Product: Black Clay La Chamba 3 qt. cooking pot

Size of Container: 3 quart

Price: 79.95

Cheapest Place to Buy:   Amazon.ca

Guarantee: see company write up

My Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

What is this

This is a black clay cooking pot made by the indigenous people from the village of La Chamba, Columbia on the Magdelena River deep in the jungle of South America.  These pots are still made in the traditional manner by families in the village. Each piece is hand-crafted using local black clay, dug from the river, and local farm fields, dried and sifted to remove debris. Each bowl is made by hand with a lid. It is then burnished by hand and fired on-site.

Burnishing is the process of sealing the outer part of the pot/dish by rubbing the outside with a wet hard, smooth stone like quartz or something similar. The process of rubbing the outside with this wet stone in all directions generates heat and friction that cause the raw or green clay (not yet fired) to react by making a seal on it. Once fired the pot has a liquid-proof exterior even though it has not been glazed.

This is a handmade process with imperfections and flecks of minerals that are considered a characteristic of the pottery.
The lids and pots are made for each other but are not always a perfect fit as the lid or pot may shrink at a different rate from the other during firing.

Who is it for

Black clay la Chamba pots are for anyone wishing to use a natural fibre for cooking food in, that does not contain any lead or other toxins.

Why and when to use it

Cooking with clay creates food that is healthier, tastier and moister! Chamba is strong enough to use on the stovetop, oven or microwave. It is even safe to use over an open fire. Chamba cookware heats evenly and is renowned for retaining heat. Food made in the la Chamba pot can be served right from the pot. Chamba cookware heats evenly and is renowned for retaining heat. Over time the colour the pot changes from exposure to the heat source.

How to use and care for your pot

These pots do not like to go from cold like a fridge to hot like a pre-heated oven. Nor do they like going from a hot oven to a cold surface. Always use a heat-absorbing trivet of cork or material to diffuse the change of temperature from oven, stovetop or microwave or your pot could very well crack. When using these pots for the first time it is VERY IMPORTANT TO SEASON the pot first.

To do this fill the pot with cold water 3/4 full

  • place in a cold oven.
  • turn on the oven to 400 F degrees
  • leave the pot in the oven for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Turn the oven off and let the pot cool to room temperature in the oven.
  • After this, the pot is seasoned and ready for use.

Once you have used your pot you can put it to soak for a few minutes and then use a soft sponge or cloth to wipe it out. It is not recommended to soak for a long period. Do not use soap as the taste will remain in the pot. Abrasive cleaners and dishwashers are not recommended.

Where to get

These pots can be purchased through online stores and stand-alone stores. This product comes in a variety of shapes and sizes including small, medium, large and extra-large pots, shallow pans, bowls and round casseroles. This review is based on the 3 quart size as it is a popular size.

Conclusion

The Black Clay La Chamba pot would be a nice addition to the pots each of us cooks in. They are easy to season and easy to clean. For those of us looking to cook food in a way that retains more goodness that goes into our bodies, this is definitely something one should try. With the variety of sizes, you can start by trying it out with a smaller one to see just how easy, and good food is when cooked in these pots. Then graduate to other ones suit your fancy.
Leave a comment below and share your view. Would love to start a coversation.

  1. Very informative article. It sounds like cooking with a Black Clay La Chamba cooking pot is something I should explore further. I use cast iron frequently so am wondering how does using clay compare? I am thinking it would provide an even heat distribution and hold the heat similarly, would that be correct? I did not see a picture or link, will you be adding those? Thanks for this information.

    • Hi Deborah, Thanks for checking this review out. Yes, I will be adding picture(s) and links. You are correct in surmising that these pots function like a cast iron one. They are great to go from oven to table because they retain heat so when you want that second helping it is still hot. They do not go in the freezer though. They will crack.

  2. Hi Deb, what a great article about these la chamba bowls. I served in the peace corps in ecuador and the village was also named la chamba so I thought that was quite a coincidence! I have a few odds and ends around the house from that time that makes my house have a south american flare enough so that this would make a great addition!

    • Thanks John, This is probably very similar judging by the pictures I found. The way these pieces are made and how they can be used are so fascinating. definitely on my purchase bucket list.

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