Wow, from the oven, to the table, then to the dishwasher, what could be better!
Stoneware has a long history of durability, functionality and is by far, the best choice for baking of all kinds. Its high temperature firing (over 2,000 F) results in a clay body that is stone like. The reduction firing, (which is a method of controlling the amount of oxygen in the finishing stage of firing), creates a unique glass like finish to the pottery.
With a few simple tips, a non-stick surface will develop easily in the bake ware and make clean up a snap. As well, stoneware distributes the heat evenly while cooking, and retains the heat for a long time thereafter; perfect for those oven to table recipes. Cooks from all over the world, and through history, have relied on stoneware for many of their special baked dishes.
The new trend towards environment friendly products has reintroduced stoneware in the kitchen. What better way to cook and serve your favorite dish than in a well-made, durable piece of reduction-fired stoneware. Here are some simple, practical tips to ensure a long life of your pottery.
Before baking with casseroles, soufflé, loaf, cake, and lasagna pans, rinse with water and dry thoroughly. Rub with light oil on inside surface for the first few times of use. This will help cure the piece as it is cooking.
I. Never place frozen food in stoneware into a hot oven or a hot microwave. Allow the food to thaw a head of time or defrost in microwave first before cooking. This will prevent thermal shock and cracking.
II. Never place a hot stoneware piece in cold water or in the refrigerator. Allow the piece and its content to cool to room temperature.
III. Never place stoneware on direct heat, such as stove tops elements or direct flames, stoneware is intended for the oven use only. It can however be used in the microwave if stated by maker.
IV. Never soak your stoneware in water before baking. It is unnecessary, the clay body in non-porous and completely vitrified, even the unglazed parts.
V. If you must cook food that is still cool (or slightly frozen), place the cookware in a cool oven. Then turn your oven on and allow the stoneware to warm up slowly as the oven does. Then cook as required.
VI. Always warm your teapots up with hot tap water before filling with boiling water. In addition, a great tip for that favorite coffee mug. This will help keep you Java stay warm longer.
VII. Pitcher, goblets and beer steins, can go from room temperature to the freezer, to keep beverages cold longer.
VIII. To clean, scrape away foodstuff using a non-abrasive scrubber, than place it in the dishwasher. Preferably, use milder environment friendly soap, which is less toxic and will lengthen the life of your pieces.
IX. For safe storage, place in a suitable cupboard. Take special care in stacking any flatware especially large platters. Limit the amount of weight you place on them, it is better to display them by using a plate stand or wall hanger. After all your pieces are functional but can be decorative also.
X. Last and most important, when purchasing stoneware, ensure that they are lead and cadmium free; the producer of the pottery should provide this information.
Source of Reduction Fired Stoneware Pottery – Ten Top Tips For Caring, Cooking and Storing by Liliane Oorschot – author of Reduction Fired Stoneware Pottery – Ten Top Tips For Caring, Cooking and Storing article