Thursday, February 20, 2014

Life is Sweet with Corning Heat n' Eat

I figured that it was about time that I do a post specifically on the Heat n' Eat line.  They are the saviors of left-overs and a boon to the lunch eaters.  So here are all the lunch time companions.


First, and probably the best known of all the Heat n' Eat line... The 15 oz Grab-it bowl (P-15-B) with it's  Glass lid (P-15-C) released in 1977. (these also had several styles of plastic lids available) At first, these were offered as a porringer to accompany Centura dinnerware, it wasn't long before they hit the Microwave Heat n' Eat line as the ever popular "Grab-It" bowl...  These are the Chili bowls that I grew up with as a child.

The Sidekicks (P-140-B) weren't released until the next year in 1978.  They measure 6 1/2 x 4 1/2, which is just the right size for a couple sticks of Cornbread. (After all, you can't eat chili without a couple of corn sticks on the side now can you?)  Though not really available to the public until '78, these little devils had been "flyin' the friendly skies" for years as airline plates.

The Casser-ette (P-14-B) with a glass lid (P-14-C) entered the area in 1979.  It holds 14 oz of your favorite ready made meal.  I personally love these when I make things like Chicken or Turkey Tetrazzini.  I'll make up several and store them in the freezer.  The only downfall of the P-14 is that no plastic covers were made; or at least none that I have ever seen, so once you have placed the lid on top, you have to wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap if it will be in the freezer for any length of time.

Suddenly there was a disturbing trend sweeping across the United States... People were eating Tomato soup out of their Grab-It bowls, instead of chili. It was utter chaos and pandemonium for the poor Sidekick just wasn't large enough to support a Toasted Cheese sandwich.  Luckily, Corningware Research and Development were on the job and by 1981, the Snack-It plate (P-185-B) appeared.  This 6 inches square and just the right size shoulder the cheese laden burden and peace and harmony were restored to the Western world.

Then the super-size craze began.  Thus in 1982, Corning released the 24 oz Grab-a-Meal bowl (P-240-B), for those who wanted a REALLY big bowl o' chili.  These were only available with glass lids (P-240-C).

As you can see, the Grab-A-Meal bowl is significantly bigger than the original Grab-It.

There were a couple of other pieces that were available here and there.  The Platter/Main Plate (P-811) which was original considered a platter for the Centura Dinnerware line, was also available as of 1977, but I am not sure how long.


There was also the larger Casserole.. as opposed to the Casser-ette.  This 1 1/4 quart round dish (P-270-B) with a glass lid (P-270-C, which also fits the M-225-B) showed up on the scene sometime in the mid 80s, but I have no idea how long it was available either.  This is an excellent Crisp/Crumble pan, if I do say so myself.  It is also an excellent "Casserole for two" dish. (I do not know if this dish has it's "own" plastic lid but the M-225-PC plastic lid fits the P-270-B casserole)


Where is your Corningware??
~~

10 comments:

  1. Shane,
    Are you familiar with Corning's Cook's Choice cookbook? It features some of the Heat n' Eat line above, among other items (like your beloved French White that had just come out.) Only the ones that were available in 1979 when the book was published, such as the grab-its and side-kicks. I was so excited to find out Corning had actually put out a cookbook, that I ordered it right away online.

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  2. Hi Kim. You have brought up a very good point. In fact there are several cookbooks that were written specifically for Corningware. I shall have to write up a post regarding the ones I know of. Thank you for the idea! I love my Chef's Choice cookbook.

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  3. Hi Kim. You have brought up a very good point. In fact there are several cookbooks that were written specifically for Corningware. I shall have to write up a post regarding the ones I know of. Thank you for the idea! I love my Chef's Choice cookbook.

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  4. That would be great! I really love all your information & knowledge on all things vintage CorningWare. I have been meaning to ask you that for awhile... I've been obsessed with finding Corningware brochures and booklets at estate sales, just to to have some "official" Corningware recipes & pics, but didn't know of any actual cookbooks until I stumbled online on this one.

    Btw, I agree with you on microwaving...I will be making the left side "conventional method" recipes, ha ha.

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  5. Again, many thanks for an informative post!!! I bought some of these pieces when they first came out and despite years and years of use, they still look like new. I'm heading to eBay to see if I can fill out my collection. I never knew a couple of these pieces existed since I was forced to buy mine in a - GASP - brick-and-mortar store, limited by their stock on hand...

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  6. Armed with the knowledge you shared in your French White Doppelgänger article, I bought a French White F-1-B souffle dish (like the one your dog! drinks!! from!!!), which meant rearranging my Corning stuff. Serendipity ensued!!! I discovered the lid that came with my French White F-6-B shallow casserole fits the P-811 platter PRECISELY. I've had both pieces since the 80s and I never KNEW this...

    The lid is labeled PYREX DC 1-1/2-C on one long side and A 36 on the other, which tells me it also fits the French White/Bisque/Bleu/Black/whatever divided serving dish and something in the Pyrex line (since A 36 doesn't correspond to a Corning Ware or Centura number that I can find at least).

    I love the interchangeability of Corning - all my 80s' French White pieces (and three Casual Elegance dishes I picked up in the 90s) fit on the "Platinum" serving cradles I've had since the 60s, for example. The various Pyrex lids seem to fit everything, and it's all attractive and none of it EVER wears out. An excellent way to offset the lethality of ballistic missile nose-cone research, IMO...

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  7. You know, it's funny you should mention that. I just recently discovered, by accident I must add, that the newer Casual Elegance lids (from 1994) fit various piece of my French White as well as my Original Buffet Servers from the 60s. Crazy! I had a no idea that there were that many lids that were interchangeable.

    Oh, and because I got curious after your comment and my own discovery... I found that the Pyrex 624-C lid will fit on the 8 inch cake dish (P-321). Not that I really needed a lid for a cake pan, but I thought it was interesting, and kind of funny.

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  8. Is the heat and eat line made out of pyroceram? I'm trying to figure out if I can use them on the stovetop. Thx.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. The Heat n' Eat line was originally made of pyroceram, so they are Stovetop, Oven and Microwave safe. Beware, however; Grab-its and Casser-ettes are still being manufactured by World Kitchen from Stoneware. Make sure your pieces are flat on the bottom with no kiln ring. (Most stoneware versions actually say "no stovetop no broiler" in gray ink on the bottom)

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    2. Yes. The Heat n' Eat line was originally made of pyroceram, so they are Stovetop, Oven and Microwave safe. Beware, however; Grab-its and Casser-ettes are still being manufactured by World Kitchen from Stoneware. Make sure your pieces are flat on the bottom with no kiln ring. (Most stoneware versions actually say "no stovetop no broiler" in gray ink on the bottom)

      Delete