Stoneware is a type of clay that is fired at extremely high temperatures (over 2000̊F). This clay, because it’s fired so hot, can withstand day-to-day uses in your kitchen. Stoneware is versatile to use as everyday dishware and cookware.
Stoneware can be used in the oven, microwave, refrigerator, and dishwasher; however, dishwashing will ruin the stoneware cookware. Stoneware is considerably heavy and is usually bare on the bottom.
All About Stoneware
Stoneware isn’t just found in the kitchen. You can find stoneware being used all around you. For instance, pots and planters in the garden are usually stoneware because they are waterproof and decorative pieces.
Stoneware has the look of pottery. It is unique and handcrafted, allowing for each personal touch to be placed into the beautiful piece. You can create stoneware with clay on a pottery wheel or by hand, but without a kiln that can fire over 2000̊F, your pottery won’t become stoneware.
Stoneware usually requires that you hand wash it, season it, and sometimes provide a deep clean to get off any baked on “seasoning” or food particles that build up over time.
What You Will Need
There are two methods of cleaning your stoneware. One way is a simple clean after using; the other is recommended once a week to get any leftover food or built-up flavor off the stoneware.
You may be wondering how you’ll know if your stoneware is dirty. When stoneware gets dirty, food debris usually makes the normally smooth surface, bumpy and oily. As you continue to cook with your stoneware, it will darken in color, producing rich browns. Stoneware specialists like to say “The darker it looks, the better it cooks.”
There are some items you’ll need to do the cleaning processes, the restoring, and the seasoning of the stoneware dishes.
The normal cleaning process should be done after every use. This is just to get off excess foods and oils that are still left in the pan. When proceeding with a normal cleaning of your stoneware cookware, you will need a few items.
- Warm water
- Nylon scraper (usually comes with your stoneware or can be purchased separately) If you don’t have a nylon scraper with you, you can always use a blunt, nylon kitchen spatula to do the job.
- Nylon Scrubber Pad: For this, you just need a non-scratch rag to wipe excess debris off.
A deep cleaning takes a little more time, but yields a result to bringing your seasoned pan more life, flavor, and increases the longevity of use.
For a deep cleaning, which should be done about once a week if the products are frequently used during the week, you’ll need a little more.
- Warm water
- Nylon scraper
- Baking Soda
Have you ever bought stoneware from a garage sale or thrift store? If you have, you’ve probably have wondered about how to clean it and restore it back to its original state. I’ve got the answers for that.
This method is a bit riskier. There is a chance that the stoneware could break, even if all the steps were followed. Stoneware is tricky and can take a bit of maneuvering around.
- Self-cleaning oven: A self-cleaning oven can have a safety hatch. Once it’s locked for cleaning, you may not be able to open it until the cycle is finished.
Seasoning stoneware is a lot like seasoning a cast iron pan. It helps yield a nonstick surface and adds flavor while cooking. As you continue to cook, you’ll need to season your pan occasionally, though it’ll mostly get seasoned by use.
As you continue to cook with your stoneware, over time you will need to season it, to continue building flavor and increase the lifespan of your stoneware. Seasoning isn’t a hard step to do, but it is a necessary one. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Vegetable Oil: You can use any vegetable oil you would like to, just make sure it’s real oil.
How To Clean Your Stoneware
Caring for your stoneware doesn’t have to be hard, in fact it’s a rather easy process that takes no time at all! I’ll help you through each step of the process for each procedure. You’ll be done in no time at all!
- Step 1: Take the nylon scraper and scrape the stoneware surface while it’s dry, removing all the food particles from the surface. Be gentle. You don’t want to scratch the surface, just graze over it lightly to remove any stuck-on food, grime, seasoning, or flavor. Make sure to push it all into one corner for easy rinsing.
- Step 2: Turn the water on and let it run until it’s warm. Rinse the stoneware under warm water. Do not use any soap; this could ruin the seasoning of the stoneware and make your future dishes taste bad. Remember, for this step, all you need to do is rinse the stoneware. You can run the nylon scraper over the pan again for one more cleaning.
- Step 3: Take the nylon scrubber pad and get into all the corners in case any debris is left behind. This will gently remove any debris that is stuck in the corners. Rinse again and check the surface with your hand for any debris left on the pan. The pan should be air-dried. After it’s fully dried, the pan should feel clean and be smooth.
- Step 1: Take ½ cup of baking soda and 3 Tbsp. Water and mix to form a paste. This paste will be thick and look like a white goo. This is the ideal consistency for deep cleaning your stoneware.
- Step 2: Coat your stoneware’s cooking surface with the paste mixture. Make sure to fully cover the surface and add extra to the grimy parts of the cookware. Allow this to sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Using your nylon scraper, scrape the surface with the paste to clean off the food and flavorings that have been left behind.
- Step 3: Rinse the stoneware very well. Make sure all of the paste has been removed and use the nylon scraper once more to make sure everything is rinsed off. Dry thoroughly before storing, or you could create a build-up of bacteria on your stoneware.
- Step 1: Make sure to clean the oven rack thttp://www.myrepurposedlife.com/pampered-chefthen-and-now/he stoneware will be resting on during this cycle. There is a chance that you could crack and break your stoneware doing this and it should only be a one-time use. After cleaning the rack, make sure the stoneware isn’t wet or greasy. Greasy can cause a fire in the self-cleaning method, while water in the stone can cause it to break.
- Step 2: Place the stoneware into the oven and set the oven to self-clean. Make sure to say nearby during the cleaning process in case of a fire. If a fire does happen, do not try to open the oven door, call 911 or your emergency department.
- Step 3: After the cycle has finished, allow the stoneware to cool completely in the stove. Remove the stoneware and store as desired.
- Step 1: If you are using a muffin pan, fill the muffin cups to the top with the vegetable oil. For square and rectangle pans, fill ¼ of the way up. The oil will season the pan while it cooks in the oven and creates a nonstick surface.
- Step 2: Place the pan into an oven set at 220̊F for 20 minutes. After the baking is done, remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely. This process could take up to a few hours afterward.
- Step 3: Pour the oil out of the bakeware and into a storage bowl. The pan will be glistening because the oil has been baked into the stoneware. The stoneware has now been seasoned and is ready for use. The first few times you cook, things may still stick to the bakeware.
This is normal while the stoneware builds up its nonstick surface by collecting oils and fats into it. Reuse the oil for another recipe if you desire, or discard it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to clean your stoneware, care for your stoneware, and possibly restoring old stoneware you’ve stumbled across.
Stoneware is such a great cookware that provides you with delicious food, easy cleanup, and doesn’t take much effort to maintain. Stoneware is elegant in its looks, and as it ages the dark brown begins to add character and depth to the piece.
If you have any comments, tips or tricks that you’d like to share, please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear your advice on working with stoneware. Do you enjoy it as much as I do?