3 Spectacular Reasons You Should Own Mexican Clay Pots For Cooking

Last Updated on February 24, 2022 by Guillermina

Using Mexican clay pots for cooking is not only aesthetically pleasing but also a traditional staple in many Mexican households. The gorgeous designs hand-painted on the pots can give your kitchen a  pop of color and personality.

As pretty as they are though, some Mexican clay cooking pots are dangerous! It is important to be well informed about this topic before purchasing a Mexican clay cooking pot.

The History Of Mexican Clay Cooking Pots

Possibly the most interesting thing about these clay cooking pots is the rich history they have! From what we know, Mexicans started using clay cooking pots in the fifteenth century. These were innovations brought from Spain as they frequently used them in cooking.

They were not only cheaper to construct than other cooking pot mediums, but brilliant displays of color that could be used as a decoration. Usually, these cooking pots are made with clay and the base is fiery orange-red.

This type of pottery is also referred to as Talavera pottery. Technically, pottery is not new in Mexico. Instead, indigenous people in Latin America have been using clay pottery for over four thousand years, but the style was very different. Instead of storing food, these pots were for water and items.

The Mexican clay cooking pots that were used to store food did not have the glaze we see today in old pottery. Instead, it was burnished and finished with thin hand paint. The color of the pre-Spanish pottery did not last long as there was no permanent glaze.

 Are clay pots from Mexico safe to cook in?

How To Use Mexican Clay Cooking Pots

Now that you know about Mexican clay cooking pots, we can start to understand how to use them. It really depends on the exact type. Some Mexican clay cooking pots are for decoration. The only way to tell is if there is a brand or sticker on the object that states its purpose.

Most of the time though, these elaborately designed pots are made for cooking. Mexican clay pots for cooking need to be cooked in high temperatures. They last a long time if you take care of them too! The reason these Mexican clay pots for cooking are popular is because of the extra flavor they provide.

When you use these pots to cook, the clay provides the food with an extra kick of flavor. You can also display these Mexican clay cooking pots as storage jars if you do not feel comfortable using them. They are fragile, and unlike metal pots, can break if they fall out of your hands.

Ways To Clean Mexican Clay Pots For Cooking

My favorite feature about this Mexican clay pot for cooking is how easy they are to clean! You will no longer have to worry about hard-to-reach places as these clay pots are smooth on the inside. The light and smooth texture let food slide off easier.

 Does Mexican clay pottery contain lead?

You won’t need to do a lot of scrubbing or prepping! Some people recommend adding warm water for ten minutes before using Mexican clay pots for cooking. The hot water acts as a seal. When the food is done and you are ready to clean the pot, you only need warm water and dish soap.

Are Clay Pots From Mexico Safe To Cook In?

The biggest question surrounding Mexican clay pots for cooking is how safe they are. Why is that? When these pots first grew in popularity, there was a lot that the Spanish did not know about safety. In a lot of common and household products were high amounts of lead that could cause sickness and death.

Actually, the glaze that is used to seal the Mexican clay pots for cooking is made with lead. The new and improved clay cooking pots, however, are not made with lead to be safe. Now, you won’t have to wonder does Mexican clay pottery contain lead.

Older versions of Mexican clay cooking pots are still around though. You should always read the description before buying. If you have the time and patience, there is also a long process to cure and get rid of the lead, but it is not 100% trustworthy.

Dishes To Cook Inside Mexican Clay Pots For Cooking

Once you have a safe Mexican clay pot for cooking, you can worry about the dishes that you can make! You are not limited when it comes to using Mexican clay pots for cooking. However, you should start off with a simple and quick recipe to get used to the new cooking material.

 mexican clay cooking pots

While Mexican clay pots for cooking are heat resistant, they are also fragile. One accidental drop or slip can shatter and ruin the clay pot. Always use the pot in an area where there is room for a cushion. The best dishes to make inside a Mexican clay pot include; hot chocolate, Mexican café con Leche, and seafood stew.

How To Find Mexican Clay Cooking Pots For Sale Near You

If you have gotten this far and are still interested in finding and using Mexican clay pots for cooking, you should look online. It is rare to find these clay cooking pots in stores unless they are specialty stores. Before making a long drive to your local Spanish market, give them a call and ask!

Sometimes though, it is easier to search online keywords like ‘Mexican clay cooking pots for sale near me, until a relevant search is found. Be wary of buying online though as these clay cooking pots are fragile and may contain traces of lead.


All in all, there are many ways to cook your favorite dishes! Although it is easy to use metallic cooking pots, they are not the only options. For hundreds of years, in Mexico residents used Mexican clay pots for cooking. Surprisingly these colorful and unique clay pots are still used as the clay provides an interesting flavor.

What do you think about this article? Did you learn anything new about Mexican clay cooking pots? If yes, let us know in the comment section and share this article around!


Are Clay Pots From Mexico Safe to Cook In?

The answer to this question depends on the type of clay pot and the year it was made. Since these clay pots last a long time, there is no telling which clay pot has a lead base. Before the invention of the newest glaze used in poverty today, the Spanish brought over clay pots that used glaze with high amounts of lead. This is dangerous and can slowly poison you.

Does Mexican Clay Pottery Contain Lead?

Although it is true that there are still some Mexican clay pottery pieces that contain lead, they are a small amount! However, it is best to be safe then sorry. Always check each and every pottery piece you buy for a sticker that states it is safe to cook and free from lead.