Monday, December 9, 2013

The Corningware Menuette - Quartet or Duette?

In 1966, Corning released the Menuette set....

Originally only a trio, the set consisted of a 6 1/2 inch skillet, a 1 pint and a 1 1/2 pint pans.  At the time, these were a revolution in Corning, for all of these pans had permanent handles sticking out of their sides.

The P-81-B with P-81-C lid.... 1 Pint (2 cup/16 oz)

The P-82-B with P-81-C lid... 1 1/2 Pints (3 cup/24 oz)

The P-83-B with P-83-C lid... 6 1/2 inch Skillet... (which is perfect for steam-basting eggs BTW)

Then, in 1978 (though one source claims it was 1971), there was a newcomer that stormed onto the scene....  the P-89-B, again with a P-81-C lid.  My assumption is that the decision was made to add this little guy to the product line since the 1 quart Saucemaker (P-55/P-64) production ended in 1978.  The 2 quart model (P-65) left the scene in 1970. This new saucepan is significantly smaller than 1 or 2 quarts, that is for sure.

This dapper fellow was really a P-82-B with a molded spout on one side.

This had an effect on the amount the P-89 could hold, reducing it's capacity to a mere 1 1/4 Pints (2 1/2 cups/20 oz).  Right smack dab in between the P-81 and the P-82.

And the Trio becomes a "Quartet".....  1 Pint, 1 1/4 pint and 1 1/2 pint saucepans with a 6 1/2 inch skillet.

Though technically, the P-89 was never sold as a "menuette", it was paired with the 6 1/2 skillet (P-83) and sold as a "Duette" set.

Menuette/Duettes were available in, what I like to call, the "legacy patterns", being the 60s & 70s.  So be on the lookout for good old Blue Cornflower, seen above, and Spice O' Life, Floral Bouquet, Country Festival, Wildflower as well as the Blue and Green Macrame made for Shell Oil and the Blue Snowflake/Five Pointed Star design made for American Oil.  (Sorry, no Black Trefoil, Renaissance, Platinum Filagree or Natures Bounty)  There are even some of the Christmas designs done in the individual pieces from menuettes, but not as a whole set. (sad)

The "menuettes" as a whole disappeared from the market in about 1983. However, when Corning released the RangeTop line (as opposed to current "Stovetop" line or the late 70's "Rangetoppers" - This is another post) they included a .5 Liter saucepan... basically the P-81-B along with the 1.5 & 2.5 liter saucepans.  It received a new designation as the S-81-B...   So far I have seen Shadow Iris, Pastel Bouquet, Country Cornflower and Peach Floral which places the designation switch to about 1983.

To make matters more confusing, the P-81 showed up again in the Peony pattern that was available in 1989, then it disappeared again.

Where is your Corningware??


  1. I have these and love them all. I received them when I married in March 1970. Love them then and love them now.

  2. Mine says for Range & Microwave. Does that mean it cannot go into the freezer, oven or dishwasher? I am new to Corning Ware. It is a P-82-B. Thank you for any help.

    1. "Range" is an older term that is inclusive of both Oven and Stove top. As far as freezer and dishwasher usage, of course. All Vintage Corning Ware can be used in the freezer and tossed in the dishwasher. :)