How to Cure a Clay Pot for Cooking


Clay cooking pots are used by many different cultures. Cazuelas and ollas are two types of Mexican clay cookware and the tagine is most well known for its place in North African cuisine. In addition to curing or seasoning a clay pot before using it the first time, some special care must be taken when cooking with clay. Clay is a soft material that must be handled gently. Avoid pouring hot liquids into a cold clay pot (and vice versa) or placing a cold clay vessel into a hot oven. The extreme change in temperature can cause the clay to crack.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Paper towel
  • Olive oil
  • Soak the clay pot in a clean bucket of water for two hours.

  • Remove the pot from the water and dry it thoroughly.

  • Wipe all the unglazed areas of the pot with a paper towel lightly dipped in olive oil. Fill it 3/4 of the way with water. Place the lid on top of the pot.

  • Place the oiled pot on the center rack in a cold oven and turn the heat to 225 degrees. Allow it to bake for 2 to 3 hours, beginning from the time your oven reached the appropriate temperature. Turn off the heat and leave the pot in the oven until it is completely cool.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid using abrasive cleansers or scrubbers to clean your clay pot. They will also remove the layer of seasoning you baked onto the vessel. If food begins to stick to your clay pot, cure it again. If you use your clay pot frequently, plan to cure it once or twice a year.
  • Place a cookie sheet on the rack beneath your clay pot to catch any dripping oil.

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