Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Best Low-Priced China or Tableware


Varmint
 Share

Recommended Posts

I need to buy some new everyday china to replace the crappy IKEA stuff I bought less than two years ago. The IKEA china has developed tons of tiny cracks in the glaze, and when you pull it out of the dishwasher, liquid weeps from the cracks. Needless to say, this is not at all hygienic. Moreover, this stuff has more chips than Lays!

I need to replace this china with something very simple. White, chip-resistant, and inexpensive. I'll probably want 16 place settings of dinner plates and side plates. Bowls are not all that important.

So, what's out there? Where's the best quality for the least money?

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I need to buy some new everyday china to replace the crappy IKEA stuff I bought less than two years ago.  The IKEA china has developed tons of tiny cracks in the glaze, and when you pull it out of the dishwasher, liquid weeps from the cracks.  Needless to say, this is not at all hygienic.  Moreover, this stuff has more chips  than Lays!

I need to replace this china with something very simple.  White, chip-resistant, and inexpensive.  I'll probably want 16 place settings of dinner plates and side plates.  Bowls are not all that important.

So, what's out there?  Where's the best quality for the least money?

Assuming they have plain white, how about Corelle? Got a load of them from a couple garage sales a year or so ago and they do hold up well to getting banged around, unlike our previous set of dishes. They'd get cracks at the edges and I didn't even know how they got there!

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try a restaurant supply company or an on-line one. I picked up a 12 piece set, wide rolled edge, off-white (similar to Buffalo China design) with 12" and 8" plates, 9" soup bowls, and mugs for about $70. They are restaurant ware, so they're very durable.

Try central restaurant supply or ace mart. I've used neither but they seem to have similar products and prices to my favorite store: Peoples Restaurant Supply in Detroit. Plus, all three sell retail. The only downside is that you usually have to purchase in case-quantities although Peoples will break up cases of popular items so might other local supply stores.

Ten minutes later: I apparently haven't looked at those websites in a while. Their prices, while good, are not great especially if you add shipping costs. I'd look for a local store first.

Edited by BeJam (log)

Bode

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I need to buy some new everyday china to replace the crappy IKEA stuff I bought less than two years ago.  The IKEA china has developed tons of tiny cracks in the glaze, and when you pull it out of the dishwasher, liquid weeps from the cracks.  Needless to say, this is not at all hygienic.  Moreover, this stuff has more chips  than Lays!

I need to replace this china with something very simple.  White, chip-resistant, and inexpensive.  I'll probably want 16 place settings of dinner plates and side plates.  Bowls are not all that important.

So, what's out there?  Where's the best quality for the least money?

I have the same problem with my ikea plates, but I hand wash them instead of using a dishwasher (don't have one :angry: ). My dishes have cracks all over them, but they haven't started to leak yet.

I like my crappy ol' white correlle plates because I can throw them in the oven when I need to keep a stack of pancakes warm (for example).

If you live near an asian grocery store you can check out their china section (no pun intended). I have purchased some decent plastic and porcelain bowls from around $2-$5 a piece and they are in much better condition than my ikea plates and bowls.

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dean, in a word, Corelle winter frost white (click). The stuff is readily available (head to k-mart) open stock, so you don't end up with a bunch of mugs or whatever that you don't want. You might not want to shop at k-mart, but they regularly have this stuff on sale, open stock at not much more than the price of paper plates.

To give this stuff credit, last year, the Peter and his buds had a cold weather experiment to do. So, in some bazillion degrees below zero, we left a corelle plate outside. Then, we slicked up the stoop on the bottom of the steps of the deck with a mess of water so it was icy (remember, bazillion degrees below zero -- OK, I exaggerate, and it was only 10+ below), and the boys dropped the plate. Absolutely no damage.

The big deal for me with the Corelle is that the stuff is tuff as iron. It is readily available open stock, so I was able to buy what I wanted -- in my case, just the dinner and luncheon plates. And, you know, food looks good on white plates. BTW, my Mikasa stuff was checkered and weeping within 2 years of purchase.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try Costco. My local warehouse had oversized, white porcelain sets for a very reasonable price. (There are also some online at costco.com, but they look different and are more expensive than the ones at my local store. However, it looks like you can buy the dinner and salad plates without buying a set.) I don't actually know how well they hold up, but the good thing is that Costco will take anything back if it doesn't meet your expectations, even years later, so your risk is pretty low.

I would skip the Chinatown route. My plates and bowls from there seem to chip like crazy, and the plates themselves weren't uniformly made to begin with.

I bought some plain white porcelain dinnerware from Target for my brother to use in the dorms, and I think if I hadn't been pressed for time I would choose something different. For the size, they are very, very heavy. Plus, they have a crappy return policy. Each piece is about $4-5.

Actually, for almost the same price as Target, Williams-Sonoma (online only) has their everyday restaurant line. You can buy plates only. Again, I haven't tried it, but they also have a fantastic return policy. Since they are so expensive on most things, I don't feel guilty returning stuff years later that didn't meet my expectations , and I have never had a problem doing so.

I bought some plates at Crate and Barrel outlet about 5 years ago, and the porcelain stuff has held up to daily use without a single chip or crack. I was surprised. I always thought Crate and Barrel was more about looks than quality. The stoneware stuff has not fared so well though. It was all on clearance even at the outlet, so each piece was about $1-2.

I've never owned Corelle (not a fan of the shape) but it seemed like growing up half of my friends' moms had it, and I can't recall a single chip or crack in any of the pieces. In fact, I remember weirdly thinking that they felt like they could... bounce, or something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Corelle does bounce...the first 20 or 30 times you drop them, then one day for no reason they shatter into billions of little shards. That being said if I was getting new daily dishes I would probabley get them.

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's another vote for Corelle - not merely for its durability (I have had mine for so long I don't even remember when I got it) but for its lightness - I really notice this when I am at other peoples' homes and have to lift a stack of plates - WOW - you really need your Wheaties. It takes up a lot less space in the cupboard.

I have the dinner, luncheon and side plates and a couple of large platters. The cups, mugs, bowls etc., I don't bother with as I am not fond of the shapes. The plain white coordinates beautifully with other dinnerware so I have different bowls, etc.

As someone else mentioned upthread, it's not totally indestructible but darn near.

I am always amused to hear it described as "cheap looking" when I know people who seek out the thinnest, most translucent bone china and pay loads for it and yet Corelle has that same thin translucent quality and it's considered a fault. :raz::biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I absolutely LOVE my Crate & Barrel plain white "buffet" plates :wub: --I use them for every day and for dinner parties. They're oversized (12"?), food looks lovely on them, and they're about $7 apiece (there's a discount if you buy them by the half-dozen). I also love that I can mix and match them with other C&B pieces... I've got the triangle plates which I adore for trios of small desserts, the rectangular plates for salads, bowls, various small plates/dishes for butter, salt, and sauces.

I agree about Correlle. While I love the idea of them, I think they look plastic-y and kind of cheap. But maybe I need to give them another chance.

Cost Plus often has open stock plates that look pretty good and are inexpensive, but I haven't bought any so I don't know if they hold up any better than IKEA.

PS: I probably should post this in the actual thread, but I've been meaning to thank you for exhaustively documenting your kitchen remodel. It was absolutely amazing and I'm using many of your ideas/sources in my effort to convince my husband that we should embark on our own remodel! :biggrin:

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Corelle does bounce...the first 20 or 30 times you drop them, then one day for no reason they shatter into billions of little shards. That being said if I was getting new daily dishes I would probabley get them.

tracey

so eventually they do break/chip? I thought they were indestructible?

Edited by SheenaGreena (log)
BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I've thought of Corelle, I always thought it looked so darned cheap.  I need to take a first-hand look at the winter frost white.

I think they look kind of cheap too. I think it's a combination of the light weight and the shape. However, Corelle seems to be trying to address that:

http://www.corelle.com/index.asp?pageId=75

I am intrigued enough that I might actually go hunt these down in a store and check them out in person.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought a set of Ikea's 365+ china about 4-5 years ago and I have been very happy with it.

It's plain white, nicely shaped and light. I have a small household so perhaps it does not have the same wear and tear that larger family might, but so far no chips and it still looks almost new. I do use a dishwasher.

This product is very different from stoneware dishes that I have had. Stoneware tends to show scratches and knife marks, the glaze breaks down and it does tend to chip around the edges.

I like Corelle too, for everyday dishes. If you go to the Corelle website you can see some of the interesting options (like the Square line) and patterns that are available.

Pamela Fanstill aka "PamelaF"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi There-

One really inexpensive way to get luxe on a budget is to find an auction house that works with family estates. You would be surprised at the level of china that goes for a song because no one wants it. Often its a complete set with accessories that you just dont see anymore. Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree about auction houses--a great source for dinnerware--also thrift stores--if you decide on white you can pick up different pieces of white china as you find it--sometimes you'll get lucky and find a whole crate of dinnerware--I go a complet service for 12 of Denby stoneware in a funky 70s pattern for $30 at a thrift store.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Corelle will break or chip eventually, but it takes a lot of abuse. I've had the basic white set for about 15 years, my Mom has had the ones with the little green flowers for over 20. Once in a while I'll see a chip on the side of a plate. I made the mistake of putting one on a not-cooled-down burner a few years ago and had a spectacular explosion of razor sharp slivers. It's a good idea to give them a looking-over when you take them out of the dishwasher (or off the dish rack).

The beauty is, they're cheap, you can find them in open stock (find a Corning or Revere outlet store, they'll be there), and if something actually sticks to the surface you can hit it with a scrubbie without damaging it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to repeat a suggestion above - go to a restaurant supply house. They do have great prices on many things, including dishes and glassware. I've bought a lot of things from them and never have been disappointed in the quality.

Even if you choose not to fill this current quest for dishes via a local restaurant supply house, you still should familiarize yourself with them. Any average-sized town probably will have at least two restaurant supply stores, perhaps even three. Every serious cook should know what these stores offer and be familiar with their product lines.

For example, I don't like using paper plates when I entertain, so I bought 48 small glass plates to use on the appetizer table. Because they're glass, they go with everything. They're neatly stacked into two small boxes and stored away between parties. I think I paid 49 cents per plate for them.

And regarding Corelle - Add me to the list of folks that are not crazy about Corelle in most circumstances. I just don't care for the feel of it. But that said, I have to add that it definitely does have a place in our lives. We own an RV and when it came time to stock its kitchen, we never considered anything but Corelle. It's extremely lightweight and durable, so it works in the RV. We also take it with us when we go camping and that kind of thing.

But in my home, my 'everyday' dishes must do double-duty for informal entertaining, and I personally just don't care for Corelle under those circumstances.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've ultimately decided to ask family members to give us gift certificates to Crate & Barrel for Christmas. I really like their basic white "Elements" china, which is moderately inexpensive. With about $300 in gift certificates, I can really stock up in the kitchen. I was desperate to get something immediately, but my wife reminded me yesterday that this is about the time we pull out our Christmas-decor china, which we'll use for the next month or so. Thus, we can wait until those gift cards come in! I'll then wait for a C&B sale and get what I want.

I actually went and looked at the Corelle, and it just has that cheap glass look and feel. I'm just enough of a snob where I couldn't deal with it in my kitchen. Oh, well!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another vote for C&B porcelain (and likewise, I'm not generally a fan). It's relatively cheap, looks great and mine has held up like a champ (including a trans-Atlantic move). We use it every day, dishwasher, etc.

This is the set I bought.

I'll also mention that I've bought a bunch of other stuff at restaurant supply stores and if I needed to reload on everyday dishes, etc; I'd almost certainly start there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've got Corningware's Just White and love it.

I checked out the C&B Elements selection and have one thing I would offer up from our experience with over-sized dinner plates: make sure that they fit well in your dishwasher. In our new dishwasher, I have to fill some of the spots with either small plates or pot lids to make a channel for the hangie-down-thingie that holds the twirlie arm whatzit. Of course, if you don't cater to your OCD like I do, this may not be an issue for you ... :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've ultimately decided to ask family members to give us gift certificates to Crate & Barrel for Christmas.  I really like their basic white "Elements" china, which is moderately inexpensive.  With about $300 in gift certificates, I can really stock up in the kitchen. 

I actually went and looked at the Corelle, and it just has that cheap glass look and feel.  I'm just enough of a snob where I couldn't deal with it in my kitchen.  Oh, well!

Oh all right, be that way! :wink:

I did take a look at your link-- that does look like nice dinnerware. I was a bit intrigued though, by part of their description---"The salad plate...or use as a cover in the microwave-safe. " Talk about a multi-tasker! Mine only heats up stuff!

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've had four of the C&B bowls for years and love them. They look as good today as when we first got them 5+ years ago. Forunately, our dishwasher racks move up and down, so we'll have plenty of room.

Christmas can't come soon enough!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...