Trying out my new clay cooker

After a long wait, I finally managed to get my clay cooker delivered from Mason Cash.  Not only does it look great, with its looks harking back to a bygone era, but it also promises to cook a number of outstanding dishes.  When I first thought about getting it, I was thinking it would mostly be a replacement to roasts but since I knew it was coming I’ve been looking at other recipes and I can’t wait to try out a number of other dishes, including bread and soups, not to mention a number of other meat roasts.

For my first attempt, I went for a lamb dish, as I had a boneless bit of lamb in the freezer from a previous meat order from my online butcher.  It still annoys me that there are so few decent butchers in Hong Kong but at least these guys do deliver great meat (as well as fish and just recently vegetables.  To go with that lamb, I added some beans, potatoes, onions, garlic and tomatoes.

What I love about the clay cooker is just how easy it is to cook anything in it.  You soak you clay cooker in water for 10 minutes, during which time you can be preparing your vegetables, then you place everything inside the clay cooker, put it into a cold oven, set the temp and wait for it to cook.  No need to worry about waiting for the oven to get to the right temperature, just put it in there and come back when its done.

Here are some pictures I took during the preparation, not great quality pics as they were taken on a phone, but it gives you some idea of the ease of preparation:


Pre-soaked base ready for ingredients


Onions and garlic in the bottom


Lamb goes in next


Potatoes and beans round the outside of the meat


Herbs on top of the meat and tomatoes on the other veggies


Pre=soaked lid on top ready for the oven


Finished meal, ready to be eaten

I have to say that the lamb was great, cooked to perfection.  A hint of pink in the middle, succulent and juicy.  With the moisture staying inside the vegetables were also great, with no hint of dryness that you sometimes get with vegetables in a roast.  What I especially liked is that unlike a usual lamb roast, there was no congealing gravy, even towards the end of the meal.  The only potential downside was that with the moisture staying inside there was no gravy as such, but more of a soupy style liquid.  Of course that would be easy to remedy by taking the liquid away and sorting out a gravy in a smaller saucepan, but this time around I just wanted to tuck in and try it out.

I certainly cannot wait to try this out again, maybe  with a chicken, or maybe doing one of the dishes that I was not expecting to use this for.  I will definitely by trying this out for some bread baking as the retention of moisture must surely make for some great crusty bread.


4 comments on “Trying out my new clay cooker

  1. Hi! Loved your blog post. I’m actually considering getting one of these for myself. I’ve read online that it’s 13 cm high, is taht so? Do you think a regular whole chicken would fit in there? Have you tried it? Any new comments on the clay cooker, now that you’ve had it for some more time? Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Sorry it took a while to respond – I had kind of neglected my blog for a while. I don’t currently have it in front of me and will check the height later, although 13 cm sounds a little on the small side. I have seen other dimensions online for 15 cm and one for 17cm (although that might be with the lid on).

      That lamb that was used was 1 kg, with all the veg around it so a regular chicken should fit in there…. mind you the chicken sizes we have here (Hong Kong) seem tiny in comparison to the ones I used to get back in the UK, although maybe I’m just remembering wrong? Strangely I haven’t even tried using it for a chicken yet….. but there was plenty of space around the lamb.

      I’ve now used it a few times, should really have used it more, but its like I forget I have it sometimes as it sits there in my cupboard whilst other stuff is closer to hand, or as I buy newer toys to play with (my recent one being a Lagostina pressure cooker) :D. I’m not sure I like the glazing on the inside…. I guess it makes it easier to clean early on, before the clay would have soaked in the juices etc, but it also means that is retains moisture inside when stored in humid conditions (a big issue in Hong Kong). It just seems to marginally detract from the whole clay cooking experience, but that’s a minor gripe to be honest. I love how easy cooking in it is, and mostly everything I have cooked in it has come out very moist. The only let down was the bread that I tried to cook in it. The bread itself was nice enough but it just stayed way too pale on the outside.

    • OK so now I’ve been able to measure it, the height of the whole thing is about 15 cm. The bottom half is only about 8 cms.

      • Thanks a lot for both your comments! I’m definitely looking into it, although I now have a Le Creuset casserole and might have to make do with it for the time being. 🙂 🙂 🙂
        Best regards,

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