Ceramic bakeware cooks more evenly than most metal pans and retains heat after baking, making it ideal for casseroles, cobblers and other dishes that are best enjoyed warm. Care and use of ceramic bakeware is not complicated, but due to its fragile nature and the way it conducts heat, you must take certain precautions to ensure that your food cooks properly and that your bakeware stays in pristine condition for many years to come.
Glazed Ceramic Bakeware
Preheat your oven, according to recipe instructions. For sweet recipes and recipes involving pastry, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Ceramic bakeware retains heat more readily than metal bakeware. Reducing oven temperature prevents food from burning along the edges.
Prepare your ceramic bakeware for use. For most recipes, you will need to grease the pan well using butter or cooking spray. For breads and cakes, flour the pan after greasing it. This keeps food from sticking to the pan so that it is easy to remove after cooking.
Set your bakeware on trivets or pot holders when you remove it from the oven to prevent cracking and protect your counter or tabletop from heat damage.
Remove food from your bakeware using appropriate utensils. Choose wooden or plastic utensils instead of metal ones that are more likely to damage the glaze on your ceramic bakeware.
Replace chipped or damaged bakeware promptly. Damaged glaze might leach lead or other toxins into your food, especially if your bakeware is imported or an older piece.
Unglazed Ceramic Baking Stones
Preheat your oven according to recipe instructions, with the stone in the oven. This ensures even baking and browning for pizza crusts, breads and more.
Remove your baked goods from the ceramic baking stone, but leave the stone itself in the oven while it cools down. This prevents breakage and lessens the chances of burning yourself on a very hot and heavy slab of ceramic. You may remove your baking stone from the oven once it has had time to cool completely.
Clean unglazed ceramic bakeware using hot water and a disch cloth. Avoid metal scrubbers and dish detergents that strip the seasoning from your baking stone, causing food to stick the next time you use your stone.
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- Anne Kinsey, Cooking Instructor
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