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Ceramic artists have the added benefit of being able to create functional artwork, such as dishes and glasses. Ceramic cookware can also be a popular creation but artist must take some key factors into consideration before making dishes that can be used in the oven.
Making Ceramic Dishes for Cooking
When making a ceramic dish, it is important to pay attention to the thickness of the dish walls and base. Make the base and sides as uniform in thickness as possible to insure that they heat at the same rate. If one area is thicker than others, it will heat at a slower rate and might cause the dish to crack.
It is also important to create a dish that is exceptionally sturdy. Any handles should be substantial and heavy enough to carry the weight of the dish and the food within the dish. The lip of the dish should be supportive and thick enough to hold the lid. The lid should be uniform in thickness. Lids should also have a handle to help cooks who have to wear bulky oven mitts.
Artists must also put some thought into the size of dish they are creating. Many recipes call for a specific size of dish. When working with ceramic clay, it is important to remember that clay can shrink in size during the firing process. Clay loses about a fourth of its size when fired, so artists must take create larger vessels to compensate for this shrinkage.
Cooking with Stonewear and Handmade Dishes
Cooks must take special precautions when using ceramic dishes. Though some commercial ceramics can be used like normal, handmade dishes need extra care. Because handmade ceramics are prone to heat shock, cooks have to take extra care not to heat or cool their dishes too quickly.
Heat shock occurs when one part of a ceramic dish heats up faster than another area. Because the ceramic expands when heated, uneven heating could cause two areas to expand at different rates. This can result in the ceramic pulling apart and cracking.
To prevent heat shock, cooks should avoid preheating ovens. Instead of preheating, place the dish in a cool oven and turn the heat up gradually. Some baking recipes will obviously not work with this style of cooking but some recipes can be altered to work with ceramic dishes and some cooking web sites provide recipes specifically tailored to ceramic dish cooking.
Ceramic dishes can also be heated up in the oven before the ingredients are added. The cooks should gradually heat the dish to a medium heat. If the dish is too hot it could crack when the cool ingredients are added. Once the dish is at a medium heat, cooks should quickly add the ingredients and place the dish back in the oven.
Create Beautiful Dishes
Ceramic dishes can add to the beauty and charm of any food. Though it requires a bit more work, a ceramic-cooked dish looks beautiful on the dinner table and will retain an even heat. The rewards are worth the extra effort when cooking.
If you’re looking for more cookware products, we suggest looking at these helpful guides:
- All-Clad Cookware
- Calphalon Cookware Set
- Carbon Steel Pans
- Copper Chef Set
- Double Boiler Pot
- Gotham Steel Pans
- Le Creuset Cookware
- Non-Stick Cookware Set
- Red Copper Pans
- Stainless Steel Cookware Set
- T-Fal Cookware Set
While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!