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Ramekin Questions

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  • snax Aug 3, 2009 05:45 PM
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I’m thinking about purchasing some ramekins but unsure of a few things.

First of all porcelain or stoneware? Is there a massive ‘wear and tear’ difference in the long term use of these two materials? And in your opinion how many is a good number to have as a set? I am thinking of maybe buying 8 6-Ounce for sweets such as crème brulee and lava cakes. And then 8 8-Ounce for savoury dishes such as pot-pies.

Seems like a lot of ramekins in my kitchen when not in use, but I think they would be ideal for food prep, single serves of ice-cream, and dips etc. I also like the ideas of sets so they match, and will cook in the same time.

Thanks :-)

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  1. The number depends on how many people you would normally be serving, so that's strictly your call. I love Revol products, freezer, microwave, oven and dishwasher safe and is extremely durable and beautiful.

    1. There are different definitions of porcelain and stoneware, so I would not trust a label or what a salesperson says. If it has a clear glaze, it's almost certainly stoneware (they usually don't bother glaze the bottom, so compare that to the sides if you're not sure).

      I have ramekins, probably stoneware, bought at Sur la Table, Ace Hardware, a Japanese dollar store and one or two places I don't recall. Wear and tear is not an issue. Except for a few scorches on the bottoms, the surfaces are good as new.

      As for how many, depends on how many guests you expect to serve. You might add one or two to allow for breakage, although the sizes are fairly standard and finding replacements is never a problem. I've never had one crack in the oven, but I use them for prep bowls and such an manage to drop one every now and then.

      1. Hi there -- just piggybacking on this thread to ask about ramekin/baker size ... I'm making my first pot pie for guests tomorrow and was thinking I'd make individual portions. What size ramekin/baker would be appropriate? Dimensions and/or ounces would be helpful. Thanks in advance!

        3 Replies
        1. re: herring

          The appropriate size depends on: what kind of filling? (chicken is cheaper than lobster, and would fill 8oz. nicely); will it be a main dish or a side dish? (Again, 8 oz for main, 6 oz for side); will it be for women, or mixed company? Lunch or dinner? (My girlfriends, for lunch, would prefer 6 oz with a salad; my husband would prefer 8 oz or more, with lots of mushrooms and cheese). I don't think there's a hard, fast rule, nor bad/best answers.

          1. re: Claudette

            Thanks, Claudette. The 6oz size looked too small for a main dish, so I bought four 8oz. They may be a little big, but I'd rather my guests have a little leftover than leave feeling hungry. Thanks again!

            1. re: herring

              You're welcome, and I hope you have fun experimenting.

              BTW: not all ramekins are created equal. There are some really cheap ones out there (with no-name bottoms, or just marked "Made in China") that chip really easily, even from just stacking them. The ones from Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table are expensive, but they will last for years if you aren't abusive. Look at Cost Plus for possible mid-priced ones.

              Even so, I've broken enough of them over the past 20 years that I now have 14 mismatched 8-oz ramekins, but no one's noticed nor cared. My husband wants everything to match, but I enjoy diversity. Hmmm...topic for another thread?

        2. I just bought some white ones from the dollar store. I've had them for ten years. Not a chip one them. One of them suffered a catastrophic failure when dropped on a tile floor. They are used every day, as fridge containers, serving dishes, microwave reheaters, yolk separators, ingredient holders. Even, from time to time, as ramekins.

          1. I just checked my ramekins. Some of them are from Crate & Barrel and are marked "Porcelain, Made in Vietnam." Others are CorningWare and are marked "Stoneware, Made in China." I haven't noticed any difference in performance between those labeled Stoneware and those labeled Porcelain. They're both very durable. I use them for Creme Brulee and, for food prep, for storage, for ice cream, for serving small quantities for stuff, for anything you can think. I put them in the microwave, oven, fridge, and freezer, even outside to chill. They've been rattled around in bags taking them to grandma's house. No problems. They were both pretty cheap as I recall.