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Gifts for Cooks - Tajine Cooking Pots

Updated on November 16, 2015
My Tajine and tagine pot
My Tajine and tagine pot | Source

Ever owned a tagine pot? How would you rate it?

Cast your vote for Tajine cooking pots

Welcome To My Tajine Gift Guide!

A tajine pot must be one of the most elegant and authentic gifts for cooks and great Christmas gifts. And one of the most useful for cooks and non-such-keen-cooks alike. So what exactly is a Tagine?

Tajines, sometimes spelled Tagines, are sometimes simple unglazed pots to extravagantly decorative glazed pots from North Africa, Morocco and Tunisia that are traditionally used to cook one-pot dishes of meats, vegetables and fruit.

Tajine cooking pots come in a range of sizes and materials but they all have the same sculptural shape. They cook the food beautifully and you can serve directly onto the table, giving your dinner that exotic touch. Tajines are quick and easy to prepare saving time and energy. Think of all that washing up you don't have to do when you prepare your one-pot tajine dinner!

Emile Henry Tajines are Classic - For every sale from Amazon on this page, Squidoo donates $1 to Room to Read

Emile Henry Flame Top 3.7 Quart Tagine, Red
Emile Henry Flame Top 3.7 Quart Tagine, Red

Made of Burgundy clay, can be used directly on a gas flame or an electric or halogen hob without a diffuser, without any fear of cracking or breaking.

Oven, broiler, and microwave safe: Flame top pieces can go directly from a freezer or refrigerator, to a hot oven, to the table.

3.7 Quart capacity is perfect for brazing, heat conduction and for slow, natural cooking- You won't soon forget the delightful flavors, vegetables and fall-off-the-bone meats cooked in this Tagine.

Up to 30% lighter than many types of comparable metal cookware

Easy clean up: dishwasher safe

 

What is a Tajine? - And What is a Tagine pot?

A traditional tagine is a glazed or unglazed heavy clay pot used in north Africa; Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Lybia. The Tagine consists of a shallow, circular dish with flat base, and a tall, conical top with a knob-shaped handle on top which is designed to circulate steam back to the bottom of the pot and into the cooking food. Originally the food was cooked in an unglazed pot on an open, wood fire and then transferred to a highly decorative pot which would be placed on the table.

You can also buy tagines in a variety of other materials: with heavy cast iron bottoms that can be fired on a stovetop at high heat, so that you can brown the meat and vegetables before cooking. (The traditional tajine can be put into the oven, but is designed to be used on the top of the stove and to cook the food slowly at a low temperature), and even electric tajines.

Colorful, traditional earthernware Tagine pots

A colourful group of tagine pots on sale in Saint Junien, Limousin, France
A colourful group of tagine pots on sale in Saint Junien, Limousin, France | Source

Do You Really Need a Tagine Cooking Pot?

Tajine vs Casserole

Do I really need a tajine pot to cook a tajine?

I'm so against wasting money on useless gadgets that I cast my eye over all my 'normal' cooking pots, saucepans, casseroles, Dutch ovens or whatever you call them, and wondered if I really needed yet another pot to cook those delicious, fragrant, oriental dishes. I carried out an experiment with a borrowed tajine pot. Take a look and see what conclusion I came to.

A Tajine Pot for Every Occasion

Unglazed Tagines

The authentic version

The authentic tajines were unglazed earthenware pots. These traditional tagines were used only for cooking the food and were not put onto the table. While many people think this is the only tajine worth buying and the only one that gives the food that unique tajine flavour, it's a shame not to be able to wow your guests with these exotic beauties! The answer to this is to buy a serving tagine as well. (See below for some little goodies).

Large Unglazed Tajine - Who says size doesn't matter?

This is the real thing! Handmade in Morocco you can rest assured that everything is above board, this tagine is fair trade. It's free from lead and cadmium.

Large Beldi Unglazed Cooking Tagine

This tagine needs to be seasoned before first use. This process ensures long life and strength and adds a typical earthy tagine flavor to your cooking. It can be used on stove top (up to low-med heat) as well as in the oven (up to 350F). The beldi tagine is hand wash only. All Our tagines are food Safe! All our tagines are lead and cadmium free! Dimensions: 14"w x 8"h

Source

Why Choose Glazed Tajines for Cooking and Serving?

Glazes make your tajines look amazing

The glazed earthenware tajines designed for cooking should be able to withstand an oven temperature of up to 400°F and you should also be able to put them on top of the stove, albeit at a low temperature in some cases. The glazes can cover all surfaces except sometimes the bottom of the base can be left unglazed, as is the bottom lip of the chimney, and the top indentation in the chimney.

In some ceramic pots you'll notice a crackling effect, a network of tiny cracks in the glaze. This is normal.

Always check that the tajine is dishwasher-proof unless you don't mind washing it by hand. There is a wide variation on specifications so always read the small print to make sure that your tajine meets your needs.

Image: Tajines at Les Trois Chenes bed and breakfast, Limousin, S W France

Glazed Cooking Tagines - From oven to table

This Tunisian tajine is handmade and hand-painted by artisans in the Le Souk Ceramique studio, Nabeul, Tunisia.

Each piece is individual. It is safe to put it on the stove, but keep the temperature low - a diffuser is recommended. Not dishwasher or mircowave safe.

Have a look at this one on Amazon.com - really pretty but, sorry, no link and no picture due to new HubPages rules! Hope you find it - Le Souk Ceramique Cookable Tagine, 12-Inch, Black and White Sabrine Design

This Tunisian tajine is handmade and hand-painted by artisans in the Le Souk Ceramique studio, Nabeul, Tunisia.

Each piece is individual. It is safe to put it on the stove, but keep the temperature low - a diffuser is recommended. Not dishwasher or microwave safe.

Glazed Tajines for Serving Only

Exotic table décor

They look beautiful, they look exotic but don't make the mistake of putting these little lovelies on the stove or in the oven! Cook you tajine in an unglazed tagine or in a casserole and then transfer it into these gorgeous tajines to put onto the table. They'll be the belle of the ball.

Serving Tajine - Not for the oven or stove!

Le Souk Ceramique Serving Tagine, Honey Design

Hand-painted (truly 100% freehand) using only food-safe paints and glazes

This lovely Tunisdian tagine is safe to put in the dishwasher and microwave. Serving only, and not to be used in the oven, on the stove or in the freezer. Find it on Amazon.com

Beautiful Serving Tajines that would make perfect Christmas gifts for cooks

It's always hard to think of a beautiful but useful celebration gift or Christmas gift for cooks (or for yourself) and this fits the bill perfectly. Something you never knew you needed but which becomes indispensable. It's a great gift for non-cooks too because tajines are such an easy and forgiving dish that anyone can make them successfully.

Tagine Serving Safi Blue Sm 22cm - Amazon.com

Exquisite Artisinal Handmade Quality

Perfect for serving Moroccan dishes

Certified Lead Free

9" W x 9" H

Serves 2 - 3

Cast Iron Tajines

I'm a Le Creuset fan!

Now I'm a great fan of Le Creuset bakeware because when I buy a pot I want one that is going to last a lifetime and work! Imagine how pleased I was to discover that Le Creuset make an iron and ceramics tagine. OK, it's not traditional, but it works. The top is a craze-free glazed stoneware with a creamy white interior and the bottom is made of heavy cast iron, with a matte enamel surface. You can put them on the stove top or in any type of oven.

A Cherry Red Moroccan Cast Iron Tagine

Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 2-Quart Moroccan Tagine, Cherry

I love this graded dark cherry colours but there are many more bright colours to choose from. Hand wash this tagine pot. It is safe to use in the oven and broiler-safe up to 500° F. Lonlasting and hardwearing, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Do you Have Tajine Envy?

Would you like to own a tajine?

See results

Electric Tagines

Modernity meets tradition

Electric tagines sit on a powered base unit which is thermostatically controlled and they have the advantage that the whole tajine can be taken directly to the table. The electric tajines have authentic clay pot lids, and sometimes bases and some of these have plastic knobs or handles. don't make the mistake, however, of putting your electric tajine in the oven!

© 2011 Barbara Walton

What are Your Thoughts on Tajines? - Tops or nots?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I lived in Morocco for several years.

      The food I ate there was the best food ever!

      They do not rush their cooking process and the spices used are so fresh and amazing aromas.

      Lamb was plentiful and I learned to love it!

      Some meals can last three or four hours and I quit counting courses after five..haha.

      Moroccans savor their food and it is a highly social time to sat down around a low round table

      and eat the best food ever!

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 4 years ago from California

      Some of these tajines are so beautiful you could display them as art.

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 4 years ago from France

      @writerkath: I hadn't heard of them either, Kathy, until my friend told me about them a couple of years ago. Great for serving easy, no hassle, no stress dinners.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 4 years ago

      I had never heard of Tajine pots but they look like the kind of serving dishes I love. Beautiful designs.

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @jeromeyoung: I do think the pots are super to use and to look at! Thanks for your comment Jerome.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 5 years ago

      This is quite intriguing! Until this very moment, I had not heard of a Tajine! Beautiful!

    • profile image

      jeromeyoung 5 years ago

      Tajine Gift is something new to me but it looks great and tasteful. I think it's worth trying to from some reason.

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @julieannbrady: Awe, thanks Julie. They are in-genie-ous, aren't they?

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @Brandi Bush: Although I'm not convinced they're necessary to cook to food, they do look fab. Thanks for leaving a comment, mamabush.

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @pawpaw911: I must say that I found them fascinating and am still making tajine dishes.

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @DeannaDiaz: Thanks for dropping by Deanna; Let me know if you get it.

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @iwantcake lm: Hope you have a very happy birthday iwantcake! Cheers

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      These look great, never heard of them before, but I do love stews, casseroles and the warm filling meals that are cooked in this kind of dish. Great descriptions and photos, blessed.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      The Tajine pots are quite stylish! Reminds me of a genie lamp.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      I have never heard of tajines...they are beautiful! :)

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Thanks for teaching me about Tajines. It was very interesting.

    • DeannaDiaz profile image

      DeannaDiaz 5 years ago

      Awesome, now I know what I want for my next gift!

    • iwantcake lm profile image

      iwantcake lm 5 years ago

      This is going on my birthday list. Thanks

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @TonyPayne: Thank you, Tony, for dropping by and blessing. I only found out about them relatively recently. It's a great way to cook, foolproof and one pot cooking saves on the washing up.

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @whats4dinner: Thanks for leaving a message whats4dinner. They do look rather spectacular on the table. I like the real, unglazed ones best.

    • whats4dinner profile image

      whats4dinner 5 years ago

      I had never heard of a Tajines pot before, thank you for teaching me something new today!