Clay Cookware: Tips To Season And Maintain Your Earthen Utensils
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Clay cookware is not just a healthy and traditional way of cooking food across many cultures in India, it is also a way to preserve flavour in food. Like cast iron or carbon steel cookware, earthen pots and pans need a certain level of care and precaution to be taken, in order for them to last longer as well as remain in good shape. However, what also makes it different than its traditional counterparts, is that clay cookware is a lot more delicate to handle.

When used with care and maintained with time and patience, clay cooking pots last several years and retain plenty of flavour, making your food taste extra delicious. Resorting to a few basic steps towards their care can actually prove to be pretty effective. Depending on whether your clay pot is brand new or inherited, the treatment of how it is to be maintained might vary ever so slightly. Here’s how you can go about it.

New Earthenware

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When you can get your hands on a brand-new clay kadhai or pan, it is best to soak it in clean, room temperature water for a couple of days, in order to let the dust and outer coat of paint wash away. Once done rinsing, wipe with a kitchen towel and apply some edible oil all over its inner and outer surfaces before letting it sit in the sun to soak up the oil. Once this stage has been passed, pour the leftover water from cooked rice into the pot and sit for a day before rinsing thoroughly with fresh water and applying another layer of oil; and it is ready to use.

For Cooking

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It must be noted that clay pots are only fit to be used while cooking over a low flame. High exposure to heat might cause the clay to crack, making it risky enough to hold any food or liquids. It is also crucial to note that an empty clay pot must not be placed on direct heat without some water, oil or milk being poured into it beforehand. Since clay pots cannot withstand sudden change in temperature, adding cold water even during the process of cooking, might cause damage. It is also advisable to use two separate clay pots for sweet and savoury preparations.

Also Read:

The Resurgence Of Clay Pot Cooking In India


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While cold water cannot be added to the pot during the cooking process, exposing a hot clay pot to cold water might also be harmful for its structure. Avoid using harsh soaps, cleaners and scrubs to clean up the pot and switch it up with a solution of warm water and lemon peels instead. Letting the clay pot dry for a day or two before it is used again is ideal for the clay to remain impervious as using it repeatedly might cause the outer and inner surfaces to have a permanent black patch.