You should not use metal utensils on ceramic pans at all. It is very easy to damage ceramic pans and other ceramic cookware with metal utensils. They can scratch, chip, or nick the pans which will shorten the lifespan of your cookware.
Will Metal Utensils Scratch Ceramic Cookware?
Metal utensils are known for scratching a variety of cookware materials, but they are especially known for scratching ceramic cookware.
It is not good to use cookware that has been excessively scratched. Not only is it not aesthetically pleasing but those scratches can cut through the protective layer on ceramic pans that make them safe to handle food. Scratches will introduce bacteria to the inside of the dish and expose the underlayers of the pan that may not be safe to handle food.
For ceramic-coated pans, having scratches on the pan can lead to metal leaching into the food you make. You will have to get your pan recoated or buy a new pan, so you don’t get any toxic metal into your body.
Keeping your ceramic pans nice allows you to keep them safe to use. Don’t let scratches and chips cover your pan that can lead to an assortment of other problems.
What Pan Can You Use a Metal Utensil On?
Metal utensils have their uses. They are more durable than some other materials of utensils and they are very easy to clean. However, there are many kinds of pans that they don’t work with. If you are reading the list of what not to use your metal utensils on, know that you can still use your metal utensils.
Metal utensils work on hard-adonized cookware. Otherwise known as adonized aluminum cookware, these pans have gone through an electrochemical process that makes these pans stronger and more durable. They are strong enough to withstand the impact of metal utensils to prevent scratches and chips.
Adonized aluminum has an oxidized layer that can’t be peeled and therefore can’t be scratched. However, if an adonized aluminum pan has a non-stick coating, check the brand page to see if metal utensils are compatible.
Cast iron pans can also be used with metal utensils. Not every cast iron pan user will agree, but cast iron is extremely scratch resistant and the layer of seasoning you cook into it will protect the pan from scratches too. Even if the seasoning does get scratched, this can be fixed by re-seasoning or even cooking something with grease.
Finally, you can use metal utensils on carbon steel pans. These pans are known for being able to withstand very high temperatures and can heal themselves after any scratches made by metal utensils. Carbon steel is the material you see a lot of Asian cooking done on, including restaurants that cook the food right in front of you!
If you want to know which pan is the best for cooking and using metal utensils, we have to go with the cast iron pan. This pan is practically indestructible and with the proper care, will make your food taste better than ever before.
What Type of Utensils Can You Use as a Substitute for Metal for Ceramic Pans?
If you still want to use your metal or ceramic pans, you will need to make sure you use different utensils other than metal. You have plenty of options for what utensils you can use that will be completely safe to use on any pan you have.
Silicone is one of our favorite materials for utensils. It can be used on basically any material of pan and will never cause damage to your pans. Silicone will not scratch any pan material, it won’t chip your pans, and it is very easy to clean.
Silicone can even handle high heat. This material won’t melt or leach chemicals into your food even if rests on the side of your pan for a few minutes. It’s a very durable material and most of the time you can put it in the dishwasher to clean. Unlike some other materials, there is no chance of silicone absorbing bacteria and becoming unsafe.
Another fun fact about silicone utensils is that you can get them in fun colors and patterns!
Wood is another material that is completely safe to use on ceramic pans and cookware. Wood utensils have been used for a long time and are super reliable. They won’t scratch anything up and they are strong to hold up against stirring the thickets of stews and potatoes.
There are a few downsides to using wood utensils. First, they can burn if you leave them against a hot pan for too long. This will wear down the wood and make them more susceptible to splintering. Cheap wooden utensils can also splinter with improper washing. Splintering will allow these utensils to start collecting bacteria.
Plastic is a non-harsh material that will work fine with ceramic dishes. They are not sharp enough to cause scratches and they can be thrown in the dishwasher to be cleaned.
The con of using plastic utensils is that they can melt at high temperatures which can leach plastic into your food.
Tips on Taking Care of Your Ceramic Pans
Hand Wash Your Ceramic Pans
Our first tip is to handwash ceramic pans. While some ceramic pan companies share that their pans are dishwasher safe, you should always hand wash your ceramic cookware to keep it from wearing down. Dishwashers can be very harsh on some dishes, especially larger ones. Over time, the dishwasher can wear down the protective coating, warp dishes, or even cause ceramic to break.
Use Proper Utensils
As this post describes, you should be using the right kind of utensils on your ceramic pans. Using the wrong kinds, such as metal utensils, will quickly damage your ceramic pans. Improper utensils can scratch, chip, and possibly break your ceramic pans.
Proper utensils will be gentle to the ceramic so you can keep the quality of your pans high for a long time.
Let the Pan Cool Before Putting It in Water
It can be tempting to rinse your pan off right after you are done cooking. You don’t want the leftover food to sit in it and get stuck. However, running cool water over a very hot ceramic pan will cause a lot of damage. The sudden temperature change will weaken the material and over time can lead to cracking.
Allow the pan to completely cool before running water over it or submerging it in water. The slower change in temperature will keep the ceramic strong.
Metal utensils are great and ceramic pans are even better. Yet, you should never use those two things together if you want to keep your ceramic pans in good shape. Using metal utensils will lead to scratches, chips, and possibly even broken pieces of your pan.
If you want to continue using ceramic pans, we suggest using silicone, wood, or plastic utensils instead. Both of these options are gentle on ceramic and the many other pan materials that metal utensils can’t be used with. However, if you want to keep using metal utensils, use them on a cast iron pan instead.