Do you know quality stoneware sets can last for generations even if you use them regularly? Well, yes! And that’s why they’ve been around for centuries.
Stoneware comes in varieties of shapes, sizes, and colors. You can take them from your oven to the table, and they’ll still fit in perfectly.
If you’re new to baking with stoneware, then prepare to be amazed.
This article gives you a firsthand guide on using stoneware sets. You’ll know how to use them for baking, their benefits, and even their disadvantages. Read on to learn more.
Now, to answer the question.
Is Stoneware Oven Safe?
Absolutely! Stoneware is oven safe. However, it would help if you handled it with care. You can use it for baking practically anything. It also makes excellent cookware.
However, avoid rapid temperature changes when using stoneware. But don’t put them in the oven while preheating, else they may crack or even break.
Additionally, make sure that the stoneware you purchase is for cooking and not for decorative purposes. Some low-quality ones contain lead. So make sure you are buying from a reputable brand. That will ensure its safety.
Using Stoneware For Baking
Stoneware is great for baking. You can cook anything in it. However, when you purchase a new one, you have to “season” it first. Seasoning is a process where you have to allow oil buildup to create a layer that reinforces your stoneware non-stick property.
You may decide to season it after purchase. Another way is to start cooking foods that have a lot of fat or oils. Either way, the goal is to get enough buildup for the non-stick coating.
No matter which stoneware set you buy, ensure the first foods you bake on them can release fats and oils. After enough buildup, you can cook any dish you want.
It’s important to note that an uncoated or poorly coated pan or dish will give poor results. You don’t want your cake to stick and end up with no bottom.
You also have to take care of the coating; so it doesn’t go off. Make sure you don’t wash it with soap, as it can strip the oils. Warm water or scraper will do.
Ensure your stoneware dries appropriately before storing.
How To Season Stoneware In Oven
It’s easy to use stoneware dishes or pans. You can bake or cook with them and get excellent results. However, you have to season them effectively.
Here are some steps for seasoning stoneware in your oven.
Step#1: Wash with warm water
When you buy new stoneware, it’s best to wash it with soap and warm water. Some manufacturers use a thin coating to protect it during transit. And such coatings usually contain chemicals that may be unhealthy.
You won’t need to wash it with soap subsequently.
Ensure you wash it thoroughly with warm water and let it dry.
Step#2: Season your stoneware
After that, you have to season your stoneware. Seasoning creates a non-stick coating on your dish, which was previously uncoated. That way, you won’t get foods sticking to it when you cook.
It’s necessary only when the stoneware is unglazed. The process may ruin glazed stoneware.
You can season your stoneware immediately you get it or allow the layer to build up over time. But, it’s best to do it both ways. That will ensure your baking is simple and comes out effortlessly.
To do this, oil all parts of the stoneware exposed to food. Use high smoke point oil, as you’ll heat it to a high temperature. Some of them include hazelnut oil, sesame oil, and avocado oil.
Make sure you consider the oil taste. In that regard, you can also go for something neutral. Oils like canola, coconut, or lard are a great choice.
Step#3: Wipe with cotton cloth
Now, use a clean cotton cloth to wipe the stoneware. Excess oil will increase smoke output when heating it. So, be sure to remove any pool of oil, leaving behind only enough to damp the pan.
Don’t use a paper towel to clean excess oil. It’ll leave small fiber residues on the stoneware. And that will eventually be part of the seasoning.
Step#4: Heat stoneware
The next thing is to heat your stoneware. Preheat your oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then place your pan in it.
Please don’t open the oven door after 30 minutes. It’ll help contain the smoke and give the layer more time to harden. Now, you can remove it and let it cool.
You’ll notice that your pan looks darker (or maybe with a few lighter areas). Don’t worry; that shows it seasoned well.
Step#5: Repeat steps 2 to 4
To ensure your stoneware becomes a non-stick pan, repeat the previous steps. Start by applying oil on it again and then wiping off the excess. And finally, heat in your oven.
Bear in mind that the darker the stoneware looks, the better it’ll be for baking. As you use your pan, more layers will build up to make it more seasoned.
Make sure you repeat the process at least three times before moving to the next step.
Step#6: Start baking
Now your stoneware is ready for use, so start baking. Coat the pan with a thin layer of oil or butter if it’s a wet batter. Next, sprinkle flour and blow off the excess. Then add batter.
If the dough is dryer, sprinkle flour and cornmeal on the bottom of the dough—dust off excess.
Benefits Of Using Stoneware
Great baking results:
Baking with stoneware gives you great results. Because of its ability to heat evenly, you can make excellent recipes even if you’re not a pro.
Unlike cookware materials like aluminum, stoneware doesn’t release metals into your food. They are more chemically stable. The stability makes them healthier, with no metallic taste.
As long as the stoneware you purchase is from lead-free clay, it’s toxin-free. So you can bake without thinking of how safe your pans are.
Would you please make sure you always check product specifications before you buy stoneware? That’ll go a long way to help you make a great choice.
The ability of stoneware to hold heat helps it save energy. That way, food continues to cook even after you take it out of the oven. It enables it to distribute heat evenly for a beautiful brown exterior for baked foods.
However, be careful when making baked foods with sensitive times, like cookies. It’s best if you take out the pan moments before they bake fully. That’ll help them finish the baking process outside the oven without getting burnt.
Another benefit of stoneware pans is their durability. If used properly, they can stay in a family for generations. The production process involves heating them to about 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why they can withstand high-temperature levels in the oven.
Pans are solid and thick. So they can withstand wear and accidents during use. Some stoneware sets are chip-resistant and can retain their strength with regular use. If you take care of them, they’ll be helpful for several decades.
Easy to use:
Stone wares are easy to use. Glazed ones are non-stick. When they’re unglazed, you can quickly season them to make them so. With that, they can allow baked or cooked foods to come off with ease.
Another great benefit of stoneware is its versatility. You can use it in lots of different ways.
Stoneware pans are not only oven safe, but they are also microwave and dishwasher safe. You can even put them in the freezer. You can also put some of them under the broiler.
Ease of cleaning:
Cleaning stoneware dishes is a breeze. Their smooth surface makes them easy to clean and maintain. They don’t retain food odor or absorb the flavors of the food you cook in them. So you’ll find it easy to wash them by hand. You won’t even need soap to do that.
After baking, you can wipe it off with a dry cotton cloth to remove food remains.
Stoneware looks aesthetically appealing. The exterior parts come in complex glazed designs or a range of colors. They not only improve your baking experience, but the dishes are attractive for serving food.
When you want to use a baking dish to serve food, allow it to cool down after taking it out of the oven. Then you can set it down on the dining table. You don’t want your guests or kids to get burned.
Disadvantages Of Using Stoneware
Cracks due to thermal shock:
It may crack due to thermal shock if a sudden temperature change occurs. For instance, you immediately put a dish into your preheated oven after bringing it out of the freezer.
To avoid such, always allow stoneware to cool down before placing them in the refrigerator. Similarly, let them melt or get to room temperature before placing them in a microwave or oven.
Stoneware sets can be heavy to move around. It’s best to keep them at the bottom of your cupboard as their weight can ruin other dishes.
Stoneware can scratch surfaces like countertops. It would help if you placed a protective mat under your pan before putting them on such surfaces.
Stoneware sets are pricey. They are more expensive than most cookware. However, they’re worth the price as they are more durable.
Stoneware is oven safe. You can try out almost any baking recipe in it. However, ensure that you season it when you purchase a new one. That’ll help it become non-stick and effective.
Stoneware has lots of benefits, like the ability to last long and heat evenly. However, it can be expensive.