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La Chamba pot

I bought a beautiful La Chamba unglazed black earthenware pot last year and haven't used it--afraid to damage it. I would like to first wash it and then season it. How do I wash it, and how do I season it? Will pre-washing it crack it? Some recommendations on various websites called for using milk to season (presumably the butterfat would seal it) but I don't want to use milk in this vessel. This is the perfect time of year to use it for beans, stews, etc. How do I get started?

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

asked over 4 years ago

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9 answers 12376 views
RanchoGordo
added over 4 years ago

Rinse it out without soap and then fill about 3/4 full with cold water. Add a smashed garlic clove and then put it on the range on low. Slowly let the liquid evaporate and when it's almost dry, you are done. This can take a while if you have a narrow mouth on the pot, but you don't have to fuss with it.
After that, if you haven't used it for over a year, you may want to soak it overnight in water before using it.
I have many (and dozens more of other kinds of pots) and knock wood, the only time there are problems are when friends offer to help with the dishes and they drop and break them. Otherwise, clay is pretty great.

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creamtea
creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

Thank you very much! I'm looking forward to being able to use it.

creamtea
creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

I'm about to start but still not sure what to do with the lid. Do I soak the lid first and then cover the pot while simmering the water and garlic?

healthierkitchen
added over 4 years ago

I have an Italian glazed earthenware pot that I use only occasionally and noticed a smell to it after not using it for a long while. Do you think it just needs a soak as you suggest above? thx.

healthierkitchen
added over 4 years ago

I have an Italian glazed earthenware pot that I use only occasionally and noticed a smell to it after not using it for a long while. Do you think it just needs a soak as you suggest above? thx.

pierino
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

RanchoGordo's instructions are excellent. I do it slightly differently but close enough. Cooking in earthenware is awesome, especially after the clay is seasoned from regular use. Unlike castiron it "breathes".

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creamtea
creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

Thanks, pierino. I saw your instructions recently in another thread; I think it was for a new tagine. Wasn't sure if I should do the same with my type of pot which is a black natural clay, but it motivated me to finally dust mine off and get started.

RanchoGordo
added over 4 years ago

re the lid, no. you want to let it slowly evaporate without the lid on. It probably would take days if the lid is a good fit.
re the glazed pot, it couldn't hurt to soak it overnight before you use it again, but it shouldn't smell. You can use soap.
With unglazed pots, like the chamba, sometimes you can get sort of a white film on the inside. I stated wiping a light coat of olive oil on a paper towel over it. I don't know if this makes science sense but intuitively I think it's fine.

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healthierkitchen
added over 4 years ago

Thanks RG!

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