As earthen cookware becomes more and more popular due to its multiple benefits, both taste and health wise, many people seem to equate clay pots and pans with terracotta cookware. While both of them are a type of earthenware, there are some essential differences between the two, which make pure clay cookware truly unique. The reason why clay pots and pans have become increasingly popular lately is that they provide a very healthy way of cooking, without the need for any fat or liquid and whilst preserving the nutrients in food. For that reason, if you want to enjoy all the benefits of 100% healthy cooking, then you should know these differences so that you can choose and buy the right cookware.
Terracotta is usually glazed
Terracotta is low fired and as a result has to be glazed to provide the items with a protective layer when they are exposed to direct sources of heat, such as flames. It also helps to make the vessels watertight. To that effect, the entire benefit of having a clay pot is canceled because glaze in itself has lead and cadmium and all sorts of other toxins and chemicals. It is this type of toxin that makes regular cookware harmful to begin with because they leach into the food. Therefore, having terracotta cookware that has been glazed makes no sense and adds no benefit to your cooking. Pure-clay cookware on the other hand, is high fired (up to 2000 degree fahrenheit) and hand burnished so does not need any glaze!
Unglazed terracotta usually has additives
Even if you find terracotta pots and pans that are unglazed, chances are that during the clay processing a lot of additives such as extenders or plasticizers were added to the compound. Other substances that are used when processing the clay for terracotta cookware include dyes (terracotta pots have red color), feldspar, talc, deflocculates and mica. However, if you purchase 100% pure clay cookware, you’ll benefit from pots and pans that have absolutely no additives, no toxins or chemicals that could leach into your food while cooking. In fact, in order to be absolutely sure that you’re getting the best cookware, you should choose products made from tested pure-clay. The pinkish-orange color of these pots is their own natural hue when fired.
Pure clay cookware retains excellent heat
So, the main difference between terracotta and clay cookware is the rawness & purity of the material. Pure Clay pots and pans are made from pure, raw material, while terracotta vessels are refined in one way or another. Because of that, the former retain excellent heat, which means you can cook all your foods in medium heat. Not only that, but food will stay warm a lot longer without becoming soggy.