Cooking with Clay Pots

Karen McNaughton
Troop 250
Girl Scout Council of Greater Saint Louis

Another cooking/planting idea you can try is with clay pots. Fill a decent sized terra cotta pot half way with dirt. Line with foil. Add a few pieces of charcoal. When it gets going, stick your foil pack on top. Remove with tongs! When it cools, remove the ashes in the foil.

Plant something in it. Add some more dirt. And give it to someone special. I've done this with older girls. The pots were lined up on a picnic table and the girls painted southwestern designs on them as they were cooking in them. The muffin in an orange recipe worked ok with this once too, as did heating soup in an aluminum can. You will need to put coals on top of the foil wrapped orange to get it to work or up around the sides of the can for the soup.

Elizabeth Kilcullen(Liz)
Freedom Valley Girl Scout Council Valley Forge
East Norriton, Pennsylvania

One of my favorite unusual ways of preparing food is to use a terra cotta flower pot as a stove. To do this, you need to put a few inches of Vermiculite (from the garden store) in the bottom and up the sides a little. Start your charcoal briquettes in a grill or fire circle. When they are ready, place a single layer in the flowerpot. This is good for 'Gingerbread Cake Cooked In an Orange' or use with skewered items with the skewers resting on the rim. This kind of cooker can actually be used on a table (outside of course) as the vermiculite insulates and keeps the bottom cool. Some people line the flower pot with foil first.

Cathy Bruce Purdy
1st Class 1979, leader Brownie Troop 797, Life Member, Trainer, Lone Star Girl Scout Council
Austin, Texas, USA

Use a clay azalea pot (so named because azaleas are grown in them). They are about 14" across, but are shorter than regular pots. You can also use small flower pots (clay) for individual stoves (about 6-8" across the top).

Put some screen mesh in the bottom over the hole. Fill pot part way with pea gravel or sand about 1/2 to 2/3 full. This adds weight and brings the coal area up nearer your food.

You can use any grill rack or cake cooling rack over the top of the pot. I got one at Home Depot or Builder's Square that is a replacement grill rack...they come in all sizes. A grill rack lasts longer.

Start your coals in chimney then use the same rule as in any charcoal cooking. In our azalea pot we use about 10 coals. I play it by ear. (but I don't measure ingredients either !)

Spray rack with PAM or cover with foil. If you choose to cover the grill with foil instead of spray shortening, don't cover the whole thing and keep the coals from getting air; just enough to hold the meat and then curl up the sides ! Put over coals (you know to use coals when they are glowy-ashy, not black) and then put chicken or meat patty on grill and cover with #10 can. I usually have a few vent holes in top edge of can (made with pointy end of a can opener), but not too many if you want it to be a smoker. BBQ chicken is great this way. You can also cover the pot with another pot. Cook til done. Follow doneness test with meat thermometer and use a cookbook to figure times. Be sure to use hot pads to lift can ! We also use the grill to toast s'mores marshmallows.

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