I bundle glass, clay, ceramic, and stoneware cookware together because of their similar heating and cooking characteristics. Chances are, you have glass cookware in your kitchen cabinets. Often used for baking, the old standard Pyrex glass cookware is very common, and still a kitchen favorite. The Corningware with the blue cornflower symbol is a ceramic that everyone over 40 remembers in the kitchen growing up. Clay cookware offers similar heating characteristics and with today’s colored enamel exteriors it makes clay a cooks favorite. Stoneware today is a replacement of the old ceramic cookware. Manufacturing advances has made stoneware very attractive for both the cook and the kitchen decorator.
Glass, Clay Ceramic, and Stoneware Cookware
Glass, clay ceramic, and stoneware cookware are grouped together because they have similar cooking and handling characteristics. While most cooks are familiar with glass cookware, some may not be familiar with ceramic cookware. When ceramic is used for cookware, you can see it described as ceramic, and sometimes in a form of porcelain. Ceramic holds heat very well so lower temperatures are recommended. Some forms of ceramic cookware are glazed giving it a nearly non stick surface. Ramekins, whether used for food prep, creme brulee, flan, or custard, are often ceramic because of their even heating characteristics.
Glass Cookware Characteristics
Most glass cookware is clear, so you can see through it to see how the food is cooking. The old Visions cookware from Corningware was amber and cranberry colored. Clean up is a snap since it is dishwasher safe. Glass and ceramic cookware is considered healthy as long as it has zero or low lead content. It has a smooth non-porous surface that is easy to clean and resists retaining food particles. Glass and ceramic cookware is subject to chipping and breaking if not handled properly. It is durable, but can be subject to thermal shock if quickly exposed to differing extreme temperatures.
Corning Glass and Ceramic Cookware
Even though Corning sold off 92% of its familiar glass and ceramic cookware line in 1998, it is still heavily sought after. Chances are you or a relative have the familiar white corning casserole dishes with the glass top and signature blue imprint on the side. The amber colored Corning Visions cookware, though not in production for a long time, was and is still great for freezer, refrigerator, stovetop, and oven use. See on E-bay.
Stoneware and Clay Cookware
While almost all stoneware cannot be used on the stovetop, Emile Henry has developed the clay Flame Top line that can be used on and in the stove. Stoneware, when used in the oven, make great lasagna dishes, pie dishes, appetizer dishes, etc. Similar to cast iron, but a whole lot lighter, stoneware and clay retains heat very well and makes a great display dish to go from oven to tabletop.
New Life for Glass and Ceramic Cookware
As manufacturers strive to make the best cookware, they are finding new uses for glass, clay, ceramic and stoneware. It is common to find ceramic/porcelain/enamel and steel blended together where the ceramic/porcelain/enamel can be a variety of colors suitable for any kitchen decor and tabletop presentation. Glass is routinely used in food prep, but now with color accents, lids, and a variety of shapes.
Glass, clay, ceramic and stoneware cookware has a place in the kitchen for many types of cooks, especially the health conscious. New styles are making it versatile and attractive to have and use. When it is attractive, durable, and easy to clean, who can pass up such an offer.