We have done a bit of research on induction cooking and know that it is cool. However, in order to test the cooktop we got last August, we had to be able to cook in something that was induction-ready. The stainless steel cookware set we have is not magnetic, which means none of the pots and pans will work with the cooktop. The RainyDayKitchen folks had been look for an excuse to get some new cookware, and this was it. But what to get??? Whatever we end up with, it will be an intersection of high-tech and the everyday. After all, that is what we are about at RainyDayMagazine!
The search languished for a while until one of the interns had an inspiration: ceramics. We love our ceramic knives and were aware that a few companies were making non-stick cookware from ceramic materials. Intrigued, we did more research. Turns out, the advantages of a ceramic non-stick coating over the more traditional non-stick surface are:
- Ceramic coating is PTFE & PFOA free
- Ceramic coating is oven safe to 400º F
- Ceramic coating will not be scratched by metal utensils (unless they are really, really sharp)
We narrowed the list of ceramic cookware candidates, with Kyocera and Zwillings bubbling to the top. After a bit more discussion, we settled on the following pieces:
The teflon and stainless steel induction-capable cookware were included in order to have some traditional surfaces for comparison.
We think that most of the cooking we will be doing with the Waring Pro Induction Cooktop
will be with a frying pan, so we spent our time choosing items with that in mind. A 10" pan is the largest size which will work with the cooktop. While the pan may measure 10" or more edge to edge at the top, the IKEA pan is clearly not as big as either the Kyocera or the Zwilling pan in terms of cooking area. We picked it because we could use it side by side with other pans to compare the feel during cooking.
All three pans have rounded interiors, stay-cool handles, and an aluminum core for fast even heat distribution. Both the Kyocera and Zwilling have riveted handles, while the IKEA handle is welded on. At 1/5th the price, IKEA had to compromise somewhere. The outside of the pan is where the three differ. The Kyocera has a dark coated surface, the Zwilling is mirror polish, and the IKEA is brushed stainless. The dark coating will hide stains, a mirror polish looks great, and the brush finish will hide scratches better. Each has its advantages and really comes down to individual preference.
The bottom of the pans is the thing which is probably most similar, even though they look different. Yes, the Kyocera pan has a cool dot pattern, the Zwilling pan's exterior is completely clad, and the IKEA bottom is of a two-piece construction, but as the pieces are all induction-ready, they are all wrapped with a metal which is magnetic.
In addition to testing the Waring Pro cooktop, we also wanted to see how the ceramic cookware would perform in everyday cooking. So we got a Zwilling ceramic sauce pan and stainless saute pan for the comparison. We realize they are not exactly the same, but we don't really need two almost identical pans as there is only so much room in the RainyDayKitchen :-) Also, we wanted to see which, if we had to choose, would be more useful, the sauce or saute.
Both the Zwilling sauce and saute pans have fully-clad 3-ply construction, glass covers, and riveted stay-cool handles. The 2-quart sauce pan is ceramic-coated, the 3-quart saute pan is not. The pans have a nice heft to them, but are not awkward to hold because of the long handle.
The 2-quart sauce pan has a higher side, but a smaller footprint than the bigger 3-quart saute pan. What is nice about both Zwilling pieces is that they are so attractive, we would have no problem serving food right from them.
We will also be using an uncoated IKEA 365+ pan along with the Zwilling ones. Unlike the Zwilling pans, the IKEA pan has a metal lid. We think we may like the clear lid better because we will be able to see how things are doing without having to lift it to check and letting all the heat out. We also think we will like the
higher clearance of the Zwilling handle as it will make the lid easier to grip, especially when using a towel. Still, the IKEA pan does have one feature the Zwilling does not, a measuring scale etched right on the inside. Not sure how much we will use it or how accurate it actually is, but it is always nice to have indictors and references. Of course, you can't beat the IKEA price.
Now that we have taken a FirstLook at the cookware, it is time for the fun to begin. Over the course of the next few months, we'll be using these pans on the induction and gas cooktops. We will be using them to cook all kinds of food: meat, veggies, sauces, etc. We will be comparing induction cooking vs gas as well as seeing how the ceramic compares to the traditional non-stick and the stainless surfaces. Have ideas, questions, or just want to chat? Drop us a note. We'll be in the RainyDayKitchen. [Permalink] - Ceramic Cookware FirstLook