Baking with Stoneware is one of the oldest methods of cooking food and this traditional method has many advantages including:
- Even heat distribution
- No moisture build up under food
- Moisture within food is maintained
- No flavour transfer from strong smelling food when cooking delicate flavours
- Keeps food warm for longer
- Easy to clean
- Many sizes and types to suit all recipes and foods
- Great for preparing, saving and cooking family meals
But you do need to know a little bit about Stoneware and to learn how to use it, to get the best use out of it.
You can use Stoneware in the oven, microwave or freezer – but not on/under direct heat like the hob or the grill.
Firstly, Stoneware does not like sudden temperature change. So, although it can go in the freezer, holding a prized home-cooked meal you pre-prepared, it is essential you allow it to defrost and come to room temperature before you pop in a pre-heated oven.
Secondly, Stoneware need proofing/seasoning. This simply means that you will have a fabulous, non-porous, non-stick, easy to clean product if you follow two simple guidelines when you first start to use your Stoneware.
1) Brush the Stoneware with oil when for the first few uses. A light brushing is all that is needed. When the Stoneware is proven/seasoned, there is no need to do this.
2) Cook food that contains fat on Stoneware – this allows the fat to drain from the Stoneware and so it is actually healthier than cooking on more modern metal and glass dishes and trays. This is a great way to proof/season your Stoneware and allow your food to be much healthier, with less fat. Foods such as breaded fish (inc. frozen), waffles, chips, burgers, chicken nuggets, etc. For Stoneware muffin pans, you could bake jacket potato’s with butter – a firm favourite before trying the famous ‘no need to preheat the oil Yorkshire Pudding recipe’.
Your Stoneware will season/prove over time and will darken – don’t worry this is normal and when it’s at its best!
To clean Stoneware, you do not use detergents or put in the dishwasher. Simply add water and allow to soak and wipe off. You can use the small scraper supplied to remove sticky, or stubborn food before cleaning, but it is not always necessary as Stoneware is very simple to clean.
Stoneware does not harbour smells. So you can cook garlic mushrooms on it one day and after it has been cleaned you can cook shortbread cookies on it, without transferring the flavours.
Chicken & joints of meat remain more moist and do not dry out when cooked on Stoneware and pizza and cookies are just the right texture, with no moisture build up underneath – so perfect Stonebaked pizza instead of soggy bottomed ones.
As a first piece of Stoneware I would recommend either the Medium Round Stone as you can cook many things on one of them, from pizza to cookies, from fish to burgers as it is large enough to handle large sizes and most shapes. However, if you like to cook deep dish recipes like lasagne, risotto, casseroles, fish bakes, rice pudding, bread and butter pudding, etc, then either the Square Baker or the Rectangular Baker depending on your family size (as you can also cook burgers, fish, cookies and either small square pizzas or larger rectangular ones). The Rectangular Baker does cost more though, but the versatility and size is worth the investment.
You will find as you build your Stoneware collection (which is very likely, almost like a love affair) to suit your needs, you will find it difficult to use anything else for baking.
All of the Pampered Chef Stoneware pieces can be purchased direct from the website, but if you buy from your local consultant, they will be a valuable part of your Customer Care and you are less likely to incur P&P charges. If you host a cooking show, you can invite your friends round to try out the products, sample tasty food, try out a few recipes and receive FREE gifts, half price items as well as discount! Your friends can receive FREE gifts on their purchases too.
In January 2013 there is a 20% discount on ALL Stoneware (30% if you are a past host, within 12 months).
I am a Pampered Chef Consultant and would be happy to assist you with regards Stoneware or any other Pampered Chef products and to take bookings for Cooking Shows, Catalogue Shows and Fundraiser Shows in the Lancashire area. I can hold shows in the morning, afternoon or evening to suit.