Using Stoneware for Baking and Cooking
With all that I’ve been learning over the past few years about toxic materials in my various pots, pans and muffin tins, it has been so refreshing to find a safe alternative that I love using! I’ve discovered that high-quality stoneware easily meets all of my qualifications, being 100% safe, durable and effective.
I have slowly been building up a collection of stoneware, for both baking and cooking, and I could not be happier with it. Just today I told my husband that another piece under the Christmas tree would be a happy thing for me. Forget the jewelry, expensive clothes or fancy decor… I’m that rare wife who actually wants to receive a blender or a vacuum or a cookie sheet. Call me crazy.
Why I Choose Stoneware
Stoneware just makes sense for me for a number of reasons.
One, people have been using it for literally thousands of years. It is not a new invention, which isn’t to say that all new inventions are bad, only that I like it when something has truly stood the test of time.
Two, it produces quality baking results. Stoneware heats very evenly which enables even a mediocre baker like me to attain excellent results (and anything that can do that for me gets my 2 thumbs up approval and a hearty thank you from my husband).
Third, it is toxin-free. So long as you double-check that the stoneware you are buying is made with lead-free clay (I’ll give you some shopping resources below), stoneware can be safely used without worrying about what is leaching at high temperatures or what little flecks of chemical coating are making their way onto your cupcakes.
Fourth, it is heavy-duty, will last me forever, and is easier to use than you think. When purchased from a reputable manufacturer, stoneware will come with a warranty (3 years is a common guarantee). If cared for well, it could possibly last until the tables turn and your children (or grandchildren!) begin to cook for you!
Seasoning Your Stoneware
Stoneware is similar in use to a cast iron pan. The goal is to “season” it using some type of fat or oil, so that it will develop a non-stick coating.
When you first receive your pan, give it a light but thorough coating with your fat or oil of choice. Personally, I choose to use fats that are saturated, as they remain stable even at high temperatures. I usually use coconut oil or beef tallow (lard would be fine as well). You can simply use your hands or a cloth to rub the oil thoroughly over the pan.
Another way to help season it is to use plenty of oil the first few times you use it. A great (and delicious) way to do this would be to make something like homemade baked french fries or oven roasted beets, if this suits the particular piece of stoneware. For something like a muffin tin, you could try make a slightly greasier muffin like these bacon, egg and cheese muffins. You could also oil the muffin tin well and then use unbleached muffin papers in the beginning, to allow the seasoning to set in but without ending up scraping muffin off the sides for those first uses.
Once you have done this several times and baked the stoneware with the oil on it, it will begin to be seasoned and you will find that foods stick less and less to it the more that you use it.
The combination of heat with the application of oils is what truly gets the seasoning into the stone. It sets it in and helps to create that layer of non-stick coating. So do make sure that the stoneware is baked at a high temperature with a good coat of oil on it, the first several times that you use it. It will also begin to darken and look a bit grungy as you do this, but remember that this is a sign that it is becoming seasoned and well loved. I liked this quote I found:
A good motto to remember is “The worse it looks, the better it cooks!”
Cleaning Your Stoneware
I will admit to you… sometimes I don’t actually clean mine. If I have only been baking cookies or making something like granola that comes off easily, I don’t wash my stone in water. I simply wipe it off with a dry cloth to remove any crumbs or bits of food, and then I put it away just like that.
If I have been making something like squash fries (which tend to stick more because they don’t crisp up the same way potato or sweet potato fries do), or a cake or sweet bread that sticks just a bit, then I use my rubber scraper (from Pampered Chef- these things are amazing!) to clean off all the food bits, then I use a bit of hot water and give it a quick rub, then dry it off.
The most important thing to remember is this: Soap is a no-no.
Never use soap on your stoneware and this is why: 1) It will strip away that oiled, seasoned finish that you have worked so hard to establish and it will no longer be non-stick at all. 2) The soap will actually be absorbed into the stone and it will affect the taste of your food.
If something really does end up sticking badly, the best thing I’ve found to do is to allow it to soak in plain hot water (no soap!) for about 10-20 minutes, and then use a scraper to work the food off as best you can. I have heard of people using baking soda to create a paste and use that to scrub their stoneware. I suppose that you could do this and it might not strip it as much as soap would, but I would be hesitant to go that route unless absolutely necessary.
The tool that every stoneware user should have:
These Nylon Pan Scrapers are made by Pampered Chef. They have four different shaped corners, each of which is ideal for getting into different grooves or angles in your stoneware dishes. I love my scrapers. I have zero affiliation with Pampered Chef, but I think these little things are genius.
How and Where to Buy Stoneware
I will be the first to admit that stone bakeware and cookware is a bit pricier. I have had to slowly build up my collection over time. At present, I have a pizza stone, a large bar pan, a cookie sheet, a square pan, several bread pans, and a large bowl, as well as some casserole dishes. I still have plans for a couple muffin tins, a round pan and a pie plate. It has taken me several years to get that much, accumulating a piece here or there, at Christmas time as gifts, etc.
Seeing as Christmas is coming, this is an excellent item to add to your wish list! If your hubby wants to know what you want, just send him on over to this post.
Amazon carries some stoneware, including some by Pampered Chef. Their prices are decent and you can often get shipping for free. They also sell their entire stoneware line in their online shop, or you can purchase it from Pampered Chef parties hosted in people’s homes. Ebay is another place to source out stoneware. The prices are occasionally low, but usually not much different than you would find new elsewhere.
I also recently stumbled upon the Traditional Cook site, with its selection of stoneware. It is run by a Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader, who wanted to use traditional cookware herself and now makes it available to others. She doesn’t carry every type of dish you might want, but what she does carry is guaranteed lead-free and also has a 3 year warranty.
You can sometimes find stoneware at garage sales and thrift stores, but be aware that you have no idea how it was previously cared for. You can definitely score some great pieces and then lovingly work to season them, and hopefully they will work out well for you. Unfortunately, you might also find items that just haven’t been cared for and could end up never developing a good non-stick seasoned coating, have soapy residues, or end up breaking or cracking due to misuse.
When you are looking, be sure to see whether the products are certified to be free of lead, cadmium and other toxins. They should be kiln fired at temperatures above 2000 or 21000 F.
Stoneware Savvy @ Old Fashioned Living (more info, tips, etc.)
Stoneware- For the Best Baking Ever @ Traditional Cook (this PDF article has info on the history, making and use of stoneware)
I so agree– another important tip is to preheat stoneware– it helps a lot. I always stick the empty pizza stone, roasting pan, muffin pan, etc in the oven as it heats up. Crusts are better and baking time is shorter.
Sorry, to tell you different, but I am a former Pampered Chef consultant and they always told us NOT to put the stone in the oven without having 70% of it being used. You are not supposed to put it in with nothing on it because it can crack it. What they did tell us was if your stone is cold (from having it in the fridge or freezer) or you have cold food on it (frozen pizza) then you should put it in the oven as the oven is heating up. The drastic change from cold to hot could crack it. Just thought I’d let you know. If you’ve had no problems before then you may never have one, but I do know others that have done that and had it cracked.
totally agree – current consultant – best not to preheat your stones….preheat oven YES, then put in stone with food and cook as directed….
I love my Pampered Chef stoneware! It has never failed me. Except for the time that I dropped my very heavy pie dish, filled to the brim with an unbaked, homemade chicken potpie. There were many tears shed in that moment, both for the potpie and the broken dish! lol! But seriously, it’s all I use in the oven and I’ve had a few pieces for almost 10 yrs!
Oh absolutely! I wouldn’t use anything else, either! As a former Pampered Chef consultant, I have been able to get my stones at a decent price and have pretty much everything I need. I agree with Rebekah’s note about preheating the stone along with your oven. I do that all the time, especially if I’m baking cookies, etc. However, do NOT forget it and let it get too hot or it will break! (Spoken from sad experience when my FAVORITE stone was actually just sitting on TOP of the stove when the oven was on and it got too hot! I wanted to cry!) It’s not a bad idea to season them yourself but for me personally, I never, ever put anything but food on my stones. Never oiled them or anything and even the most “unseasoned” stones usually clean easily if you let them sit for about 10 min. with hot water (no soap) in them. How wonderful they are when they are fully seasoned, though! 🙂
I love my Pampered Chef stoneware! It’s so much easier to use than cast iron in my opinion…You only have to season it once and there’s no concern of rust…ever! I have a few of their casserole dishes and I think they are so pretty!
HELPFUL TIP!! I’m a Pampered Chef consultant and love my stoneware. Just wanted to give you all a tip. To deep clean your stoneware just leave it in your oven and run a self-clean cycle on the oven (don’t use oven cleaners during the cycle). This will burn off all the seasoning, odors and such, and leave your stone looking like new again. You will then have to re-do the seasoning process, so only do this when necessary. For example, if you don’t know how the previous owner cleaned it or if you accidentally used soap or there is hardened on grease that you can’t get out or an odor that is leaching into your food.
@Alana Friedrich, Thanks for that tip, Alana!
Ha ha I was going to add my friend did this by mistake once and it came out sparkling new. I would definitely do this to a used one. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who frequently “dusts” mine with a dry a cloth and puts it away.
If you put it through the self cleaning oven it voids your warranty from PC…you should not do this, its NOT recommended by PC.
We have a pizza stone that I love. So much so that I’ll go through the extra time to bake cookies on it. I’d love to have a stoneware cookie sheet and a muffin pan. After that I’d love mini bread pans. I’ll have to add these to my Christmas wish list.
Thanks for all of the great links.
I also have a few stoneware pans & love them! I’ve been very happy with my pampered chef! Hoping to add another piece to my collection this December.:)
I too love my stoneware! In response to Rebekah, I was told not to heat up my stones (pampered chef) without anything on them and when baking to make sure at least half of the surface was covered with food or they could crack. Not sure if that’s true or not. Anyone else know?
I have had some of my Pampered Chef stoneware for almost 15 years and I swear by it (no I am not a consultant). I use them daily and it is all that I have in my kitchen now. (I think that I have just about every piece)
I do pre-heat mine is I am making things like bread or cookies so that my times do not change between batches.
The only thing that you need to know is to NOT get it wet or add water while it is cooking because it will crack – yes, I do speak from experience.
Amen and Amen!!!!!!!!!! These are almost ALL I use anymore….
I have a nice little Pampered Chef collection from years and years ago when my sister was a consultant. My favorite is the 9 x 9 square baker–love to make homemade cornbread and brownies in it!
You’re not alone. I too would prefer kitchen bakeware and gadgets to jewelry and fancy clothes anyday.
We have some stonewear, including some pieces never used. Time to dig them out…
Wow, perfect timing because I have a question!
I have a pizza stone that I use for bread and other things, but lately I’ve noticed a chemical-ly smell coming from the oven when I’m preheating it…what the heck is that? I had it in last night while pre-heating the oven for a casserole and it got so bad while I was standing there browing meat I took it out of the oven…any ideas anyone? I’m hesitant to use it now…
I don’t preheat my stones, but have often had that same “chemical” smell. I believe it’s the baked in oil essentially being “burned into” the piece. Ever burnt oil on the stovetop? Smell the same? (One of my stones actually sets the smoke detector off every time I use it. It’s literally black from years of loving use!)
@E.E., thank you, I feel better. I was almost ready to toss it. I’ll have to try that suggestion to run the self-cleaning oven cycle with the stone in it.
I have a cookie sheet, a pizza pan and a 4 sectioned mini loaf pan, all from pampered chef. I use their nylon scrapers all the time for all sorts of stuck-on dishes issues!
I still haven’t used the mini loaf pan. Anyone use one? what for? It was a gift and it sat on my shelf…the other day my toddler scribbled on it with crayon…sigh…anyone know how to get that off? For now I am just dealing with it sitting there procastinating since I don’t know what to do!
I love my stoneware but I wish it wasn’t so heavy and akward to store because of that.
I want a muffin tin of stoneware! Or 2 :)!
I like to do sweet breads (zucchini, ginger, friendship, pumpkin, etc.) in my mini loaf pans. They turn out so great!
@Momstarr, Great idea! Thanks!
For the crayon: hot water and a nylon SOS pad? baking soda paste? alcohol? If it’s not on the baking surface, I wouldn’t worry about it.
@E.E., I’ll have to try those ideas, thanks! Its just a bit, but its still there (I caught her) lately its me against the crayons! I think I have them all picked up but then I find marks on the walls and other places! LOL
@Nola, I use my minni loaf pan to make minni meatloaf…. it’s just something fun!
Like Momstarr I use mine mostly for sweet breads, but you could also use it for yeast breads, meatloaf, etc. I love them because the sizing is perfect for my fiance and me, and I can easily freeze or give away the other loaves (they are the perfect size for gifting to singles and couples).
Tip: if you do not have enough batter to fill all the wells in your mini loaf pan (or muffin pan) fill the empty wells with an inch of water before sliding in the oven. Doing so will ensure that the empty ones do not heat unevenly to the rest of the stone, which can put the stoneware at risk of cracking.
For the crayon marks, or any other stains you want removed from your stone (or walls) use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. If you use it on your stone however, always remember to reseason before using stone.
Those scrapers work wonderfully for all kinds of jobs. I use them on my cast iron, on my countertops after bread-baking, and best of all for scraping wallpaper. Would like to get some muffin pans in my stoneware collection.
I have used stoneware almost exclusively for about 12 years. I cook just about everything in stoneware. I don’t have much to add to your post as you hit on just about everything. I have a couple of really seasoned pieces that are just perfect now. I also just wipe mine off if they’re not dirty.
I also love my stoneware! One of my favorite pieces is my pampered chef muffin pans. I love that I can make muffins in them and not need liners. The muffins always come out of the pan perfectly! The only sad thing is that stoneware is definitely breakable. I have lost a couple of my favorite pieces. Recently, something fell on my muffin pan and broke it right in half. 🙁 I am hoping to still be able to use it.
I love my Pampered Chef stoneware, too! I often times do not wash mine after cookies either. Otherwise, I just give it a rinse in warm water. I’m definitely ordering one of those bread pans before the holidays. Thanks!
I know I will get many scolding remarks when I say this, but I almost always use soap when I clean my stones. I do a lot of oven-roasted veggies (fair amount of oil used) and nothing cuts the greasy film like soap. I never soak them in soapy water, but instead quickly sponge with soapy water and rinse immediately. I’ve had my stones for almost ten years and have never had a problem with them tasting soapy or becoming “unseasoned”.
I have several Pampered Chef pieces that I love and I’m hoping to acquire more. I’m hoping for a muffin pan for Christmas. I noticed another brand called Haeger that is made in the US and claims to be lead free. I might ask for that one since it’s cheaper, but I know it won’t have the same warranty as Pampered Chef.
I was just talking with a friend about a stoneware piece. We had a question- is it microwaveable. I remember putting mine in the microwave; but not sure if you can, mine is a pampered chef piece. Do you know?
Yes – Pampered Chef Stoneware is microwaveable! My kitchen is a “no oven zone” on summer evenings. Cooking dinner in the microwave in my stoneware is a life-saver! Talk to your local Pampered Chef Independent Consultant for some great microwave ideas from casseroles to lava cakes.
What about the stoneware sold at Walmart – I know it’s not as expensive as the stuff on Amazon or PC but the reality is not everyone can afford to purchase from those companies. I do own the PC stainless steel cookware (a generous gift from my mom a few years back and really like it, and thankfully not of that teflon or other bad stuff is in it). I do need new cookie, pizza and muffin pans though and maybe I can get some for my anniversary. BTW: I love my little rubber scrubby things from PC they work well on my stainless steel.
@Sarah, I can understand the cost being a tough thing. That’s why I’ve had to get mine so slowly, and I still don’t have them all.
I think they might be fine, but I would check the brand names and do a google search on them to see what information you can find. You want to find something saying that they are lead-free, if you can. If there is a company website/hotline try calling that for more info. It also just might not be as sturdy or last as long as other stoneware, because the quality of manufacturing may not be as high.
Ultimately, the more expensive ones are probably worth it, but I would say that if you really can’t do it, these are probably a good alternative (better than regular cheap bakeware, for sure!).
I know this is about the stoneware, but I love glass! If you can’t afford stoneware, at least get some glass bake ware. I guarantee there will be no chemical residues in these. I have at least 5 glass baking pans, plus a bread pan and 2 pie pans. I believe if you are going to take a few years to build up to a full kitchen of stoneware, glass should be your “in between” bake ware. They can be found at thrift sales too, and they clean up easy.
@Marcy, Great suggestion, Marcy, and I totally agree! Just last night, in fact, I broke down and bought a glass pie plate because I couldn’t wait around any longer until I can get a stone one. The glass pie plate was only $6, compared with probably $20-30 for a stone ware one. It will definitely do in the meantime!
This is interesting. I have been using le creuset pans and love them, they are my alternative to aluminum bakeware. Now I am curious how stoneware compares.
Regarding stoneware that cracked:
The reason most stoneware cracks (other than the hard smack or drop!) is a differential of temperatures.
The stoneware left on the stove top while the oven was heating… only part of the stoneware was heated (probably near the exhaust vent) while the other part was cooler. One part expands more than the other.
Same for putting cold foods/liquids on/in. Same reason for filling 70% full, that much mass will bring the stoneware’s temp to it’s temp more steadily.
So I guess what I am saying is a good rule of thumb is to ensure EVEN heating is more important than preheating or how hot.
This is also true for cast iron but it mostly only affects griddles. Before I learned this principle, I had a cast iron griddle split right down the middle because one of the burners (it covered two) got turned very low by accident. Next thing I knew, I heard a sickening pop and I had two smaller griddles. I still used them but it was so sad ;..(
What a great post… I have two stoneware pieces that I have yet to season… I KNOW… I will be doing that soon! Very informative and motivating (to season mine!!!)
Almost all my stone wear, from Pampered Chef, I received free when I hosted parties. I used to have two parties a year and got so much free stuff. That’s a great option for someone with little to no money but would like a quality product for cooking/baking. I need a new stone jelly roll pan. My sweet hubby unintentionally broke it while cleaning it one day. He swears it’s not his fault. We agreed to disagree. 😉
Btw, I just love your blog! I discover how much I have in common with you in almost every post I read. I, too, am one of those wives who would like a Kitchen Aid blender (got it last year for Christmas), or Kitchen Aid mixer (got it for our anniversary a couple years ago and was ecstatic) or a Tassimo coffee machine (hoping for it this year). 😉
@Melanie, Thanks, Melanie! So glad you’re here! 🙂
I also share your love of stoneware! This is a great post, full of info, terrific for someone just learning about cooking on stoneware. I knew a lady once who never used her pizza stone because she didn’t want it to look ugly…can you imagine? lol…our pizza stones are a lovely dark, dark amber color and work wonderfully. I won’t cook on anything else, except my cast iron! Thanks for this post, I’m going to share it on FB!
@dawn, That’s so funny, not wanting to actually use something useful because it wouldn’t look pretty anymore. 🙂
Thanks for sharing!
I’ve been using stoneware for years – I love it!
Awesome idea for my Christmas list! As a newlywed still building up my kitchen, I would love advice on what one piece of Pampered Chef Stoneware might be most versatile? I know every cook is different, but any tips on a piece that can be used for lots of different things? Thanks!
@Robin, I personally love my bar pan. It’s like a large cookie sheet with higher raised edges. So you can use it to make bars, or cookies, or things like french fries. You could make large rectangle or square shaped pizza. It has lots of options!
More of a question. I made a pork roast in my covered baker. My exchange student stuck it away without looking in it. I thought that she had cleaned it before putting it away and went off on a two week trip-. When I went to use it I was shocked to find the uncleaned cooker in the cupboard with bits of meat, carrot and potato clinging to the sides. I scrubbed it clean without soap of course and heated it a 350 degree over for 30 minutes. do you that it is safe to use now?
Oh no! How frustrating! If it makes you feel better, I once had an ESL exchange student take his dinner out of the casserole dish in the oven, then turn the oven off and put the (almost full) casserole dish back in the oven, which then sat there for about 6 hours until we got home. Needless to say, we had to throw out that entire casserole!
It sounds like you’ve done the right things, but I’ve never had that experience. I would guess that it’s ok??? Wish I had a better answer for you!
What about enameled iron? Do you have any of those? If so, do you like them as much as a regular cast iron pan? I noticed several of the chefs on Food Network use enameled cast iron and I would like to have one, but am not sure it’s worth purchasing.
Thanks for your ideas!
@Melanie, I do have two enameled cast iron pieces- one is a dutch oven (large pot with lid), and also a deep casserole dish. I feel comfortable using them for cooking, and they work wonderfully. I didn’t pay for them myself, though (thanks Mom!) so I’m not sure if I would have spent the money or not. But I do love them.
I LOVE my pampered chef stoneware! I have a few bar pans (large and small), a cookie sheet, pizza stone, 9×13 pan, and a few others! I was afraid to use the 9×13 pan for the longest time, because I thought it would be a pain to clean. It’s not at all! The ONLY thing I don’t like about stoneware is that it can be a little heavy and it’s a little more difficult to store … but it’s definitely worth it. 🙂
Bread pans and muffin pans have been on my list!! 🙂
I love my stoneware! I have a pizza stone that has turned blck from using it for so many years.
I needed this post! I especially needed to learn tips on seasoning and care for stoneware- I recently got my first piece. Helpful to equate it to cast iron. Kohls also has a line of stoneware. Very helpful!
The only stone bakeware I have is a pizza stone and I LOVE it! Our homemade pizza never turned out before we got it, and now we have amazing pizza all the time. It lives on the bottom rack of my oven, and when it starts to get too dirty (ie. setting off the smoke detector anytime I turn the oven on) I know it’s time to clean the oven (along with the stone) 🙂
Thanks for this post, I’m definitely interested in adding more stoneware pieces to my collection – a muffin pan will definitely be going on my wish list.
Stoneware rocks! I have baked in nothing but stones since 1996 when I discovered it through Pampered Chef! You should see some of mine! Seasoned to the max!
I must admit, I was so ecstatic when I received a blender, 3 knives and cutting boards this holiday season! I can’t wait till June (when getting married) because I am very very hopeful of getting a Kitchen-aide Mixer!
Also, I may be young, but I love love LOVE my passed down pampered chef stoneware! My mother used to do the parties when I was much younger, and she still has a ton that has lasted all these years. I bake like no tomorrow, and my most used piece is with out a doubt the pizza stone. I was so lucky she had two! I also have a pie dish and a 9×13? dish that was sort of “adopted” after she brought a casserole dinner over to our house. (She is leaving for a 2 month vacation anyways!) I have yet to use the collectible stone cookie molds though, there are 2 that are from the early 90s with like farm animals on them, and a gingerbread house kit mold I forgot about until reading this post…
And the scrapers are probably the best thing on this planet! I use to scrape my counters from sticky bread, get into the grout under my sink, scrape up any messes and of course to clean the stoneware! I have close to ten.
I too love my PC stoneware. It is a rarity to find it at garage sales, but when I do, I scoop it up! One thing I’d be interested in hearing about, it how people store theirs. I have several pyrex 9×13’s that nest nicely, but the PC stones take up so much space. Any tips?
@Sharon, Personally, I just stack my stones on top of each other. I’ve heard that’s not the best way to store them, but it works well for me. My MIL uses a tall, skinny cupboard and puts all of hers up on their ends, side by side, which saves room and then they’re not resting on top of the others.
I purchased some felt and use that between my stoneware so they can rest on top of each other but do not “ding” each other…
I just purchased stoneware that I found on sale at Kohl’s. However, there is no warranty and I don’t know if they are free of lead, cadmium, etc. It is the Foodnetwork brand. Are you familiar with the quality of that brand for stoneware? Crossing my fingers…:)
@Sheri, Wish I could help, but I haven’t heard of it. Did you try googling?
I have several pampered chef stoneware products and I am having trouble with my bread. Should I be cooking it longer than the recipe calls for? Does the “preheating” of the pan take care of that problem.
@Anna Powers, My bread is usually ok, but I often find that other things (quick breads, muffins, french fries, etc.) take longer on stone. Preheating does help a little, but often it just requires a bit more time under a watching eye.
i am wondering about substituting pizza stone for cookie sheets or large bar pan. I have all PamChef products. New to using stoneware, my pizza stone is sitting on counter after excellent pizza last night and the large pan is still in the box. I’m making choc chip cookies..so dilemma what to bake on and at what temps for each piece.
Has anyone created a chart for this all the pieces w/ varying times/temps for various uses?
Without immediate answer I’m using the pizza pan now but will use my insulated cookie sheets to keep going faster…is it all trial and error?
You can use the same temperatures for your stoneware as you would on a metal sheet, you may have to adjust the cooking time by a few minutes. As all ovens vary, I can’t give you an exact on the times. Your cookies may take 12-15 minutes instead of 10-12 minutes. The beauty of stoneware is that you will never have a cookie with a burnt bottom again!
Hope that helps!
Pampered Chef Independent Consultant
I am making a pecan pie for Christmas…the recipe (Southern Living) calls for it to be made in a 10″ cast-iron skillet. You bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, 300 degrees for 30 minutes, and then, turn the oven off, not opening the oven door, and let stand for 3 hours. I have a cast-iron skillet, but, it is not deep at all. Was wondering if I could use my daughters Pampered Chef stoneware, instead. The ingredients, pecans, etc. were pretty expensive, so wouldn’t want to ruin the pie by using the wrong pan. Thanks for any help and suggestions you can give me.
If your cake is one that needs to be “flipped” out of the pan…and it sounds like it may…I would not recommend using stoneware. It would cook beautifully…but the flipping part may get tricky. With an upside-down type of cake I would stick…or NON-STICK (hahaha)….with a non-stick skillet.
Hope that helps!
Pampered Chef Indepedant Consultant
I just wanted to thank you so much for mentioning my website regarding my stoneware. I sincerely appreciate it, and just now got an order due to your mention. It came as a complete surprise. There is a full article with accompanying recipes that your readers may also want to look at. it’s at:
The product I sell and use never blackens on the inside as do other brands, and it also requires no pre-seasoning, goes from freezer to over and is dishwasher safe. In the article I talk about many things that are related to the fact that baking in stoneware is really a welcome and fun experience, and is becoming very popular.
Gratefully ~ Maria
Thank you for the information. I have been recently researching stoneware after reading this article. I contacted Pampered Chef and they were not willing to tell me that their products did not contain lead. After some back and forth emails, this is the final response I received:
“We do not have the specific levels [of lead] to give you, but I can tell you that we follow the California Prop 65 Regulation regarding lead content very strictly. You may contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding this regulation.”
Are you familiar with the guidelines and/or think that the low levels are not harmful? I just wanted to see your take before I begin trying to purchase these products. Thanks!!
I’m an Independent Sales Director with The Pampered Chef and from what I know there is no lead in our stoneware and it’s made in the US. With how strict our regulations are getting I’d think it’s highly unlike that you’d find a trace of lead in US made products.
My information came from a Senior Director whose been with PC for 17 years.
You can contact me with any other questions. I’d love to help 🙂
Independent Sales Director
The Pampered Chef
I LOVE this!! I’m so glad I stumbled upon it!
Lots of great information, very well said. Whenever my customers ask me about stoneware I’m definitely directing them to this.
Independent Sales Director
The Pampered Chef
Interesting comments. . .And, appreciate the tips and opportunity to share some of what I’ve learned over the years (25+) about clay & stoneware cooking.
I have a collection of 20 or so clay and stone cookers . . .of ALL shapes and sizes; and, hailing from different parts of the world. . Some are fully-glazed; some have glazed portions; and, others are completely “bare” (unglazed). They’re sized to make everything from “onion flowers” to a 16-18 lb turkey. . .I also “mix & match” lids and “bottoms” from virtually any of them whose diameters match up. [If any one’s interested, I also have more than 20 books specifically related to clay or “non” metallic cooking plus several hundred more books related to different “ethnicities” that have recipes either directly “specifying” clay cooking; or, which can be easily adapted ; and, I will gladly supply you with a list of these books. . .Just drop me a note]
Except for two cookers that I received from my mother, I’ve picked up almost all of my cookers at thrift stores or on EBAY [I have gotten several tagines from Sur La Table & Tagines.com. . .at EXCELLENT prices!]
A few tips:
1) re: cleaning. . .A simple soak in hot water for various periods of time (depending on the “stuff” you wish to remove)
2) I have two small wire brushes that I picked up at an auto supply store. About the size of a “super-large” toothbrush, they have hard-wood handles; and, one has brass bristles; the other has stainless steel bristles (Neither will rust). . .They are EXTREMELY well-suited to removing burned-on food. . .And, will NOT harm the surface (I brush the cooker after allowing it to dry for an hour or so after use) THEY WILL NOT HARM THE PATINA!!
3) After washing, I generally put the lid and bottom outside to “air dry”. . .Hot summer days are especially good; but, any day will work. . .I’ve even forgotten them and they’ve stayed out in the rain (This means another day or two outside after the rain lets up) You can also put them to dry under the lid of your BBQ (Leave the BBQ lid, slightly open). . .When air-drying, just make sure to separate the two pieces. If jammed up for time, (or, in freezing weather); put the pieces in your oven; set the timer for 20 minutes @ 200 degrees. . .And, they’ll be thoroughly dry in about 2 hours. [It is VERY important to make certain the cooker and lid are thoroughly dry before you put them away. . .I learned this after one of of mine “mildewed”. . .And, it was a fully-glazed tagine, too! NEVER did it occur to me that mildew would be a problem! (By the way, I “fixed” the mildew in this pot; and, I’m now using it again)]
4) Storage. . .You do NOT want to chip or crack your pieces. . .Line your cabinet (or, drawer) bottom with rubberized material. Place a piece of “thin” bubble-wrap between the lid and the “bowl.” Thin “foam-wrap”
also works well (I save this from book-mailers or other packaging I receive. . .I also use the larger book-mailers for glass and ceramic lids)
5) If you are a devotee of thrift shops, get in the habit of keeping a small carton in the car filled with bubble-wrap & syrofoam “peanuts”. . .Just for those times when you find the “perfect” pot; or, baking dish; or, piece of crystal glassware (I’ve furnished my kitchen with great pieces of Romertopf (clay ware); Pampered Chef stoneware; Waterford crystal; and, Henckels & Wusthof knives, etc from thrift shops for literally pennies!) A recent “find” of two Waterford crystal “balloons” were purchased for $1.50 each (Retail value: $85 each). . And, I got them home SAFELY! (The same store provided an “previously-owned” 10 inch Henckels 4-Star chef’s knife for 50 cents! )
Thank you so much for your great clay and stoneware tips!!! I’ll be heading out to the auto supply store for a wire brush, then onto purchasing rubberized cabinet liner, back home to retrieve bubble-wrap and foam wrap from my garage, and finally prepare the carton to keep in my car. I’ve used my clay bakers for years and recently purchased Piral glazed terra cotta cookware. I’m now looking to replace my metal baking pans with stoneware.
I’d like to take you up on your kind offer to provide a list of the cookbooks you referenced. I have several, but would like read and learn more about this fascinating traditional way of cooking.
I’d like to take you up on your offer to forward the list of your books. So nice of you to share.
What a wonderful article, thank you for so much useful information and guidance in one place! I’ve been buying used Pampered Chef stoneware on Ebay. Most are in pretty good condition but I’m thinking of a deep clean for each just because I don’t know their history. Would you suggest the baking soda overnight or straight to the self-cleaning oven technique? And I’m wondering if the self-cleaning oven would be fine for pieces with a glazed outside finish. Thanks so much for all your help?
I know this is a bit late but in case anyone else ever needs the answer…
Use a baking soda/water paste & let it sit over night. Then rinse with very hot water & scrape with your scraper (new scrapers can be purchased in a pack of 3 if you don’t have one. Genius little items).
Don’t use the self cleaning oven. Though it may work for some, I don’t suggest it. If you purchase your stone directly from Pampered Chef, your warranty is void after doing that. Also, because the stone is clay, there could be small bubbles inside that will cause the stone to break or even shatter under such high heat.
Hope that was helpful 🙂
My stoneware cookie sheet is from “Home and Garden Party.” I have used it only a few times and it is quite discolored. The comments seem to say “the worse it looks, the better it cooks.” Except the last time I used it smoke filled the oven and poured from the vent. It was awful! I know it was this cookie sheet because I’ve used the oven since then and there is no smoke. My husband wants me to figure out how to clean it or he is getting rid of it. But there doesn’t seem to be a good way to clean it. I don’t actually like it all that much anyway and would gladly send it to anyone who wants it if they would pay for the shipping. Help? Anyone?
I will gladly pay you shipping Kathy! E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your tips for cooking with stoneware , actually that is what I was thinking for my wife was to get her some more stoneware for Christmas! She has one pie plate , one bread pan, a large stoneware for a whole chicken or small turkey, one pizza plate. I welcome any suggestions from anyone out there on what else I should add to her collection. She loves to cook and is an excellent cook, so anything for the kitchen I am glad to get for her and she would be thrilled to have more stoneware. Thanks for your help and suggestions!
A little late of a response for Christmas but for future reference 🙂
The Pampered Chef Large Bar Pan is my most favorite piece of stoneware. Even more than the Deep Covered Baker, & that thing is magically.
The Bar Pans are so versatile! I’ve made cookies, fudge, sliders, chicken, roasted veggies, & salmon on that stone, just to name a few things. The even cooking is amazing. Frosty nuggets or frozen French fries never need to be flipped.
We’re coming out with new stones in March as well. I don’t know what they are til Feb but if you’re curious shoot me an email & I’ll keep you posted 🙂
My late wife left me with a collection of stoneware baking pans and I was wondering how to use them. The only thing I really remembered was not to wash them with any kind of detergent. your site was a very useful tool for use and care of these exceptional baking implements. Thank you for all the information.
Great info! Linked back to you on FB 🙂
Thank you for this great post:) I personally love Hartstone pottery, I’ve seen it sold at Bed Bath and Beyond…it has been more durable than my pampered chef pottery and it’s made in the USA. I was wondering, I sometimes have a hard time getting some things to crisp on them, any tips? Thanks!
As a side note regarding soap and stoneware, I do use hot water AND Dawn dishwashing liquid to clean my stoneware and I have never had a problem with sticking and/or being able to taste the soap. I cannot justify not cleaning as I am a nurse and am very aware what critters stick to pots, pans, skillets and stoneware that are not cleaned properly. These microscopic critters may not make you and/or your family sick at this juncture, but the possibility does exist and I cherish my family too much to take a chance. Again, this is my preference as not utilizing soap is yours. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. Please enjoy this beautiful day. GiGi
I have a pampered chef stoneware cookie sheet that I loved (yes past tense). I seasoned it I guess too well, because it now drips oil onto the floor of my oven every time I use it and then have to clean the oven.
How do I get the oil out of the pan?
so I maybe got a stoneware pizza dish for our wedding, but had NO idea how to care for it then…and there were really no helpful instructions on the packaging. I wanted to make a pizza, so I did and it stuck like crazy. I maybe have used it a bunch of times since then and it is a charred mess. Is there any hope? I’ve scraped it, but it really does have a LOT of brown on it…like burned all over. Can I still try to “grease” it? I only washed it w/soap once and that was probably a few dozen uses ago. I don’t really have the money to buy one anytime soon. Suggestions on how to revive it?
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