There are many benefits to cooking in clay pots – the oldest form of cookware and bakeware! Especially if the clay is pure and 100% primary clay, these benefits are multiplied to yield invaluable health and eco-friendly benefits namely 100% non-toxic food, no loss of nutrients during cooking and even storing, their ability to retain heat for much longer periods of time and many more…
It’s no wonder companies like Miriam’s Earthen Cookware focused on “healthy cooking” are working on reviving this time-honored concept. But as with anything good, there evolve some conceptions; in this article we will discuss five major misconceptions and explain the truth behind them:
But first, who are we and what is our credibility: The pure clay cooking pioneers of America, dedicated their life to the cause of creating the world’s healthiest cookware and bakeware for 10 years now. More about us here.
Now on to discussing the misconceptions:
- Clay pots can break easily: When made the right way and with 100% pure clay and no additives to compromise its integrity, they only get stronger with use, over time they gain an iron like consistency…hard to break easily. Of course, they will still break but not as easily as ceramics, and the like. Here is some general statistics to put it into perspective: While an average household may break 6-10 ceramic plates/cups/bowls every 6 months, it may be 1 clay pot lid in 3 years.
- Clay pots can be “smelly”: As long as the few simple use and care instructions are followed correctly the pot will not smell! Because it’s porous, over time, it will acquire a mild and pleasant food odor, noticeable only if you stick your face/nose into the pot. If you see the pot being “smelly” by any chance, know that it is not dry, it’s not the pot rather the moisture (food residue) in the pot that may cause a smell. This can be easily remediated by drying off the pot thoroughly.
- Clay pots leak when cooking! When new, and only on certain stoves like electric stoves, it is natural for the clay pots to precipitate small amounts of water through its walls but they don’t really “leak”. If the pot is made the right way (with the clay tightly packed and interlocked), this precipitation will stop in a few uses. Sometimes if you store what you have cooked in the pot, and if it’s a watery broth, etc., when reheating the pot again you may see some precipitation. Just a little bit and it evaporate quickly. Again, the key thing is that the pot needs to be made the right way and without additives.
- You can’t use it on direct gas heat: You can certainly use clay pots on direct gas heat. As fire distributes itself uniformly, there is no need for a diffuser between the pot and the source of heat, unless off course if slow-cooking for long hours (more than 1 to 1.5 hours). On the other hand, the heat from electric stoves is sporadic so using a diffuser is recommended to protect the pot.
- It takes longer to cook in clay pots: On the contrary it takes less time to cook food using pure clay pots and just using low to medium heat, thanks to the pot’s unique far infrared heat. The slow cooking recipes that usually take a whole day in a conventional crock pot, take 1.5 to 3 hours in MEC pots. You can read more about this amazing phenomenon here.
Hope this article helps you understand clay pot cooking better. If you hear or read about any other misconceptions, please feel free to contact us, our team is always ready to answer questions about this uniquely people and planet healthy way of cooking. To try cooking in a clay pot, head over to MEC Store and order your pot today!