How to Use and Maintain Glazed Terra Cotta?
I just bought this glazed terra cotta casserole from Crate and Barrel
Inspired by traditional European bakeware, our bright blue pieces add a rustic touch to baking and serving. Each piece is high-fired terra cotta with a glowing glaze.
High-fired terra cotta with bright blue glaze
Dishwasher-, microwave- and oven-safe
Made in Portugal
But I'm wondering now how do I maintain and use it? There are no details that came with it, other than the above. I've read about pizza stones before and making sure that you warm it in the oven and don't take it out until its cool down with the oven. So there are no extreme changes in temperature. Is this the same with this casserole dish?
Also - any yummy recipe ideas are welcome so I can try my new toy! :)
I'm not sure if yours is similar to Spanish cazuelas or not. Anyways, this page from La Tienda has instructions on using theirs. These Spanish ones are glazed on the inside, but not glazed on outside base. These are first soaked to restore moisture driven off during firing. If yours is glazed all around, then this soaking won't apply.
I got my cazuela from The Spanish Table. Their instructions are simpler.
So far I used it on a gas burner, and in the oven. I start it in a cold oven, so it comes up to heat with the oven. But it does not need to cool down before removing from the oven - just set the hot cazuela on a good hot pad.
One time, when I tried it the microwave, the cazuela got hot (not just the food). It was shortly after the initial soaking, and the retained water must have reacted to the microwaves.
Benefits? It's traditional and pretty. The Spanish piece that I bought was only $10, so the purchase was well within my 'learning' budget. At the same time I bought an enamelware cazuella about the same size, which is actually more useful.
The glazed terracotta does clean easily, certainly on the par with enameled items. All of my Corningware is hiding in storage, so I haven't given much thought as to how the more traditional ware compares. I can't think of any major advantages.
For cooking I've mainly used mine for table top cooking on a butane burner.
I don't know how it would react to a hot soup or stew. I suspect it would be ok, but haven't tried it. But a cold dish will chill the food. It may be better for serving foods that should stay cool. Or if you heat the stew in the dish, then it will help keep it warm.