Is it safe to preheat sonteware pots?

I'm making the no-knead bread and it says to preheat your dutch oven. I only have a stoneware pot but I was wondering if it was possible to preheat it to 450-500 degrees farenheit and still not let the pot crack?
I've read online that you can preheat the pot by placing it in the oven while it is preheating rather than after where it can go into heat shock and crack.

Please let me know asap, my bread is waiting for the oven!

Karen Diep


Tom W. December 13, 2014
I hesitate to post, not only don't like commercialism, but also don't know Food52's policy. What a great resource Food 52 is. A friend just introduced us. And Karen, did the pot and/or bread make it?
Susan W. December 13, 2014
Oh my. I see 2 pieces that are a must have and I'm asking Santa ASAP. Tom, do you know if anyone has used the vinegar pot to ferment kombucha? My glass vat recently broke.
trampledbygeese December 13, 2014
Kombucha was the first thing that came to my mind too when I saw that pot. It would be perfect!

I love how the fry pan shape pots have the little curl under at the end of the handle. So elegant. Like the ones in this article on how to stovetop cook with Tom's pots. I wish I had seen this article long ago, it would have saved many burnt meals.

I'm off to find a copy of this Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking book they keep mentioning.
Tom W. December 13, 2014
We have had a local organic foods person say the crock is fine for kombucha. It is a bit small, but works fine.
Karen D. December 29, 2014
It did! I got impatient and just went for and it and the bread came out beautifully. I may have overbaked it since the crust came out a little too hard to chew but the center of the bread itself was heavenly. I think because the bread itself was at room temperature (after some proofing and resting) it didn't react much with the pot. Thank you for the help!
cookbookchick December 12, 2014
Google Tom Wirt pottery -- you'll find it
Greenstuff December 12, 2014
Tom Wirt, you should provide your web address! I covet one of your cassoles. And your flameware.
trampledbygeese December 12, 2014
I second this. If you don't feel comfortable posting here then you can put it in your profile and we can seek it out that way.
trampledbygeese December 12, 2014
There is a huge difference of opinion on this topic.

Standard kitchen wisdom says no way is it a good idea to heat pottery pot then add food to it.

My pottery instructor and expert in all things clay says 'what's the problem?' Her point of view is if you can avoid sudden changes of temp, then you're golden. The clay was fired at a much hotter temperature than we would/could ever cook at. One of her specialities is pizza clay (like a pizza stone, only from stoneware) which is preheated to 400 plus, then the (room temp) pizza/bread is put on it.

For me, I would heat the clay up slowly, then cook the bread in it. That's what I do on the fire and stove, so why not in the oven? Unless it's the most precious pot ever, then don't risk it.

I see you asked two hours ago, hope it turned out okay. Can you tell us what you did?
Tom W. December 12, 2014
We are potters in MN and make a no-knead bread baker specifically for this. The answer is somewhat more technical than warm slowly. If you stay under 400 degF and the clay is formulated for it you may be ok. Biggest danger point is when you dump the cold dough in the hot pot. If you hear a crack, oops, but keep going as it probably won't fail completely and at least you'll get the lollipop (bread). We have a much more complete answer on our website. A potter can have their clay tested for the pesky silica crystal that causes the breakage.
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