Donabe 8.75" Diameter
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Donabe (Japanese: 土鍋, literally: earthenware pot) are pots made out of a special clay for use over an open flame in the Japanese kitchen. Often, the food is cooked right at the table on a gas burner for various nabemono dishes such as shabu-shabu.
The donabe is usually glazed on the inside and porous on the outside. The material is somewhat similar to earthenware or stoneware, yet these earthen- or stoneware pots should usually not be used over an open flame. Donabe however, can be used over an open flame as well as in an oven if three precautions are taken. First, the outside of the donabe should be completely dry before use, as moisture within the clay will expand in the heat and may chip or crack the pot. Secondly, the pot should be heated gradually to reduce the possibility of cracks due to heat stress. Finally, the pot should never be left over the flame while empty.
If properly treated, these pot would last for decades and few special ones for centuries. When a new donabe is obtained, one should let donabe boil water for hours and dry before using it for cooking. In old ryoutei of Kyoto, decades old donabe would be stored and only used on the special guest. Young donabe would be used for years preparing lunch menues and food for cooks to age them.
This article is from Wikipedia.