Clay pot cooking?

The Other Shoe and I have apparently acquired a clay pot cooker, I learned to my bemusement last night. Never used one before - has anyone here?

You soak it for a while (like a Chia Pet! :)) fill it with stuff place in a cold oven, crank that sucker up, and it cooks for an hour or two. That’s all I know, and I’d like details on the stuff that should go in. Googling around suggests a whole chicken. Will it come out as if I’d done it in a slow cooker? What about veggies? If I add, say, small whole red potatoes with the chicken, will they come out cooked properly?

My favourite way of cooking… one pot, one mess, all flavours mixed - perfect. Make sure you soak it a few times before you use it, I have cracked a couple from not exposing them to enough water and then heat instantly.

A whole chicken certainly is a great one - try with tonnes of garlic stuffed in it or lemon and thyme. I always layer my claypot - so I go with veggies and potatoes at the bottom, some stock/broth to get the juices going, and then chicken on top. I recommend root veggies as they hold up to the slow cooking (2-3 hours) so think carrots, turnips, beets, parsnips etc…

Sub the chicken out for a pork shoulder or a leg of lamb (redcurrant jelly is a must here) and you’re rolling.

Other favourite is to use the cheap cuts of meat that taste fabulous when they;re given 5 hours at least in a slow slow heat… think lamb shanks, beef shanks, shortribs, neck, oxtail… $2 a pound for most of them.

My 1st was a Rommertopf and they have some pretty good ideas to start you off, vamp from there:

good luck and enjoy

I hear they also do a fairly good faux rendition of a clambake or Imu Pork. Layer it with a base of cornhusks and a small amount of beer… a base of shellfish and/or choice crustaceans, then more husks, Potatoes and onions, more husks, corn on the cob. Cover tightly.

Speaking of “one mess,” what’s the best way to clean it? Unglazed clay is SOOO porous - how best to scrub fond and fat and bits of stuff off of it? I found a recipe that included a review saying “this is so good my boyfriend doesn’t even mind cleaning the pot if I make this!” and that makes me wonder … how damn hard IS it to clean?

My enameled Dutch oven can soak in the sink. My slow-cooker has a dishwasher-safe insert. Since you have to soak the cooker to start with … does soaking it when you’re done do any good?

( Ah, yes: ours appears to be the Rommertopf brand. :slight_smile: )

Cleaning to the point that it has no marks on it from the cooking is, as you thought, nigh on impossible. I treat mine like a good wok or seasoned baking tray - I clean the muck and debris off it, and give it a clean with dish soap but I am not fussed if some of the char marks remain. I think this is inevitable with the nature of clay. Also a ‘yes’ to your idea of soaking it… but one word of warning, if you have a distinctly potent dish in it (a moroccan curried chicken tagine I made comes to mind) don’t let it soak or the pot will smell of the dish for the next few uses.

Not wanting to pass my own experience off as gospel, a quick search comes up with clay bakers being very dishwasher proof… who would have thought?

I heartily support the intent of the thread yet don’t have a clay pot of my own so I shall look on in wonder :slight_smile:

Makes the best stuffed bell peppers. 100 mins at 425.
Make sure you stick the pot in the oven before heating it. Putting it in a preheated oven can make it crack.