Clay Pot Cooking, not a crock, yo. word. Shaddap Biggles.

The flavors are still on my tongue. Am attempting to bring you some word, some phrase or metaphor that can describe what the last 12 some odd hours were like. Please click on the image and just sit with that for a moment while I collect my thoughts.
Over the past month I’ve been monkeying around with this clay chicken cooker thing. The last dish I made was exceptionally proud of, for several reasons. Not only was it a winner in the chicken & rice casserole flavor department, but it cost just under 5 bux total. This is the dish where I learned that an entire, diced onion is too much. How did I find out? Ask the boys as they dove out the car’s windows the following morning, heh. I still got it.
All along, been wanting to do a pork roast of any kind in the thing, duh. Sunday afternoon found me at Joya de Ceren, visiting Omar and seeing what tasty treats I could find in his meat cooler. Pork shoulder baby! 3.5 pounds of a really great looking hunk of meat. I grabbed the ingredients I thought I needed and expected to have that sucker in the oven within an hour or so.
That didn’t happen. Too much relaxing and one too many naps, the day was gone. There’s always Monday!
Man, I got home Monday and was in no mood. I could tell where this was going, the days would slide and so would the pork. Nope, I had to make it work and it had to be now. All the ideas of making my own Mexicanny dry rub went right out the window. It was just after 4pm and had only just jacked the oven to 300, I had to move.
Wash, dry meat and let the chill come off. Rub with extra virgin and grab Scott’s Survival Spice. This ain’t just some old premade nothin’ blend. Scott put a lot of time and effort in to this rub and it shows. If I don’t have any of mine laying around, or no time to make one, this is the one to grab. And brother, or sister, I’m glad I did.
Sliced a white onion in to rings and laid on the bottom of the roaster. And maybe 8 cloves of garlic, whacked once with a knife, peeled. One thing I’ve noticed about cooking in the clay oven, I’m far more thoughtful about moisture. That is to say, what you put in there, even an onion, will add moisture that doesn’t escape, much. So, just the little amount of onion, garlic and the moisture in the meat was enough to cook this thing for 9 hours.
Here it is in a nutshell, onion, garlic, dry drubbed meat, 300 for 4 hours, down to 250 for 5 hours. Pull, let rest for an hour or so and refrigerate. Total cost is about 8 to 9 dollars, not counting 9 hours of natural gas pouring in to my range. I know I may be going out on a limb here, but I’m putting the flavors, texture, juice factor and pully apartyness at the very top. I would say this roast could very well be the best pork shoulder I’ve ever received from my oven.

I have spoken.

ps – I didn’t soak my cooker because the inside upper and lower lid are glazed. Not sure soaking it with water would have done anything positive.

19 thoughts on “Clay Pot Cooking, not a crock, yo. word. Shaddap Biggles.

  1. What cut of pork did you use, shoulder? I have one of those roasters and it may be getting pulled off of its resting place on top of the fridge…

  2. Any reason to believe that using the pot from a crock pot (crockery bottom, glass/corningware lid) would serve as a reasonable substitute for your clay chicken?
    I’ve recently done pulled pork shoulder as well as a beef pot roast in my oven using the crock pot pottery. I normally heat the pottery in the oven (open to let it heat inside and out) while I’m prepping the ingredients. In the case of the pot roast, I seared it in on the range first, and then added it to the pottery and closed it up for a few hours, starting first at over 400, and then dropping it down to 300 after the meat was starting to really cook.
    With the pulled pork, it was something like 12 hours at 225 instead.

  3. You can’t imagine how happy I was to see once again some deeeelicious meat tempting me from your blog! I was truly beginning to worry about you. So glad to have your bad self back.

  4. Hey K,
    Thank you and you’re welcome! Both my body and mind have been really busy, plus it was kinda nice to take a little time off from here, ya know?
    Hey Squid!
    Ya know, since I’ve never used a crockpot, I really don’t have any real world comparisons on that. I can say that I do know the clay cooker I have does let a tiny amount of moisture out and depending on what’s in there, does allow the meat to turn brown. The crockpots I’ve seen, seal pretty well, especially when the steam begins and it seals the lid even further with moisture. I generally never got in to crockpots because you get what you get. I’m not able to adjust, change and play with it like I can with other venues. The whole idea of a crockpot is to fill it, and go to work or to bed and wake up with whatever you get. I don’t work well with recipes, so never got in to crockpots.
    As far as pork goes, especially the fattier cuts that take longer, you can roast those things at 200, 225, 250, 300, 325 or whatever and have it come out juicy, tasty, tender and delightful. Sure tossing it in a smoker at 200 for half a day is good. It’s pork baby, it’s all good.
    Hey Amy,
    Oh, yeah, shoulder. No bone. Would liked to have the bone, but my roaster is so small, that 3.5 roast really filled the sucker up. I’m really liking this clay thing, am able to really slide on so many fussy angles of roasting by just tossing things in. Clay rules.
    Hey Pragmatic,
    Thank you sir! Wish you were here to enjoy, I would share!
    xo, Biggles

  5. Regarding the crockpot. We almost never use the electrical element, I’m mostly only using the pottery bottom with a glass lid. I don’t suppose it seals any better than your clay chicken. The one nice thing is that after you make pulled pork in the oven, you can throw it into the electrical thing just to keep it warm for the guests as the partake.
    With the pork, I had so much of it (12 pounds?) I cooked it without the lid at a hyper 450+ degrees until the top was well browned, and then did the slow roast overnight. Yummers.
    I need to visit your pork vendor…

  6. I can dig it because I’m still on Piggy Cloud 9 after the Carnitas burro (no ito) I et for lunch.

  7. Rev,
    Thanks! I’ve had a hankering for a shoulder byt wanted to do something different – I tend to forget about my clay cooker.

  8. Hi Cookie,
    YES, exactly! I can’t believe it either, I’ve never received anything like that from a crockpot or similar. The little sucker is amazing.
    xo, Biggles

  9. So… judging from the 4 o’clock start and 9 hour cook time (plus an hour’s rest), I’m guessing this was an oven-over-nighter? 🙂
    The end result looks gorgeous. Mmmmmmm.

  10. Holy moly, that’s glorious. I’ve got to get one of those and experiment. I bet it’d be a great way to cook some lamb as well.

  11. Hey Sherry,
    Yeah, overnighter. And wasn’t looking forward to it. Mostly because I’ve done over night cooking and since my home is so small, it keeps me awake! My most awesome home of all time is 861 sq ft, when the kitchen is whizzen, I can smell it from a half block away.
    And to all, it is MORE than a great way to cook. Found a deal on some pork sirloin roast action. It just went in, onions, garlic and fresh rosemary! Let’s see what happens, eh?

  12. OH MY GOODNESS!!! To think that my pulled pork would ever equal (or better?) that from my husbands Big Green Egg! Even though I cooked my roast for 10 hours instead of 9–don’t start this at 6 in the evening, it came out beautifully. Both my daughters (well maybe not the one unless you know of any fish or veggie recipes?), my daughters-in-law, my sisters, my Mom and my nieces are getting a clay pot! This was just too good and too easy. Thank you, thank you!!

  13. Great post! You’ve inspired me. I’m dusting off the Romertopf today. Got me a rubbed shoulder that’s been sitting’ in the fridge overnight and I am looking forward to what I hope will be a delicious lunch.