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Benefits of cooking in clay pots

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The earthenware had once been an intrinsic part of the Indian household. In olden days earthenware was used for cooking purposes and storing water in the earthen ware known as kalash for it keeps the water cool. Let us see what are the benefits of cooking in clay pots.

  • Clay pots prove good for slow cooking as their porous nature allows both moisture and heat to circulate easily through them. This helps in even, slow and delicate cooking. Roasts and stews are cooked well in earthen pots. Storage of water in earthenware allows the heat from the water to escape thereby keeping the water cool.

  • Clay being alkaline in nature helps in neutralising the pH balance of the food by interacting with the acid present in the food. Foods that are naturally acidic will acquire some natural sweetness. Acids in foods like tomatoes when cooked in earthen pots give the food a wonderful taste.

How to use your earthenware:

  • Gradual rise in temperature: Use earthen cookware only for cooking where the temperature rise takes place gradually. Sudden rise or fall of the temperature make lead to its cracking. Use a skillet to sauté ingredients before adding it to the pot.

  • Avoid adding cold water: Never add broth or cold water into an earthen pot that is already heated.

  • Earthenware alone in the dishwasher: If you are using the dishwasher for washing the glazed, earthenware do not put in other cookware with it. The rubbing may cause scratches on the earthenware.

  • Avoid scratchy powdered cleaners: The scratchy powdered cleaner for cleaning your earthenware. Use only a mild soap.

  • Soak the unglazed earthenware: To removed food items stuck to your unglazed earthenware, simply soak it in water without detergent. The detergent might be absorbed by the earthenware and prove poisonous while being used the next time.

 

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19 Comments

  1. Hi Smita, Thanks for this well written article, I was online learning this fascinating method of cooking when i came across your website. Thanks for all the useful information. I got myself a set of MEC pure clay cookware and have been using it for the past 2 week and am liking it so far. The concept is really neat and the food tastes amazing. My only concern was the sourcing of the clay and this company, (i think MEC stands for Miriams Earthen cookware) tests its clay and is guaranteed to be pure. I am a geologist and i know that 100% natural clay is one of the safest ingredients in nature but i was a little apprehensive anyway because of industrial tailing. With all the useful information on their website however I’ve been reassured. Thanks again for this additionally useful article.

    • I was totally unaware of all the benefits that comes with the un-glazed pure clay cookware/clay cooking. Thanks to your post I am now getting to know about it. I wanted to replace some of my old cookware and was online searching for the healthy ones and stumbled upon your website. Its very interesting to know about Clay cooking which is the oldest form of cooking food. I’m going to try some pots from Miriam’s earthen cookware (thanks to Andriea found the place to buy them). Will let you know how it goes. 

      • Glad to know that you have started using clay utensils, but just to let you know in India we have great quality clay utensils for cooking alongwith many other items made out of clay which are durable and can be used in kitchen ware.

        And the best thing is the cost, they are very inexpensive compared to what you get in the west. I am a wholesale dealer in such items and you can definitely get what you want, infact even start some import business if you wish.

        Cheers.
        [email protected]

    • Hi andriea,

      Glad to know that you have started using clay utensils, but just to let you know in India we have great quality clay utensils for cooking alongwith many other items made out of clay which are durable and can be used in kitchen ware.

      And the best thing is the cost, they are very inexpensive compared to what you get in the west. I am a wholesale dealer in such items and you can definitely get what you want, infact even start some import business if you wish.

      Cheers.
      [email protected]

  2. Hi Andriea, Glad you liked my article 🙂 I’ll be coming up with more similar stories in coming days. Keep reading & keep sharing. Do let me know if you require any help, I would be happy to help.

  3. HI Smita, Thank you for writing this article and giving us the importance of cooking in clay pot. I tried doing using clay pot gas top but the pot cracked. I tried again with different clay pot and again it cracked. Then on my search I came across of Ceramic pot made completely out of clay and they can completely safe on gas top. Can you please look into these clay pots and send me your comments. After using these pots I am completely happy. These pots does not need careful attention like slow cooking, sudden cooling as you mentioned in your article. Link to the details of ceramic cookwares is given below.

    • Hi Mithun, ceramic cookware is not the same as pure clay. It has a whole bunch of chemicals including some really dangerous ones like k-feldspar, talcs and petalite (an ore of lithium). And in most cases it needs to be glazed. And glazes have their own share of toxins. Contrary to popular belief, clay pots are real easy to cook in, there is a way to cooking in them: they do have to be seasoned 1st and once seasoned they work real well and are a much safer and healthier alternative to ceramic ware that is loaded with chemicals. One useful website when I started cooking in pure clay was: pureclaypots.com, all the info there was very helpful. Hope this helps. Thanks Smitha for this nice article.

  4. Thank you Mithun & Jamie for your feedback ! We will be coming up with more such article on where you can buy these online. Thanks everyone for your interest 🙂 keep reading & sharing !

    • Hi Smita,
      Thank you for propagating the benefits of cooking in pure clay pots. We at TheSustainableEra are also doing the same.
      I believe that it will not only help gain healthy benefits but it will also help local pot-maker to generate his living. It may help minimize migration to urban area. We have been using clay-pot since 2 years now and the food simply tastes natural.

  5. thanks a lot for your valuable suggestion about Earthen ware product, actually i am a lover of earthenware product.

    thanks a lot again

  6. can any tell me what to do with new clay pot before using it for first time cooking?
    with what meterials i have to clean the clay pots?

    • Hi All,

      We still at my village cook daal in clay pot on firewood or on Upali ( dried cowdung cake). without any spices it tastes great.

      New Pots are soaked about 2 to 3 days in water and then they are put on low fire about a or 2. later they enter regular cooking

      Vidya

      • I stay in bangalore and am originally from Bengal. I know lots of people use clay and I want to too. Don’t know where to buy one from

    • It’s very useful article. May u Pls give some more details regarding its benifits and hazards of using aluminium cookware. It would be very helpful to me.

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