Using the best clay vessels for cooking is an excellent idea for healthy food preparation. These traditional pots come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, making them practical and attractive to any kitchen. They have been used for cooking since prehistoric times, and their shape and size can make them great display pieces. This article will explore the advantages of using a clay pot in your kitchen, from healthy cooking to display-worthy items.
Romertopf manufactures the best clay cookers. It has clay pots ranging in size from 1.5 quarts (which carries 3.3 pounds of food) to 7.3 quarts (which can fit up to 18 pounds of food). The extra-large size is ideal for entire roasting turkeys. Some clay pots are unglazed and have a top lid and a bottom half. Older Romertopf clay cooker models are unglazed, but newer ones feature a glass coating on the bottom half to make cleanup easier.
What is Exactly a Clay Vessel?
A type of pot widely used to prepare sauces, stews, eggs, potatoes, vegetables, meat, poultry, and fish dishes. Meals can be cooked in clay pots with moist heat, which comes from both the juices of the foods as they cook and moisture added to the porous clay. Cooking with moisture allows foods to be prepared without the need for large amounts of fats, oils, and salts.
Black or red clay pots, terra cotta pots, cazuelas, sand pots, and tagines are some of the numerous varieties of clay pots. Although the shapes, proportions, and clay composition vary, the goals are often the same. Each pot has its manner of steaming, baking, and preparing food items. Several well-known manufacturers produce clay cooking pans. Their pots, such as Romertopf or Schlemmertopf pots, became generically known by their brand name.
On the inside bottom, partially glazed or unglazed clay pots are available. Fully glazed pots do not absorb moisture or food tastes, allowing the moisture to stay in the meal while it cooks. Because clay is a porous substance, if the pot is not wholly glazed, it will absorb moisture and odors. Pots with trim or no glazing are often saturated with water before cooking by immersing them in a cold-water bath for 10 to 15 minutes.
Different Types of Clay Pots
There are three types of clay pots:
Earthenware pots are manufactured from clay that has been molded and heated in a specific way. Earthenware is one of the earliest types of pottery and is still popular due to its low cost and convenience of use, despite not being as durable as stoneware.
Porcelain cookware is a burning pot and pans with a smooth, clean, durable glass coating. This type of cookware is available in several appealing colors.
Stoneware is porous pottery fired at high temperatures to render it liquid-resistant. It is long-lasting and constructed of clay.
The Advantages of Using the Best Clay Vases for Cooking
Clay pots are inexpensive and readily available, but they also have various health benefits. So, without further ado, let’s look at the seven advantages of using clay pots for cooking and see if we can make the switch:
Retains Nutritional Value
This is one of the most significant advantages of using clay pots for cooking. It is scientifically proven that due to the holes present in Clay pots which manage the heat and moisture during the cooking process, the nutritious value of the food remains at 100 percent. Other utensils, such as Alumminuimware, have a nutritious value of only 7- 13 percent.
Adds Up Minerals to Food
Clayware has over 16 natural minerals that are helpful to one’s health and are missing in a large portion of the population today. Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese, in the proper amounts, are among these nutrients. As a result, cooking with clay pots will increase the mineral content of your food, making it healthier. It also aids in the prevention of conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, and cancer.
Neutralizes the Acidic Value
One of the health benefits of using clay pots for cooking is that they are alkaline, which helps to neutralize the acidic value of food, reducing stomach irritation and digestive issues.
Keeps Bacteria Away
Food (lentil) cooked in a clay pot survived a 36-hour non-air-conditioned train trip on a hot day without losing its nutritious value, according to an experiment conducted in a government laboratory. Because clay inhibits the growth of certain bacteria, its utensils work as a barrier, keeping microorganisms from ruining your food.
Uses Less Oil
As it absorbs the oil, clay has the quality of being a natural absorbent. Clay pots will naturally retain all of the oils and moisture of food after 2–3 uses, so you won’t need extra oil or fat to keep your food moist, resulting in healthier cuisine.
Makes Food More Delicious
You’ve probably heard the adage that the lower the flame, the better the cuisine. One of the many advantages of clay pots for cooking is that the inherent aroma of clay and the slow cooking procedure clayware requires producing meals with ten times greater taste than other cookware.
Seasoning a Clay Pot
If you correctly season your pot, it will become resilient and endure long. However, without sufficient seasoning, the pot is at risk of cracking. Seasoning can be done in a few different ways.
Immerse the new Clay pot in a large vessel full of water for 48 hours, then scrub the mud off the inside with a scrubber. Allow for a couple of hours of drying time. The pot is now ready to use.
What are the Disadvantages of Clay Pot?
Here are some disadvantages of clay pot:
- When clay pots are subjected to heat, they might crack. When slow cooking in a clay pot, you must watch the temperature. If the heat distribution is uneven, the pot’s sides will shatter. As a result, maintaining a consistent temperature is critical! Cooking in a clay pot can be exhausting due to its delicate nature.
- Unlike ceramic cookware, clay pots cannot be cleaned similarly. Furthermore, soap will not remove the food residue. If you do, the food residue will be polluted, and the soap will soak and linger in the pores. Your slow-cooked food might taste soapy.
- Clay pots have traditionally served as a symbol of traditional cooking. However, when producing tasty curries, clay pot cooking may be a challenge.
- Cooking in clay pots should be done with caution because they heat up quickly and burn your hands. However, it cools down quickly. As a result, keep your kids out of the kitchen when you’re cooking with clay pots.
What Temperature to Cook at Clay Pot?
Start cooking on the stovetop on low heat and gradually increase the temperature, aiming for medium or lower heat. A sudden change in temperature causes cracking.
A heated clay pot should never be placed on a cold or cool surface because it will crack. When removing it from the oven, always lay a hot pot on a wood/heat-resistant trivet or a cloth.
The oven does not need to be warmed when cooking in it. And instead, place the clay pot in a cold oven and gradually raise the temperature. If your mud pot is burned in a high flame, it is best to destroy it and replace it with a new one because the same fragrance will pervade all subsequent foods cooked in the same pot.
How to Clean Clay Vessels?
Clay cannot be cleaned with soap or regular dishwashing detergent since it is porous. The soap will seep into the clay and leach into your next dish cooked in the pot. Instead, a clay pot must be cleaned with hot water and a firm brush. If you’ve cooked with onions and garlic, baking soda can help you get rid of the odors. Rock salt in a scrub pad can be used to remove stubborn stains. Fill the kettle halfway with hot water and set aside for 30 minutes. Remove the water and wash it once more. If you want to use your pots for both savory and sweet dishes and have storage space, you should buy two pots so that any absorbed flavors do not affect the flavor of your recipe.
Clay pots of the highest quality can be found all over the world. Like the traditional donabe in Ethiopia, a clay pot is typically used for cooking long stews. These pots are usually fashioned of shake, which means clay in Amharic, and feature handles on the base and cover. Ethiopians even think that food cooked in pottery tastes better. Choose to acquire one of these pots if you’re seeking the most excellent pots for cooking. If you want a pot that is both practical and beautiful, consider an unglazed pot. These pots are ideal for adding a stylish touch to your kitchen. They are a lovely addition to any home. Clay is an excellent cooking material because its porous structure helps meals retain flavor and minerals. Warm water should be used to hand-wash these pots. Clay pots can also be used as ornamental pieces in the kitchen.