Today's clay cookware and bakeware are created to go straight from the oven or microwave to the dining table.
Craftsmen in Pomaire, Chile, have been making unglazed clay cookware since the 19th century. These products are healthier because little or no oil is needed as the food steams in its natural juices. Clay pots also hold in nutrients, while foods that are boiled often lose them during the cooking process. Foods cooked in clay dishes also retain more flavor than in traditional cookware. Clay pots are free of lead and aluminum and are safe to use in the oven up to 450 degrees F, in the microwave and on the stovetop or grill.
Researchers have discovered that traditional cookware contain substances that are harmful to our health. For instance, not only will acidic foods cooked in aluminum leave a metallic taste in the mouth, but there is also a risk of heavy metal poisoning. Cookware that contains tetrafluoride (Teflon), a fluoride compound that produces a toxic gas when heated to over 500 degrees F, can cause an illness known as the Teflon flu.
Even when cooking with the freshest organic ingredients, people will often saturate the pan with butter, oil or cooking spray, which turns healthy food into an unhealthy meal. There are other safety concerns when using traditional cookware that include pots boiling over, scorched pans and burned hands from the stovetop. Those that grill food have to watch for sudden bursts of flames and scorching.
1. Cooling Water:
We all remember the good old days when we would drink water stored in the Matkas. Scientists claim that storing water in a clay water pot is the best way. Clay pots not only cool the water down, they also provide healing with the elements of earth. Most significantly, clay pots transfer the chill to the water based on the climate. This quality of a clay pot is unique, and no other container has the same quality.
Clay is porous. In the same way, a clay pot is also porous. When you store water in a clay pot, the evaporation happens. This process causes cooling as water particles gain energy in the form of heat, then change to gas and get mixed with air. A clay pot has small holes visible at the microscopic level through which water seeps out and gains energy to become gas and gets evaporated causing cooling. Heat and moisture circulate throughout the pot, quite opposite to the metal or enamel-lined crockery that we use today. Some pots are made of a special type of clay containing speckles of mica,
colloquially known as 'micaceous' clay. Mica is a natural insulator.
Another benefit of clay water pots is the alkaline nature of clay. The alkaline clay interacts with the acidity of water and provides the proper pH balance. This water can help curb acidity and in turn provides relief from gastronomic pains. This nature of clay is quite useful and is one of the few well-documented benefits of drinking water from an earthen pot. When acidic food like meat or milk is cooked in an earthen pot, the clay helps to neutralize the overly acidic qualities of food as well.
4. Improves Metabolism And Virility:
Drinking the right amount of water everyday can help us boost metabolism. We usually store water in plastic containers, without realizing that there are harmful chemicals like BPA (Bisphenol A) in plastic that cling onto the water molecules and pose a health hazard. Alternatively, drinking water from a clay pot can help improve metabolism without dangerous chemicals like BPA added to the fray. Drinking water from a clay pot can also help maintain a level of testosterone in your body, as opposed to plastic, which in turn reduces the amount of testosterone in our body. Clay water tastes natural, pleasantly chilled and also helps improve metabolism and virility (3).
5. Gentle On The Throat:
Remember the summer vacations, when we came back from the park after a nice game of football or hopscotch. Mum or Grandma would insist on drinking water from the Matka rather than the fridge. Although we never knew why, one of the reasons could have been to avoid sunstroke. And the other reason could have been that the sudden temperature change could make us sick.
Care & UseAG pots are dishwasher & microwave safe. They clean beautifully with 10 minutes of soaking. Feel free to use any scrub pads, they will not scratch the surface of your pot. You can use metal utensils and carve with a knife directly on the pot. Please be mindful that your pot is made of clay and needs to be handled appropriately. AG is not held responsible for user damage. The surface of your pot naturally changes with use and over time. This is a natural part of the maturation process, creating a rich patina & history of use. If you wish, a bit of vegetable oil rubbed into the surface after cleaning will rid the surface of “discoloration”. Pots may be used in the oven, under the broiler, on the grill and stovetop all depending on the shape & structure. You can use round-bottomed pats directly on the
stovetop -- electric, gas or wood. The pots may easily be transferred from the refrigerator or freezer to a hot cooking environment and back again. No seasoning or soaking is necessary. We make flamewar pots for slow food aficionados, lovers of fine food, appreciators of quality kitchen tools, cooks, chefs...everyone who loves to cook!
How to Clean Clay Cookware?You can put your Earthen Ware items in a dishwasher, hand washing is recommended. Extreme temperatures and harsh detergents may damage clay cookware. Allow the clay pot to cool completely after it has been taken from the oven and soak it for a few minutes in worm water to loosen any bits of food. To remove food items, use hot water without detergent and a gentle abrasive pad. To neutralize strong odors fill the pot with warm water and add two tablespoons of baking soda. Let the cookware soak for at least 15 minutes. For general and deep cleaning, allow the earthen pot to soak overnight in the sink in water mixed with baking soda. Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda per liter of hot water. Wash it using a soft-bristle brush or nonmetallic scrubbing pad. Do not use abrasive scouring powders because they will clog the pores and make the pot useless. Salt can be used as a nontoxic alternative to chemical cleaners. Sprinkle salt into the pot and scour it using a scouring pad. Rinse the pot with warm water and allow it to dry on. If any mold forms during storage periods, sprinkle baking soda inside the pot, then rinse with warm water using a brush to remove the mold.
If clay pores become clogged, the pot should be cooked in boiling water for about 30 minutes.
Never use soap or detergent because the porous clay will absorb the soap. Detergent may leave unpleasant soapy taste and this flavor will leach back into your next clay pot meal.
Over time your clay pot may darken slightly retaining scorch marks and stains. This will not affect its cooking qualities.
Clay Cookware StorageAfter washing, dry thoroughly to prevent the forming of mold. Store the clay pot with the lid off allowing air to circulate. Or invert the lid and place a paper towel between the pot and the lid to prevent chipping. Make sure the pot is thoroughly dry before storing it. This eliminates the risk of mold growth inside the pot. Store your earthenware in dry and well ventilated areas.
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Sol and Chef Rudy