Clay Pot Cooking - An Ancient Method for Modern Cooking
Clay Pot Cooking
Modern Cooking with an Ancient Method
Clay Pot Cooking is an ancient method of cooking which uses an unglazed clay pot that has been soaked in water. This time tested method of cooking is responsible for producing some of the most delectable and delicious food available all while maintaining its nutritional value.
The porous nature of the clay pot allows hot air and moisture to combine within the pot and thoroughly cook the food in a process similar to steaming. This method allows the food to absorb and cook in its own juices, ensuring a nutritious, healthy and very tasty meal.
Now, more than ever, many of us are trying to embrace healthy eating and this old-fashioned cooking method is steadily gaining in popularity. It is ideal for making one-pot meals and roasting meat.
And if losing weight is your goal, you will find cooking with a clay pot to be an excellent accompaniment to your weight loss program. This is a delicious and healthy way to prepare low-fat meals.
Clay Pot Cooking
A Delicious Clay Pot Meal
Easy Chicken Recipe
Cooking Chicken in a Clay Pot
In clay pot cooking, meat or poultry is roasted with a very small amount of liquid. This method of cooking produces meat with the tenderness of a braised dish and the flavor of roasting. Typically most of the cooking is done with the lid on, but if you want to brown and crisp the meat you can remove the cover when the food is almost done. A short time with the cover off will allow your meat or poultry to crisp up and brown nicely without losing the benefits of the clay pot method.
The first time you use your Clay Pot, you’ll want to be sure to wash it thoroughly in warm water. Do not use soap or detergent. Prior to each use, completely immerse the pot and lid in tepid water for about 30 minutes. The pot will absorb a considerable amount of water, which forms the main part of the steaming process. For later uses, you’ll only need to soak the pot for about 15 minutes.
Clay Pot Cookers and Cookbooks
Schlemmertopf Classic Clay Cooker, Large - Provides healthy cooking options and comes with an instruction book and cook book.
Traditional Clay Pot Cooking
Using Your Clay Pot for Cooking
Tips for using your Clay Pot:
- Always soak the pot in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes before using.
- Never put a clay pot in a pre-heated oven. The sudden temperature change will crack your pot.
- Bake at high temperatures (400 to 475 degrees F). This will allow the moisture that has saturated the clay pot to turn to slowly turn into steam, an important element in clay pot cooking.
- Clay pot cooking requires no added fats.
- Do NOT place a hot clay pot on a cold surface, it will crack. When taking your pot out of the oven, place it on a wooden board, trivet or potholder.
- Never use a clay pot on top of the stove.
- Add liquids sparingly. The food you are cooking will release liquid and you don’t want to pot to overflow.
- Clay pots retain heat and will continue to cook after you take it out of the oven.
What to Cook in your Clay Pot
When cooking with a clay pot, food is cooked with steam and at high temperatures. Some dishes are particularly well suited to this method of cooking.
- Vegetable ragouts and ratatouille
- Baked potatoes
- Whole chickens, Cornish Hens and Ducks
- Stews and casseroles
- Baked pasta dishes
- Fruit cobblers
- Whole grain breads - Bread baked in a clay pot produces a crispy crust with a tender, moist interior.
Cooking with Your Clay Pot:
Almost any recipe can be adapted for clay pot cooking.
The temperature of the oven needs to be higher than you would normally cook your meal and will generally take longer. Of course, one reason for this is because you’re starting from a cold oven. Another factor is that the clay will not get as hot as the pans you’re accustomed to using. When adjusting your recipes for use in a clay pot, you’ll want to increase the oven temperature by approximately 105 degrees and add about 20 – 30 minutes to the cooking time.
How to Clean and Care for your Clay Pot:
Do not wash your clay pot with soap. The clay is porous and will absorb the soap. Wash with warm water and use a brush or nylon scrubber and baking soda to remove any baked-on food.
Do not wash your clay pot in the dishwasher.
After use, store the pot with the lid alongside it rather than on top. This will allow air to circulate. If the pot is not completely dry when put the pot away and the lid is on, it will form a seal. This could cause mold to form on the inside.
If you cook fish or any other strong-flavored ingredients, you may need to give your pot extra soaking to get rid of the flavors absorbed into the porous clay.
With time, your clay pot will darken and develop a patina. This is normal.
A pot that is properly cared for will last for decades and provide many years of enjoyable service.
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