Clay pot cooking offers today’s modern culinary enthusiast a brief glimpse of the cooking practices of the past. With so many high tech options available today for food preparation, it seems rather surprising perhaps that something so simple, yet amazingly effective still remains a popular cooking method today. If you are attending a San Francisco culinary school, or receiving any type of cooking training or education, chances are you will hear about clay pot cooking. Here is a brief history of clay cooking and some information to get you well on your way to learning yet another effective and historic method of cooking.

History of clay pot cooking

Long before the days of commercialized cookware, early settlers and civilizations across the world relied on earthenware products for food preparation. These clay pots were made fairly simply back then and just as the soil and clay concentration from one area to the next would vary, so would the composition and use for the clay cookware.

Advantages of clay pots today

Today, clay pots are still used in cooking training and kitchens worldwide for a variety of reasons. The flavor and moisture of the food is unique to the way it is prepared. The clay pot is ideal for recipes that require a high level of moisture for proper cooking. A small amount of liquid is needed to create this moist final product, food stays warm longer when left in a clay pot, meats cook well and maintain their flavor, cleanup is easier since you use one pot for the entire meal and nutrients and vitamins are retained naturally. These are just a few of the factors that continue to bring people back to this ancient cooking method. For those who are also interested in saving energy, clay cooking takes place at a lower heat and requires less time than many other cooking techniques.

How to use clay pots

Clay pots not only require a different cooking technique, but also a different cleanup method. They cannot be placed in the dishwasher since this rapid temperature change can crack the pot. Typically, the most common types of foods cooked in a clay pot include Chinese, Thai and other Asian meals. The best tasting dishes are typically those which are served in some type of sauce, like curry or any type of gravy. Most experts also recommend soaking your clay pot in water for at least 15 minutes before using it, to allow for the water to soak into this porous material. Never take a hot clay pot and set it immediately on a cold surface or it make crack.
If you are intrigued by learning new methods of cooking, the San Francisco culinary scene has plenty to offer. If it’s something you feel passionate about learning, you may want to consider enrolling in cooking training to help you further your skills and education in the culinary field.

This article is presented by California Culinary Academy. California Culinary Academy offers culinary arts and patisserie and baking training programs in San Francisco, California. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit for more information. 

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