A Guide to Cook in Terracotta Cooking Utensils 

For all the chefs at home, you will understand when I say: Finding the right vessel and learning how to optimize its usage in the best way is so important.

The world gradually moving back in the future at several levels for several reasons. The question “Why cook in terracotta vessels or how to cook in a clay pot” gets a few good answers.

The progress made in technology, communications and transportation, just to name a few, has made our lives easier and us lazier, in a sense. But in doing so, we have opened the Pandora’s box called ‘climate change’ and this is a monster that is ready to consume our planet sooner than you would like to believe.

The first rumblings of this phenomenon were heard worldwide during the Paris conclave. Climate change is a global emergency that goes beyond national borders. It is an issue that requires international cooperation and coordinated solutions at all levels.

Before the instant pot, air fryer, or pretty much any other cooking vessel existed, there were terracotta cooking pots. 

It would be easier to understand why terracotta cooking pots can be called the best utensils for cooking. Slow and steady cooking, retaining essential juices, adding earthy flavour and also not harming the environment are the added incentives for using terracotta cooking pots. Terracotta is traditionally considered a mystical clay form due to its combination of four of the five vital elements – air, earth, fire and water. Cooking and preserving food in terracotta cooking pots is a great way to bond with nature at the micro level and by doing so, help India live up to its promises made towards cleaning up the climate change garbage.

Terracotta cooking pots are resistant to heat which is why they are the best utensils for cooking. Terracotta cooking pots are heat-resistant as they are glazed and fired during the crafting process. There is no doubt that if you prepare food in terracotta cooking pots, you’ll find them to be the best utensils for cooking. Also, the same recipe will taste better as compared to being cooked in stainless steel, iron, or aluminum cookware. The food value of what you eat is ingested and retained in the best condition when you cook in terracotta cooking pots like in your old grandmother’s days.

Coming back to climate change and its connection to your kitchen. Using terracotta cooking pots and inviting friends and relatives to lunch (or dinner) could be one giant step on your part to spread the message. Having guests means having a conversation. So, when your friends and relatives see you cooking in terracotta vessels or cooking in clay pots, the topic WILL come up. Thus giving you the perfect opportunity to convert another unbeliever into a fan of earthen pot cooking to save the world. Mind you, most people already know about climate change and its dangers so you won’t need to go about educating them on that issue.

In fact, it would make the party interesting and informative when a discussion or a debate on terracotta utensils gives you a chance to say, “Climate change happened because we made wrong choices, hazardous choices that supposedly helped us in the short run but created a hell waiting to devour our planet itself with greenhouse gases, global warming, melting glaciers and toxic air.”

Now that you have all the reasons to use a clay pot, here is an insider tip on how to cook in a clay pot:

  1. Terracotta cooking pots are completely natural which means you need to season them before you start using the product. Season well, as per the instruction manual provided.
  2. The whole point of a terracotta cooking pot is slow cooking so never cook your food on high flame, the pot might crack and mostly the nutrient value might be lost too.
  3. The first 3 times you cook in the pot, ONLY cook rice as it is high in starch and would make the clay pot even more long-lasting and steady.
  4. Avoid using any detergents or soap as it is porous in nature and will absorb the chemicals of the soap. Use local baking soda or white vinegar. 
  5. Don’t put the hot pot directly on the cold or cool counter. Place a kitchen towel on the surface and then place the pot on it. This is just so that you don’t damage the pot or surface.
  6. Don’t leave the leftovers in the clay pot, transfer them post-consumption.
  7. Try and keep one clay pot for Vegetables, one for dal, and one for sweets. Don’t mix savoury and sweet dishes in the same terracotta cooking pot.

How to cook in a clay pot isn’t that complicated but you must maintain anything that is precious and worth it. 

So Chef, don’t overthink it, it’s time to own 1 amazing cookware for your kitchen.