Miriam’s Earthen Cookware Vs. Other Unglazed clay pots


Miriam’s Earthen Cookware (MEC) has been making and selling cookware from all-natural pure and primary clay for about a decade now. Over the years, we have improved the design and making methodology so our pots/pans can cook the healthiest food as efficiently as possible, without compromising on the purity of the raw material. 

Over the course of these 10 years, marketing by educating has been our goal.  And to that end, we’ve published over 7000 articles to inform and educate prospects and customers.

With this information on the world wide web, people around the world have tried to imitate our products, some even calling the counterfeit ‘pure clay’ and in some extreme cases, stealing the abbreviation ‘MEC’!

This article explains how these products are different from Miriam’s Earthen Cookware in quality and purpose (this is a comparison of other unglazed earthenware.  For a difference between MEC and glazed ware including porcelain, ceramics etc., click here): 

Difference in Purity of Clay: Secondary/Tertiary Clay Vs. 100% Primary Clay 

 MEC is made from Primary clay that is harvested carefully adhering to strict rules and scientific testing processes. Primary clay is a hard-to-find natural resource, it is at least beneath 10-15 feet below ground level and is the purest form of clay.  The key differentiating factor is that it has two layers of elasticity between its platelets, and therefore can be formed into cooking pots without the use of any additional chemicals: elasticizes, plasticizers, polymers, or even mica. 

On the other hand, the overseas manufacturers (MEC is America’s only pure clay cookware maker), use secondary clay or tertiary clay, that is locally available at ground level, untested (although some claim to be tested but don’t show results). The problem with that is two-fold: This lower quality clay has impurities. And is not as naturally elastic so requires the use of chemical additives.  Both these factors compromise the integrity of the finished product making it not as healthy and beneficial as cooking in Miriam’s Earthen Cookware. 

The pictures below show how you can tell the difference: 

Clay ware made from secondary or tertiary clay showing the layers of impurities when looking at a cross section.Clay ware made from secondary or tertiary clay showing the layers of impurities when looking at a cross section. The impurities in these clay settle in the center of the wall during firing.

MEC made from 100% primary clay is consistent in matter at a cross section view.MEC made from 100% primary clay is consistent in matter in a cross section view.

Ware has a dull appearance on the inside and is finished with Iron Oxide on the outside (as explained in the paragraph below...).Ware has a dull appearance on the inside and is finished with Iron Oxide on the outside (as explained in the paragraph below…).

Micacious glaze - disguised in the colors of the fired pot.

Micacious glaze – disguised in the colors of the fired pot.

Cracks filled with Iron Oxide.Cracks filled with Iron Oxide.

Additives used in Other Clay Cookware Vs. No Additives in MEC 

Miriam’s Earthen Cookware is a labor of love, with the goal of helping people attain optimal health through mindful cooking and eating. To this end there are absolutely no additives or chemicals mixed to the clay to increase profits, or decrease labor or time. Because we know these are compromises and hurdles to our end goal: which is making the healthiest cookware!

These are some of the some of the chemicals and additives we have seen cheaper manufacturers use:

Iron oxide: to add an amber color/deep red color effect to the final product, iron oxide paste is also applied in cracks and dents to hide them, so the surface looks finished. (pots made in the tropics yield a dark brown/dark red color that needs to be polished a great deal to yield a rich hue, or otherwise adding Iron oxide makes the job easy!) 

Petalite: a lithium feldspar with a high silica content added for thermal shock resistance.  

Lime: to increase the plasticity of the clay and generally to lower its liquid limit. 

Mica: used to add a sparkle effect. 

Deflocculants: electrolyte-sourcing liquids or powders (like sodium silicate, Darvan) added to reduce the amount of water needed (decreases drying time)

Black paint: Natural clay fires to a reddish hue. Some manufactures add a black treatment or use black iron oxide to yield a black colored pot. When the pot chips or breaks is when you will see its natural color on the inside.

When these chemical compounds are added, they may sell cheaper but their purity is lost and health value compromised.

As stated earlier, MEC does not use any additives — what’s-so-ever — in the various processes of making, finishing or firing of our products. Giving you the full benefits of what pure nature has to offer.  They are made by hand on the wheel, and finished likewise, polished, burnished and then fired to 2000-degree Fahrenheit.  That’s why they are stronger, more durable and longer lasting than the others.   

Difference in Certification: Untested Vs. Tested in State Lab in USA 

Most clay cookware is made without testing the raw material. Although some manufacturers claim they have tested the clay, they never publish test results in the public domain. 

But MEC pots and pans are tested at UMASS in Amherst and the test results are published on our website for public viewing.

The difference in the unique ergonomic design, and the way it is made: 

The reason why MEC can offer many great benefits while cooking compared to the others is also because of the way it is made.  There is not another clay cooking pot that is made in this way:
1. The pot is packed on the outside by pulling it upwards, while on the inside, it is pressed down in the reverse direction (improves pot’s breath-ability, while helping to retain heat inside for much longer– reducing your energy consumption, for all those who love a 2 hour bone broth instead 48 hours!).
2. The lid’s knob is made by an innovative downward coiling of the clay. This helps keep it cooler during cooking, and naturally condensing the steam – steam is essential water-soluble nutrients. 
3. A straight walled pot with a flat bottom is unique to MEC, while the others have a belly-walled designed with a rounded bottom.  The straight walls give MEC a modern appeal, while the flatter bottom keep the ‘blackening’ to the bottom. (others can’t make this design as the clay is not strong enough, so instead use chemicals to make the pot black instead of its natural color – red. But off course we wouldn’t be surprised if they start using stronger and toxic chemicals to copy this design in the future). 

Difference in Warranty Policy: No Warranty Vs. 3 Years Warranty 

Miriam’s Earthen Cookware is backed by a 3-year warranty at no additional cost! Any issues with your pots? Reach out to us and we do everything possible to resolve the issue and get you back to cooking with them. With the others, anything that happens to the pot after purchase is your problem, you can’t return it to the store or get a replacement!  

Difference in Service:

Have you ever heard of a clay cookware manufacturer helping you at every step while cooking with their products? I guess not! But MEC provides great after sale support at no extra cost. No matter how long ago you have purchased from MEC, you can always send an email if you’re facing an issue and our customer support team gets back to you with a solution! 

Even if you are not a customer and just curious about anything related to clay pot cooking, the MEC website is a free encyclopedia where almost everything about this type of cooking is explained. The ‘search’ box at the bottom of all pages of the website has answers to any questions you might have. If you don’t find your answer there, send us an email, and we’ll get back with an answer. 

Clay pots have been made for thousands of years; it is the oldest cookware known to people. What is different about MEC from others that are being made today is the guaranteed purity of the raw material. The raw material which is also guaranteed to be the highest quality of natural clay. The making methodologies and unique design – implemented with the goal of making the healthiest & most efficient cooking pot.  All these factors distinguish our products from the others.  If you can find one that is at least 90% close to ours, email us, we will match their price! 


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