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Old 04-28-2006, 05:27 PM   #1
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Clay vs. metal pots

What advantages does a clay pot have over a metal? They are still around for a reason. So I thought there must be something about it that has not gone away. Can a clay pot tolerate high heat or will it crack? Does food taste better? Does it cool down faster? Anyone who owns or knows about it, please tell me.

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Old 04-28-2006, 06:46 PM   #2
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no one pot is perfect for everything. different metals have different properties: iron is slow to absorb heat, but also holds on to it and can take a lot, so once hot it is great for slow cooking stews, browning meats, etc.

copper heats and cools quickly so it is good for recipes needing quick control

stainless steel is extrememly durable and when clad on other metals with better heat properties is quite fine to use.

ceramics, iron stone, and clay bakers all have their own properties. clay is porus and is soaked then put in a cold oven. the pot heats with the oven. It will give you a very moist and tender bird or roast.

so the well stocked kitchen has many types of pots and pans for a variety of recipes.

One reason so many comercials use glass pots is to show the food inside from all angles. Food TV etc llikes to use stainless because it reflects the light and the food films or videos well. Earlier shows using dark aluminum pans had less eye appeal, although those dark anodized pans cook just fine.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:47 PM   #3
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Clay pots are traditionally used for long slow cooking such as braises or when an indirect heat is preferred (such as in the oven). Supposedly they are more suitable for keeping ingredients moist during long periods in an oven (such as a lamb shank braise, a dish that requires a long time cooking slowly to make it really tender).

Some people say that since claypots are fairly porous they absorb some of the liquid in the dish and then release it slowly over cooking time as steam as the claypot heats up.

I know in some cases that claypots are favoured in some dishes to get a nice crust around the interior of the claypot, such as Vietnamese or Chinese claypot rice. Although you could argue that you could do this with metallic cookware.

Proper clay cookware can tolerate high heat, but it has to be made right otherwise it can shatter as heat is applied to it. One thing that clay cookware is vulnerable too is sudden changes in temperature. If you were to heat a claypot over a heat then put cold water in it (or place it on a cold surface) you run the risk of cracking or shattering it (although you shouldn't do this to metallic cookware either).

Clay cookware doesn't not cool down faster, it's makeup ensures that it retains copious amounts of heat for a very long period of time (think of regular old housebricks after being exposed to a day of summer sun).
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Old 04-28-2006, 07:21 PM   #4
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I have a large round clay double-handled casserole dish that I use fairly exclusively for Cassoulet & Paella. It's wonderful for baking/heating dishes like that as it absorbs & holds gentle heat very well.
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Old 04-28-2006, 11:12 PM   #5
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I have a terra cotta clay baker, (does stuffed game hens beautifully) le Crueset enameled cast iron, a soapstone pot which heats quickly cools slowly, both tin and steel lined copper, and commercial grade anodized aluminum and enameled carbon steel. a collection of good pots and pans was the cheapest kitchen upgrade I could make, and one that I can take wherever I go. A few really fine knives is the next upgrade. appliances may be the least important, but still really nice kitchen upgrades.
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:18 PM   #6
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Since clay pots are porous, does it mean it is harder to wash? Would the nylon (I think) brush tear off a piece of coating?
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:28 PM   #7
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I've had mine since 1994/95 & have yet to have any problems cleaning it. The interior is glazed; exterior is plain terra cotta.
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Old 04-29-2006, 05:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
I've had mine since 1994/95 & have yet to have any problems cleaning it. The interior is glazed; exterior is plain terra cotta.
The inside surface of BreezyCooking's pot is not porous since the inside is glazed and would not have trouble cleaning it as you are worried about Anticuchos.

The porous nature of the pot may not make it difficult to clean but it may have a tendency to retain the odour of the last meal cooked in it, particularly if its a strong flavour. What you could do is the same thing I do with my mortar and pestle when a particularly strong ingredient has been crushed in it (especially when it's wet or moist as well, such as garlic). Wash it normally, dry it, then rub the inside of it with salt (in the case mortar and pestle I grind salt in it) thoroughly, then wash out again.

Hopefully the salt, which is a fairly neutral flavour as far as cooking is concerned (you pretty much want every dish will have some salt in it), will get rid of or cover up any strong flavours that were still present.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
The inside surface of BreezyCooking's pot is not porous since the inside is glazed and would not have trouble cleaning it as you are worried about Anticuchos.

The porous nature of the pot may not make it difficult to clean but it may have a tendency to retain the odour of the last meal cooked in it, particularly if its a strong flavour. What you could do is the same thing I do with my mortar and pestle when a particularly strong ingredient has been crushed in it (especially when it's wet or moist as well, such as garlic). Wash it normally, dry it, then rub the inside of it with salt (in the case mortar and pestle I grind salt in it) thoroughly, then wash out again.

Hopefully the salt, which is a fairly neutral flavour as far as cooking is concerned (you pretty much want every dish will have some salt in it), will get rid of or cover up any strong flavours that were still present.
Bicarbonate of soda is good for removing smells from cookware (and most other things too). In the case of cooking utensils and pots, make a paste of bicarb and water and apply with a cloth. Leave it on for a while and it will have removed the smell. Dry bicarbonate of soda powder applied thickly to a dried pet's, baby's or old person's "accident" stain on a carpet or furnishings and left on for a while then vacuumed off will remove the smell (and prevent the pet returning to the scene of the "crime"). Cheaper and less pungent than that "Shake and Vac" stuff that costs the earth in the hardware store!
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