J Swan Terracotta Clay Baker
Last updated date: May 15, 2020
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We looked at the top Clay Bakers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Clay Baker you should buy.
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From The Manufacturer
Soaking Before Seasoning Seasoning separates terracotta cookware from terra cotta planters and flower pots. Seasoning, or filling the terra cotta with water and heating it for a few hours creates adhesion between the clay molecules so they can withstand repeated heating. But before you season, you have to soak the terra cotta in a sink of water for 2 hours so the clay absorbs as much water as possible. Seasoning Methods You can season terra cotta on the stove or in the oven according to its size. Large terra cotta braziers and casseroles fit better in the oven, so that may be a better choice for them, but smaller pots can be done either or. To season in the oven, fill the pot about 3/4 full of water and bake it uncovered at 225 F for two hours. To season the pot on the stove, fill it 3/4 full with water and place it on top of a heat diffuser set over a stove burner. Set the stove to low and heat the pot for two hours. Let the pot cool to room temperature in the oven or on the stove before removing it. The Perfect First Meal You have to take it easy with spices and seasoning when you make your first dish in a terra-cotta pot. Terra cotta still has room in its porous surface to take on the esters and volatile oils of pungent foods, such as garlic, hot peppers and shallots, right after seasoning, so make your first dish is a neutral one. One suggestion is to fill the pot half full of chopped carrots and celery coated with a little olive oil and roast them at 350 F until golden brown. You can also fill the pot with 1 to 2 inches of chopped celery and carrots and place a chicken breast on top and make it a meal. Care and Maintenance Terracotta care is minimal, but integral to a long life. Use a heat diffuser when cooking with terra cotta on the stove, and don't go hotter than medium-low until you get used to cooking with terra cotta on the stove. After you get accustomed, you can go as high as medium. Always start cooking food in a room-temperature pot.
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An Overview On Clay Bakers
Clay bakers are not only stylish, but they also produce dishes that are full of flavor. They can be used to prepare just about any recipe, including stew, roasted chicken and vegetables, homemade biscuits and banana nut bread. If you’re in the market for clay bakeware, keep the following features in mind as you shop.
Determine exactly what you want to cook in the clay baker. There are casserole-type dishes that can bake just about anything, as well as bakeware items that are designed for a specific purpose. For example, the Norpro 1157 Garlic Clay Baker is made for roasting garlic. It comes with a lid that has a tiny air vent and a cute garlic-shaped handle for easy gripping.
When opting for a clay baker that can handle bread, you want to make sure that you won’t need to add any unnecessary grease. For example, the USA Pan Stoneware Loaf Clay Baker features a nonstick silicone coating that is PFOA and PTFE-free. The bread will slide right out of the clay baker without the bottom or sides sticking to the pan.
Review the size of the clay baker to ensure it can hold enough to serve your family. The Ceramica Edgar Pinto Terracotta Roasting Tray Clay Baker comes in six different sizes, so whether you are a newly married couple or a family of six, you’re sure to find a baker that meets your needs. As an added bonus, this particular clay baker is made from an attractive red clay that is then hand-painted.
Take a look at the clay baker’s craftsmanship and any extra features that it may have that make it more functional than another model. For example, the Römertopf Rustico Series Glazed Clay Baker is handcrafted in Germany, includes a matching lid, comes with handles for easy carrying and is safe for use in both ovens and microwaves.
DWYM Fun Fact
Humans have been using clay to create pottery as far back as 6500 B.C. Even today clay bakers have remained a popular choice when cooking everything from mouth-watering roasts to delicious breads. Did you know, however, that there are actually a lot of health benefits associated with clay cooking? Here are just a few:
- Lower in fat: Since clay bakers use steam to cook their foods, chefs don’t need to add any fat or oil to the dish.
- Higher in nutrients: Foods are cooked slower in clay pots, which allows them to retain the nutrients that are often lost during faster cooking methods.
- Reduced sweeteners: Clay actually works to neutralize the pH in your foods. That means acidic foods become sweet naturally without the need to add any sugar.
The Clay Baker Buying Guide
- Review the cleaning instructions on the clay baker’s product packaging. Half are listed as dishwasher safe, as they are able to withstand high heat. The other half must be hand-washed. If they have a glaze, you can wash them with dish soap, water and a non-abrasive sponge. Natural clay pots, on the other hand, will absorb the soap, so you’ll need to wash them with hot water and use a brush to clean away any food particles. Baking soda can be added if you notice the clay baker has a bit of an odor.
- Many clay bakers are designed to be soaked in water before use. The chef then adds the ingredients to the baker and places the dish in the oven while the oven is still cold. The temperature is then set and as the baker heats up, steam is produced. This unique steaming process results in some of the most delicious flavors you’ve ever tasted.
- After removing a clay baker from the oven, you’ll need to set it on a heat resistant mat or a wood, metal or silicone trivet. If you try to place it directly on a cool surface, the clay may crack.
- Do not use your clay baker on a stovetop. Clay bakers are also not safe to place in a freezer.
- Clay bakers come in a wide range of sizes and intended uses. As a result, the price for a clay baker varies greatly. You’ll pay the least amount for the Norpro 1157 Garlic Clay Baker, as it is only big enough to roast garlic. Both, the USA Pan Stoneware Loaf Clay Baker and the Ceramica Edgar Pinto Terracotta Roasting Tray Clay Baker are moderately priced. You’ll pay the most for the Römertopf Rustico Series Glazed Clay Baker, which has a large capacity and comes with a matching lid.