The Ultimate Guide to Buying Ceramic Kitchenware
Whether you’re looking to get ceramics for a special occasion or for daily use, it’s a good time to start looking for ceramics on the internet. With the multitude of ceramic items available on the internet, you need to make sure you get the right quality of items with your purchases.
Ceramics are hard, brittle materials and items made by shaping and firing inorganic non-metallics such as clay at high temperatures. Ceramics have been around for thousands of years, having been made by humans as pottery and small figurines for a long, long time. Ceramics take various forms, such as earthenware, porcelain, stoneware, etc. Ceramics are used as tiles, kitchenware, building materials, etc.
Types of Ceramics
Ceramics have been in use as kitchenware for a long time in China and other East Asian countries. These are some of the different types of ceramics that are in use today:
The types of ceramics suitable for everyday use are porcelain, bone china, and stoneware. It is affordable, easy to care for, and sturdy.
Porcelain ceramics can vary in color and weight. They are usually sold coated with a variety of colorful glazes.
Bone China is of a creamier color and is more translucent than porcelain. It is more expensive, more difficult to manufacture, is thinner, lighter, and appears more delicate than porcelain.
Fine China is similar to porcelain or bone china but is made from higher-quality clay. It is particularly expensive and elegant for formal occasions. It is, therefore, not ideal for everyday use and needs hand washing to clean properly.
Stoneware and Earthenware
Stoneware is thick and gives itself a rustic appearance. The stoneware is made from the same ingredients as porcelain but made from different ratios of clay and other materials.
Earthenware is made at lower temperatures than other ceramics. However, it is not as durable and therefore not suitable for daily use.
Glazes are coatings that make ceramics impervious to liquids.
- Porcelain and bone china are always fully glazed except for a part on the underside known as the ‘foot’.
- Stoneware is usually partially glazed.
The glazes can be glossy or matte. The matte-glazed ceramics are more susceptible to damage as it is prone to metal marking from flatware.
Types of Ceramic Kitchenware
Be mindful of the rim size and shape of the plates. The rim design of the plates always decides what type of dish needs to be served on the plate.
There are different types of bowls to be used for different courses such as soups, cereal, dessert, etc. Some bowls are shallow and some are deep. There are also round-bottomed and flat-bottomed bowls.
Mugs, Teacups, and Saucers
There are various handle designs that come with choosing mugs and teacups. For many people, teacups and saucers can elicit polarizing reactions - either making people feel anxious to break them or making them feel like royalty.
Ceramic utensils can be used to cook food. The latest ceramic utensils available are usually non-stick. The utensils are best suited for medium heat as some ceramic glazes are prone to heat damage.
Jars and Containers
Ceramic jars and containers can be used to store various kitchen ingredients such as jams, condiments, spices, etc. They can be placed on the kitchen counter as well as on kitchen racks.
Get some good-quality ceramic jars and containers here.
Check for Quality
The best quality ceramics can be easily identified by a few characteristics:
- Avoid plates with uneven rims; they do not stack properly.
- Don’t buy items that have drippy glaze on them; it is caused by uneven glazing.
- Pitting makes small holes on your ceramic items; it is caused by corrosion through small holes on the glazed surface.
- Scratches on the surface damage ceramic items.
- Crazing on ceramic is fine cracks that connect like a network on glaze due to tension between the ceramic body and glaze surface.
- Crooked decals on the glaze spoil the aesthetics of the ceramic item.
- Bone china, porcelain, and stoneware are all durable materials ideal for everyday use; the durability of such ceramics depends on the shape, glaze properties, and manufacturing process of the product.
Pros and Cons of Ceramic Kitchenware
- Eco-friendly manufacturing
- Usually less expensive than stainless steel cookware
- Lot more options in colors
- Non-reactive to acidic foods
- Easy to clean
- Low maintenance
- Non-stick properties deteriorate faster than Teflon
- Less durable than metallic kitchenware
- Inconsistent cooking
- Cant handle high temperatures
- Not dishwasher safe
- Metal utensils scratch ceramic surfaces
- Not suitable for induction stove tops
Best practices for buying Ceramic Items
- Buy Ceramic kitchenware as Sets.
- Keep your budget in mind - there are ceramics that can be cheap as well as ceramics that can be expensive.
- Find a comfortable weight of kitchenware.
- Consider the shape and size of each piece.
- Always check the quality of ceramic pieces - check for cracks and damage as ceramics can damage quite easily.
- Avoid buying pieces of ceramic kitchenware you won't use.
Ceramic kitchenware can be really useful to have on hand when hosting a party. So, it is better to buy and store fancy ceramic pieces for when the occasion comes. You can also have the everyday-use ceramics for cereal or soup.