Cooking in earthen vessels is an ancient method of cooking. Although we have started cooking in other types of vessels over a period of time, it is always better to go back to this old method of cooking due to various reasons. Cooking in clay pots has various health benefits. It also makes cooking easier and it helps in sautéing meats and veggies delicately. Compared to the conventional style of preparing food, the meals prepared in earthen pots are more delicious too! Earthen vessels have various properties which aid in making the cooked food more nutritious and it also requires oil and fats in lesser quantities which makes the food healthier.
1. Less Fattening Food
One needs to use lesser oil or water while cooking as earthen vessels have the ability to circulate the steam throughout cooking.
2. Retains The Food's Nutrients
Clay pots also absorb the steam which is produced while cooking; due to this reason, it aids in retaining the nutrients present in the food making the food healthier than the food we cook in other utensils.
3. Earthen Utensils Are A Good Source Of Nutrients
The mud used to make earthen vessels is believed to be a good source of vitamins like vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium as well. This gives you one more good reason to use clay pots for cooking instead of other utensils.
4. Neutralizes The Foods' pH Balance
Did you know that clay is alkaline in nature which makes it act like a natural detox? Due to this property the clay utensils neutralize the food by interacting with the acidity present in the food; this aids in improving the taste of the food and also makes it healthier.
5. Keeps Food Hot For A Longer Time
Terracotta or earthenware is a poor conductor of heat. Due to this property, the food gets cooked in the clay utensils without getting overheated. This is important to prevent the nutrients present in the food from getting destroyed. Also, clay pots retain the heat for a longer duration which helps in keeping the food hot for a longer period of time and there is no requirement to heat the food again.
Here Are Some Tips To Follow If You Are Using Earthenware For Cooking:
1. Use unglazed clay pots as they are safer and lead-free; they won't contaminate the food.
2. Make sure you soak the pot in water for 10-15 minutes before you use it for cooking.
3. Bake the clay pot at high temperatures, around 400º to 475º F, to evaporate the water soaked by the pot.
4. Preheated ovens should be avoided if cooking in clay pots as it can crack the clay pot.
5. Hot clay pots should not be placed on a cold surface as it can crack the utensil; use wood or a potholder as a surface.
6. If you cook ingredients like fish in the pot which have a strong smell, soak the pot into water post cooking for some extra time as the porous surface of the pot would absorb the smell.