Today:24 June, 2024

Cast iron vs nonstick – which one to choose?

Every passionate home chef enjoys using nonstick cookware. Teflon and ceramic cookware is a great choice for scrambled eggs, omelettes, fish, frittatas, tortillas, and crepes. Being nonstick, it makes cooking a piece of cake. Cleaning a nonstick pan is also pretty straightforward. Apart from Teflon and ceramic cookware, there is also cast iron. Now, this may come as a surprise, but cast iron cookware is naturally nonstick (when properly seasoned).

We know that you are a bit confused right now. Yet, there’s no reason to worry, because you’re about to find out which cookware should you buy – cast iron vs nonstick. Stick with us (pun intended).

Cast iron vs nonstick

In order to understand which type of cookware is better for your cooking needs, first, you need to learn what the characteristics of nonstick cookware are. So, let’s talk about Teflon and ceramic cookware.

Teflon cookware

Teflon cookware and ceramic cookware are both nonstick. Teflon cookware mustn’t be used on high heat because there is a high risk of toxic chemicals leaching into the food. Anything above 570 °F is considered dangerous for Teflon cookware. This is why it is always used on low and medium heat.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Teflon coating scratches easily. And when this happens, the toxins can come into contact with food. To avoid this, throw away your Teflon cookware as soon as it starts chipping off.

As for the benefits of Teflon cookware, probably the biggest one is a minimum amount of oil. Since this is nonstick cookware, you don’t have to add oil during cooking. Instead, you can just dab oil into the bottom at the first use and continue cooking without worrying about food sticking.

Cleaning is super easy thanks to nonstick properties. Warm, soapy water is all you need. Forget about using abrasive cleaners, metal utensils, and metal and nylon scouring pads though. These can seriously damage the Teflon coating. Only use wooden or silicone utensils and a soft sponge.

Ceramic cookware

Another nonstick cookware is ceramic-coated and cookware made of pure ceramic. Both types are great, although pure ceramic offers natural nonstick properties, which means it’s completely safe. Ceramic coated cookware, on the other hand, can leach toxins into food (depending on what’s it made of).

Ceramic cookware looks amazing and often comes in vivid colors. And we know that having a set of stylish pots and pans is a must! Ceramic cookware is also easy to clean and use. But, just like Teflon, this type of cookware isn’t appropriate for cooking over high heat. Ceramic cookware (dutch oven) is great for slow cooking.

Cast iron vs nonstick – durability

In general, nonstick cookware is affordable, being a good option for those on a budget. However, its lifespan is short, and you will need to buy a new nonstick set after a few years. Cast iron, on the other hand, is highly durable cookware. But, cast iron certainly has more to offer than just long lifespan. So, why use cast iron?

The first benefit of cast iron is that it’s nonstick cookware. When a cast iron cookware is properly seasoned, a natural nonstick coating will be formed. So, when we look into cast iron vs Teflon nonstick properties, cast iron is a safer choice. However, do bear in mind that delicate food such as eggs and fish are still better suited for nonstick cookware (because they can slightly stick in cast iron). You should also make sugary sauces and pancakes in a nonstick skillet.

The best part about cast iron vs nonstick is that cast iron can be used on high heat. High heat is perfect for browning. You can finally get great color and flavor on that steak. Cast iron is also ideal for deep frying, so you can make delicious potato fries at home. You can also try new snack recipes and make our taste buds happy.

Not only can cast iron to withstand high heat, but it can also be used in the oven, adding baking to its versatility. Cookies will taste amazing!

Now, when it comes to cast iron vs nonstick, the latter has an advantage when cooking acidic food. Nonstick cookware doesn’t react with acidic food, whereas a cast iron will react after a very short time. If you want to cook tomato sauce for longer, opt for nonstick cookware.

Cast iron requires much more maintenance than nonstick. Cast iron cookware has to be thoroughly and carefully washed by hand (forget about the dishwasher). In addition, you’ll have to season it regularly otherwise the food will stick (big time). If you want cast iron cookware but don’t want to have to season it, you can look for enameled cast iron cookware.

Cast iron is more expensive than nonstick, but it does last much, much longer. Still, it’s cheaper than best stainless steel cookware.


  • Is cast iron nonstick?

Yes, but only when it’s properly seasoned.

  • What is the advantage of cast iron cookware?

High heat, natural nonstick properties, and versatility are the selling points of cast iron cookware.

  • What is the advantage of nonstick cookware?

The biggest benefits of nonstick cookware are less to no oil required for cooking, super-fast and easy cleanup and affordable price.

  • Is nonstick cookware dishwasher-safe?

Many manufacturers claim that their nonstick cookware is dishwasher safe. However, few of them really are. We advise you not to put cookware in the dishwasher as this can greatly reduce its lifespan.

  • Which one should I buy – cast iron skillet or nonstick?

Whereas types of cookware are both nonstick, each one is suitable for making different types of food, over different heat level. This is the reason why many home chefs have both sets of cookware. You can decide which pan to pull out depending on the food you’re making.

The bottom line

So, the cast iron vs nonstick battle is over. As you can see, both types have their pros and cons, and which one you will choose depends on what type of food you cook most of the time.

Joseph is the founder and Chief Editor of "Indoor To Outdoor". He is an entrepreneur with experience in sales of household products. He also travels a lot, takes pictures and loves to ride a bike.

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