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Oct 30, 2004 11:47 AM

Clay pot roaster

  • d

I was given a clay roaster as a gift, however there are no instructions. Does anyone out there know how long it should be soaked before using the first time. I'm dying to make lamb shanks in there. Help.

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  1. Soak both pieces of the clay pot for at least 15 minutes. The moisture left in the clay is what creates the wonderful moist cooking! I have used mine for lots of things and the 40clove garlic chicken is one of the best!Happy cooking!

    2 Replies
    1. re: marti

      I've been (re-) gifted one as well. May I ask - what kind of texture the finished product has? I am thinking of a crock-pot stew or pot roast type finish - there's no chance of crispyness or a nice rare roast beef is there? As far as the 40 garlic clove chicken should I just use one of the recipes that have come up on this board?


      1. re: julesrules

        Generally speaking, the finished texture of roasts done in Romertopfs depends on two factors: length of cooking time and amount of space in the pot. I've found that with a No. 111 (which is sized to handle poultry of 5 pounds or so), enough airspace is left around the bird to allow nice browning. The trick is to open up the pot about 10-15 minutes before the time is up, and pour off all of the accumulated liquid. Return the bottom to the oven without the top and the bird will crisp up nicely. Use the remaining time to skim fat from the reserved juice and thicken it up for sauce.

        [By way of comparison, cooking something by fully covering it in salt (or wrapping it in flour) wouldn't provide enough airspace for it to brown at all.]

        This same idea of pouring off liquid to allow browning also applies for roasts, but I tend to use mine for large tough cuts like shoulder rather than large tender roasts like leg, so I'm generally looking for melt-in-your-mouth tender rather than a crispy browned exterior. The ovens do a very good job with juicy rare roast beef -- the trick is to greatly reduce the cooking time and pull the roast out of the oven before the target temperature is reached since it'll continue cooking for a little while.

        With 40-clove of garlic chicken, I make adjustments to account for the different way that the food is cooked. Remember that only a small fraction of the normal quantity of oil is required with clay roasters since foods can cook with just their own juice. To maximize flavor, I brown the chicken and garlic in a skillet first, then transfer to the romertopf along with the deglazed fond. I cut up onions, add herbs, carrots and new potatoes and put it into a cold oven to cook off.

        Where the Romertopfs really excel is with birds that tend to cook unevenly -- I've had great success recently with guinea hens and ducks, birds with sensitive breasts that tend to cook much quicker than the legs and thighs. I'd like to get the No. 117 and try a whole turkey in it, I bet it'd do a fantastic job. If anyone has one lying around up in their attic that they'd like to get rid of, shoot me an email.

    2. You can Google Romertoph for other ideas and instructions.

      1. IIRC, it's an hour for the first time, then 15 mins with each reuse (if used regularly).

        Whatever you do, do not ever put a cold pot in a hot oven: it will crack. You must put in in a cold oven and heat it gradually.

        1. Here is a link to Romertopf, the kind I have and like. It tells you how to soak it, etc. The tricky part for me is getting it clean afterwards. You can't use soap, must use something like a non-abraisive scouring pad.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Coyote

            You guys are the best, thank you

          2. I'm reviving this old thread to ask if anyone regularly uses them? SO recalled that many years ago she used one to roast a chicken and it was so tender that even the bones were edible.
            So, has anyone eaten chicken bones using this or other cooking methods?

            7 Replies
            1. re: Scargod

              <"has anyone eaten chicken bones using {this or} other cooking methods?">

              Raising hand .... I have. I have eaten the ends of legs bones, thigh bones and wing bones after making chicken stock and before disposing of the carcass. Also, the bones become tender after a braise. The taste is not exactly chicken-y but there is a fair amount of flavor. The texture, on the other hand, is granular... but there is some juice.

              1. re: Gio

                Let me reiterate: she was eating the whole bone. She said it was delicious!
                Since I have known her she has exhibited very normal eating behavior...
                (do I need to start worrying about what I've got myself into?)
                Frankly, I afraid to buy a Romertopf. Aren't eating chicken bones bad (as in dangerous) for dogs?

                1. re: Scargod

                  Well, I'd skip the bones :), but I used to have an imitation Romertopf (a Schlemmertopf, purchased in Germany) and remember that it made fantastic pot roast and chicken. Sadly it cracked and I had to pitch it.

                  1. re: Scargod

                    bones are bad for dogs because they splinter. that said, bones from clay pot chicken for me have been like regular roast chicken bones, so not edible. have been loosening skin by hand then rubbing with black bean paste. put in cold oven covered and set at 450, leave for 45 min. drain, leave uncovered and flipped and brush with hoisin sauce to let both sides brown. let crisp for 20 or 30 minutes. oh and at beginning line pot with parchment paper to ease cleaning. not being able to use soap on these is a pain. and let pot cool slowly so it doesn't crack.
                    I have also done corned beef with I think less shrinkage.

                    1. re: divadmas

                      A couple of days ago I received the Römertopf I ordered on line but have yet to use it. Many thanks for the parchment paper tip. I have to work up the courage to use it this week-end. Don't know what I'm skeered of, tho. I'm thinking a chicken dish and your black bean paste and hoisin sounds like a good start.

                      1. re: Gio

                        I like to make the Beggar's Chicken recipe from Grover Sales' book:

                        Sometimes I make it w/2 cornish game hens instead

                2. re: Scargod

                  Without the clay pot cooker, the only contribution my husband would make to our dinner table would be tacos and pancakes! Thank god for the Romertopf. He's made it his "pet" over the years and is almost solely responsible for roasting (various ways; sometimes fruity, sometimes garlicky, sometimes herby) the large, free-range chickens we buy from a local woman every year.