Section 9: Occasional care for your MEC pot

Steam cleaning, oiling, lack of use…

Steam cleaning residue and toxins out of the clay

Typically, the pot pushes out toxins, but when steaming water with lid open it will pull-in anything in the walls.

Why steam the pot?

My yogurt clay pot after steam cleaning. Lots of toxins (brown bubbles) were brought to the outside of the pot.
My pot was definitely in need of steam cleaning. I use this pot solely for yogurt making. I purchase unhomogenized grass fed milk and bring it to a boil before making yogurt. I’ve heard many times, toxins are concentrated in animal fat – and milk contains lots of animal fat. I’m thankful that my pot removing these toxins, else my body would have had to do extra work to try to remove them.
  • The pores of the pot are get clogged over time making it harder for the clay to remove toxins from the food. Miriam steams her pots every 4-5 months to reopen the pores.
  • To speed the adjustment of your pot from one type of cooking to another (e.g. to convert a yogurt pot to a grain pot).
  • To removed flavors absorbed by the clay. (For the most part, flavors being transferred via the clay is a very good thing).


  1. Put about 1″ of water in the pot.
  2. You can put the lid on to bring it up to a boil faster. However, once at a boil, remove the lid and let it steam and gently boil for 10-15 minutes.
  3. If you want, let the pot cool down naturally some.
  4. Pour out the boiled water (while still warm)
  5. Wipe dry
  6. Set it aside to dry for about 10-15 minutes before using again.

Miriam says just one boil should be enough. [I’ve tested this, and my second boil didn’t remove any toxins]

Converting a cooking pot to a yogurt pot – or – visa versa

  • Soak the pot in water for an hour.
  • Steam clean the pot twice. When steam cleaning have it 1/4 – 1/2 full of water.

My pot smells of spices

  • Be sure your pot is thoroughly dry before cooking another dish in it.
  • Very occasionally steam cleaning may be necessary

Water logged pot

You pot is most at risk before it is fully seasoned (first 6 uses) and also if it is stored in a place of high humidity.

Common ways to get a water logged pot:

  • Soaking food in it for a few hours. See Presoaking rarely necessary.
  • Soaking in water for too long before cleaning.
  • Making back-to-back batches of bone broth (not so much, the heat helps to get the water out).

How to tell the dryness of your pot

Water logged pot Semi-dry potDry potToo dry
cold to touchnot as cold as a water logged potsame temperature as other items such as wood
glossysemi-glossflat (no gloss)deep red; kind of like dry skin

How long can I soak before the pot is water logged?

  • Soaking for 30 minutes does not water log a pot
  • Soaking for 4-8 hours water logs a pot

If your pot is water logged, see Don’t start cooking in a water logged pot.

Solve by Drying.

Too dry pot

A dry pot can be caused by

  • A dry environment.
  • Being at a high altitude.

Solve by oiling outside of pot

  • It may be necessary to apply oil monthly.
  • Apply oil to the outside of the pot – both bottom and sides.
  • Let the pot rest for a day or two before wiping and washing off oil. Time is always good for clay.
  • Do not cook with a pot with an oily bottom – it will drip over your stove causing a fire hazard.

What if my clay cookware hasn’t been used in awhile?

How long is awhile?

Let it soak in water for about 20 minutes and apply some cooking oil to the outside and inside of the pot while it’s in the water. Let it dry and then you can start cooking with it.


How long does clay cookware last?

If properly maintained, clay pots can last a lifetime.

Why do some people replace pots after a year or two?

See contains minerals and porous in nature.

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

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