Tips To Buy, Use, Clean And Handle Terracotta Cookware
Image Credit: Terracotta cooking pot,

If you love handi biryani, you'll know that the dish's signature aroma comes from the terracotta handi (round-bottomed jar) in which it's cooked. Meat-based dishes, as well as slow-cooked dals and rice, can all be prepared in a handi. Dating all the way back to 24,000 B.C.E., terracotta is one of the oldest materials used to produce cookware. Clay pottery has been used for centuries for its ability to retain heat, moisture, and nutrients during low-temperature cooking methods like stewing and broiling. When compared to stainless steel, terracotta cookware is much more affordable.

The Italian phrase for "baked earth" is whence we get our word for terracotta. While using an earthenware dish, you can take the food straight from the cooker to the table. This sort of kiln-fired clay performs best when used for low and slow cooking. Stewed foods, slow-cooked meals, and even boiled eggs all turn out deliciously when cooked in earthenware. 

 ASIN ID - B0957LR347   

Types of terracotta cookware

Before you decide to invest in terracotta cookware, it is important to know the types of them. According to your use, buy what serves you best.


The tagine is a traditional Moroccan slow cooker with a wide, shallow base and a tall, tapered lid. The tagine's protracted cover enables condensed steam to drip back into the food, preventing it from drying out. Use a tagine for cooking couscous, stew, rice, and beans. Similarly, most tagines can be served warm or at room temperature from the burner.

 ASIN ID - B09TTHB48L   

Cooking in terracotta pot, Image Source: Shutterstock

Clay baker

Baking bread or other baked items in a clay baker will prevent them from drying out too quickly. The cold-start approach is recommended for baking bread since it produces more consistent results. Fill the pot with water, add ingredients, and bake for 45 minutes. Food is cooked by steam generated as water is absorbed by the clay. The clay baker may cook almost anything, including meat, vegetables, poultry, seafood, and fruit.

 ASIN ID - B07X2P5FRV   


Cazuelas are a type of glazed clay casserole and a typical Spanish shallow round pot. These versatile vessels come in a wide range of sizes and are often made of ceramic. You can use them in the microwave, on a gas stovetop, or in the oven. Soups and stews are perfect meals to prepare in a cazuela. The food stays hot for a long time thanks to the insulation properties. It's as easy as bringing a tagine right to the table.

Cooking chicken in clay pot, Image Source:

Calcareous mica

With its beautiful lustre, this clay is often used unglazed for cookware. It may be used over open flames, like most earthenware cookware, and keeps in heat well. It's available in various forms, including cookware and storage jars.


Some Considerations

There are a few things to remember and adhere to while using terracotta cookware.

Pay attention to time and temperature

Because of how slowly earthenware heats, a low and slow cooking technique is recommended. Start sooner than you usually would if you want to finish on time. To prevent the food from overcooking, turn off the hob before you remove the pot from the heat.

 ASIN ID - B085QKX2G3   

Cleaning terracotta pots and pans

Get the filth and grease out of your terracotta pots and pans by washing them with hot water and brushing them down. Clay cookware is porous, taking on bold flavours like garlic, chilli, and pepper. Never use a detergent or dishwashing liquid to clean terracotta cookware; doing so will leave a detergent flavour in your meal.


Earthenware dinnerware is fragile. Therefore, avoid dropping or striking it against any hard surfaces. They can also crack due to sudden and extreme temperature shifts. Before using, it's best to soak terracotta pots and pans in water for 15 minutes. Be sure to start with a low heat and work your way up.