Cermacor asked me to test their Xtrema cookware that they tout as the “most innovative and green cookware in the entire world.” They sent me their 10-inch skillet. (According to the invoice that came with the pan, it retails for $100.)

Here are some of the reasons Cermacor gives their cookware the green label.

  • Handmade using natural gas, clay and water.
  • No trace metals or chemicals leaching from the cooking surface and the Xtrema cooking surface contains no harmful PTFE coating and produces no harmful PFOA gas which can occur with most popular petroleum-based non-stick coatings.
  • The non-scratch ceramic cooking surface on the Xtrema cookware is non-reactive and 100 percent nontoxic. No odors or gases are ever released during the entire cooking process, even if the cooking temperatures exceed 2500 F.
I have to take their word for the way the cookware is made. I will say that it’s what made me willing to give the cookware a try. I do need to replace my current cookware, and I liked the claims made about Xtrema.

I’ve had the skillet for over a month now, and I’ve used it frequently. Here are my thoughts on the features and benefits that are on the website.

  • Xtreme High Temperature: Cookware can withstand 2,700 F, Steel can melt at 2,200 F – Obviously, I didn’t put it through these conditions. However, the cookware is in the same excellent condition now after many uses as it was when I opened the box.
  • Xtremely Easy to Clean: Nonscratch, nontoxic ceramic glaze surface – I have to give this one to them in spades. This skillet cleans up so easily. I spray it with nonstick spray before I make scrambled eggs and clean up is a breeze. I can’t say that about the nonstick skillet that I had been using. Even sprayed with a nonstick spray, my old skillet was difficult to clean after scrambled eggs.
  • Xtremely Attractive: High-gloss black finish – It is very attractive.
  • Xtremely Versatile: Oven, stovetop, broiler, freezer, barbeque grill, microwave oven, dishwasher and dining room table – I only used it on the stovetop.
  • Xtremely Healthy Cooking: No trace metals or chemicals leaching from the cooking surface – As far as I can tell, nothing leached into my food. The skillet didn’t emit any odors while heating up. I didn’t taste anything odd in my food.
  • Xtremely Practical: Reduces cooking time and uses less energy, foods stay hotter longer – This is the most important feature as far as I’m concerned – the practicality of the cookware. This skillet takes a long time to heat up. The website says to preheat the cookware for 1-2 minutes on medium heat and that “it may take a little extra time for the Xtrema to get fully heated.” It took at least five minutes for the cookware to get heated on my gas stove. For me, that isn’t practical when I’m trying to quickly scramble up some eggs or make a grilled cheese in a hurry.
    I also don’t think the skillet heats evenly. When I used it to sauté vegetables or cook bacon — foods that get moved around the skillet while cooking — it worked fine. But when I used it to cook a grilled cheese, somehow the very center of the skillet did not cook as quickly as the outer edges. The outer edges of the sandwich began to burn before the center of the sandwich, which was in the center of the skillet, even browned.
    Another feature I found impractical was the handle. It got very hot and I would need to use a potholder when touching it.
    I did like the fact that foods stayed hotter in the skillet after the heat was turned off compared to the skillet I already own. That’s a nice feature to have for someone like me who can never time all her dishes perfectly.
  • Xtremely Tasty: Ceramic far infrared cooking enhances the food flavor and the entire cooking experience – I can’t really comment on if my food tasted better in this cookware.
  • Xtremely Durable: Cooking surface can not be scratched, even by metal utensils and industrial steel wool - No scratches so far.
I really wanted to like this cookware because of how it’s made and because I find it attractive. There were some things about it that I really liked, but its general performance doesn’t meet the needs of this cook who often needs to throw basic meals together quickly. I am in need of new cookware, but I won’t be purchasing the matching pieces to the skillet.

If anyone has had a different experience with the Xtrema cookware, I welcome your opinion. 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Cookware review: Xtrema 10-inch skillet
How does this green cookware hold up to its claims?