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18 Responses to Food Tastes Best When Cooked in Clay Pots

    • The line I prefer are the artesian pots from Columbia, la Chamba; they’re lovely and sturdy (the USA line that I’m aware of is not durable). Of course, you may get one from a potter and that will be pricy.

  1. What a lovely website with so much useful information, thank you Rebecca!

    I am very much looking forward to cooking in unglazed clay pots, but I was wondering – can all unglazed clay pots be used for cooking (I mean slow, long-term cooking – as in making a stew or beans?) Or do the cooking pots need to be baked/seasoned first by the craftsman in a certain way?

    I come from a country where unglazed clay pots are very affordable (unlike in the U.S., unfortunately), however, most craftsmen I have spoken to there insist that the glazing process is crucial in making the pot usable for cooking. And yet, it is precisely in the glaze that harmful ingredients can be found and released in the food. I really would like to resolve this conundrum!

    • Some clay vessels, like stoneware or an unglazed flower pot, can be used for baking, but cannot be used for stove-top cooking. Glazes are problematic if they contain lead but if they contain no toxins, they’re fine for culinary use. A reputable pot maker will provide you with information about his/her glaze. Hope this helps.

      • Thank you Rebecca!
        It is good to learn that not all glazes can be problematic. It is just so difficult to obtain this information from pot makers – not that they would want to conceal it, it is just that they do not necessarily test the glaze for toxins.

        In the meantime, I found out something else interesting that I thought maybe your readers could find useful. Apparently there is a middle ground between unglazed (=not suitable for stove-top), and glazed pots (=potentially carrying toxins) – it is the Terra-sigillata finish – apparently a mix of clay and water that seals the pots and serves a similar role as a glaze. This technique is used to make Miriam’s earthenware clay pots which they claim can be used on stove top.

        • Thanks, Polly. And as USA glazes do NOT contain lead that potential problem is only for antique or imported pots.

  2. Is there one method of seasoning that will work well for all glazed clay/ceramic pots? Some suggest covering only the bottom of the pot with any type of milk and simmering it for 5 minutes…but I’ve seen various other instructions. Also, what is the purpose of seasoning?

  3. After learning about La Chamba clay pots from your site some time ago, I purchased two and love them. However, since the black color is achieved by smoking the clay, I wonder if the blackness on the interior slowly comes off over time into the food, because it is probably carcinogenic, as most burned/smoked/charred things are. Your thoughts?

  4. Great Website with a lot of useful information.
    Question: how do we know that the clay has not been contaminated with toxic waste? la Chamba, for instance, comes from Colombia. Is the area where the clay was mined clean?

  5. Recently I was gifted with a La Chamba clay cooking pot, and I found your web site because I was looking for information about it. As another long-time whole-foods-cooking enthusiast, I’m thrilled to learn about you. I look forward to reading more of your pages.

  6. Hi Rebecca. I discovered your website a few days ago. Thank you for your dedication to health, healing, and teaching. How lovely!

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