A piece of earthenware cookware is a cooking pot that can be used in any number of ways. Earthenware comes in various sizes and shapes, each of which can be used for a different purpose. This wonderful clay cookware can be used as a roaster, a soup or stew pot, or a vegetable steamer. These clay pots are porous and when they soak up water while under the heat of the oven or stovetop, steam slowly evaporates from the pores. This steaming process has many benefits. The steam makes meat tenderer and leaves the natural flavor and nutrients in all of your foods. Food cooked in a clay pot doesn't require as much water and needs no extra fat added. Food cooked in earthenware browns even while the lid is on.
In order to take advantage of the benefits of cooking in earthenware, you need to know how to use them properly.
- Earthenware is designed to work better if the temperature gradually rises and lowers. That is why earthenware is best suited for things like baking, cooking a roast or making a stew. A cold piece of earthenware shouldn't be put directly on a hot flame or burner. If your recipe requires some of the ingredients to be sauteed before being added to the pot, use a regular skillet. If you are making a roast or stew, it is best to put the earthenware into the oven before preheating.
- One of the great properties of earthenware is its ability to hold heat, making it ideal for slow-cooked recipes like stews and roasts. This heat-holding feature is also perfect for baking bread because earthenware can provide the crustiness needed.
- Never add cold water or broth to an already-heated piece of earthenware. You can end up with a crack or it could even explode. If you need to add water or broth during the cooking process, be sure to heat it first.
Cleaning your earthenware cookware requires some special care, as well.
- Some earthenware is glazed and it is generally safe to put it in the dishwasher as long as you don't put anything else in the dishwasher with them. If your earthenware rubs against other items in the dishwasher, it can cause scratching.
- Only use mild soap and never use scratchy powdered cleaners on your earthenware.
- Never scrape stuck on food off your unglazed earthenware. Instead, soak it in plain water with no detergent. Soap can be absorbed into the pores of the earthenware, making it unsafe to use.