Stoneware is a popular material for baking dishes and dinnerware. It is essentially clay that has been fired and made into dishes and baking pans. Though stoneware heats evenly, looks beautiful and can be part of your kitchen for years, it can be fragile if not treated properly. Cracks can occur in the delicate stoneware that can cause them to break.
Exposure to extreme heat or cold can lead to cracks in stoneware. Foods or liquids that are cold or frozen should not be added to hot cookware; the cookware must be room temperature. Even placing a cool cloth on a hot piece of cookware can break the piece.
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Avoid placing the stoneware on any type of wet surface that may lead the cookware to slide and bump up against another surface. A slight bump could cause a small crack, which would render the cookware unsafe to use. Stoneware becomes hot once it has been used, so not using a proper hot pad to remove stoneware from the oven could cause an accident that could damage the piece.
Placing a hot piece of stoneware in the sink and filling it with cool or cold water will cause automatic cracking if not breakage. Always clean warm stoneware with warm water. Use of any abrasive sponges or cleaning devices may damage the cookware and cause scratches or small breaks.
Breaks and cracks can occur if the stoneware is placed directly onto a heated surface such as a stove top. It should also not be placed underneath a broiler or any direct heat, which could alter the temperature of the cookware too quickly and cause a crack. Never place a stoneware item into any heated device without food in it. An empty piece of cookware may crack when it becomes hot.