Can you microwave stoneware dishes? Doesn’t it chip more easily when hot compared to bone china and porcelain? Yes and yes. Keep on reading to find out the details behind this seeming quandary or contradiction.
Stoneware is a type of earthenware or clayware that is neither as durable as bone china nor as gleaming smooth as polished seashells as porcelain. Unlike its shiny ivory-like counterparts, stoneware dinnerware can be made in a variety of shapes, designs, and colors as well as finishes.
However, it comes at the price of being a lot more brittle and prone to chipping, especially when heated.
Is Stoneware Microwave-Safe?
You can safely microwave stoneware. Why? It’s also oven-safe and some properly made dishes can double as bakeware (with the same caveats in brittleness and collision damage as with glass bakeware). Good stoneware can be safely used with your freezer, dishwasher, microwave, and oven.
Double-check with the manufacturer of your favored stoneware is safe with those devices across the board or if they’re only dishwasher-safe up to a point. Not all stoneware dinnerware is made equal. Some use thinner plates meant to be protected or serve as decorative plates.
Certain paints or glazes might not react well with the microwave radiation or dishwasher’s heavy cycle either. Avoid extreme temperature changes on your stoneware to save it from thermal shock.
What Should You Keep in Mind when Microwaving Stoneware?
Stoneware is a type of dinnerware material. Unlike chinaware that emphasizes that gleaming porcelain, ivory, or polished shell look, you can avail of stoneware in a wider variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. They’re all perfectly microwaveable unless stated otherwise.
Stoneware might chip easily at the edges and can break apart like any other china, but this depends on the type of stoneware. Some offer amazing overall durability due to the temperature used to shape them in the kiln.
Certain paints and finishes might react negatively to microwave radiation. Or the stoneware might have metal embellishments like with its ceramic or porcelain counterparts.
See more: Is Opalware Microwave-Safe or Not?
What Is Stoneware?
Stoneware is a nonporous ceramic material used for pottery and dinnerware created with stoneware clay that’s been fired up in a kiln temperature ranging from 2,150°F to 2330°F. This dinnerware variant has a thicker build than either china or porcelain, thus ensuring tank-like durability.
Many homeowners prefer the lightweight offering of fine china or bone china as well as the slightly thicker porcelain to stoneware, which isn’t even that durable compared to either ceramic type pound-for-pound.
Regardless, the mix of clay and vitreous ceramic materials fired up at high temperatures allow stoneware to have a thicker and durable build and weightier profile as well as more color variations.
What Does Stoneware Look Like?
Stoneware looks more opaque than bone china or porcelain because it has a thicker construction and material makeup reminiscent of a stone slab turned into a dish or pottery. It’s stony in appearance because its stony ingredients gave it such a chiseled look.
The dinnerware option for most restaurants is stoneware. It’s more affordable than porcelain and fine chinaware, such that even though it’s more brittle than either it’s more affordable to get stoneware dishes than chinaware.
Before it’s glazed, stoneware will typically have color variations and patterns similar to stone as well. It’s durable enough or at least approaches chinaware or porcelain durability enough to allow for daily use in a busy restaurant.
What are the Main Benefits of Stoneware?
Not all stoneware dinnerware is made equal. Many of them vary in terms of longevity, overall durability, firing temperature, and price point. Across the board, they’re most suitable for use among restaurant owners or fine dining establishments because of their aesthetic variety.
- More Variety: You can get away with many more variants in finishes, designs, or even dish shapes with this earthenware type without necessarily sacrificing durability (chipped edges from heating aside). They’re not fragile because of their ornamental benefits. Not in the least.
- Still Durable: Stoneware has chipping problems—not shattering problems. Many homeowners can enjoy what many fine dining restaurants have enjoyed for years with this dinnerware type. It’s just that fine china is more famously fragile because of its costliness.
- Glazed for Easier Cleanup: Stoneware can be glazed like other dinnerware, thus allowing it to have a glossy finish with a colorful matte to it instead of the seashell shine like in bone china or porcelain. It’s glazed to make it easier to hand-wash or wash with a dishwasher.
- Naturally Rustic: It provides an earthy, rustic appearance to dishes that give your entrees a farm-to-table feel, whether it has a colorful matte or glossy finish to it. It’s popular among casual restaurants seeking a more wistful and down-to-earth ambiance.
Is Stoneware Oven-Safe, Freezer-Safe, or Dishwasher-Safe?
Yes, yes, and yes. Stoneware dinnerware isn’t only microwave-safe, it’s also dishwasher-safe, freezer-safe, and oven-safe. Just don’t use the stoneware with one after another relative to potential radical shifts in its temperature.
To err on the side of caution, check with the manufacturer before concluding by yourself that your stoneware is safe for use by all devices. Certain paints, glazes, or embellishments can make your stoneware not as microwave-safe or oven-safe as you’d expect.
How to Take Care of Your Stoneware with Various Devices
When using stoneware, avoid extreme temperature changes. It’s as susceptible to thermal shock or breakage from sudden shifts in temperature as glassware is. Don’t remove the stoneware plate from the refrigerator or freezer
You can’t get away with heating frozen leftovers straight from the fridge to the electric oven or microwave so that you can serve them piping hot on your dinner table like you would with a microwave-safe plastic container or Pyrex bakeware.
How to Clean Stoneware
Also, check the manufacturer’s instructions when placing a stoneware piece on the dishwasher. You might be requested to put it in a gentle wash cycle or to space out the dish inside the machine to avoid them from bumping into each other.
It’s actually preferable for you to hand-wash your stoneware instead of using the dishwasher. Also, avoid soaking the dishes in the dishwasher water for a long time like you would with your chinaware. This could result in the breakdown of its materials and glaze.
When Everything is Said and Done
When all is said and done, stoneware dishes, bowls, mugs, saucers, and pottery are every bit as microwaveable as its porcelain and bone china counterparts. However, you need to be extra careful when microwaving your lovely stoneware so that you don’t accidentally chip its sides.
Regardless, stoneware does have many benefits that porcelain, bone china, or other ceramics lack, such as design and aesthetic variety.
- “What Is Stoneware?“, WebstaurantStore.com, November 16, 2021