Auto Added by WPeMatico

Guide to Cooking with Stoneware

This post is sponsored by Le Creuset.

Colorful, shapely, and durable, stoneware elevates everyday meals. Cooks have used it for centuries, and it still has an elemental appeal.

From oven to table, it makes even the humblest casseroles feel luxurious. If you’re new to baking in stoneware, you’re in for a treat.


Stoneware is earthenware—clay—fired at a high temperature, which makes it more durable. It’s resistant to chipping and it holds heat beautifully.

You’ll find stoneware in all sort of sizes, shapes, and colors. The stoneware used in most modern kitchens is glazed, and that’s what we’re focusing on here.

Circular and Oval Stoneware Baking Dishes


There are plenty of baking dishes out there, from metal to glass. What’s so great about stoneware?

  1. Versatility: Stoneware is dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe, and oven-safe. It can go from the freezer to the oven. Some styles can even go under the broiler. And unlike glass, there’s no need to adjust your baking temps.
  2. Ease of use: Good-quality stoneware has a glaze so smooth and strong it’s nearly nonstick. Cooked foods release with ease, and cleanup is a breeze.
  3. Resilience: You don’t need to handle stoneware delicately. From dishwasher to cupboard to oven, you’d have to work really hard to scratch, crack, or chip any of it.
  4. Ability to hold heat: Stoneware holds heat very well and distributes it evenly. If you like the browned corner pieces of casseroles and gratins, stoneware is for you! Not just that, but stoneware’s superior heat retention makes it perfect for oven-to-table serving, keeping your food warm for meals.
  5. Curb appeal: The things we use every day should offer functionality, but there’s utility in cheer and beauty, too. Le Creuset stoneware, in particular, offers an enticing palate of colors. In the kitchen and at the table, those pops of color perk up your food and your mood.

Baked Mac and Cheese held in hands


Here are a few more tips and tricks for working with stoneware. We mention Le Creuset in particular here; if you’re using a different type of stoneware, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Can stoneware go under the broiler? Not all stoneware can go under the broiler, but Le Creuset can, as long as it’s at least 2-1/2 inches away from the heat source. This means you can get those nice, bubbly tops on gratins and your favorite macaroni and cheese.
  • Freezer-to-oven! Into freezer meals? Le Creuset stoneware can also go from the freezer to the oven—the key is that it’s a cold ovenPut the frozen dish in the cold oven and then set the temperature, so the dish and the oven heat together.
  • Avoid direct heat: Most stoneware is not made for direct heat—don’t use it on a burner or grill.


Choosing between round, oval, square, or rectangular dishes isn’t rocket science, but there are a few considerations:

  • Corners: Love browned, crispy corner pieces? Then you’ll want a square or rectangular dish. Round baking dishes won’t give you as much of the crispy edges that you desire.
  • Depth: Do you like crusty tops, or custardy centers? Round, deep dishes will give you creamier, oozier middles. Deeper dishes often take longer to bake. Shallower dishes, meanwhile, will create more surface area—perfect if you like browned and crunchy tops. They tend to bake faster.
  • Presentation: Switching up the shape really does make a difference in how you perceive the finished recipe once it’s on the table. There’s something elegant about oval dishes, while dishes with corners have a more casual feel. The classic French gratin dish is oval, for instance; if you bake a gratin in a square pan, it seems homier.

Overhead shot of stoneware dishes with lids


Some stoneware comes with lids, and some does not. When is a lid an advantage?

  • Storing leftovers: If you have leftovers, just pop the lid on your cooled dish and stick it in the fridge.
  • Transport: Lids do a great job of keeping food warm if you’re taking it to a potluck. You can cover the dish with foil and then the lid for a one-two punch of insulation.
  • Protection from over-browning: A long bake time can make the top of a cake or casserole quite dark, or result in a dry texture. Some recipes call for covering during all or part of the bake time.
  • More curb appeal: Lids are cute, let’s face it.

No lid? No worries! Foil is a great lid. If you’re covering a dish for most of its baking time, we recommend greasing the foil so any cheese or other gooey ingredients don’t stick once you remove it.

Rectangular stoneware casserole dishes with lid


Some recipes call for a dish with a specific capacity—say, a 2-quart casserole—and some call for a dish with specific dimensions, like a 9×13 dish. If you don’t know the size or capacity of your dish, how you tell if a recipe will fit?

  • Look it up: Manufacturer’s websites will tell you the capacity and dimensions of specific baking dishes.
  • Measure the volume: Fill the dish with water all the way to the top, and then pour out the water into a liquid measuring cup. This will tell you its capacity. If it’s 2-1/2 quarts, then a 2-quart recipe will probably work in there just fine.
  • Measure the length, width, and height. Because most baking dishes are fluted on the sides and therefore not exact rectangles, this method is imperfect, but it can give you a general idea. Measure the length, width, and height of the dish, measuring from its the inside edges (not the outside). Multiply those three numbers together and you’ll get its volume. (For instance, an 11-1/2” x 7-3/4” x 2-3/4” dish has a capacity of 245 cubic inches. A 9” x 13” x 2” has a capacity of 234 cubic inches. Swapping one of those dishes for the other is likely a safe bet.)

Last but not least, see the chart below. We did the conversion work for you!

Baking Pan Conversion Guide


Any time you do a dish swap, be mindful of the baking time. It may very well be a little shorter or longer than the recipe says.

It’s better to use a larger dish than called for versus a smaller dish. No one wants an overflow situation—particularly if it means any spillover burning on the bottom of the oven.

Doubling or halving recipes often will work, but you want to think of two factors: depth and surface area. Those will affect the baking time and consistency of your recipe.

How to clean stoneware


A smooth, sturdy glaze is your friend here. Le Creuset stoneware’s strong glaze is nearly nonstick and extremely hard. Besides a plastic-bristled brush or scrubby sponge, you shouldn’t need any special tools.

Melted or burned cheese on your casserole? Fill the cooled dish with soapy hot water and let it soak 10 to 20 minutes. That alone will resolve 95% of your cleanup issues.

You can use metal utensils to cut on the surface of your stoneware, but they can leave marks on the glaze. To get rid of those, a small sprinkling of a mild abrasive (such as Bar Keeper’s Friend) in the afflicted area should do it. Amazingly, it won’t leave any scratches.


If you have multiple dishes, you can stack them and not fret about scratches. To prevent them toppling over, it’s best not to stack baking dishes more than two or three high. If there’s a lid, you can invert it and store it in the casserole with the knob or handle facing down, creating a stackable upper surface.


Got a yen to bake comforting casseroles and desserts now? Try these!

>> Shop here for Le Creuset Stoneware

Continue reading “Guide to Cooking with Stoneware” »

Try This! 4 Great Add-Ins for Hummus

When you are pondering an appetizer for a party, you can never go wrong with hummus. It’s popular with kids and adults, it’s easy to make in quantities large or small, and it’s highly adaptable.

Earthy, savory, creamy, protein-packed: hummus is a great base for all kinds of add-ins.

Sure there are a bunch of pre-made flavor variations available at the store, but it’s so easy to make your own “house” version. Then you not only have a crowd-pleasing party appetizer (or snack), you also have bragging rights!

Continue reading “Try This! 4 Great Add-Ins for Hummus” »

How to Convert Your Favorite Slow Cooker Recipe to the Pressure Cooker

How to Convert a Slow Cooker Recipe to the Pressure Cooker

This post is brought to you in partnership with Mealthy. Check out their new Mealthy MultiPot!

Did you know that slow cooker recipes are really easy to convert to the pressure cooker?

As long as you keep a few basic rules in mind – like how much liquid to use and how to adjust the cooking time – turning your favorite all-day slow cooker recipe into a 30-minute pressure cooker special is straightforward and simple.

Continue reading “How to Convert Your Favorite Slow Cooker Recipe to the Pressure Cooker” »

7 Easy Ways to Make Any Soup Better

7 Ways to Make a Better Soup

Soup is soul food, satisfying and warming on a cold day or night. Sometimes, though, you make a pot of soup that’s good and fine, but maybe you wish it were a little bit… better. Maybe you want to take this soup to the next level, and give it something extra to improve the taste, texture, or complexity of flavor.

Here are a few tips to take you beyond the recipe and make all your soups sing.

Continue reading “7 Easy Ways to Make Any Soup Better” »

Crispy, Golden Turkey Skin: 4 Methods Put to the Test (and One Winner!)

I’ve been wrist deep in the business end of chickens all week. I’m on a quest to determine the best way to achieve perfect deep, golden, crispy skin, both for our everyday roast chickens and also for that bird of all birds — the Thanksgiving turkey.

Why? A well-roasted bird makes an undeniably beautiful presentation on your holiday table. Also, of course, the snap of salty, crisp skin with each tender morsel of meat is a little bite of heaven. In the end, we want a bird with tender, flavorful meat, and deeply golden, crispy skin. The goal is to inject the meat with moisture while eliminating it from the skin.

Continue reading “Crispy, Golden Turkey Skin: 4 Methods Put to the Test (and One Winner!)” »

Powered by WPeMatico

11 Urgent Questions about Roasting a Turkey

Roast Turkey

Most of us only roast a turkey once a year, so we don’t get a lot of practice doing it. Invariably, every year some urgent questions come up about the process — whether it’s your first or fiftieth time doing it.

You’ve got this. Never fear! Here are some answers to questions you may have:

Continue reading “11 Urgent Questions about Roasting a Turkey” »

Powered by WPeMatico

8 Things To Do Right Now So You’re Ready for the Holidays

Holiday Prep List

We’re swiftly approaching that “most wonderful time of the year,” right? Ah yes, but it can be stressful, too – especially if some aspect of your kitchen prep has gone awry.

Here’s a list of eight things you can start crossing off your list right now so that when the holidays descend — and it always happens quickly — you’ll be armed and ready to tackle whatever casserole or cookie comes your way!

Continue reading “8 Things To Do Right Now So You’re Ready for the Holidays” »

Powered by WPeMatico

12 Essential Tools That We Can’t Live Without

Essential Tools

Did you know that every single recipe on Simply Recipes goes through a rigorous process of development, testing, and editing before it gets shared on the site? It’s true! We want to make sure you’re only getting the very best when it comes to your meals and desserts.

Given the fact that our team of contributors and testers spend so much time in the kitchen day in and day out, it’s no wonder that we’ve developed some preferences when it comes to our essential, most time-saving kitchen tools.

Want to hear what they are?!

Continue reading “12 Essential Tools That We Can’t Live Without” »

Powered by WPeMatico