Pyroceram versus stoneware

Globalization has changed many a once-famous American brand that is now made in China or Malaysia or even Vietnam to something less than its former grandeur. Cheaper, yes, but often not as good.

Corning Ware, however, took its hit back in the late ’90s when the company was bought out and its famous pyroceram cookware (made of the same stuff as rocket nosecones, the old ads said) was soon replaced with cheaper, and less resilient, stoneware. And made in China.

I discovered all this the other day when I dropped one of Mrs. Charm’s Corning Ware pyroceram casserole dishes taking it out of the dishwasher. It broke in half. Replacing it I soon discovered isn’t impossible but it takes more than a quick trip to the store. I went to three before giving up. All they had was the stoneware.

Old pyroceram Corning Ware is still sold, but only mainly in used versions. Amazon has them at new prices. The material is famous for not absorbing anything, hence a used casserole dish doesn’t carry any trace of the food that’s ever been cooked in it. Plus it can be swiftly moved from oven to freezer (or vice-versa) without coming apart—stoneware does absorb and it can’t stand rapid temperature changes.

If you have trouble believing that or anything else on this arcane subject, the above link is a great place to start. And the cooking blog below provides further illumination:

Via Cooking With Love.

UPDATE:  Corningware still sells the pyroceram product but in limited sizes.

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