It can’t get more traditional or durable than stoneware. Ceramic based products like stoneware last for generations. They are as home in the modern kitchen as in the traditional kitchens of our grandparents. The continued use of ceramic cookware testifies to their favourable qualities.
Almost all metal cookware reacts with some types of food. Copper and aluminium pans will leach some metal into the food we eat, especially if the food is acidic. Stainless steel is less reactive, though there is concern that some of the additives may affect the food in some negative way. Cast iron is good when it is clean, and iron is necessary for our health; but iron will rust unless properly treated. No Metal cookware is without problems.
Stoneware is stable and non-reactive. Good ceramic stoneware will not affect the food during cooking, and will not impart toxins. Food cooked in stoneware is healthy and uncorrupted. It has its own natural flavour preserved by the stoneware it is cooked in. Some cheaper ceramics use lead, which causes long term health problems. Quality stoneware cookware is free from these issues.
Unlike many metals Stoneware retains heat well. This means food will always cook evenly. The uneven heating properties of some cheaper cooking utensils can result in meals that burn in some places as they remain under-heated in others. Good quality cookware, made by combining metals or with reliable ceramic stoneware, should never have this problem. The only slight disadvantage is that the heat retaining qualities of stoneware will continue to cook the food after it is removed from the oven or stove. This is easily compensated for by slightly reducing the cooking time.
Even without their impressive cooking properties stone cookware has a lot of aesthetic value. Surfaces can be enamelled and glazed in many colours. The ceramic surface is so impressive that often meals are cooked and served in the same stoneware dish. This is convenient for in many ways, if only because there is less to clean up.