Pros: Even baking, No soggy Crusts or Burnt Edges, Nonstick.
Cons: Heavy in weight.
This review is on the Pampered Chef New Traditions Deep Dish Baker,
French Vanilla Glaze, item #1317 in the Pampered Chef catalog under the stoneware section.
From the Catalog:
"Deep dish pizzas to decadent desserts to vegetable medley." 11 inch diameter, 8 cup volume."
From the Package Insert:
"This exclusive, 8-cup (2 L) baker is perfect for baking or reheating. Try deep dish pizza, cobblers, rolls, or even a main dish. Made with natural lead-free clay and glaze. Repeat baking will turn stoneware dark brown in color, becoming seasoned. The result is a nonstick surface. Nylon scraper included for cleaning."
Some may say that stoneware is the latest cookware fad, but in fact, people have been baking on clay for hundreds of years. I am sure you have seen signs on restaurant doors and in menus that state certain recipes are baked in brick or clay ovens. The benefits of cooking on clay stone is something that professional chefs and bakers have known for quite some time and take advantage of in many of their recipes.
The reason stoneware bakes so much better is because of the microscopic pores and even heat distribution. These pores pull in and circulate the evaporated moisture from the food while it is baking to allow for crisper crusts on pizzas and moist interiors of meals such as casseroles and meats. Stoneware also heats evenly so you no longer have to have black bottomed cookies or brownies that are dry on the outside but raw on the inside. Foods are guaranteed to be cooked the way that they were intended. Once seasoned, stoneware also becomes a natural non-stick surface allowing for easy food removal and cleanup. Even better, since it is stone, you can use any tool you wish without worry of removing the nonstick surface. No more yelling at the hubby or the kids for forgetting to use the plastic spatula.
Why the Pampered Chef New Traditions Stoneware is better than other brands:
Most stoneware pieces available on the market are made with red clay. Because red clay cannot be fired at the same high temperature as grey clay, it will still develop the same microscopic pores, yet the pores will be much larger causing the stone to pick up food odors. This means if one night you choose to make a nice salmon, even after cleaning, that salmon will hang around
in your kitchen much longer than originally intended. These larger pores also allow a higher chance that your stone will crack or break. Possibly the most scary of all is that most red clays also contain lead! I really don't think that having a lead soaked, salmon scented apple berry cobbler appeals to me, and doubt it would appeal to anyone else.
The Pampered Chef New Traditions Deep Dish Baker, as with all of the items in Pampered Chef's
stoneware line, is made with all natural grey clay and water, nothing else. The clay is then fired in a kiln at a very high temperature resulting in a very durable product. Both the clay and the glaze used is 100% lead free allowing for safe cooking. The pores are so tiny, that while they absorb moisture, there is no absorbing of odor. This means that you can bake fish in your dish and the next day bake a sweet dessert without any mingling of odors or flavors. It also comes with the Pampered Chef Stoneware guarantee of 3
Sight and Feel:
The Pampered Chef Deep Dish Baker arrived in a cardboard box that when opened like a pizza box revealed a nicely packaged piece of stoneware and a nylon scraper. One of the first things I noticed about this product is that it is quite heavy at approx. 5 pounds. I started to have my doubts when I started to calculate how heavy it would be with food inside.
The Pampered Chef Deep Dish Baker has a nicely colored light tan interior that is soft and smooth to the touch. Knowing that once seasoned, this pretty tan will turn into an ugly dark brown makes me appreciate the vanilla colored glaze on the outside. Even as the inside get dark, the glaze will stay nice and pretty and look like it did on the day it was made. This feature lets me use my Deep Dish Baker as a presentation dish as well as the baking dish. Hey, the more dishes I can eliminate in the cooking and serving process, the better. It also helps that this really is a nice looking piece. There are also 2 handles along the top sides that allow for easier removal from the oven. Another feature that I am quite fond of.
The size is just perfect for roasting a chicken, baking a deep dish pizza, or for making a yummy cobbler. All of which turn out great in the Pampered Chef Deep Dish Baker. The chicken stays moist, the pizza finishes up crusty, and the cobbler is just plain good without any dried up fruit in the filling. The baker is 11 inches in diameter, a little over 2 1/2 inches deep and it holds 8 cups of food.
How to Use Your Stoneware:
My Pampered Chef Deep Dish Baker didn't arrive at its best. Like fine wine, this just gets better over time. First you have to prepare your baker for seasoning. Seasoning your stoneware just means that natural fats and oils adhere to your stone's surface. This causes no threat to food safety and over time will result in a naturally nonstick surface. This is a method that has been used for hundreds of years and is also used on cast iron pans for the same reason.
The first few times you use your baker, it is best to cook something high in fat like a roasting chicken for example. Another way to season, is for those first few times spray or wipe the dish with olive oil. Over time you will notice that your dish will get darker in color, slowly turning brown and eventually black. During this process you will also notice that your Pampered Chef Deep Dish Baker has also developed the feel of a nonstick surface. Once this happens, you will no longer have to cook with added fats resulting in a more healthy meal.
Care and Handling:
Because the Pampered Chef Deep Dish Baker needs the fats and oils to maintain its seasoning, you cannot wash in the dishwasher or with soap. The soap will not actually clean your stoneware, but will bind to the fats instead not only removing your seasoning, but also leaving a soapy residue that you will be able to taste and smell in your next few meals. Now you may be worried about bacteria since you will not be using soap. I want to tell you not to worry. The Pampered Chef Deep Dish Baker is a naturally antimicrobial surface.
So how is it cleaned, you may ask. The Pampered Chef Deep Dish Baker arrives with a brown scraping tool. This tool is for cleaning. Once you are ready to clean up and the dish has cooled. All you have to do is run the Deep Dish Baker under hot water and scrape with your cleaning tool. I was not looking forward to my first time cleaning my baker thinking it would be a lot more difficult that it really was. The food scraped off easily without a hassle and adds very little time to my normal after dinner clean up process.
After cleaning and making sure you removed all the food particles, dry with a dish towel and you are done and ready to store it away for later use.
Any Negatives About the Product?
Like I had mentioned before, this stone is heavy and adding a 5 pound chicken and vegetables to it only makes it heavier. However, with the handles and my Pampered Chef Oven Mitt and Oven Pad, I am able to lift it out without any trouble. The way this stone cooks makes the weight worth it.
How To Purchase
The Pampered Chef Deep Dish Baker is available only through Pampered Chef consultants or their websites.
To locate a Pampered Chef consultant call 1-800-266-5522 (US)
You can also learn more about Pampered Chef products at http://www.PamperedChef.com.