Fante's Kitchen Shop Logo

Soapstone Cookware

What is Soapstone

Soapstone is the common name for a rock called Steatite. This hard material is naturally occurring, formed from the composition of talc and other minerals during rock metamorphosis.

The soapstone cooking utensils depicted here come from Brazil, where soapstone has been in common use for centuries. Though steatite is also mined elsewhere, here it is of the optimal hardness and density for cooking utensils. It is just softer than granite or marble, similar to marble in appearance, and very smooth to the touch.

Detail of Soapstone Saute Pan  a look inside  hand carved interior
detail of solid copper handle and band  the bottom is always a little rougher  detail of the lid's underside  strong epoxy holds the knob onto the lid

♦ Fashioned from solid rock ♦
♦ Walls and lids are ½" to ¾" thick ♦
♦ Knobs are about 1 ¼" high ♦
♦ Handles extend about 1 ½" ♦
♦ Copper bands are about 1" wide ♦
♦ Copper handles riveted to bands ♦

Suggested uses

♦ Pots - For stovetop, oven or grill. Excellent for stews, risotto, slow cooking, stir-fries, home fries, fondues, and for serving.

♦ Griddles - Thinner ones for oven, and serving. (Thicker ones, when available, for stovetop, oven, grill, and serving.) Great for hot or cold hors d'oeuvres, broiled fish, pizza, tabletop cooking of bite-size foods like shrimp and veggies, and for serving.

Use Recommendations

♦ Potholders and Trivets - Always use potholders when handling or moving a hot vessel, and use a heavy trivet on your table and counters. Remind your guests to use care near hot surfaces.

♦ Heat Diffuser - Always use a diffuser on electric cooktops with open elements. Furthermore, we recommend using a heat diffuser on all cooktops to help prevent thermal shock.

♦ Avoid Thermal Shock - Do not subject it to sudden hot or cold temperature changes. Never heat an empty pot. Use only low-to-medium heat on glass (ceramic) stovetops. Allow it to cool on its own before washing. Avoid high heat and frying for the first few uses. When cooling soapstone for cold-serving, make sure it's at room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator.
• To pass on your soapstone cookware to the next generation, avoid thermal shock •

♦ Cure Before Using - This further hardens the soapstone and makes it longer lasting and even more beautiful.

♦ Weight - Though soapstone is naturally heavy, it is manageable. To deal with any issues of weight, you might remove the heavy lid before moving a pot, fill it in place on the stove, and remove some of the cooked food before moving it off the stove.

♦ Copper Band - If thermal shock or other accidental abuse causes a crack in the stone, the beautiful copper band that encircles each piece is intended to hold the stone together and allow for continued use, unlike other ceramic or stone pots or pizza stones. Use caution when handling a hot pot or griddle, as the band and handles do get very hot.

How to Cure New Soapstone Cookware

Natural Soapstone Cookware♦ Before curing, wash with a sponge or brush in hot water, and allow to dry thoroughly.

♦ To begin curing, amply grease all surfaces of your soapstone cookware with your choice of cooking oil. (Use care in handling the oiled utensil.)

♦ Set it in a warm location for at least 24 hours. The oil will be absorbed and the stone will become almost dry.

♦ After that drying time, fill the pot with water up to the line of the metal band. Put on the stove at low setting and gradually up to medium or medium-high to bring the water to a boil. Allow the water to boil uncovered for 30 minutes.

♦ Then let the water return to room temperature on its own before draining.

♦ For a longer lasting, deeper curing, repeat the greasing, drying, heating and cooling.

♦ During the first few uses, turn up the heat only gradually.


How to Cure New Lids & Griddles

♦ Wash with a sponge or brush in hot water only, and allow to dry thoroughly.

♦ Amply grease all sides of the soapstone lid or griddle, with your choice of cooking oil.

♦ Set in a warm location for at least 24 hours. The oil will be absorbed and the stone will become almost dry.

♦ After that drying time, place it in a cool oven, bring the heat to 350°F, leave it at this setting for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven and allow the lid or griddle to cool on its own.

♦ For a longer lasting, deeper curing, repeat the greasing, drying, heating and cooling.

How to Clean Soapstone

♦ Allow the soapstone to cool to room temperature on its own before cleaning.

♦ Generally, rinsing with a sponge and hot water is sufficient to clean soapstone.

♦ You will usually only need to use detergent when frying or sauténg some foods. Reapply a little oil after using detergent, and after you cook a liquid.

♦ Avoid using abrasive products.