Clay Pot is an old but classic Chinese cookware that has passed down through generations. The material and technology has improved slightly and the basic cookware techniques havent changed and the charm of this clay pot stays the same. If you want to taste and even make some of the authentic Chinese cuisine, clay pot is an necessary kitchen tools you must bring home.
In clay pot cooking, poultry or meat is combined with a little liquid, vegetables, and seasonings to produce the tenderness of a braise with the finish of roasting. Most of the cooking is done with the cover in place, but when the food is nearly finished, the cover can come off to get a golden brown finish. Bread baked in a clay pot produces a crispy crust with a tender, moist interior. Some clay bread bakers are similar to metal or glass loaf pans but others come with a cover.
Clay pots are incredible for slow-cooked meals. Because wet clay doesnt get as hot as metal, the pot helps you keep your braise down at a low simmer, which makes the texture of the food more luscious in the end. On the other hand, the heavy clay holds heat very well, and you may find yourself turning the heat down in order to keep the contents cooking as slowly as you like.
Because clay is porous, you should avoid using soap when cleaning your clay pots. This also allows them to become seasoned through repeated use, and some people claim that food cooked in an older, well-seasoned clay pot tastes noticably better than food cooked in a newer vessel. None of my clay pots are really old enough for me to test this proposition yet, but Ill be sure to give you an update in a few years.
What to Cook in Clay Pots
Because food is cooked at high temperatures and with steam, some types of dishes are particularly well suited to clay pot cooking.
Vegetable ragouts and ratatouille
Whole chickens, Cornish hens, and ducks, along with vegetables
Baked ziti or lasagna
Stews and casseroles
Baked cheese, such as feta, with olives and fresh oregano
Whole grain breads