Which stoneware plates are best?
Stoneware plates are known for their durability, beauty and versatility. Since they come in many different styles, patterns and sizes, they look great in any kitchen. They’re also suitable for everyday use and formal settings.
For larger families or those who enjoy entertaining several guests regularly, the Stone Lain 32-Piece Stoneware Dinnerware Set is the best option.
What to know before you buy stoneware plates
What is stoneware?
Stoneware is a type of ceramic commonly used in dinnerware. While it’s similar to other forms of ceramic, such as earthenware or porcelain, it differs in a few ways.
- Stoneware: Stoneware is more durable than other ceramics because it’s fired at medium to high temperatures ranging from around 2,150-2,370 degrees. While it’s less refined than porcelain, it’s also less likely to shatter or crack. It’s commonly used in cooking and baking since it can withstand high temperatures.
- Earthenware: Fired at a lower temperature, earthenware is heavier than other ceramics. It’s also porous, meaning it can absorb odors, liquids and stains unless treated with a waterproof glaze. It’s less durable than stoneware, but it’s not prone to chipping like porcelain or bone china. Many earthenware dishes have a reddish or brown color.
- Porcelain: Potters fire this nonporous ceramic at a high temperature, making it durable enough for the oven. Porcelain dishes have more shine than stoneware and earthenware. They’re also somewhat translucent.
- Bone china: Made from bone ash and ceramic, bone china is usually white or ivory. It’s elegant enough for formal settings, but it’s also prone to chipping or cracking. You should not put it in the microwave or oven.
Stoneware plates are versatile, making them ideal for any occasion, from formal dinner parties to casual get-togethers. Since they’re durable and long-lasting, they’re also great for everyday use or entertaining guests outdoors. Even the thinner pieces are resistant to chipping or cracking.
There are a few things that affect the look of stoneware dishes, such as:
- Detailing: Typically, stoneware dishes with more detailing on the rim, bold or bright colors and loud patterns are more casual. For formal settings, go with solid or banded plates.
- Glazing: Stoneware can be glazed or unglazed for a more natural, stonelike finish. Glazed dishes are suitable for semi-formal or formal events.
- Thickness: Thinner, finer plates work best for more formal occasions such as dinner parties or special events. Thicker plates are ideal for daily use.
When it comes to getting stoneware dishes, you can either get a complete set with all the pieces you need for small to large gatherings or buy open stock. Open stock allows you to buy individual dishes within an existing collection, so you can mix and match for your style.
Most sets include some combination of the following:
- Dinner plate: These are meant for the main course and measure between 11-12 inches in diameter.
- Dessert plate: Reserve these for formal and semi-formal occasions. Despite the name, you can use them for anything from desserts to appetizers. They’re usually no more than 7 inches wide.
- Salad plate: These dishes are perfect for serving salads. They’re slightly larger than dessert plates.
- Bread plate: Smaller than dessert plates, bread plates are used for bread, butter and sometimes small containers of jam.
- Soup bowls: Deeper than standard plates, you can use soup bowls for casual and formal meals. They come in different sizes.
Sets also often include matching mugs and saucers.
What to look for in quality stoneware plates
Number of plates
If you get open-stock stoneware, you can select individual pieces based on your household needs. But if you plan on entertaining others or want a complete set for the family, you need to get the right amount of plates for the occasion.
- Formal events: Aim to have three to five different plates per person.
- Semi-formal occasions: Have one or two plates per person for events such as cocktail parties or outdoor barbecues.
- Casual use: You should have four plates for one or two people to use at home.
Stoneware plates come in either a glazed or unglazed finish. When it comes to cooking and baking, there aren’t many noticeable differences between the two. However, there are a few advantages and disadvantages to both.
- Glazed finish: Glazing stoneware gives it a smoother texture. It’s meant for appearances and is usually only used on the outside of the dish. Some glaze finishes are glossy, while others are smooth. Glazed dishes are easier to clean than unglazed ones. However, the glazing can crack or chip over time.
- Unglazed or natural finish: Dishes with a natural finish are a little rougher in texture and more closely resemble stone than glazed ones. It can also highlight the natural beauty of the dish and make every piece unique. However, unglazed dishes can start to darken or look dirty over time.
Thickness and weight
Typically, stoneware is heavier and thicker than other ceramics. These dishes often have a thicker rim, though there are also more delicate, thinner designs. Most also have more weight to them.
How much you can expect to spend on stoneware plates
A single stoneware plate can cost between $8-$20 per dish. Dinnerware sets cost $70-$200, on average.
Stoneware plates FAQ
How can you remove stains from stoneware dishes?
A. Rinse off any residual grime or food from the dish. Next, make a paste of baking soda and warm water. Use a cloth to scrub the dish with the paste to gently remove surface stains.
Is stoneware dishwasher-safe?
A. Most stoneware is dishwasher and microwave-safe. However, if you want it to last a long time, wash your dishes by hand with warm water and a gentle soap or baking soda. Avoid using citrus-based soaps on glazed dishes.
What are the best stoneware plates to buy?
Top stoneware plates
What you need to know: This 32-piece set serves up to eight people, making it perfect for backyard get-togethers, cocktail parties and formal events.
What you’ll love: These white speckled dishes include dinner plates, salad plates, bowls and matching mugs. They’re dishwasher and microwave-safe, but they’re also easy to wash by hand. They have a postmodern design and a white matte finish.
What you should consider: The surface of the plates can scratch if you use metal cutlery on them.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top stoneware plates for the money
What you need to know: With four matching plates, this set is great for anyone looking to add some stoneware to their kitchen cupboard for home use or small get-togethers.
What you’ll love: Available in eight colors, including gray, light green and red, these dinner plates are durable and shatter-resistant. They’re also safe to use in the dishwasher, oven or microwave. Each plate is 10 inches wide.
What you should consider: Some users noticed the plates scratched easily.
Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Made to serve four people, this stoneware set is minimalistic and elegant, making it ideal for any occasion.
What you’ll love: It comes with four dinner plates, four salad plates, four cereal bowls and four mugs. Each dish is resistant to chipping and breaking. They’re also safe for the oven, microwave and dishwasher.
What you should consider: They have a handmade aesthetic, which could make them less ideal for formal events.
Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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