Input welcome: Dinnerware recommendations

After writing about my suribachi set/mortar and pestle, someone asked:

What is your opinion of tableware (plates, bowls, etc.) that is made in China? Do you think it's safe? The last time I looked at dishes, everything seemed to be made there, and I didn't know.

I have not done much research on dinnerware options (unlike our cookware!) simply because the need hasn't arisen. Before we were married, we were given a set of Corelle dishes (second-hand), and in the past year we have added to that set to accommodate more mouths eating at each meal. ;)

The Corelle website has this to say about their manufacturing:

All CORELLE® Vitrelle® glass dinnerware is manufactured in the USA at the same Corning, New York factory where it has been made since the line was launched in 1970. Hearthstone stoneware lines are sourced elsewhere.

In short, I believe this translates to most/all Corelle glass (not stoneware) plates and bowls being USA-manufactured.

We LOVE our Corelle dinnerware! We have this Winter Frost White Corelle set (pictured at top). Note that the stoneware mugs in that set are not made in the USA.

My top 5 things to love about Corelle:

1. The plates and bowls stack very compactly in my kitchen cupboard. In a small kitchen this is such a space-saver!!

2. The dishes are light and easy to handle.

3. The dishes don't break or chip easily. In the nearly 8 years of heavy use, I think we have broken 2 pieces.

4. For food photography purposes, I love the bright white Corelle plates! I know it isn't very artistic or unique, but I can almost always get a good clear shot of the food on the plate.

5. The Corelle dishes don't chip or crack like stoneware would, but yet are MUCH nicer than plastic. I also like to use a Corelle dinner plate as a "lid" on my scrambled egg pan in the mornings, which pre-heats the plate so I can serve my husband a hot plate of steaming food!

I honestly can't think of anything negative about the Corelle dinnerware, but that could be because I've not used any other options extensively...

Do any of you have dinnerware recommendations to share, particularly dinnerware made in the USA? :)

Comments

I bought two sets (4-places each) of Winter Frost White Corelle when I moved out on my own in 1986, and it is still what I am using today. On occasion I have considered getting something else, but it is so versatile (being white) and has all the wonderful qualities Tammy mentioned above. Wal-Mart carries replacement pieces (sold individually), and I have added a few extra plates. The only part of the set I don't like is the cup. It isn't the same as what is pictured above, and I retired those long ago. I would love to have the ones they sell now. Maybe I should look into getting some ...

We got two sets of Corelle (service for 8) for a wedding gift 11 years ago. I have picked up a couple of extra plates when I run across them at a thrift shop, we've only broken one!

My daughter was commenting about my dishes while emptying the dishwasher the other day. She was asking how long since I've gotten new dishes (I think she's hinting around for Christmas present ideas for her dad). After thinking a minute, I told her those dishes were bought the first Christmas she was around...24 years ago! I still have everyone of those dishes, have not broken one. They have been used daily through raising 4 kids and the many, many friends who have been included in our meals since they've been teens. Although the look of the dishes is dated (they look very 1980s style), I see no need to replace them. They are definitely worth their expense (which isn't expensive at all). If I were to get new dishes, I'd go for the white Corelle you have pictured above.

My mom and grandma gave me their Corelle dishes last year (they both had the same pattern) to go with my set of stoneware (that is now destined for the garage sale bin in the spring!) they are so light and easy to stack, I love them! They literally take up half the room in the cupboard and in my kitchen that is a plus (we have large kitchen but not much storage space). They can go in the dishwasher with no problems. My dd has only broken one bowl when she was putting dishes away (we have tile floors over cement and i hit on the direct edge of the bowl on the floor) but I have dropped others and they are fine. We also love that they are made in the USA as we are trying to avoid anything made in China!

Mary in Toledo

I loved my Corelle until it broke. Small pieces were scattered over 12 feet away. We found them in our feet instead of in the vacuum cleaner. I never would have thought pieces would fly that far. After that episode, the whole set went to Goodwill.

Other than that, they are pretty, stack nicely in a small place and are pretty inexpensive to feed our large family.

I don't know the pattern name as ours was purchased used by my mom at a thrift store and given to us, but we have the plain white with the scallopy edge, whatever that it. As our family grew, she also gave us some that have a pretty spring floral pattern around the edge. Before this, we had Tea Rose Pfaltzgraff which was really pretty but also really heavy...the Corelle has been so much better for us since having children.

Cathy

My parents had Corelle dishes for years and years (probably still do). They have the white ones with the blue stripe around the edge. My mom often picked up more at garage sales for next to nothing. I don't remember us breaking very many of them.
One friend did tell me that whenever her kids break one they shatter into tiny pieces and are very hard to clean up. That may have to do with her having tile floors in the kitchen though.

I got my set for a engagement present over 14 years ago ... I love everything about them. The size of the plates.. the amount you can put in the bowls.. Most of all the weight of the dishes... they are not very heavy... I have never liked stoneware..too heavy.

The only thing I did not really like is the size of the coffee cups... they are too small. I personally like a Mug... So I have never used the cups that came with my set.

I have only broken 2 pieces in the 14 years we have used it, and the wonderful thing about if you break a piece.. I only have to go to Kmart or Wallyworld and buy just the piece that I broke.

just my 2 cents...

I had heavy Pfaltsgraff stoneware as my "wedding list pick" and ditched them after a few years because they were SO heavy and clunky. They actually BENT my cupboard shelves! I sold my Pfaltsgraff in my garage sale and bought Corelle after that and haven't looked back!. I LOVE THEM!

Here's my question, though...
I have noticed gray scratches on them and wonder how to get them all white again. Do you experience this, and if so, how do you get rid of the grayness? What causes it?

Thanks,
Heather

Some of my plates have a few small grey scratches on them, and I haven't tried removing them. The Corelle website recommends Bar Keeper's Friend or Zud (never heard of that one) or any non-abrasive cleaner to remove them. So I guess the scratches will come off! :)

I have had Barkeeper's Friend right under my sink all this time!!
Tammy, you're a genius. I'm going to try this tomorrow when I'm not so tired.
Thank you so much!!

My wife has a set of Tienshan/Fairfield China in the Magnolia pattern that gets those gray marks too. A "Magic Eraser" pad from Mr. Clean removes those marks as well as the scuff marks and stains that appear on our white enamel kitchen sink.

I absolutely love Corelle dishes... my mom used them almost exclusively in the house growing up and they were so durable. I've had some other sets though I can't honestly remember the brands and always found myself disappointed with the durability. I only use Correlle dishes now, I've only ever had one piece break and that was due to dropping it from about 5 feet onto a stone tile floor. Plus they are lightweight, which means that they are great for small children and people who have a hard time gripping heavy plates. They're micro safe, dishwasher safe, even oven safe to a certain degree... I wouldn't trade mine for anything!

I love my Corelle! I've had the basic white ones forever. The ONLY problem I have with them is when they do break, they shatter EVERYWHERE! LOL! I broke one of my Mom's plates a few months ago and she said she's still finding pieces of it when she sweeps the kitchen. She has ceramic tile floors and pretty much anything you drop on them breaks.

I grew up with my Mom using Corelle. She finally sold her extensive set in the late 90's because she was so sick of looking at it and the excuse "Well, so many pieces have broken, so I need new dishes" wouldn't fly, as I don't think she lost any more than two pieces. She replaced those dishes with new Corelle patterns, which she's still using. This past summer, I was mentioning that my glass (non-corelle) dishes were getting broken quickly, after about 4 years of use. My Mom went out to the local Corelle store and bought me some plates and bowls to get me started (she bought the Enchancements dishes - which are plain white with a bit of textural design on the edges) and I quickly added to them. I LOVE them. I do not have a dishwasher, so any other types of dishes were not lasting well. I like the fact that my 2 year old can eat off of the Corelle dishes and I do not have to worry so much about whether he will hurt himself or not. I have used other dish sets, and the Corelle dishes are definitely worth the investment.

I got my Correlle sets (2 x 4 place setting) for my 21st birthday when I was moving away from home.

I still us them everyday 21 yrs later.

I have broken a couple pcs - and yes they shatter badly!
I've also had them hit the floor before and not a chip on them.

MY MIL bought us a pretty stoneware set (not Corelle) and they are badly chipped just 6 yrs later.

I love Corelle too, but they do get extremely hot in the microwave, to the point of the bottom of a bowl might burn the holder.

To clean the dark scratch marks off the dishes try using a water and baking soda paste.
I usually use a product called Bar Keepersfriend on my Corelle bake wear it could be used on the dishes also, however I have found the Bar Keepersfriend is cheaper up north compared to the south. I'm not sure about its price in the west. You can find it by Ajax scrubbing powder.

When I got rid of our microwave several years ago I started putting my Corelle dishes in the oven on low temps (350 degrees or less) with no problems. My set of dish are over 20 years old , so I'm not sure if this will work with a newer set.

I seem to think that the dishes with an off white or almond color scratch less then the white base dishes.

We have Fiesta Ware--made in the USA!--and I really like it. I chose Fiesta ware because I like the substantial feeling, Corelle feels flimsy (even though I know it's not). I had Corelle growing up and it is nearly unbreakable. Now that I have little helpers, I've been thinking about getting small plates and bowls for them to use.

Dittos on the Fiestaware comment. I love the heavy weight feeling of them as well and they are oven-proof, microwavable, and dishwasher-safe.

I love Corelle! I gave away my set and wish I could land another double set!

I had Pfaltzgraff when i marred 17years ago. Within 4 years, they were chipped. Plus, we were starting a family, and I knew that the kids wouldn't be able to help with dishes or learn to clear the table while young because they were so heavy and breakable. I sold my Pfaltzgraff and began a search for the lightest, cheapest white dishes I could find. Corelle fit the bill, and I, too went with the Enhancements pattern - white but with some texture. They go with everything, they're pretty much indestructible, but they do shatter when they break. While the shattering is a pain, it doesn't happen often at all - as you've seen with other comments here.

I absolutely love my Fiestaware. I have six children ranging from the ages of 4 years old to 22 years old and also have 3 grandchildren. I still have my full set of 14 place settings (all different colors) with only a crack on one coffee mug. I just inherited several 10 1/2 inch and 9 inch plates of depression Fiestaware from my 95 year old grandmother that passed away and they are also in great shape. I have all kinds of platters, bowls and covered bowls and they are all in perfect shape. It's very durable, and a bonus, if you get all of the colors, they retire some of them and then you have rare pieces that are worth more. I have six retired place settings already and I started collecting in 1995. It's also oven safe which is great if you need to heat up a dish for something.

My next purchase is going to be the 9X13 baking pans they have.

I love your website Tammy and I visit it regularly.

Sydney

I have the FiestaWare as well. I really like the look much better than the standard Corelle. However, we have broken a lot of the pieces : ( The FiestaWare is not as hearty as the regular Corelle. I still pick up pieces of any color when I see them and have a mix and match set.

Mommaof10
http://PlymouthRockRanch.com
Recording the Faithfulness and Provision of God for Future Generations

I have some corelle dishes that I picked up at garage sales/thrift stores over the years....we use those for lunch and breakfast. For dinner we use an older set of dinner dishes that my mil gave me because I don't mind if they are chipped. (don't have larger corelle dishes) But Ihave to say that my favorite pretty dishes are my tea rose pfaltzgraff! My kitchen is decorated in it, and although we don't use the dishes everyday, they are my favorite. My children are getting older now-11 and 6, so they tend to chip things less =)

I love my Corelle Winter Frost dinnerware. My parents had the exact same set growing up and my husband's family had a very similar Corelle pattern. We were like-minded when picking out our own dinnerware and couldn't be happier with it. In my entire life, I've only experienced one dish breaking - and it was me. Mom scooped up the plate pieces and returned them to the store for a free plate. Sweet! The set my parents have is looking a bit dingy after 30 years of daily use, but what wouldn't? Corelle is the best and you can't beat the price, durability, and style!

im trying to find somewhere that tells me all the different patterns and when they were made ,, i bought a set at the thrift store and still havent seen another like them ,, i got on ebay , none like mine either ,, but i love my corelle ,, it was like a gift from God when i got them ,, they have peach in them , and thats the color i use in my kitchen

To the last poster: Here is the Corelle retired website.
http://www.shopworldkitchen.com/corelle/corelle-retired-showroom .

I also wanted to say, that since this topic was posted, I have wanted to get some Corelle. We have 6 young children and dinnerware has been breaking left and right! So today, we finally got some. Right now, the above website, which also sells new Corelle, is having a sale as are the stores, which you can find on the website. I wanted the Winter Frost White, but dh wanted a pattern, so we got Old Town Blue, a retired pattern for which they still had some pieces.

My dad worked in the housewares department at our local Sears for several years during the '70s, and Corelle was one of their biggest sellers. He still loves to tell the story of being an eager young salesman who, after hearing the Corelle rep's pitch, tried to demonstrate the unbreakable Corelle to a husband and wife who were shopping for dinnerware. The plate shattered, and Dad swore he could hear the man laughing all the way out the store. :)

On a side note, my mom just recently traded in her old set of dinnerware for a lovely new set of Corelle. She switched to Princess House about ten years ago, which were not only incredibly heavy, but they chipped like the devil! As expensive as Princess House was/is, we expected MUCH better quality. Turns out, good ol' American-made Corelle is the better choice. My one nitpick is that because the plates and bowls fit together so compactly, washing by hand and trying to separate plates can be frustrating.

I received 2 sets of Corelle for a Christmas present. I must have gotten a bad batch. It SHATTERED into a million pieces each time they were dropped or broke. We got a lot of glass splinters out of our feet. Finally, all the pieces in the set were broken and gone.

I now have a set of Pfaltzgraf, which is ok. Over the summer, I picked up some Corelle dinner and luncheon size plates at some yard sales. I absolutely love this stuff! They stack together so nicely and wash up fast and easy. I have had NO breaking problems. I really think the original batch must have had something wrong with it. I wish I had all Corelle now.

Yes they shatter when dropped - that's the only downfall to them. I have three children though and over the course of 6 years this has only happened once. And before kids never. Our set is about 10 years old.

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