*** Section 2: Initial seasoning new MEC cookware ***

A little more involved (and slightly better results) than Miriam’s quick start instructions

How to Season clay pots and pans

Oven roasted chicken and mixed root vegetables
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5 from 1 vote
How to Season Miriam’s Clay Pots and Pans
MEC pots and pans must be seasoned before their first use.
Seasoning shrinks the pot ever so slightly and prepares it for cooking food.
The instructions that come with Miriam's pots are simple and fast, and they work. These instructions have a few extra steps and there is more "resting time", but they produce a slightly better seasoned pot.
Miriam chooses to keep her basic instructions simple because most people want to use the pot immediately. Personally, I follow these instructions for all my pots.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Resting time after boiling the flour mixture (8 hours), then resting time after oiling outside of pot (24 hours)1 day 8 hours
Total Time1 day 8 hours 45 minutes
  • SimmerMat or diffuser
  • MEC Clay pot or pan
  • water ideally filtered, enough to fill the pot ¼ full
  • 1-2 tbsp flour – wheat, rice, arrowroot,etc.; gluten free options: oatmeal, squash nut flour/paste, bean flour like chickpeas, etc. 1 tbsp for small and medium pots; 2 tbsp for large and extra large pots; When seasoning a pot that is solely designed to hold, cool & energize water, use flour with minimal flavor.
  • 1-2 tbsp plant derived oil coconut, sesame, olive
  • Thoroughly wet & rinse the pot and lid under running water. (Some other pots use secondary and tertiary clay. With these you need to soak them in water over night. Miriam uses primary clay – which produces a much better heat and cooking result. Do not soak her pot before seasoning. Soaking might water log the pot and result in a possible crack)
  • Let water drain off and wipe the bottom dry with a cotton cloth.
  • Fill the pot ¼-⅓ full with water – filtered is best.
  • Place pot on the stove – but sure to use a diffuser,
  • Cover pot with its lid.
  • Start on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add flour to the water, stir, cover, and let it cook.
    I find my flour/water mixture does not get so clumpy, if I first mix the flour with an ounce of water, and then add the mixture to the remaining water. (For mixing you can use a wisk, wooden spoon, or other utinsil that doesn't scratch the pot)
    Adding a few drops of vegetable oil at this point is optional. It makes clean up slightly easier and benefits the pot a bit. Miriam will usually add oil when seasoning her pots.
    Initially Miriam added some turmeric to the mixture. Traditionally this was done to help purify the clay, but Miriam's clay is pure and thus turmeric is unnecessary.
  • Increase heat to medium after 5 minutes.
  • Cook this mixture on medium heat till it thickens to a broth (consistency of milk or orange juice or slightly thicker). If it gets much thicker, that's fine too. Cook time varies according to the type of flour used.
  • Turn stove off and wait for it to cool down, preferably wait overnight.
  • The next morning, pour broth out, scrub & wash off any residue from the seasoning and wipe pot dry.
  • Using your hands, apply a coating of vegetable oil on the entire outside of the pot – walls and bottom. Let the pot sit upside down over night and then the next morning wipe off any extra oil and start cooking.
    If you are in a hurry, you can just apply oil to the sides of the pot and start cooking immediately.
    The oil helps the pot develop a uniform patina (finish) as it ages and also helps protect the clay so it doesn't dry out.
    If seasoning a pot for water storage, do not coat the outside with oil. You want the pot to breath as much as possible – no worries about it drying out. Also, be sure to read Section 11: Non cooking uses for a clay pot to learn more about water storage.
  • You can start cooking. Be sure to follow the advice below – "The first 6-12 times you use your clay cookware"
If this is your first time seasoning and using clay – and – you have purchased multiple pots, consider seasoning and learning on one pot, then season the remainder pots.
There are many clay pot seasoning techniques on the Internet. If you have pots from MEC, use these instructions.
WikiHow has a seasoning example with one of Miriam’s pots.
You can use the same broth to season multiple pots. Just add 1 cup of water.

How to season clay cups and bowls & How to Re-season Pots & Pans that Haven’t Been Used in Awhile

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5 from 1 vote
How to Season Miriam’s Cups & Bowls – and – How to Treat a Pot or Pan that Hasn’t Been Used for Awhile
MEC cups and bowls should be seasoned before their first use. The soaking method below is easy and works well. You do not need to make a flour broth and boil the broth on the stove like you do for pots and pans. The reason is the area of clay to be seasoned is more in the case of the cooking pots and pans. With the soaking method, you can still use your cups and bowls for reheating food and cooking small portions.
If an MEC pot or pan hasn't been used for while (a few months), it has likely dried out. Follow these instructions before using the pot or pan again.
These instructions are the same as those on Miriam's website.
Prep Time10 minutes
Soaking time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
  • clay cookware
  • water
  • 1 tbsp plant derived oil coconut, sesame, olive
  • Wash and rinse the clay cookware.
  • Fill the sink or a large bowl with water and add the clay cookware.
  • Add 1 tbsp of cooking oil to the water and stir.
  • Rub the clay cookware with the oil/water mixture.
  • Let soak 30-40 minutes and remove.
  • Drip dry and wipe down with a soft cotton towel – or – simply air dry.
  • You can start using the cookware right away.

How to season the MEC clay griddle

Follow MEC instructions here. Be sure to oil both sides of the griddle.

I am thinking we should recommend soaking it before using in the oven. I am going to do some more testing but I think either soaking it or get getting it thoroughly wet and letting it sit to take in that water, might be the key, to keep it moist and not crack. This I think will need to be done till it’s “broken-in” or “well-seasoned”, then I think the extra step of soaking may not be necessary. I’ll have to test it.

Your’s looks drier than it should be, mine did too when using on the stove.


The first 6-12 times you use your clay cookware

  • Use only on stove top (not oven).
  • Even if you have a gas stove, continue to use your diffuser.
  • Always start on low heat (#2) for 5 minutes. Don’t go above medium-low (#4).
  • If possible, use your pot at least every day or two for the first couple of times. If this is not possible, just wash & wipe down the pot with a cotton cloth and heat it [the empty pot] on the stove-top at the lowest setting with the lid off, till you feel the rim is hot [warm]. Then you can store the pot away.
  • Cook wet vegetarian recipes on the stove – rice, any grain, soups, stews, lentils, steaming vegetables, etc. Do not simply boil water. (My friend Jenn tried simply boiling water and heard slight cracking sounds. When you cook with a vegetarian recipe, you don’t hear any sounds.)

    Miriam explains the reason for initially cooking vegetarian – and probably also why you shouldn’t cook with heavy flavors initially below:

At the beginning, the clay platelets have not yet bound closely together, so it is a lot more porous. As a results, if you cook fish before it is fully seasoned, the clay will start smelling strongly of fish, as it absorbs this scent.

  • When done cooking, empty the pot immediately – else food will seep into the pores of the pot because the pot is not fully seasoned. Do not add water to the pot to absorb heat. (This completely contradicts the rules for a fully seasoned pot where you try to leave some food in the pot, or if you empty the pot completely, add a cup of water to absorb heat).
  • Food will stick some. After a few uses the pan becomes naturally non-stick.
  • You’ll notice a wonderful earthy smell when gently heating the pots. This smell decreases as the pot gets more seasoned and eventually goes away.
  • It is especially important not to water log your pot at this time. For example if you soak beans in your pot for a few hours and then cook the beans in the same pot, the pot will be too water logged.
  • Cooking times will be 5-10 minutes longer.
  • Don’t cook longer than 1 hour.

Read next few sections (through Avoiding cracks)

Your pot is more delicate until it is more fully seasoned – reading these sections can avoid problems.

I would love to hear from you.
Scroll down to share your experiences & Wisdom.

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3 years ago

How will I know when the pot is fully seasoned?

1 year ago

5 stars
Please clarify that we don’t need to season the water jug with heat and flour.Thanks!

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