Published June 1, 2009. From Cook's Country.
Slip, rip, buckle, and spill. Can any paper plate take the heat and the weight?
Come summer, meals head outdoors—and so does your tableware. But paper plates can spell trouble. Some are so flimsy you have to use several stacked together. Others become sodden or even rip when you cut into barbecued chicken or grilled steak. Newfangled paper plates with soak-proof shields and cut-resistant surfaces promise a less eventful dining experience. The name, by the way, is a misnomer: These days, disposable plates may be made from crushed stone, sugarcane fibers, clay, even potatoes and corn. (That’s the plate, not the meal.) Whatever the material, we wanted something large enough to hold food without crowding, strong enough to not buckle, substantial enough to keep moisture and grease at bay, and tough enough to prevent knives from shredding it. We put seven brands to the test.