An Expert Guide to Ceramic Bakeware Sets

Published on 02/20/2024 · 9 min readUpgrade your baking with our expert guide to ceramic bakeware sets, ideal for even heat distribution, easy cleanup, and stylish kitchen-to-table presentation!
Melissa Nicholson, Kitchen Expert
By Kitchen Expert Melissa Nicholson

Photo by Melissa Nicholson

Tl;dr: When shopping for your own ceramic bakeware set, consider what you bake and cook regularly, the material you prefer (nonstick or stoneware), and what price range you are comfortable with. Whichever you choose, bakeware sets are a great option when you want to start building a helpful kitchen collection.

I am a huge fan of ceramic bakeware. I prefer the traditional stoneware ceramic to nonstick options, and we’ll discuss both in this guide.

When I first began baking years ago, I had a set of Teflon nonstick bakeware and constantly struggled with the bottoms of cakes and muffins coming out too dark. Switching to ceramic cleared up that problem for me.

I bought some off-brands here and there and have eventually added some exceptional pieces to my collection, mainly Le Creuset. At this stage of my cooking journey, I want bakeware pieces that will stick around for the long haul and make baking enjoyable. I use ceramic bakeware almost daily for main dishes, sides, and desserts, and I love how great ceramic bakeware looks in the kitchen or on the table.

Baking French onion soup with Gruyere cheese in Le Creuset Mini Cocottes (on a well-loved baking sheet). Photo courtesy of Melissa Nicholson

If you want to learn more about ceramic bakeware sets and how they can enhance your cooking routine, follow along as we look at everything there is to know about ceramic bakeware and how to choose what’s best for you. Afterward, if you have more questions, you may reach out to a Curated Kitchen Expert for free, personalized advice.

What is Ceramic Bakeware?

Photo by Photo Simysia

There are two types of ceramic bakeware: stoneware and nonstick.

Stoneware is a ceramic made from clay, fired at high temperatures to create durable bakeware. The stoneware is glazed for added protection, color, and a low-stick surface.

Although nonstick ceramic is not truly ceramic, it gets its name from the fact that it looks like ceramic. Nonstick ceramic bakeware is made with an aluminum base and then coated with silicone for a nonstick surface. The ceramic-like result produces attractive bakeware that easily releases food.

Ceramic bakeware includes the following types of bakeware:

What To Consider When Buying Ceramic Bakeware Sets

A set of bakeware consists of two dishes or more. The purpose of sets is to offer a variety of dishes with all the same colors, materials, and quality. Often, if you purchase a set, there may be savings compared to buying one piece at a time. You should consider three things when buying a ceramic bakeware set: what you like to bake, your preferred materials, and the price of the products. Let’s look at all three.

What Do You Like to Bake?

You don’t want a bakeware set with pieces you’ll never use or missing dishes you need. The best way to avoid that is to think about what you cook most often or hope to cook in bakeware. Here are some common things we use bakeware for to get you started:

  • Lasagna
  • Muffins
  • Pies
  • Casseroles
  • Cakes
  • Side dishes

How Much Do Ceramic Bakeware Sets Cost?

As with most bakeware, the prices vary for different bakeware sets. Ceramic nonstick bakeware sets range from $43 to $400, even higher if the set includes cookware. Stoneware ceramic ranges from $55 to $200. Prices vary depending on quality, size, and the number of pieces included.

Different Types of Ceramic Bakeware

Since ceramic bakeware is limited to two types of materials, ceramic nonstick and stoneware ceramic, you need to decide which one you prefer as you look for your own ceramic bakeware. The following explains each material:

Stoneware Ceramic

Stoneware is made from fired clay. It feels like stone, hence the name stoneware.

Benefits:

  • It’s offered in beautiful colors.
  • It Retains heat as well as cast iron.
  • Ceramic cleans up beautifully since it is treated with a smooth glazed finish.
  • It's oven, broiler, dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe.

Be Aware:

  • Stoneware ceramic bakeware is some of the heaviest bakeware available, which may be bothersome for people who can’t handle heavy lifting.

Ceramic Nonstick

Ceramic nonstick bakeware starts as an aluminum dish and is then fused with a silicone coating. There isn’t any actual ceramic involved, but the result is bakeware that looks like ceramic. It’s gained quite a bit of popularity thanks to the nonstick surface.

Benefits:

  • Food is released easily.
  • Cleanup is about the fastest you can get.

Be Aware:

  • Like any nonstick coating, it will eventually wear out from chips and scratches, and you’ll have to replace the bakeware.
  • Some companies claim nonstick ceramic is dishwasher safe, but I recommend hand washing.

Features To Look for When Buying Ceramic Bakeware Sets

Photo by Easter Bunny

Since each type of bakeware has different features, it’s helpful to understand what those are to make the best choice. I’ll review the most important features of stoneware and nonstick ceramic. If you are still unsure about features after reading, you can reach out to a Curated Kitchen Expert today for free, personalized advice.

Nonstick Surface

If a piece of bakeware cooks well but is difficult to clean and maintain, you may leave it stuck in a cupboard for the rest of its life. No one wants to stand at the sink scrubbing dishes for hours.

When it comes to cleaning bakeware, you can’t beat ceramic nonstick. The surface is created to easily release food, and the silicone coating does a fine job.

Benefits:

  • Washing ceramic nonstick cookware is super easy since the food doesn’t stick.
  • Some nonstick bakeware is dishwasher safe (though I'd hand wash to be safe).
  • No need for oil or butter when cooking.
  • It’s lightweight for easy storage.

Be Aware:

  • The silicone surface coating will eventually chip and scratch, making the bakeware unsafe to use (it exposes the food to the aluminum).

Glazed Surface

For those who don’t enjoy nonstick materials, a glazed surface is the next best option and what you will find in stoneware ceramic bakeware sets. A glazed surface is sometimes called “low-stick” since the glaze creates a shiny surface that is easy to clean.

Benefits:

  • Easy to wash away stuck-on food.
  • It may eventually scratch but is still usable since the entire piece is food-safe.
  • Glazed ceramic bakeware can handle high heat, even the broiler.

Be Aware:

  • A low-stick surface still requires oil or butter to avoid getting stuck on food.
  • Sometimes, the glazed surface stains, and you’ll need to use a special cleaner like Bar Keeper’s Friend to remove it.
  • Glazed stoneware ceramic bakeware doesn’t offer muffin pans or cookie sheets.

Handles and Lids

Not all bakeware has handles or a lid; however, I search for the ones that do. It doesn’t always work with some pieces, such as a pie plate or cake pan, but handles add safety to some baking dishes, especially when wearing those bulky oven mitts.

Benefits:

  • Handles make it easier to lift to and from the oven.
  • Lids keep food warm before serving.
  • Easily store away leftovers in the refrigerator.

Be aware:

  • Sometimes, an oven-safe dish doesn’t have an oven-safe lid.

A Variety of Shapes and Sizes

A bakeware set should give you some variety. Even a 2-piece set should give two different options. A set with multiple pieces of the same shape and size isn’t very useful.

Benefits:

  • Matching pieces that offer a variety of uses.
  • One-stop shopping instead of searching for separate pieces in different shapes and sizes.

Be Aware:

How To Choose the Right Ceramic Bakeware Set for You

Choosing the right ceramic bakeware set can be overwhelming. You want to make the best decision and have high-quality bakeware you can afford. The following describes three people needing help finding the right bakeware set. You may see yourself in one of them, which could be helpful as you search for the ceramic bakeware you need.

Marley

Marley prefers baking over cooking meals. His main concern is having the best ceramic cookware to make cakes, muffins, and cookies. He runs his own online bakery business and needs efficient bakeware to handle all the baking and clean up quickly.

Features Marley should look for:

  • Nonstick ceramic for easy cleanup.
  • A set that has at least two cake pans, a pie plate, and cookie sheets.
  • A set known for its high-quality silicone coating so that he can bake with them regularly.

Bakeware set examples: Caraway 11-piece Bakeware Set, GreenLife Ceramic Nonstick Bakeware Set 12-piece

Leila

Leila is a busy mom who enjoys cooking. She mainly uses bakeware to make pasta dishes, casseroles, and sides. Her dream is to have beautiful bakeware that goes straight from the oven to the dining room table. She'd love to have something to pass on to her children someday, and she isn’t comfortable with nonstick materials of any kind.

Features Leila should look for:

  • Varying sizes of casserole dishes to handle what she likes to cook.
  • High-quality and beautiful so that she can pass it on.

Bakeware set examples: Le Creuset Heritage 3-piece Rectangular Baking Dish Set, Le Creuset Classic 3-piece Oval Baking Dish Set, Staub 5-piece Baking Dish Set

Larry

Larry is an accountant by day and a cooking and baking aficionado by night. Most weekends are spent in his apartment in the city preparing fantastic dishes for dinner guests. His friends say he should become a chef, but he prefers to keep it as an enjoyable hobby. Larry loves exploring French cuisine and wowing his guests with fancy desserts like chocolate lava cake and bread pudding.

Features Larry should look for:

  • Unique dishes that help him explore new ideas
  • Larger sizes for the times he cooks for friends
  • Highest-quality bakeware that can handle daily use
  • Dishes that can go from oven to table

Bakeware set examples: Le Creuset Mini Cocotte Set, Le Creuset Heritage 4-piece Bakeware Essentials Set, Staub 5-piece Baking Dish Set

Find the Best Ceramic Bakeware Set for You

There are plenty of choices when selecting a ceramic bakeware set. Consider what you use your bakeware for, the sizes you need, the price you can afford, and the material you prefer. And don’t forget extra features, such as handles, lids, and how easy the dishes are to maintain.

Curated Kitchen Experts are here to answer all your questions and assist you further. Reach out to a Curated Kitchen Expert today for free, personalized advice.

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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