Most times kitchen dinnerware is used as everyday dinnerware. If you are using it daily, you don't really want something fancy that requires extra care. Keeping the dishes done and put up is enough of a challenge, right?
Here are some attributes that you need to look for when choosing dinnerware for your kitchen:
In my eyes, these are the characteristics that I want my everyday dishes to have. It may be different for you, based on your lifestyle, but overall this is what most families will need in everyday kitchen dinnerware.
Here is an explanation of these qualities to help you decide what matters most to you.
Truly durable dishes are resistant to breaking, chipping, scratching, and staining; are suitable for use in the microwave, oven and dishwasher; and can used for storage in the refrigerator and freezer.
In all of my studies of casual dinnerware sets, Corelle dinnerware is only brand that I have found that has all of these attributes. There is even a manufacturer replacement guaranty, which means they are ready to stand behind their declaration of quality traits.
There may be other dinnerware brands that have these characteristics, but I haven't run across any yet. So, I've decided that Corelle dishes are ideal for everyday dinnerware in the terms of quality, durability and manufacturers guaranty.
I don't use Corelle in my kitchen (yet) because I have chosen to give up some these characteristics in exchange for the decorative features of other types of dinnerware. For instance, the dinnerware that I am currently using is not chip or break resistant and it is prone to scratching, so we're a bit careful with them. They would not be suitable at all if I had young kids using them.
All in all, the choice is yours considering the limitations that accompany various types of dinnerware.
Some types of dinnerware requires (or recommends) hand washing only using mild soap and avoidance of using abrasive materials for cleaning. This is mostly fine dinnerware that has metallic trim and so forth.
This type of dinnerware is ideal for fine dining, and the limitations can possibly be dealt with for special occasions, but do you really want to deal with them on a daily basis? If not, be careful not to choose dinnerware with these limitations for your everyday kitchen dinnerware.
Some dinnerware recommends that you don't soak the dinnerware. These are mostly ceramic pieces that are not completely glazed. Perhaps the back or bottoms of the dinnerware are left unglazed.
This may be fine for you if your family is trained to scrape and rinse the dishes after every meal, but some families aren't so efficient in rinsing of food after use so the dishes require some soaking.
It is very important that the dinnerware is microwave safe for the many families who rely on convenience food from time to time, or thrive on leftovers. If your kitchen dinnerware is not microwave safe, make sure that everyone in the household knows that so they don't put the dinnerware in the microwave.
Some dinnerware is not microwave safe. Sometimes the limitations are there to protect the dinnerware from melting, but with some toxins being released from the dinnerware is the concern. For instance, toxins are a concern with melamine dinnerware.
These days, the majority of dinnerware is dishwasher safe unless it is plastic or acrylic which can be sensitive to heat, or if it has metallic trim or other designs which can come off in the dishwasher.
Basically, if the dinnerware that you choose recommends hand-washing or does not say specifically that it is dishwasher safe, it is advisable not to put it in the dishwasher.
Many manufacturers of dinnerware place "safe" information in the backstamp. If yours is not marked, you can usually find this information in the users' guide that comes in the package, or by contacting the manufacturer.
To me, oven proof matters because if someone is going to be late for dinner, I often fix a plate and put it in the oven to keep warm although I don't actually use the oven to heat fixed plates.
Even dishes that are oven safe have a temperature limit, and most are not prone to use under a broiler. So if you use dinnerware in the oven, be sure you are aware of the limitations.
Another temperature warning, most dishes do not do well with extreme temperature changes, so if you remove a plate from the oven, it is best to cool it off a bit before putting in cold water or in the refrigerator and vice versa.
I hope these tips will help you in your search for kitchen dinnerware that fits your everyday life, your style and your preferences.