My 6 month old ceramic pans are starting to stick
- PaulSmith Jan 4, 2011 10:46 AM
I bought a set of Ceramic pans about 6 months ago and they have been great up until a week ago. The pan I use the most is starting to lose it's non-stick effectiveness. Food is starting to stick to it now. Is there a life span on Ceramic pans?
What is the brand? You will notice that your experience is shared by many who bought the Greenpan and GreenGourmet from Amazon. Many ceramic cookware actually have shorter lifespan than Teflon pans:
'... The EarthPan is a fantastic product, ranked number one, she says, but like many green pieces of cookware it doesn’t hold up to the durability of Meyer’s popular Circulon line of non-stick pans. “The best green product is not going to be up to the performance of our higher-end non-stick cookware.” Consumers must have realistic expectations, advises Beck. ...'
So even though EarthPan earns a top ranking from Consumer Reports for preformance and for durability, its manufacturer does not believe it is as durable as its Teflon/PTFE counterpart.
PaulSmith, here is something that caught my eye in regard to a very different pan than the one you are inquiring about. I pass along the link because you may find it of some use.
"Best results are achieved by using a small amount of grease when using a pan with ceramic coating. A mixture of butter and sunflower oil has proved the best." http://www.yliving.com/iittala-tools-...
I've found that ceramic pans can lose their nonstickiness if they are not COMPLETELY clean (same with Le Crueset, actually).
Even though the pan may seem to be perfectly clean, if you look really carefully in good light, you may notice a very thin hazy film on the surface (and it also wont feel slippery like clean glass, but very slightly tacky). It looks kind of like the residue you might see on a shiny surface after peeling off a label.
I've noticed this film on LC dutch ovens, Silit Silargan high-temperature ceramic pans, and Kyocera CERABRID ceramic pans, especially after browning protein.
IME, it comes right off with a quick scrub using a soft sponge and some Le Creuset Pot & Pan Cleaner (that orange gritty stuff they sell). As you're scrubbing, you can actually feel the sponge start to slide more smoothly and easily. When it feels as slippery as wet glass, you're done.
Other abrasive cleansers (BKF, BA, etc.) would probably also work, but I figure that if the LC cleaner is recommended for enameled cast iron, it should be perfectly safe for ceramic pans.
re: tanuki soup
I was looking at Scanpan a while back and found this rec:
"Removing food/oil residue build-up Sometimes it may appear that the non-stick surface is not working the way it should. If this occurs, it is probably due to a food/oil residue build-up, which is generally easy to remove. 1. Mix up some bi-carb soda and water to a paste. 2. Apply with a nylon scourer and scrub hard. 3. Rinse and wash normally (see routine cleaning above)
If this is unsuccessful, it probably means it requires more attention 1. Mix up bi-carb soda and water to a thick liquid. Cover all the surface of the pan with the liquid. 2. Place on cooktop over a low-moderate heat. 3. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, in which time you will see particles coming loose from the surface. This is what you are looking for! 4. Rinse and wash normally (see routine cleaning above)"
That's it. A baking soda/water paste. I haven't had the need to try it, but I've heard a few reports that it helps. Gentler perhaps than BKF's oxalic acid.
It depends on how good they were to start with and how well you look after them. If you cook at high temperature then ceramic pans will start to stick after only a few days. You then need to clean them with very mild scouring powder that is typically mostly calcium carbonate or calcium bicarbonate and a little water and soap so it forms a paste that is slighty abrasive so you can rub away the muck that is sticking to the surface and making your food stick. I use Silit Spezial-Reiniger (Silit Special Cleaner) for this because it is more abrasive and cleans more effectively without scratching. It is especially designed for cleaning Silit ceramic pans and also for cleaning stainless steel pans. You get the same muck sticking to the surface of stainless steel pans as you do ceramic pans and this stuff cleans both surfaces without harming the surface. You can also use it to clean ceramic herd tops in the same way to remove those rough circles that form in the hob areas that seem to defy removal. As for the life span of the pans then not only do you need to keep the surface non-stick in the way I described but you have to look after the pans well if you want to keep them a long time. Don't put them in the dishwasher. Don't use metal utensils. If you stack your pans then don't let the metal surface of another pan lie on the ceramic surface. Keep the surface very slighty oiled with cooking oil of some sort. Despite the TV adverts, these ceramic surfaces are quite delicate and need to be protected. If you buy very high quality ceramic pans and you look after them well then they will stay non-stick and last for a few years.