Why Use Clay Cookware?

Does clay cookware make what you cook better, or make you a better cook? Tim Hagedorn, from the Pampered Chef Test Kitchen, thinks it’s a little bit of both. Here are Tim’s top five reasons why:

1. Earthenware Can Go Almost Anywhere

When people think of clay cookware or earthenware, they typically think about baking. It makes sense. After all, clay is outstanding in an oven, but you’re really stifling its potential if all you do is bake with it. All fully-clay cookware is microwave safe. So, it can be a great time saver when hurrying to get dinner done. My favorite thing to do is to kick things off in the microwave and pop it in the oven to crisp up and melt like we do in our Philly Cheesesteak Sliders recipe. And, our clay cookware doesn’t transfer flavors. No one wants their cookies tasting like fish sticks, and you can rest assured ours won’t do that.

Rockcrok Grill Stone
Rockcrok® Grill Stone

2. Clay Is Best for Baking

The thing that makes clay cookware so great in the oven is its density. Density is basically how heavy something is for its size. Because clay cookware is so dense, it regulates heat extremely well. When you set an oven to 350°F, it almost never stays at that temperature; depending on your oven, it might heat up to 370°F for a few seconds, cool down to 330°F for a few seconds, then heat back up and do it all again. The temperature you set is the average of those fluctuations. That’s why thin metal pans don’t do as great of a job at regulating that temperature; they follow the ups and downs of the oven, and sometimes those ups can lead to burning, and the downs to soggy crusts. But not clay cookware. It maintains that average heat that your oven is trying to achieve. When your heat is consistent, your food will be consistently good.

berry ricotta cake with lemon glaze
Berry Ricotta Cake With Lemon Glaze

3. You Don't Need to Preseason Our Clay Cookware

All the pieces in our Rockcrok® and stoneware collections are good to go on day one, but stoneware gets better the more you use it. Stoneware is different in that you don’t have to use soap to clean it (Rockcroks are dishwasher-safe). Just scrape off any stuck-on bits and rinse it with water. This way, you’ll build up a beautiful golden patina that’s called “seasoning.” This is basically a natural nonstick surface that develops as the oils from your food are baked onto the surface of the stoneware, kind of like how a glaze is baked onto pottery. So, the more you use your stoneware, the more seasoning will develop, the less likely it is that foods will stick to it, and the easier it is to clean. Let your stoneware build-up that seasoning. The best way to do that is to use it!

Large Round Stone

4. Serve Your Meal From Clay Cookware

Stoneware and Rockcroks both look great on a brunch table or dinner table. Plus, they hold heat a long time, so you won’t have to worry if someone is late for dinner or your friends are stuck in traffic.
Glazed Stoneware

5. Earthenware is Durable

Because the clay is fired at very high temperatures, our clayware is very sturdy. You don’t need to be precious about it, but like with anything made of clay, you won’t want to drop it or bang it on a countertop. All you have to do is ask a friend with stoneware about their favorite piece. Trust me, they’ll immediately show you the beautiful, amber-colored seasoning on their stoneware as proof they’ve used it in their kitchen for years.

Well-loved clayware is a thing of beauty, something to be proud of, and can last a lifetime. It means you’ve made meals for your family that you can feel good about.

Juiciest Roast Chicken
Juiciest Roast Chicken

Tim Hagedorn, Pampered Chef Food & Trend Innovator. Tim worked at a number of Michelin-starred, fine-dining restaurants in Chicago before coming to Pampered Chef. He believes that cooking isn’t just about putting food on the table, but learning, exploring, and creating special memories that enrich people’s lives.

11 Responses to Why Use Clay Cookware?

  1. Kelly Hegg Crosby February 16, 2020 at 5:07 pm #

    Wonderful information I did not know oh, I definitely will be checking these out. Kelly Crosby Hot Springs Montana

  2. Bob Hulsizer February 17, 2020 at 12:35 pm #

    I love my ROCK CROCK !!! If I had more of them I could give my pots and pans to GOOD WILL. It is nice to be able to go from the frig to the micro or the oven wichever or take it from the freezer to either.

    • Barb Burken February 21, 2020 at 10:28 am #

      They are not only durable but also very pretty for entertaining plus food tastes so much better when made on stone!

  3. Janice Burlet April 17, 2020 at 8:09 pm #

    how to season clay ware to ready for baking

  4. Kari May 28, 2020 at 7:21 pm #

    I love my stoneware pieces, bought them all before you started selling the glazed ones. Question……why and what is the difference with the glazed pieces?

  5. Stacie June 1, 2020 at 9:20 am #

    Can I cook frozen items in my Rock Crock?

    • Pamela Lynn October 10, 2020 at 9:23 am #

      Yes you can! I’ve cooked frozen chicken breasts in the Rock Crock in the microwave and they turned out great. Juicy, tender and tasty. I mainly use the Rock Crock Everyday Pan everyday because its so versatile. You can use it for cooking side-dishes, roasting veggies, baking cakes, making soups, and much more. Pampered Chef has many kitchen tested recipes that come with many of their products. Please check out their website.

  6. Kristin Kinchen September 9, 2020 at 6:11 pm #

    Is stoneware lead-free? Can you tell me what the “all natural” material is?

    • Miranda April 14, 2021 at 10:21 pm #

      I would like to know more details about the material and what it is made of as well!

  7. Diana Garcia March 26, 2021 at 9:47 am #

    I’m using covered ceramic glazed baker fir sourdough bread, I’m hoping at 500• it’s safe!!!!

  8. Diana Garcia March 26, 2021 at 9:48 am #

    I’m using covered ceramic glazed baker fir sourdough bread, I’m hoping at 500• it’s safe!!
    Also used for the first time the new blue enameled Dutch oven.. OMG how do I clean the burned on oven gunk off th blue outside!!!!!

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