Cooking a Pot Roast in a Clay Pot

by Marie Modotti ; Updated September 28, 2017

Meat should be cooked slowly in clay pots.

Clay Pottery image by Hedgehog from

Cultures from around the world use clay pots for cooking. The porous clay allows heat to slowly seep through its pores. This moist heat caused from evaporation results in cooking that requires less oil and liquid. Meat cooked in clay pots will be tender, juicy and browned. Pot roasts cook well in clay pots baked in an oven, and will cook in its own juices. Consider adding an African touch to the pot roast by adding a few spices such as turmeric and cumin.

Pot roast

Pat the roast dry. Crush the clove of garlic through a garlic press. Rub the garlic all over the surface of the roast. Season with salt and pepper. Coat the inside of the clay pot with a non-stick spray or vegetable oil. Place the meat in the clay pot.

Add vegetables for a full meal. Peel and slice potatoes into ¼-inch slices. Cut peeled carrots into ½-inch slices. Quarter a medium onion. Add a chopped tomato. Place a bay leaf into the pot. Measure 1 cup of beef broth and add to the pot. Place the lid on the pot.

Spice up the pot roast for a North-African version of pot roast in a clay pot, a traditional way of cooking meat in the region. Add 5 cloves of garlic, ½ tsp. black pepper, ½ tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. mace and ½ tsp. turmeric to the recipe above. Replace potatoes with sweet potatoes.

Place the clay pot in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400F after the pot has been placed inside. Cook the meat for one hour until the meat has browned and almost falls apart. Remove the clay pot from the oven, carefully placing it on a heat proof surface.

Take the meat out of the pot and place on a cutting board. Allow the meat to cool slightly and cut against the grain. Serve with the vegetables and spoon juices left over in the pot over each serving.


  • Do not use detergent when washing the pot. To clean submerge the pot in warm water. Never place a clay pot in a hot oven, as drastic temperature changes will cause the pot to crack. Meats will brown fairly well and are noticeably tender. For crispness and a deeper browning, you have only to remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of cooking. For browned meat, remove the lid for the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking. Clay does not get as hot as metal, so the oven needs to be set at a higher temperature and the food will take slightly longer than cooking in metal pans.

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