When selecting your crockery, there’s plenty to choose from in terms of color, shape, pattern, size, and material. Although you initially want to pick your dishes based on appearance, you may soon realize that you need to consider cost, durability, and longevity.
Oh, the joys of being an adult, right? Stoneware is popular for plates and bowls and is very prevalent in fancy restaurants.
It can look artisan and full of personality, but is it worth the price tag? Keep reading to find out.
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Stoneware is a great addition to any kitchen because it can have many functions. Stoneware can go in the oven, microwave, and dishwasher. It’s durable, long-lasting, chip-resistant, and can look stylish on any dinner table.
However, it can be costly and even scratch surfaces due to its rough finish. Nevertheless, stoneware is a worthy investment for any kitchen and has many more pros than cons.
How Is Stoneware Made?
Stoneware is made from clay, molded into the desired shape, and fired at extremely high temperatures. The temperature can reach between 2000 and 2400 degrees Fahrenheit, turning the clay into stone and the glaze into the glass.
Because of the high heat, the end product is robust and durable. In comparison, other types of pottery are not as resilient.
Uses for Stoneware
Stoneware is exceptionally safe for cooking, as it is both chemical-free and tough. You can use stoneware for cooking, baking, and eat off of.
Stoneware is excellent at absorbing and evenly distributing heat, making it great for slow cooking, baking, and serving.
Pros of Stoneware
Due to the exceptionally high temperatures changing the internal and external structure of the stoneware, plus the clay type used, it is very durable.
Stoneware can last a lifetime and can be repeatedly used in the oven. It is more durable than earthware and pottery.
- Heat Distribution
The dense composition of stoneware means it absorbs heat and redistributes it evenly. It makes it great for use in the oven and keeps things warm on the table at a dinner party.
I mean, anything is helpful when jugging, cooking, and hosting!
- Chip Resistant
Most stoneware is hardwearing and chip resistant. This is a bonus for those who have a hectic kitchen and don’t want to be too precious about their crockery and cookware.
It also means they last longer and prove more cost-effective in the long run.
Stoneware has been shown to have a naturally stick-resistant surface. This is great for not ruining dishes and saving money on oils and nonstick sprays.
Stoneware is not porous, meaning it is not likely to stick to foods or absorb liquid.
- Dishwasher safe
Because of the thickness of stoneware and its previous exposure to extreme heat in the kiln, it can handle being used in the oven, dishwasher, and microwave.
This saves time not having to hand wash all of your crockery!
- It’s aesthetic
This comes down to personal preference, but the handcrafted look of stoneware is stunning. It comes in various patterns, colors, and shapes to suit any home and style.
- It can withstand high heat
Stoneware can handle temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you should avoid exposing it to the broiler or rapid temperature changes.
- Stain resistant
Due to its lack of pores, stoneware is not likely to stain or absorb the flavors of foods. It’s also rust-resistant.
Cons of Stoneware
Stoneware can be pretty bulky, heavy, and not easily stackable. So if you don’t cook regularly, or perhaps you move houses a lot, stoneware might not be for you.
- Sensitive to Temperature Changes
Although stoneware can withstand high heat, it is less efficient at dealing with temperature changes. Taking hot stoneware out of the oven and placing it in a very cold room or the refrigerator may cause it to crack and break.
You must ensure you cool the dish fully before placing it in the fridge or freezer.
- Can scratch other surfaces
Due to the texture of stoneware, it can scratch and scrape away at the countertops it sits on. Therefore you must ensure you place a protective matt beneath the crockery before putting it on a counter.
- Not as Sleek
Stoneware has a more rugged, textural feel and may even have rough edges. Some users prefer something other than this and, instead, prefer slick porcelain.
Due to the lengthy and arduous process of making proper stoneware, the cost can be pretty high. It depends on personal preference whether or not it’s worth the investment.
You can expect to pay anywhere between $20 and $70 for a set of four plates or bowls. Mugs can cost between $30 and $50 for a set of four.
What’s the Difference Between Stoneware and Porcelain?
There are a few distinguishing factors between stoneware and porcelain.
Firstly, stoneware is made from “high-fired” clay, which has a reasonably coarse grain. After firing, the outside of the stoneware turns to glass, making it robust and chip-resistant.
The chunkier grain may become apparent in the texture of the finished piece.
Conversely, porcelain is made from a finer grain of clay. This finer grain of clay allows porcelain to be shaped and crafted into thinner, more delicate pieces.
Stoneware is also much heavier than porcelain due to the clay type. It will become very apparent if you hold a stoneware cup in one hand and a porcelain cup in another.
Porcelain items are much thinner than stoneware and can even be transparent. Hold a piece of porcelain up to the light, and you may notice some light seeping through.
You can also establish the thickness difference by comparing the rim thickness of a stoneware piece vs. a porcelain item.
Stoneware is more durable than any other kind of dinnerware. Although porcelain is technically stronger than stoneware, it is usually crafted into much thinner pieces.
Whereas stoneware usually takes the form of something chunkier and, as such, is more durable.
Types of Stoneware
There are three main variations to choose from unglazed, partially glazed, and glazed stoneware.
Unglazed stoneware will have a more unfinished, raw appearance. It is good for cooking meats, pie crusts, and baked goods. It gives an evenly browned finish to whatever you’re cooking.
Partially glazed looks a little slicker and clean. And glazed stoneware will look the most polished.
It’s the perfect choice for dinner parties, as you can take items straight out of the oven and to the table.
Where to Buy Stoneware
Most major retailers sell stoneware. You can usually buy complete sets or individual items just to dip your toe in the stoneware world. Ideally, shop locally to support local artisans.
You can even get pieces with your own chosen color combination if you discuss this with the shop owner.
Alternatively, here are some amazon links for some stoneware sets.
Check out the links below for some stoneware crockery sets on Amazon:
There are dozens of advantages and disadvantages to buying stoneware. But the pros outweigh the cons. Any crockery you buy will come with issues, but very few kinds will come with as many benefits as stoneware.
Stoneware has a variety of functions so that you will save precious kitchen storage space with your purchase.
Stoneware is durable, chip-resistant, and can withstand heat. This means you can warm the plates in the oven without worrying about cracks forming or use stoneware dishes to make the perfect bread or pastry.
Stoneware can be lovingly and beautifully handcrafted, giving your kitchen an element of class and style. if you can, buy your stoneware from a local shop to support local artisans in your area.
They will even give you a discount if you order a set!
Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API