Lara, a nutritionist in New York City, said this after using MEC for the first time: “I just finished cooking with your pot for the first time. It was fantastic. I am not someone who is good in the kitchen, but your directions are very clear, and the process felt very natural...”
MEC pots are made using the best skill + technology available today. They are sturdy, and well built, made with you, the cook, in mind. With proper use & care, and the right amount of heat -- low to medium-low -- they can last a very long time!
Only low to medium-low heat is needed because MEC is an excellent retainer of heat (they are made that way), and all the heat given to it stays inside and cooks, taking about the same time as conventional cookware, sometimes faster, and most definitely healthier!
Seasoning Instructions for MEC
SEASONING YOUR POTS/PANS:
1. Thoroughly rinse the pot/pan and lid in the sink, fill the pot/pan 1/4 way up with water, and set it aside for 5-10 minutes.
2. In that time, in a small cup or bowl combine 1 Tbsp. of any flour (arrowroot, wheat, whole wheat, rice, all purpose) with 1 cup of water. For Large and X-Large pot, use 2 Tbsp. of flour. [You can also add 1/4 tsp. turmeric — optional]
3. Now wipe the bottom of your pot/pan and set it on the stove. Start stove on low heat, then after 5 minutes increase heat to medium-low and add the flour mixture.
4. Cook till it thickens to a broth (avg. 25-35 mins). Turn stove off, open lid, and let the broth cool down (30 mins or so).
5. Using a wooden spoon, spoon the broth onto the inside walls of the pot, coating the walls. Pour the broth out, then wash and rinse the pot (no need to leave any residue or coating). Now you can start cooking!
[If grain free, use 1 Tbsp. of cooking oil instead of flour (you can use olive, coconut, or sesame seed oil -- no animal fat). Cover and cook for 30 mins or till you see a steady steam build up in the pot, then turn stove off.]
Helpful Tip: Apply some cooking oil to the outside walls of the pot and lid with your hands after seasoning. This lets it develop a uniform patina as it ages. Do not apply oil to the bottom of the pot/pan.
Seasoning your Yogurt Pot and Sprouting/Fermenting Pot is optional and Gardening pot/pan does not need to be seasoned.
SEASONING YOUR CUPS & BOWLS:
1. Rinse thoroughly and soak the bowls in water in the sink or a large bowl.
2. Add 1 Tbsp. of cooking oil (olive, coconut, or sesame seed oil -- no animal fat) to the water and stir and rub the oil with the water onto the bowls.
3. Remove after soaking for 30-40 minutes, drip dry and wipe them down with a soft cotton towel. Let them air dry. You can start using them right after.
SEASONING YOUR GRIDDLE:
Seasoning a griddle is simple & easy, here’s how:
1. Soak the griddle in water for 30 minutes, then drain and wipe the griddle dry.
2. Take 2-3. Tbsp. of oil (olive, coconut, or sesame seed oil -- no animal fat) and apply with hands on the surface of the griddle (both sides).
3. Set aside and set the oven to 250 degrees F.
4. Put the griddle in the oven and warm it for 20-25 minutes.
5. Turn the oven off; allow the griddle to cool in the oven. Your griddle is now seasoned and can be used right after!
After seasoning, we recommend soaking the griddle for 10 minutes in water before each oven use.
COOKING WITH MEC
MEC can prepare a wide variety of healthy meals for your home, including (but not limited to): rice & grains, soups & stews, curries, steamed vegetables, casseroles, cooked beans & lentils, stir-fry, chilis, jams, roasted/braised meats, herbal teas, and even homemade yogurt -- all in one pot!* By following these few simple steps you can have cookware/bakeware that lasts for a long time cooking non-toxic, nutritious, delicious food for you:
On the Stovetop: The unique heat management features in MEC's 100% primary clay pots makes them excellent retainers of heat, so it is important to give the pot only as much heat as it needs to cook your food:- all recipes cook beautifully on just low heat (setting 3 on a scale of 1-10). If your pot/pan is more then 1/2 full with ingredients, you can increase to medium-low, or 4 after cooking on 'low' for a few minutes. Avoid medium or higher than medium settings. When new, they need some additional time, in about 5-6 uses they cook faster and take about the same time as conventional pots.
[If the pot/pan is repeatedly subjected to high amounts of heat than what it needs to cook your food, instead of indiscriminately throwing that heat onto the food, these pots may form a crack to release that excess heat. So remember to keep heat between low and medium-low!]
With Electric/Glass/Coil Cooktops: For the first few uses (5-7 uses), you may turn the heat up to medium settings -- or slightly past medium, if pot is more than half-full, after cooking for 5 minutes on low. However, as the pot becomes accustomed to cooking on lower heat with multiple uses, you do not need to go past medium-low.
After the initial seasoning continue using them so they can get "Fully Seasoned": After the first seasoning use it as often as possible (preferably every day) for a few times cooking water based recipes. Use it at least 4-5 times in this way before putting it away, if you have to. Water based recipes include making rice, quinoa, soups, stews, lentils, pasta, steaming vegetables, cooking lentils etc. This helps the pot to shrink slightly and become 'fully seasoned'.
Cooking non-meat/vegetarian recipes while the pot is getting 'fully seasoned' is recommended. After this you can then cook both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes in them.
If You Have a Glass/Ceramic Cooktop, Keep These Points in Mind:
- For a heat diffuser, we recommend using the ILSA diffuser or the SimmerMat diffuser. In some instances, one may work better than another for your stove.
- Cooking your meals may take 10-12 minutes longer compared to gas stoves.
- Some ceramic/glass burners have multiple rings in a single burner (for example: one burner with a 6 inch, 8 inch, and 12 inch diameter ring). Avoid this kind of burner, because these give off too much heat regardless of the setting.
- In rare instances, some glass/ceramic cooktops may not be compatible (much longer-than-usual cooking times or foul smell emitted) with a particular heat diffuser. In this instance, first try a different diffuser. If this still does not work, then it might be worth investing in a hot plate or a portable gas stove for cooking.
In the Oven -- Recommended max temperature is 450 Degrees Fahrenheit. Start in a cold oven or 250 Degree Fahrenheit and increase to the desired temperature after 5-10 minutes.
A heat diffuser is required for cooking on electric stoves (both glass/ceramic and coil cooktops). Using a heat diffuser is not necessary with gas stoves but is recommended if slow cooking for several hours (bone broth).
*Deep frying not recommended in MEC.
Some Things That Are Done Differently in MEC
Here are some differences to keep in mind when cooking with MEC, when compared to conventional cookware: