When I went to the Product of the Year Awards back in January I happened to be on a table with some of the JML team who were there to collect the award for the General Household category with their Ceracraft ceramic pans. I was lucky enough to be sent one of their ultra non-stick frying pans (the 24cm model) from the Ceracraft range to review a couple of weeks later.
Ceramic pans are bit of a new invention, especially appealing to people who want to avoid the PTFE toxic chemicals that are used in many other non-stick pans. These ceramic pans are described as being ultra non-stick so that you can cook without oil, therefore enabling you to cook healthier meals. The stainless steel base of the plans makes them suitable for all hob types – electric, induction, ceramic, gas or radiant ring. The body of the pan is forged from tough aluminium and the pan has a scratch resistant ceramic coating. The inside of the pan is actually white in colour, with a bright colour on teh outside and on the ergonomic easy-grip handle.
This wasn't actually our first experience of cooking with a ceramic pan as we bought one a year or so back from another manufacturer and it was interesting to compare the two. The term "ultra non-stick" is definitely not an exaggeration. One of the most tricky things with first cooking with a pan like this is that it can take a while to get used to chasing your food round the pan to try to pick it up! Getting a spatula under something like a fried egg takes a bit of a knack, especially if you're used to having to work to detach the egg from the pan normally. Like all non-stick pans you are advised not to use metal implements with it and with all ceramic pans you are told only to clean it using a soft sponge and hot soapy water, not scouring pads or any sort of scouring cleaning product. You should also not stack other pans inside this one so that you don't damage the ceramic coating.
The white surface of the inside of the pan is something that I personally am not so keen on. Yes, food inside the pan can look nice with the white background, but we found that it was actually harder to keep it clean, especially when you take into account the advice on not using scouring cleaning products or materials. The inside of our pan ended up with some marks on it from cooking which you don't usually see in pans with dark coloured interiors.
The overall cooking experience with the pan is good – and we also found the 24cm frying pan a really handy size to have – especially as it seems our pan collection only actually had larger and smaller pans in it – and there have been many occasions when we've chosen to use this pan as the size was perfectly right for what we were trying to cook. The fact that using a ceramic pan like this guarantees that there are no toxic chemicals in the surface of the pan or in any fumes that may be emitted when the pan is heated up is a big bonus as far as I am concerned and makes these pans ideal if you're looking for an alternative non-stick pan. I'm personally not thrilled by the lime green colour of the particular pan that we were sent to review, but other colours are available and if you want a bright look in your kitchen then you can definietly achieve it with Ceracraft pans.
Disclaimer: I was sent a Ceracraft 24cm ultra non-stick frying pan by JML for the purposes of this review.