Using a tagine for the first time isn’t hard, but it has a certain way you need to know about. As a cooking pot that is famous for its unique taste, it takes a different approach to use for the first time.
Tagine is a clay pot that is used a lot in Morocco and other countries. Cooking different meals, stews, dishes with many ingredients.
Tagine can really be described as a melting pot as many different ingredients melt together and give a unique taste.
You can expect a gentle tender meat and delicate veggies as with a beautiful taste -when seasoned well.
Tagine has a conical lid that allows steam to circulate and the food to cook evenly. Now if you have a brand new one, you need to go through a certain process for the first time.
How to use a tagine for the first time
- First, wash the tagine.
- Fill the inside of the tagine with water, put the lid on, and leave it like that for about 24 hours.
- After that, open the lid and remove the remaining water. Use any kind of oil -generously- to rub the whole tagine -lid as well- and leave like that for a few hours to dry.
- Then put it in the oven. Temperature shouldn’t be high at all. Just put it after you finish cooking something in the oven or turn on the oven on a medium heat then turn it off and put the tagine in.
The reason why we go through these steps for a brand new tagine is to preserve it. Using it to cook right away is definitely not recommended.
The fact that it is made of clay makes it prone to cracking. In fact, we still need to be careful while using it after doing all the previous steps.
As we still need to try and provide certain circumstances as we use it to cook. Still, it is totally worth it.
Cooking in a tagine for the first time
Once you’re done with the above, you are ready to cook in your new tagine.
You just need to follow some recipes if you don’t know the basics of cooking. Although, you can use it to cook meat and veggies the way you want.
If for some reason the tagine you bought is giving the food some weird smell, then here is what to do:
buy some anise or fennel and cook them on the tagine. This helps get rid of any funny smell.
Leave them low fire -in the tagine- for a while and make sure to steer and cover most of the spots inside the tagine.
This is one of the ways you can solve the smelling problem in case it occurs. Mostly, you won’t have this problem with your new tagine. And some new tagines come seasoned and all, you won’t need to prepare them before use for the first time.
How to protect your tagine
You can protect your tagine by putting it on a warm surface when it is still hot instead of putting it on ceramic. Also, while cooking, make sure you pour warm water instead of cold water.
The main problem that people face with a tagine is the cracks. This is normal and it happens with glasses and other pots when exposed from a high to a low degree of heat and vice versa.
So make sure to use some warm water when you need to add more water to your ingredients while cooking. And have a coaster ready in the kitchen or the table to put it on it when it is still hot.
How to use a tagine on an electric or a gas stove
Cooking a tagine on a gas stove requires lower heat. It is recommended to put on the fire on low to medium to preserve the quality of the tagine.
You may already understand that tagine pots are not some new invention. Clay pots, mugs, and bottles are used for ages.
So in the case of tagine pots, they were used above traditional grills which happen to be made from clay as well.
These grills are still widely used when cooking tagine. It takes longer times to cook on these traditional grills but they are probably the best to cook a tagine.
As the heat is low and does not damage the tagine. Also the slow cooking results in delicious and well-cooked meat or veggies.