenPan is made from hard-anodized aluminum with their signature Thermalon™ Minerals nonstick ceramic coating, allowing you to cook with little to no oil and still get the same release you would from traditional nonstick pans.
This set includes one 8-inch and one 10-inch skillet, two versatile sizes that come in handy for whatever your cooking needs are. The handles are riveted stainless steel, and the entire pan is oven safe up to 600 degrees—perfect for when you want to finish a frittata in the oven. Cleanup is easy thanks to the smooth nonstick surface; hand wash with mild dish soap or opt to put it right into the dishwasher.
Price at time of publish: $70
Material: Hard anodized aluminum | Number of Pieces: 2 | Oven Safe Temperature: 600 degrees | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Rachael Ray 10-Piece Brights Nonstick Cookware Set
Very stylish and colorful
Retains heat very well
Diverse sizes in set
Only oven safe to 350 degrees
Not compatible with induction
Sharply stylish and highly efficient at cooking any kind of meal, the Rachael Ray Classic Brights Hard Enamel Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set is the perfect set for home chefs who need a serious upgrade in the cookware department.
Durable, fashionable, and functional, this vibrantly colored set includes a 1-quart covered saucepan, 2-quart covered saucepan, 6-quart covered stockpot, 3-quart-covered saute pan, an 8.5-inch skillet, and a 10-inch skillet, all of which have a non-stick interior and tempered glass lids. This popular Rachael Ray cookware set is stain-resistant, retains heat extremely well, and adds a true dash of color and style to any kitchen. Choose from eight different colors.
Price at time of publish: $140
Material: Aluminum | Number of Pieces: 10 | Oven Safe Temperature: 350 degrees | Induction Ready: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Our top choice is the trendy, higher-end Caraway Ceramic Cookware & Cabinet Organizer Set because of its excellent performance and stylish, minimalist aesthetic. We also highly recommend scratch-resistant and dishwasher-safe Oxo Ceramic Professional Non-Stick Cookware Set.
How We Tested
We've sent the many of the popular ceramic cookware sets directly to the homes of our expert food writers, plus testing many of them in our Lab. Our reviewers spent weeks using them a home kitchen to see how they stood up to everyday cooking and cleaning. In our Lab, we've assessed cookware with multiple tests including scrambling eggs, warming tomato sauce, and making rice pilaf. After testing, our home and Lab testers submitted their feedback about what they liked and didn’t like and rated each set on its design, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value.
When We're Testing Next
In the first half of 2023, we'll be testing more ceramic cookware sets, both the tried-and-true and newer models. Each set will be tested for its performance and nonstick capabilities including how evenly it heats, how comfortable it is while cooking, its durability, and how the separate pieces affect its overall value.
What to Look for in a Ceramic Cookware Set
Quality and Construction
A top-quality set of ceramic cookware starts with a well-constructed body. Look for a set made with substantial material to give it some heft which will keep your pots and pans stable on the stove. Also opt for pans with riveted handles—this style of handle is more secure than welded models, ensuring you can safely transport your cookware on and off the stove.
Number of Pieces
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.
Safe For Metal Utensils
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.
Why use ceramic over regular nonstick cookware?
Traditional nonstick cookware is coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)—commonly known as Teflon—and will break down when used with high heat, releasing gases and chemicals into the foods. Ceramic coatings are made from a sand-like mineral that doesn't break down like PTFE does, making it a food-safe and eco-friendly choice.
Is ceramic cookware safe?
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 food-safe, even when the pan is overheated. It is an overall excellent alternative to traditional PTFE (also known as Teflon) coatings.
Does ceramic cookware last?
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.
Does ceramic cookware stain?
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.
How do you clean ceramic cookware?
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.
What kind of utensils should you use with ceramic cookware?
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.
Can you use ceramic cookware with any cooktop?
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.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
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.
This piece was edited by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, an LA-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content. After a 2-year stint at Williams-Sonoma Headquarters in San Francisco, she now researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight.
Sajid, Muhammad et al. PTFE-Coated Non-Stick Cookware and Toxicity Concerns: A Perspective. Environmental Science and Pollution Research Institute, vol 24, no. 30. 2017, pp. 23436-23440. Environmental Science and Pollution Research Institute, doi:10.1007/s11356-017-0095-y.
How To Choose Eco-Friendly Cookware. David Suzuki Foundation. https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/choose-eco-friendly-cookware/. 2021.