Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CorningWare Love: My Favorite Pieces

Coring Ware French White Pyroceram Pieces


I've already devoted an entire blog post to extolling the virtues of cooking with Corning Ware: if you're not familiar with pyroceram, I recommend backing away slowly before the pretty pictures lure you into a thrift store.

And since I've already explained why I adore thermal-shock-resistant pyroceram, I shall not endever to justify the reasons you may find me frantically rummaging through your local thrift store, muttering about little blue cornflowers.

Corning Ware Collection

Instead, I shall devote this post to a few of my favorite pieces. And I will provide a little guidance for those looking to build a collection of their own. As you can see by the photos, I've amassed white a kitty of cookware. Fortunately for my kitchen cabinets, I'm only looking for a few more items - like rubber lids and French White ramekins.

Before you beat a path to your thrift store and clear the shelves into your shopping basket, here's a few things to keep in mind:
  • You want the original Corning Ware made from pyroceram. You can identify pyroceram Corning Ware by examining the piece for manufacturing stamps like the ones below:

    Corning Ware Pyroceram Product Stamp

    Corning Ware Pyroceram Product Stamp
     
  • New Corning Ware is made from fired, glazed stoneware and cannot tollerate extreme temperature changes. Stoneware can be identified by a manufacturing stamp similar to below:

    CorningWare Stoneware Stamp
     
  • French White Corning Ware may be the most confusing because the original pyroceram version looks very similar to the new stoneware sold at your local Walmart. The pyroceram you want will have a smooth-finished bottom and should have a manufacturing stamp such as this:

    Corning Ware French White Pyroceram Product Stamp

Now, onto my favorites pieces.

Blue Cornflower 2 1/2 Quart
The piece I use the most is my Blue Cornflower 2 1/2 Quart casserole dish. It's the perfect size for making a big batch of oatmeal on the stovetop or baked in the oven. And with the matched sealing rubber lid, I can transfer the dish right into the fridge with enough oatmeal for an entire week of breakfasts. I suppose this could also be useful for making small batches of apple sauce, mac and cheese, soup or (gasp!) casseroles, but I love it for oatmeal.

Corning Ware 2 1/2 Quart with Lid


French White Roasting Pan
The next dish on my list has to be this enormous French White roasting pan with lid. This is perfect for exactly what it's called - I can roast a whole grocery cart of veggies, squeeze in a big turkey, cover and roast a beef bourguignon (eh-hem! I have yet to do this) or turn on two range burners and reduce a sauce from whatever has been roasting. And because it's not metal, bring on the tomatoes!

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Blue Cornflower Loaf Pan
Next has to be my Blue Cornflower loaf pan - perfect for baking crispy loaves of homemade bread. Or if I really have a beef craving, it's the perfect size for crispy-edged meatloaf. I only have one of these, but I want two. Thanks to pyroceram material and thin sides of the loaf pan, it conducts heat evenly and crisps beautifully.

Corning Ware Blue Cornflower Loaf Pan


Blue Cornflower 5 Quart Dutch Oven
Now that I've started buying whole organic chickens and roasting them myself, I could never give up my Blue Cornflower 5 Quart dutch oven. When I first found this piece, I wasn't entirely sure what I should do with it. But when I bought my first 5-lb chicken and went searching for a roasting pan, this was the perfect fit. The glass lid covers the chicken, trapping in the juices, while still allowing the skin to crisp without burning. Forget aluminum foil.

Corning Ware Blue Cornflower 5 Qt Dutch Oven




Blue Cornflower Roasting Pan
If you've read my Waiting for Brioche post, you'll understand why I feel very strongly about finding the perfect baking pan for sticky buns - the perfect bun is a true obsession now, and I find the only pan I use for these buns in my Blue Cornflower roasting pan. It bakes such lovely buns and tolerates temperature shock so gracefully, I decided to pick up a second pan. That way, I can have one for making sticky buns and another for freezing off batches of lasagna!

Corning Ware Blue Cornflower Roasting Pan

Sticky Buns in Corning Ware Roasting PanLasagna in Corning Ware Roasting Pan


Simply White Grab-it Bowl
As silly as my white grabber bowls may appear (and they're actually called, "grab-it" bowls), I LOVE their size and utility. When I'm browning vanilla with a little cream, or reducing balsamic vinegar with bacon for a salad dressing, or baking a single-serving of mac and cheese, I reach for my grab-it bowls every time.

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Still scratching your head? Don't worry: All Corning Ware posts are clearly labeled so that innocent readers can breeze past unscathed!




14 comments:

  1. Great info! I'd love to add a few of these pieces to my inventory :)

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  2. Happy to be helpful :) And call me crazy, but who wouldn't want to trade a handful of pennies for these?!

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  3. but Fiestaware is great too!! :)

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  4. Fiestaware is lovely flatware - I have a friend who buys them on sales at steep discounts in every imaginable color. Now if only pyroceram came in such attractive colors...

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  5. Awesome! You've got quite a collection there - it's a match made in heaven! You should send this blog post off to Corning!

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  6. Thanks, Ann :) I do wonder what Corning would think if I confessed I'm terribly uninterested in their current stoneware offerings... ;)

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  7. I don't own a single piece of corning ware, although I do remember stopping by their flagship store on a school trip long ago. Perhaps I need to start scouring my local thrift stores!

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  8. Carolyn, I had to physically stop myself from clapping my hands together with enthusiasm ;) Let me know if you find something good cause I'll want pictures :)

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  9. Hi Mark, I am Peter from Singapore, a fan of vintage Pyrex, Corning ware and Anchor Hocking, and many many other things made in USA before recent globalization that drove many reputable products out of the market. i envy you quit much as in Singapore i have few chance to discover vintage utensils. i learn a lot from your entries, and glad to know you! wish you a good day!

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  10. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and I'm happy to have been able to share. It's always fun to meet other Pyrex and Corning Ware fans! I've been very blessed to have found so many wonderful vintage pieces in such great shape...

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  11. As a person who hates to cook a turkey, Corning ware was my savior. Put a turkey in and put on the lid and cook the appropriate amount of time. A no-brainer!! and the stuffing in another Corning ware Casserole with lid. Hallelujah!

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  12. Hi there, do you know where i can find a complete list of the vintage blue cornflower pieces? Do you have the whole collection?

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  13. Sorry, Cam, I don't know that a complete list of all of the original Blue Cornflower pieces exists. However, there are some good sites that show a lot of different pieces and ebay is a great place to see a LOT of variety in pieces. I've used this site for reference purposes in the past and it might prove useful to you: http://www.corellecorner.com/corning-ware-profiles.html

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  14. Just interestedMay 9, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    So you can put the original corning Ware under the broiler correct?

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