Dinnerware FAQs

What material does Pfaltzgraff use to make dinnerware?

Pfaltzgraff has used earthenware, stoneware, porcelain and bone china at some point in our history. Our current dinnerware patterns are made primarily of stoneware and porcelain.

What is the difference between bone china, porcelain, stoneware and earthenware?

Bone China is made from a mixture of bone ash and highly refined clay, firing temperature varies from 1475°F to 2500°F depending on the finish. It is pure white or cream and has a translucent, non-porous body. Bone china is the most durable of the ceramic types.

Porcelain is made from highly refined white clay and can be fired at over 2300°F. Porcelain tends to be thinner and lighter than stoneware with a more delicate appearance and non-porous body.

Stoneware is a hard, durable ceramic made of light colored clay typically fired at over 2200°F. It is opaque and porous. Stoneware dinnerware tends to be thicker and heavier than porcelain or china. It can be glazed in a wide variety of colors and finishes (matte, satin and shiny) for diverse designs.

Earthenware is made from a mixture of clay and sand and is usually fired at temperatures near 2100°F. Earthenware is opaque and porous and tends to be less resistant to chipping than stoneware. Earthenware is an ideal medium for hand-painted and embossed designs. The lower firing temperatures allow for more intense color than would be possible with other types of ceramics. Ironstone is a heavier, stronger type of earthenware.

What is Reactive Glaze?

Reactive Glaze is a glazing technique used on Stoneware to create unique colors and pattern variation. Once the glaze is applied, it undergoes a reaction under extreme temperatures during the firing process. The results are beautiful multi-tonal colors and patterns like our ever popular Painted Poppies and Rustic Leaves dinnerware. The nature and hand-crafted qualities of this type of glaze ensures that no two pieces will be exactly alike.

Are Pfaltzgraff products dishwasher and microwave safe?

Pfaltzgraff dinnerware without precious metal accents is safe to use in the dishwasher and microwave. Since our Pfaltzgraff product line is extensive, we highly recommend checking the packaging or the website product detail page in the Use & Care section.

Earthenware can become extremely hot when used in the microwave. The use of potholders or padded mitts is recommended.

Never use any dinnerware with metal trim in the microwave.

Please read the use and care instructions for any non-ceramic products carefully.

Can I put my Pfaltzgraff dinnerware in the oven?

Pfaltzgraff dinnerware without precious metal accents can be safely warmed or heated in the oven. Place cool dinnerware in the oven and allow it to heat gradually when the oven is turned on. Never place cool dinnerware in a preheated hot oven or on the burner of a gas or electric range. This rapid heat change may cause the item to crack.

When warming food in the oven with my dinnerware, at what temperature should I set the oven? What other tips should I follow?

Please keep in mind dinnerware is sensitive to thermal shock, which means that sudden or extreme variations in temperature may cause dinnerware to crack. Therefore, do not take dinnerware from the freezer and place it directly into a microwave/hot oven, or take hot dinnerware from the oven/microwave and place it directly into the freezer.

  • A cool plate should be placed in a cool oven and warmed slowly.
  • Start your oven no higher than 225°F for the first 10 minutes, then increase to a temperature no higher than 350°F.
  • Do not place hot dishes on a wet surface or handle with a wet cloth. The hot dish may break when touching the colder water.
  • Do not place dinnerware on direct heat, in the broiler, or under a microwave browning element.
  • Always use a padded mitt when removing from oven or microwave.
  • When warming in microwave or oven, use the piece that best fits the portion size. This way, all items will heat evenly and not cause "hot spots" on your plate that could lead to crazing and cracking.
  • Earthenware can become extremely hot when used in the microwave or oven. The use of potholders or padded mitts is recommended.
  • Porcelain with a metallic rim should not be used in a microwave.
Does Pfaltzgraff offer glassware to match or coordinate with my dinnerware pattern?

Matching or coordinating glassware is available for select dinnerware patterns. Check our website to see what is available to match or coordinate with your pattern.

What accessories can I get in my pattern?

A variety of accessories is available in most Pfaltzgraff patterns. Accessories range from basic salt & pepper sets, pasta bowls and vegetable bowls to unique corn dishes and double-handled bowls.

What happens if my pattern is retired?

The decision to stop making a pattern is always a difficult one. We know choosing a dinnerware pattern is an important decision for you and we will continue to produce a pattern as long as there is enough demand for it.

Why do I see gray lines on my dishes?

Gray marks or "scratches" on dinnerware is not a defect. These marks can occur when metal utensils come into contact with the hard glazes or a matte finish.

Glazes look and feel very smooth; however, the surface is composed of microscopic peaks and valleys. When metal utensils which are often softer than the glaze come in contact with dinnerware, tiny metal particles become caught in the microscopic valleys.

Though some users characterize the gray marks as scratches, usually there is no damage to the glaze or the stoneware body. The metal deposits can easily be removed with Pfaltzgraff Stoneware & Porcelain Cleaner.

Our Pfaltzgraff Stoneware & Porcelain Cleaner is formulated to specifically remove metal marks from ceramic products. The combination of a chemical action and a mild abrasive in the cleaner easily removes the metal particles from the glaze.  Pfaltzgraff Stoneware & Porcelain Cleaner is endorsed by the American Standard Company for use with its Americast® products.

Are my dishes safe?

Pfaltzgraff, a Lifetime Brands company, stands behind the safety and quality of all of its products. All our products are tested by accredited, independent laboratories and meet or exceed all federal standards relating to lead and other contaminants.