Baking is amazing, its hands off and turns out delicious food without much work. All you need to do is prep the ingredients and layer it. Once done, all you need to do is pop it in the oven. However, a good set of ceramic bakeware can make all the difference. You want something that is heavy and wont crack under heat. The best ceramic bakeware are heavy with comfortable handle for easy transport.
What is Ceramic Bakeware?
Ceramic Bakeware are stoneware based bakeware designed to be used in the oven. Some are compatible with a oven fire, but most modern variation are not. You should always check the manufacturer rating prior to use on the stove.
There are a few variation of Ceramic Bakeware, they range from Stoneware, Earthenware, Porcelain and Bone China. They have some slight variation in how they are manufacturer. The characterisc of the bakeware will vary as well. In my experience, the stoneware and porcelain is the most durable. But in terms of baking, all would work well. Prices for these will vary based on the manufacturer.
How to Use?
Use is pretty simple, just layer and pop it in the oven. There is usually a oven safe temperature rating for most, but they are generally very high above 500 degree Fahrenheit.
The one thing that I would be wary about is thermal shock. Thats when you move from a very hot oven, to a cold surface. The extreme change in temperature can cause it to crack and break.
Do not use it on the stove top unless its designed to do so. Emile Henry has a Flame Ceramic model that can be used on the stove.
I would avoid using metal utensils to avoid scratching the enamel coating.
How to Clean Ceramic Pan and Bakeware
Cleaning Ceramic Pan and Bakeware is simple, use a soft soapy sponge. You can use the nylon scrubber, but that can wear down the enamel. If the food is really stuck on, soaking it in water will loosen it. I recommend against using the dish washer. They ruin the glossy look of enamel and will make it dull.
These instruction apply to ceramic pan as well. The nonstick coating is easily damaged and you should take care of it.
Can Ceramic Bakeware Explode?
Yes, but that is usually due to thermal shock. Actual explosion where it shoots shatneral is really rare. Most of the time it just shatters. Using it on the stove top when its not designed to do so is one way to do it as well. If you take precaution by avoiding extreme temperature change and using it per manufacturer recommendation will avoid this.
Models to Avoid
Generally, you want something that is heavy. The heavier it is, the better it is at holding heat. The lighter one are more fragile and lose heat fast. Interesting enough, a lot of the Italian brands are on the cheaper side. Even though they look nice, I would avoid it.
Best Ceramic Bakeware List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Ceramic Bakeware. There are a few variation in the design and manufacturing. Choose one that best suits you.
Emile Henry Made In France HR Modern Classics Large Rectangular Baker (Best Overall)
Nothing beats the quality of French Ceramic. Unlike other manufacturer, their bakeware is still made in France. This rectangular bakeware is beautiful and comes in a wide range of color. Their enamel is also more durable and resist crazing like a lot of the cheaper ceramics. It has a high oven safe rating of 520 degree Fahrenheit. However, it is not stove top compatible. You need to buy the Flame Ceramic Series for those.
Le Creuset Stoneware Rectangular Dish with Platter Lid (Best French Alternative)
How can we have a list without Le Creuset. Their stoneware is beautiful and functional. They are heavy and hold heat well. The enamel resist cracking and crazing like Emile Henry. While its not made in France, in my opinion, their fit and finish is actually better than the cast iron model which is made in France. You can actually seen my article on Le Creuset Stoneware vs Cast Iron for more information.
Staub Ceramics Rectangular Baking Dish Set (Another French Alternative)
Staub is another french competitor. While they dont have the lineage of Le Creuset, their brand has risen immensely in popularity. I would argue that their colors is actually better than Le Creuset. But that depends on your preference. Their ceramic bakeware like the competition is heavy and durable. The enamel wont craze like the cheaper variations.
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Ceramic Bakeware-2 Quart Medium Rectangular Baker (Best Buy)
While the French Brands might get all the fame, cheaper alternative exist. While they might not look as nice, they perform just as well. Cuisnart ceramic set is heavy and durable. Like their counterpart, they resist crazing and have a high oven safe temperature rating (500 Degree F). The best part is that they cost around half of what their competition is asking.
There are a lot of bakware on the market. The best are the French Brands. However, the only one that is actually made in France is Emile Henry. Their durability and performance is easily one of the best. However, other brands like Le Creuset and Staub are good alternative. The bad thing is that its still just as pricey. For a good affordable alternative, cuisinart is a great brand.
Want more information of our winner? Check out our Emile Henry Bakeware Review.