I have one of these “cazuelas,” a clay pot or cazuela de barro, typically used for molé. Before you cook in it, it must be “seasoned” or “cured.” It entails a bit of necessary work, but well worth it. Quite different then seasoning your cast iron skillets where you add oil. Here you want to add moisture.
Frijoles de Olla/Bean Pot
Pots are seasoned on top of stove, due to shape. I have always said, beans made in a “cazuela de barro” a clay pot, are a totally different flavor, and you will be hooked. Tagines can also be seasoned in oven. For Italian and Spanish cooking cazuelas, manufactures usually recommend merely soaking in water for 10-12 hours. Glazed pots are seasoned differently than unglazed. The glazed cazuelas are shiny. I will focus on unglazed molé cazuelas, as seen in picture above.
For leaching white lead from the traditional clay cooking pots purchased in Mexico.
Fill the pot with water to about an inch or so from the brim, adding 1/4 c. of white vinegar to each cup of water used. (ex. 6 cups water/ 1-1/2 c. vinegar). Place pot in the oven at 100 degrees and leave overnight. Check the pot in the morning by dumping out the water and looking for a white or silver ring; the white residue is the lead leaching out of the clay. This procedure may have to be done several times until there is no visible lead residue.
Clay pots can go directly over stove or wood flame, but when using an electric stove use a metal diffuser under your pot.
As you know, I enjoy cooking. I also have an attachment to some of my favorite pots, pans or kitchen implements. I have some favorite pieces I inherited from Mi Mama. I also have Mi Abuelita, Elena’s rolling pin she used daily, to make flour tortillas.
Now go out and make some molé.
Abrazos y Besos