1. Earthenware Can Go Almost Anywhere
When people think of clay cookware or earthenware, they typically think about baking. It makes sense. After all, clay is outstanding in an oven, but you’re really stifling its potential if all you do is bake with it. All fully-clay cookware is microwave safe. So, it can be a great time saver when hurrying to get dinner done. My favorite thing to do is to kick things off in the microwave and pop it in the oven to crisp up and melt like we do in our Philly Cheesesteak Sliders recipe. And, our clay cookware doesn’t transfer flavors. No one wants their cookies tasting like fish sticks, and you can rest assured ours won’t do that.
2. Clay Is Best for Baking
The thing that makes clay cookware so great in the oven is its density. Density is basically how heavy something is for its size. Because clay cookware is so dense, it regulates heat extremely well. When you set an oven to 350°F, it almost never stays at that temperature; depending on your oven, it might heat up to 370°F for a few seconds, cool down to 330°F for a few seconds, then heat back up and do it all again. The temperature you set is the average of those fluctuations. That’s why thin metal pans don’t do as great of a job at regulating that temperature; they follow the ups and downs of the oven, and sometimes those ups can lead to burning, and the downs to soggy crusts. But not clay cookware. It maintains that average heat that your oven is trying to achieve. When your heat is consistent, your food will be consistently good.
3. You Don't Need to Preseason Our Clay Cookware
All the pieces in our Rockcrok® and stoneware collections are good to go on day one, but stoneware gets better the more you use it. Stoneware is different in that you don’t have to use soap to clean it (Rockcroks are dishwasher-safe). Just scrape off any stuck-on bits and rinse it with water. This way, you’ll build up a beautiful golden patina that’s called “seasoning.” This is basically a natural nonstick surface that develops as the oils from your food are baked onto the surface of the stoneware, kind of like how a glaze is baked onto pottery. So, the more you use your stoneware, the more seasoning will develop, the less likely it is that foods will stick to it, and the easier it is to clean. Let your stoneware build-up that seasoning. The best way to do that is to use it!
5. Earthenware is Durable
Because the clay is fired at very high temperatures, our clayware is very sturdy. You don’t need to be precious about it, but like with anything made of clay, you won’t want to drop it or bang it on a countertop. All you have to do is ask a friend with stoneware about their favorite piece. Trust me, they’ll immediately show you the beautiful, amber-colored seasoning on their stoneware as proof they’ve used it in their kitchen for years.
Well-loved clayware is a thing of beauty, something to be proud of, and can last a lifetime. It means you’ve made meals for your family that you can feel good about.
Tim Hagedorn, Pampered Chef Food & Trend Innovator. Tim worked at a number of Michelin-starred, fine-dining restaurants in Chicago before coming to Pampered Chef. He believes that cooking isn’t just about putting food on the table, but learning, exploring, and creating special memories that enrich people’s lives.