clay baking dish/

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by crazymama30, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    So I now have a clay baking dish, I found it over at my grandfather's buried in a shelf, has probably been there over 10 years. It has been protected, so is in brand new shape.

    How do I cure it? It is just baked clay and I know it needs seasoned, but what is the best way? I am guessing wipe it with vegetable oil and bake it...but I would rather know for sure than just guess.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We didn't season ours, but what we do before every use - we soak it in a sinkful of water.

    Here is a website you might find useful -

  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I found the website of the maker and that is what it said to do. What do you use yours for? It seems that you can use them for about anything.
  4. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Enjoy yours!!! I no longer have mine and I miss it madly!!!! Gosh they make amazing meals!
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I haven't used mine for ages, they are a lot of work, I find, and considering our drought, it takes a lot of water to fill the sink to soak the clay pot and I always felt guilty at the waste of water...

    I used mine for oven-baked slow-cooked casseroles.

    Then I went back to using the crockpot, which is a lot easier to clean.

  6. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I used to make alot of pot roasts in mine. Beef or pork. I'd throw in spices, chunks of onions, potatoes (Skins on) and carrots, turnips sometimes. Perfect for a meal all in one. I've done whole chicken in mine, as well as chicken pieces. There are great recipes for clay bakers online. Apparently they make amazing baked brown beans as well.

    Odd that Marg's was hard to clean. I never had a problem myself.
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I have one that I think I've used once but yes.....I had to soak it in water also. I THINK for about 15-30 minutes or so the first time but I"d check the website.

    Normally the things you use oil on to "cure" are the cast iron pans.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Matt'smom, is yours glazed on the inside? Maybe that is the reason yours cleaned up easier than mine.

    I can swear by oil to cure cast iron. We have a few cast iron utensils. If you look after them properly, they can be the best items in your kitchen.

    My favourite knife is a rough wooden-handled saddlery knife, a boot knife. It has a blade of black iron and the handle really is rough. I think it cost about $2. But it does need ongoing care - when we use it, we IMMEDIATELY wipe it clean and dry, then strop it on the steel. Every so often husband gets out the sharpening stone and works the knife over a bit more. No knife is sharp enough unless you can shave your arm with it. But my boot knife - if you let it get wet and sit there, even for a few minutes, it stains the blade and also begins to rut it and blunt it. Cutting citrus fruit means the knife has to be wiped off within seconds or it begins to discolour. It is not a pretty knife, but it is one of my best.

    mother in law has one too - she liked using ours when she visited, and so we bought her one. But old habits die hard and I've seen her - when she uses it, she leaves it on the kitchen bench ready to be washed up, maybe several hours later. And she complains that her knives are always blunt, especially that one. But since we've been cooking dinner down at her place every night, I'm in a position to look after her knife for her. I've grabbed it off the sink, wiped it down, dried it, stropped it then put it away. A few times she has stopped me and said, "I haven't washed that up yet," but I keep pointing out - this knife should not be washed up with everything else, all it needs is a wipe down."

    For people like mother in law, wiping down black iron with oil after it's been washed up, is a good thing to do.

    We also have a black iron wok. Again, the best for the job, because black iron heats up fastest, responds to changes in heat fastest. But if it's left even slightly moist, it also rusts the fastest. Plus any iron contamination in my food, and I get violently sick, so rust is a bad thing.

    So what we've worked out - we wash up the wok (or cast-iron frypan) right away. Then we wipe it out with a thin film of oil, then we dry the wok or pan either in the oven, or with the residual heat in the hot plate. It drives out any water in the microscopic pores in the metal. And the oil protects. If the oil heats up and bakes on, it really does work like an enamel coating.

    We have a time-share place and when we stayed there we got talking to the (then) caretaker, a dour Yorkshireman. He was very humourless, very suspicious of the laid-back Aussie approach, especially as it pertains to barbecues. They had a barbecue on site for tenants to use (we hadn't at that time) and the caretaker was complaining to us about the horrible state people left the cast-iron barbecue plate in - "they let it get all black! And oily! It's disgusting!"
    We watched the caretaker scrub the beautiful black patina off the cast iron to expose the shiny bare metal. This place was right by the sea, lots of salt in the air to send the barbecue plate rusty once it lost its black shiny protection. A good patina from being oiled then superheated, can give black iron a smooth, shiny, black surface. That is when you know you did it right. But we couldn't tell this bloke, although we tried. But he began to look at us suspiciously, as if we had been the ones to contaminate the barbecue with oil! Nope - shiny is clean, they believed.

    While we stayed at that place we avoided having a barbecue. We had been planning it, but knew we'd not be able to clean the patina off, in all conscience.

    You guys have got me thinking about getting out my clay pots again. I wonder how my Moroccan lamb recipe will go, in the clay pot? especially if I can bake it outside in the pizza oven... AND use up some of our excess of firewood!

  9. I love my clay Romertopf baking dishes, and use them often! They are so easy to use and they make the absolute best baked potatoes - they just turn out incredibly moist. I also have a small Romertopf that is specially made for tortillas. It keeps them nice and warm and moist at the table.
    Here are a couple of links...

    My friend introduced me to them years ago, and I'm so glad that she did.