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Curing my Earthenware Pots

BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
edited 10:38AM in EggHead Forum
Mexican soups, stews and beans are traditionally cooked in earthenware pots. The cazuela is a pot that flares out along the rim and has a handle on each side. The olla is taller and narrower than a cazuela. Using an earthenware pot for your favorite Mexican recipe is different from using a metal pot or pan, and care must be taken to handle it properly.

The Clay
1. Earthenware pots are made of clay. The clay gives Mexican cooking a special flavour that is not possible to achieve with metal pots. The clay is fired, and the inside of the pot is glazed, while the outside is left natural. Only cook with pots marked with a safe-for-food-use stamp.

Lead in the Glaze
2. Traditionally, the glaze used in these pots contained lead. Most newer pots, including mine which were a present from a good friend's mom, use an unleaded glaze. If your pot's glaze contains lead, the FDA suggests it will not be harmful as long as you do not use acids (such as vinegar, lemon, lime or tomato) in anything cooked in the pot since the acid will release some of the lead. Also, do not store food in the pots.

Curing the Pots
3. Before its first use, an earthenware pot must be cured. Be warned that the pot will smell like wet earth the first time you use it. To cure it, wash the pot well, then rinse with clear water. I made a mixture of hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) & egg whites to achieve a soft consistency paste & rubbed the 4 pots inside & out, let them dry & then filled with water,set them over a low flame or heat , bring to a boil and then lowered the heat and let the water simmer for ½ hour, let them cool & washed well afterwards


Earthenware Pot Cooking
4. Clay cooking is slow cooking. The pots are used over a direct but low heat. Rapid temperature changes must be avoided; for example, never move a cold pot to a hot flame or the pot can crack. Allow the pot to warm to room temperature before use. The pots are fragile and must be carefully handled.

Getting Ready

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The reaction of the lime with the water was interesting to see, starting like a little cloud in the middle of the pot & then growing to cover all of it

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The finished product

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Comments

  • HicHic Posts: 350
    Very Nice!

    Large, medium, small and a mini. Egg'n, golfing, beer drinking, camping and following football and baseball.
    Atlanta NOTP suburbia.

  • thebtlsthebtls Posts: 2,300
    Awesome cookware...I want one Santa!!!!Happy T Day Beli; you still have the best back yard in the entire world, wow.
    Visit my blog, dedicated to my Big Green Egg Recipies at http://www.bigtsbge.blogspot.com You can also follow my posts on FaceBook under the name Keep On Eggin' or the link http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Keep-On-Eggin/198049930216241
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    Hey Tony TKS & a Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    TKS Keith, I'm planning on doing more soups, stews Have a great T day
  • Mr HollowayMr Holloway Posts: 2,034
    Wow! Beli
    That looks awsome.
    Can see a nice pot of stew in them already :)

    Shane
  • thechief96thechief96 Posts: 1,908
    Those look beautiful Beli
    Dave San Jose, CA The Duke of Loney
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    Shane been meaning to cook more of them, now with the XL & the pots that won't be a problem
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    TKS Dave, just letting them dry now, a nice sunny day today, clear skies & 85*
  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,670
    Interesting and nice looking cookware. I'm not allowed to have anything that says handle carefully :whistle: :laugh:
  • thechief96thechief96 Posts: 1,908
    Sounds like another beautiful day in paridise (sp) :)
    Dave San Jose, CA The Duke of Loney
  • fire eggerfire egger Posts: 1,124
    Very interesting post Beli, thanks for sharing. as always, I love looking at your pictures !!
    Happy turkey day!!
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    Pat, you drink from glass bottles don't you? This is slightly the same material but the contents normally don't get you pissed.... :laugh:
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    Dave it was a great day, & the best part of it is ......the weekend starts tomorrow ;)
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    TKS Kendell, Likewise my friend have a great day
  • Those Earthenware Pots are truly works of art!!
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,587
    You RASCAL!...Those are Beautiful!
  • Very nice Beli - thanks for sharing
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    Got some that are over 20 years old & use them mainly on the wood oven but now i'm starting to use them on the XL, great when they are seasoned
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    Hoss , when you come over here we'll fill them up with some mexican delicacies
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    TKS Frank we're really looking forward to seeing you both at Leroy & Judy's
  • LobichoLobicho Posts: 557
    te compro 1...jejeje
    where can i get my hand on one of those?
    I have seen your cochinita in those and they look soooo goooooooooood....
  • cookn bikercookn biker Posts: 13,407
    That's cool Beli. Great looking pots and interesting cure process!!
    Thanks!
    Molly
    Colorado Springs
    "Loney Queen"
    "Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it."
    Bill Bradley; American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, former U.S. Senator from New Jersey
    LBGE, MBGE, SBGE , MiniBGE and a Mini Mini BGE
  • Those pots are beautiful. I have some pieces I've gotten in Mexico over the years but I don't believe any of them are for cooking in, I think they're all for use with cold/room temp foods, more like serving pieces. Normally I don't like storing things that don't have more of a dual use, but I do love my Mexican pottery!
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