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pottery-cookng-msg – 3/19/12


Cooking in clay pots. Do and don’ts.


NOTE: See also the files: horn-utn-care-msg, iron-pot-care-msg, merch-pottery-msg, cook-ovr-fire-msg, pottery-msg, pottery-whels-msg, ceramics-bib, Ceramics-Intro-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 15:20:31 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Was: Odd question.../ NOW-Pots

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


--- Etain1263 at aol.com wrote:

>   I would like to know how they would compare

> to a pottery cooking vessel!

> Although you can't cook a large feast in

> pottery...it WAS used a lot in the

> home kitchen!  Mistress Christiana did a demo

> of pottery cooking on the kiln we

> used to fire the pottery at Pennsic..it was

> very interesting!  I can't wait to

> try it myself!

> Etain


Having listened to my apprentice who is a potter,

I now know that you just can't take a ceramic pot

and place it on an open fire and cook with it,

unless you like to break your ceramics. She once

gave me a detailed explanation of thermal shock

and what it does to even high-fired ceramics.  If

you wish to use ceramic pots, you have to build a

bed of coals and place the pot in the bed.  If I

sound a little vague about this, it is because I

am.  I haven't used yet the one my apprentice

made for me, nor have I used the frying pan she

did.  I also have a ceramic frying pan from

Master Alex of Lochac, which he gave me last

year.  But they all look so nice and pretty, I

am afraid of ruining them, since I have only a

vague notion of how to use them.  Sigh. One of

these years in my copious spare time ...





Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 21:31:12 -0400

From: "Christine Seelye-King" <kingstaste at mindspring.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Pottery cooking A&S Report

To: "SCA Cooks" <Sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


-----Original Message-----

From: Christine Seelye-King [mailto:kingstaste at mindspring.com]

Sent: Friday, October 17, 2003 9:25 PM

To: kiraanna at madcelt.com

Subject: A&S Report


Dear Kiaanna,




Art/Sci Report for Mistress Christianna MacGrain, 3rd Quarter, 2003


At Pennsic War XXXII I had the good fortune to be invited to cook food and

break pottery.  A group of potters from Aethelmarc had created a variety of

period cooking vessels.  Mistress Cori and THLady Honnoria of Thescorre were

having a class at the War that involved teaching folks how to make period

pottery, which was followed up by a period firing in a turf kiln.  A firebox

and flue were created ahead of time, and the results of the class were

stacked into a pyramid shape.  A turf covering was then piled on and around

the mound and fired by hardwood from 11AM until 1AM the next morning.

I was given 4 vessels to cook with.  A "pipkin", or small 3-footed pot that

would hold roughly 2 cups.  A frying pan with a hollowed-out handle, which

accomodated a long stick for use over the fire.  The other two vessels were

fish-bowl shaped (the sides came up farther than the horizontal, perhaps 3/4

of the way up), one holding approx. 1 1/2 quarts and the other approx. 2 1/2

quarts. The smaller of the two had thicker sides.

The purpose of the experiment was to try out period recipes and cooking

methods, in the period-style pots, cooking over an open flames and with


The recipes I selected were as follows:


For the pipkin, I chose An Excellent Boiled Salad, from the English Huswife

book 2, p.40.  This recipe is for a dish of cooked spinach, and specifically

calls for it to be cooked in a pipkin.  We took coals from the fire and dug

a trench, where the pipkin sat and cooked slowly.


For the frying pan, I chose Duke Cariadoc's extrapolated recipe for oat

cakes taken from a late-period Scottish soldier's campaign description.  I

took the liberty of adding butter (an extravagance!) to the recipe to aid in

flavor and cooking.  The frying pan did well, but due to uneven heating, it

cracked in two, and then in several more pieces.  We continued to cook over

the broken pieces however, and learned a lot about what should be changed

for the next run of this particular piece.

The oat cakes were good, in the words of the King of Aethelmarc, "Mmm,

toasted granola".


For the smaller, heavier pot, I made a lamb tagine, combining two recipes:

Lamb, Prune and Butternut Squash Tagine (Adapted from Paula Wolfert) and

Lamb Mishmish, taken from al-Baghdadi's Cooking Manual.  This one got cooked

directly over the top of the kiln, as it was the hottest heat source.  None

of the potters knew of a reference to cooking over a kiln flue, but we

thought perhaps those tending to the kiln have probably always cooked their

lunch this way!  I used a smaller bowl to create a lid, which worked



For the larger pot, I wanted to try another cooking method.  I chose Pommes

Dorre from Ancient Cookery- a 15th Century manuscript.  We tried heating the

water for boiling the meat balls with heated rocks.  This method would have

worked better if we'd had the right rocks.  Ours turned out to be mostly

sandstone, and we ended up with lots of rock crumbles in the bottom of the

pot. It did get the water hot enough to cook with, but was slow and

less-than-successful. We ended up cooking half of the meat balls over

pieces of the frying pan with much better luck.  After we had boiled the

first half, it was very clear why this recipe would call for endoring them

after they were cooked.  They were pale and ugly, something I'd never really

noticed when making them over a gas stove with modern equipment.  Covering

them with a golden glaze (which we didn't do, but is the 'Dorre' part of the

recipe) would have made them much more visually appetizing.  They were

tasty, regardles.


Everything was very tasty, the crew that had been stoking the kiln were very

thankful. The potters were quite thrilled to see their wares being used,

and were quite pleased with the broken one for educational purposes.

Another cook and I thought that coating the bottoms of the pots with some

sort of lard or oil would have made clean-up of soot marks easy, but the

potters wanted the marks to stay.  In fact, the tajine pot was later entered

in an Aethelmarc A&S and won it's category.  I am told the soot marks made

the difference.  Cooks and potters have very different priorities!



Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 15:56:45 +0000

From: iasmin at comcast.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] 5 cooking laurels: Priceless - The Report

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org (SCA Cooks)


Yesterday I wrote to the MK Cooks list describing some fun a bunch of us had

during the first week of Pennsic. I've taken the liberty of copying that note

here and adding, with permission, the response of another of the participants.

Enjoy! -- Iasmin




I wrote:


Standard disclaimers apply here as I'm still riding high off probably my best

day at Pennsic in the 20ish years I've been going....


So we get the email on MK Cooks about The Grand Plan (TM) to teach a  

class using hand-thrown Italian cooking pots and I thinks to myself  

"self, you needs to be learning to cook over an open flame someday."  

And in pure Iasmin fashion, I type said desire out loud straight out  

of my head and onto the internet. Helewyse, dear soul, sez "girlie,  

you come to my camp and I'll learn you good." cause she was learning  

too with those pretty pots and figured if one laurel could mess it  

up, well, five could mess it up right royally.


Thing is, folks, we didn't mess it up. In fact, the only thing that didn't turn

out as we expected was really the peach pie and that was just because  

we forgot the bottom crust needed air space to get a good crisp to it.


I keep telling people the five of us were like the cast of a Mickey Rooney

movie. You know the ones... "Hey, let's put on a play!" "Yeah, we can use my

dad's barn!" "Cool! My mom can sew the costumes!" Me, Mistress Helewyse,

Mistress Rachaol, Master Basilius, and Mistress Mairi Ceilidh (who most of you

don't know but she cooks for the Cognizenti camp at Pennsic for both  



We were a hoot. Two bags of groceries, plus a bit, and all of us at various

times either clustered around those or around Helewyse's copy of  

Scappi (brave woman taking that brick of a book to Pennsic). "What  

can we cook?" "I don't know, do we have a recipe for kale?" "Sure,

let me translate it really quick."


In the end, we cooked from 12pm to 8pm the first Thursday, trying out various

recipes from Scappi and at least one other Italian manuscript so  

that Helewyse, Rachaol, and Basilius could teach the two Italian  

pottery (classroom and practicum) classes they'd scheduled but which  

didn't make it into the Pennsic book. We cooked way more than what  

would be tested in class, but all the dishes were fantastic. If I'm  

remembering the recipes we concocted correctly we did:


- pasta (they were more like gnocchi) in garlic walnut sauce

- kale fried in garlic and olive oil

- fried eggplant with sour orange sauce

- gourds in casserole in a cheese sauce (Rachaol grew the gourds and promised me seeds)

- stuffed, grilled pork rolls

- meat stuff, meat flavored meat wrapped in meat fat (venison roast stuff with bacon/pancetta and wrapped in a fat caul, spit roasted)

- caramelized onions (I couldn't stand the fat dripping into the fire unused)

- peach pie


My god it was all good. I think those were all the dishes, but Helewyse or

Rachaol can speak up and let you know if I missed anything. Good lord, I'm

hungry again just thinking about it. I'm not sure what we'd planned to do with

most of the food. We sort of lost track of cooking and then I realized "Ooh,

someone's got to eat this. I didn't think that far." The camp valiantly threw

themselves on the food grenade with nary a complaint among them. And  

I think someone went to go get more people. Master Hroar, Baroness  

Alexandra, and I think her son, perhaps. I had to eat and run but  

there was still food being eaten when I left. And to the best of my  

knowledge, everyone's still alive and smiling, so it had to have been  

decent to them too.


Additions to this... I remember a fruit tray. And Helwyse made us  

lunch while we were cooking. We ate the cheese stuffed fresh, red,  

sweet peppers and fought over who got the last one. Oh yes, and there  

was scotch. :) I'm confident the dishwashing went faster because of it.


And that, my friends, is how much trouble 5 cooking laurels and a  

copy of Scappi can get into in 8 hours. Rachaol? Helewyse? I'm still  

wearing rose-colored glasses from the day. Care to comment once you  

resurface from travel back to your homes?






And Mistress Helewyse de Birkstead responded:


OK, The house is still a disaster, wearing normal clothing feels odd but I'm

awake enough to give a report.


The Thursday trial run was really a trial run.  We honestly had never made any

of those dishes before.


The kale - simply boiled in water, drained and then dressed with olive oil in

which garlic (lots of it) had been simmered.  Amazingly good, kale can be bitter

but somehow it wasn't.


The peach pie - we used a pastry recipe that was forgiving of the heat and

overwork (in fact the recipe calls for kneading the dough). Sadly we didn't heat

the bottom enough to make it crispy.  What we did find out in the next weeks

class was that ceramic pie plates make all the difference it cooked much better

than a tin one in a dutch oven.  We had tried cooking it under a testo.  The

testo failed most obviously in the first five minutes of cooking.  Right about

the point that we were talking about pottery failure on the fire.  The lady who

took our class asked when they failed, the answer was first time you use it and

loudly. As the loud crack happened just at that point.  So it ended up as a

valuable lesson.


Gourds in the spanish style - was cooked in a pignatta.  The  interesting thing

about this is that the original recipe calls for egg yolks to be added and the

whole cooked for another half hour.  This led to a discussion whether the end

product should be an egg thickened sauce or more like an egg drop soup.  The

result, when you cook with eggs and juice in a pignatta for half an hour you get

thickened broth, not curdled eggs. Something we really weren't expecting.  In

other words the recipe was correct for the heat source in use (coals) but would

be wrong for a modern stove.


Pork rolls - oh my god the pork rolls, I have to find an excuse to make these

for either a feast or a vigil.  Pork loin slices, pounded thin, marinated in

vinegar salt and pepper (the second time we marinated with sour orange and if

anything they were better).  Then stuffed with a mixture of golden raisins,

garlic, parsley, fennel and an egg.  Rolled around the filling, wrapped in caul

fat and then grilled.  I have to get me some caul fat, it made the rolls

succulent and so good.


The gnocchi - still haven't managed to master that particular recipe.  The

original recipe calls for 12 oz breadcrumbs, 12oz flour, pinch saffron and oil

bound together with water and then grated into boiling water to cook.

Breadcrumbs are funky, one minute the dough is too stiff, next minute it is the

biggest gluey mess you have ever encountered.  In the end we cut bits of the

dough into the water, I would still like to master that recipe.  The sauce was

pounded walnuts, garlic and breadcrumbs with water.  Great sauce and the gnocchi

eventually kind of worked.


The eggplant - soaked in water to remove bitterness, parboiled, coated with

flour and fried in olive oil.  The recipe says you can use either sour orange

juice or a sauce made of fresh basil, garlic and verjuice.  I wish we had had

basil it is even yummier then.


The venison - I had a whole leg roast brought from home (actually it was

originally road kill, butchered by myself shortly after the accident).  We

marinated it in wine, wine vinegar, rose water, grape must and spices (nutmeg,

cinnamon, clove, pepper, salt), then rolled the slices of bacon in the same

spice blend, larded it and wrapped it in a caul prior to spit roasting.  Oh

yeah, it was good.  Once the fire was in the right spot we could add a pan

underneath and do some onions.


All in all we had fun, my camp used it as a boasting point for the  

rest of war.


Hey we had five cooking laurels in camp yesterday, cooking dinner.

What did they cook?

I don't know but it tasted great.


We did create a heck of a lot of dishes but they forgave me anyway.  The only

down side was that only one person actually attended the hands on class in the

second week.  It is our lesson for next year, make it shorter and get it in the

book early.  We might just do a single dish.  I think that one of the problems

is that the second week everyone is just so busy that 5 hrs is a lot of time to commit.


Honestly I became slug like for the last four days of war, I was a little strung

out and needed extended nap times.  The camp still ate well but looking dinner

every night for two weeks led to some dashing around at times.


War was fun but as usual I never did manage to do about half a dozen things I

wanted to, or see half the people I wanted to.  Where did those two  

weeks go?





Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 15:20:34 -0400

From: <kingstaste at mindspring.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Pottery Cooking Class Report

To: "SCA Cooks" <Sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


I just got finished reading the report about what the Italian pottery

cooking class did, and I'm sorry I missed it! (Too much to do in those 2

short weeks!)  Mistress Mairi Ceilidh came by and did a short report at our

cook fire, and raved about using caul to cook with.


Our lake-side pottery cooking over an open fire class took place on Monday,

Aug. 15th.  Phlip's camp graciously provided a large cook fire and grill

area for us to use.  Over the course of the 5 hours we cooked we had roughly

15 people come through, and at one point we had 10 pots on the fire cooking

merrily away.  The biggest problem we had was getting the heat LOW enough,

but it wasn't too much of a problem.  We didn't have any pots fail this

time, which was really nice.  We had a wonderful selection of mostly English

pottery styles, round-bottomed cook pots, pipkins, and a couple of small

skillets all made by Mistress Honnoria of Thescorre.  Lady Theresa from the

Outlands brought a wonderful large pipkin she had bought at Cook's Con from

John Hudson, and made a really tasty peas and bacon pottage in it.  We made

the same set of dishes I had done two years ago - An Excellent Boyld Sallat

of spinach and currents, a lamb tagine, pommes d'orre, and oat cakes.  We

made a boiled chicken, then used the stock and added rice and vegetables to

it.  One of the small pipkins was used to make a garlic sauce that was

smashing on the chicken.  Two of the round-bottomed cook pots were made with

clay that had been dug out of the hillside at Pennsic a couple of years ago,

and were a gorgeous dark red shade.  Mairi Ceilidh used one to experiment

with a squash, lentil and almond milk dish, mostly because we wanted to make

sure the Pennsic clay pot got cooked with, not because we needed more food!


        We had the assistance of a wonderful gentleman from Calontir named Michael,

I'm sorry I didn't get the rest of his name.  His modern profession is that

of archaeologist, having spent most of his time in the Middle East.  We

discussed his findings there, and the use of glazing being present

predominently in serving vessels and not in cookware.  He spent the majority

of his time tending a separate fire and providing us with an on-going supply

of hot coals, bless his heart.  He brought a metal inverted dish to make a

traditional meat and rice dish in which was quite tasty as well.


        In fact, everything was awesome.  I wondered if we had made mud pies would

they have tasted as good?





Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 07:51:06 EST

From: Etain1263 at aol.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] clay pie dishes

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


StefanliRous at austin.rr.com writes:


Etain mentioned:


I also do a lot of  firepit cooking in pottery, and there was a vendor selling some VERY nice pots  for such use! (I got a pie dish...it worked great yesterday at our Cook's Guild meeting)



So,  is this shaped like a modern pie pan, but made out clay? Or is it

more like a clay skillet with a handle and some legs?  Does it have  a

top, like a Dutch oven?



This is essentially an open straight sided "dish".  It's about 8" around and

5" deep.  It is made to be used in a conventional oven (on a  clay slab if

you have one), or in a dutch oven in a firepit.  The potter said that I could

put it directly on the bottom of the dutch oven without  elevating it as I do a

metal pan.  I used it in a conventional oven and it  baked a pie  without a

top crust very nicely.  I can't wait until the  weather gets nicer and I can

test it in the firepit!  I'm also hoping to  bake bread in it.





Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 09:35:06 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

From: Kerri Martinsen <kerrimart at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] clay pie dishes

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


The potter is Eadric Fahram(sp) (Eadric the Potter) in Atlantia  

(Maryland). His email is rvanrens AT hotmail.com if you would like  

to contact him directly.  I know he is planning on merchanting at  

Ponte Alto's Love & Beauty next weekend if anyone is in the area.


The pie pan is more like a deep dish, straight sides pan - un  

glazed. Everything he makes from mugs to baking dishes has been well  

researched. And he is happy to take specific commissions too.


Vitha, friend of the potter.


StefanliRous at austin.rr.com writes:

> So, is this shaped like a modern pie pan, but made out clay? Or is it

> more like a clay skillet with a handle and some legs?  Does it have  a

> top, like a Dutch oven?



Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 14:41:14 -0500

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <dailleurs at liripipe.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] leather cooking vessels

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>,     SCA-Cooks

        maillist SCA-Cooks <SCA-Cooks at Ansteorra.org>,    Micheal

        <dmreid at hfx.eastlink.ca>


on cooking in clay pots:


it is said:

> What is this about Saxon leather cooking vessels? How would you cook

> in them? Drop in hot rocks warmed in the fire/coals? I know you

> aren't supposed to put pottery vessels over the fire, just coals and

> I imagine that leather pots are even less durable.


actually I cook in pottery on fires all the time and it works great.  

in fact, for some stuff, I vastly prefer to use crockery to metal.


there's a few tricks:

having the pots made of clay that can stand up to high temps helps :)

any flaws in the pot will become very apparent very quickly ;)

bring to heat fairly slowly and dont shock cool


I have used the pots in screaming fires (not just coals) and they  

survived nicely. I hae also used pots that were of lower temp clay, etc and

they work fine, though they tend to have a shorter life span from the  

thermal shock.


just my experience,




Date: Fri, 02 Oct 2009 16:02:18 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>,

        scabakers at yahoogroups.com

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Wolfert's Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking


Paula Wolfert has a new book out titled

Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking: Traditional and Modern Recipes to  

Savor and Share.

"Wolfert shares her inimitable passion for detail and insatiable  

curiosity about cultural traditions and innovations, with  

Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking.


Here, the self-confessed clay pot "junkie"-having collected in her  

travels ceramic pots of all sorts: cazuelas, tagines, baking dishes,  

bean pots, Romertopf baking dishes, French diablos, ordinary  

casseroles, even Crockpots, which have a ceramic liner-shares recipes  

as vibrant as the Mediterranean itself along with the delightful  

stories behind the earthy pots, irresistible dishes, and outstanding  

cooks she has met along the way."


Includes a A Clay Pot Primer.






Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 12:56:57 -0400

From: Nancy Kiel <nancy_kiel at hotmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pottery braziers, cooking in pottery


I worked in the historic kitchens at Colonial Williamsburg for four years and never did anything to "warm up" the ceramic cookware, and nothing cracked from the heat.





Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 11:03:46 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pottery braziers, cooking in pottery


Ceramic chaffing dishes have to be warmed up in preparation for adding the coals to the bowl of the dish. You have to place the chaffing dish next to your fire/fire place and turn the chaffing dish to make sure that all sides are equally hot. Then you spread the fire and get only the hot coals and place them in the bowl. You then can move the chaffing dish to wherever you wish to use it, although I would use hot mitts to do so.


My husband, Master Hroar, has been making ceramic chaffing dishes, ceramic fry pans, bread cloches and other cooking tools for many decades now. The only time that his work has cracked or broken is when the user becomes impatient and starts to use them before they are ready.


You can find photos of his wares at this website:




Mistress Huette, proud wife to Master Hroar



--- On Thu, 6/16/11, Honour Horne-Jaruk <jarukcomp at yahoo.com> wrote:

--- On Thu, 6/16/11, Mercy Neumark <mneumark at hotmail.com> wrote:

<<< Are you really meaning chaffing dish

or brazier? In general, cooking in pots over open fires one

needs to understand about thermal shock and making sure the

pottery is warmed up. Also, depending on how something is

stored, a pot-ceramic ware can get damaged without one

knowing it and when it's being used the fault will appear.


--Mercy the potter >>>


<<< I suppose I mean chafing dish; the small tabletop fire-holders for cooking. And I know it's thermal shock that kills them, I just don't know how to stop it killing them.


Yours in service to both the Societies of which I am a member-

(Friend) Honour Horne-Jaruk, R.S.F.

Alizaundre de Brebeuf, C.O.L. S.C.A.- AKA Una the wisewoman, or That Pict >>>



Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 11:10:04 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pottery braziers, cooking in pottery


<<< I worked in the historic kitchens at Colonial Williamsburg for four years and never did anything to "warm up" the ceramic cookware, and nothing cracked from the heat.


Is there a reason you're not using a metal brazier?


Anne >>>


Probably because a ceramic chaffing dish is documentably period while a metal brazier probably isn't. [I haven't done the research on metal braziers yet.] You can find a lot of ceramic chaffing dishes in the pottery collection in the Museum of London. There are also quite a few period paintings of nurses/mid-wives using ceramic chaffing dishes to make healing potions for their patients, who usually are depicted lying in bed, surrounded by their loved ones and physicians.






Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 12:39:44 -0700 (PDT)

From: Louise Smithson <helewyse at yahoo.com>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pottery braziers, cooking in pottery


One of the other major differences between modern produced reproductions

(normally) and the period ones is firing temperature.


Most modern potters fire to cone 5 or 6 which is a stoneware fire. Most european

(or at least English) pottery in period was fired to earthernware temperatures,

cone 05 or 04. This makes a difference to how a clay body behaves.


When you fire to stoneware you vitrify, i.e. make the clay glass like. If a

crack starts in a vitrified body unless there is heavy grog (sand, fired clay

particles or shell) the crack will run through the pot and you get a crack.


In earthernware the body is not vitrified, this means that the cracks don't tend

to run very far at all. Think of it as the difference between a terracotta

planter (you put water in and it leaks through the body) which is earthernware

and a ceramic vase or mug (you put water in and it stays on the inside, no

weeping) which is stoneware.


One way to make stoneware more resistant to cracking is to increase the amount

of grog (such as is often found in Raku clay) or to incorporate sand or other

material in. Something that will "interrupt" the crack.



(another potter).



Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2012 20:51:54 +0000 (GMT)

From: galefridus at optimum.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Playing with cazuelas...


I've acquired one or two from a Pennsic merchant over the past couple of years, and if I recall correctly, the instruction sheet stated that no seasoning was necessary.  I did it anyway, but I used the same method that's recommended for my North African tagines -- smear with olive oil and heat in a low oven for a few hours.


I've cooked with the things a few times, usually using direct heat over a charcoal brazier. Worked really well!  I also used one as the vessel in which I dry cured some olives last year, and it was good for that too.  I had to soak the thing for a while to get all the salt out when I was done, though.


-- Galefridus


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