Stoneware dinnerware is a type of pottery that is usually covered in a salt glaze for protection. Many times it will include the maker’s mark on the bottom of the dish to brand and to show authenticity. Originally, these marks were produced by hand and made the pottery very valuable and unique. Stoneware was produced for a variety of housewares in early America and became a popular dinnerware, as it was a healthy alternative to the lead based earthenware of earlier times. Antique stoneware is incredible collectable. With the invention of mass production, many companies now produce stoneware dinnerware for casual use.
Advantages to Stoneware Dinnerware:
- Durable: Stoneware in and of itself is a very durable material when compared to glass or porcelain. On top of that, manufactures cover the dinnerware with a protective coating that seals the stone making it even more rugged.
- Lasting Great Look: Because stoneware is so durable, it retains a showroom look for a long period of time. Many manufactures even add coating that stops the edges from chipping.
- Retain Heat: Stone retains heat better than glass, plastic, or porcelain. This means that a meal will stay hot longer. Even though it holds on to a good amount of heat from the food, unless the stoneware itself is coming straight out of the oven, it usually is not too hot to touch. (But use caution if your dinnerware has been exposed to prolonged or intense heat).
- Use in Major Appliances: Stoneware can generally be used in microwaves, ovens, and dishwashers, which means that it is stylish, durable and convenient. Check the labeling or manufacturer’s website to be sure that the stoneware dinnerware you purchase is safe in all of these appliances.
- Shape: Stoneware dinnerware comes in a variety of fun shapes and sizes ranging from the traditional round dinner plate to the modern square salad plate. You can mix and match or buy whole sets in one style or another.
Popular Brands of Stoneware Dinnerware:
- Pfaltzgraff: Started in Pennsylvania in the beginning of the 19th century. They are known for high-end dishware including stoneware. They are also known for their collector community because of the age and history of their products.
- Gibson: Started in the 1970s, Gibson is a third generation company that looks to provide customized solutions for their customers with a balance of value and style.
- Le Creuset: Started in the 1920s in France, Le Creuset is known for their cast iron and stoneware. They are also known for their Dutch ovens.
- Signature Housewares: Known for ceramic and stoneware dinnerware, Signature Housewares sells dinnerware and kitchenware in the US, Canada, and the UK. They are an affordable option for people looking for durable dishes without the price tag of some of the more established brands.
- Mikasa: A Japanese company known for stylish, durable, and colorful dinnerware options. Available at major department stores and online.