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How to Season Your Tagine


Although they may date back to the days of One Thousand and One Nights, tagine pots are a fantastic item of cookware for the modern kitchen and can be used to cook up all manner of flavorful dishes.  

The ingenuity of tagine pots lies in their design. The cone-shaped lid assists in slow cooking ingredients, infusing dishes with the delicate flavors of herbs, spices, and marinades.  

To really get the most out of your tagine cookware, whether you buy an authentic clay pot from Morocco or have a modern cast iron pot, you'll need to prepare it for long-term use with proper seasoning.  

Different Types of Tagine Pots 

Tagine pots have been in use throughout Morocco for thousands of years, but here in the 21st Century, they come in various forms, including traditional clay, cast iron, enameled, and even decorative tagines. 

In Morocco, traditional tagine pots are made with clay and are either glazed or unglazed. You’ll also see lightweight versions made out of aluminum, as well as decorative pots that can be used to serve food.  

You’ll be able to spot ornament serving pots by their bright and colorful decorations. While these pots are a great way to impress your guests, they’re not suitable for cooking with.  

Authentic clay pots are renowned for imparting a unique taste to the slow-cooked dishes prepared in them. However, you can still achieve flavorful dishes with a tagine pot produced here in the US by cookware manufactures. These updated versions incorporate high-tech cooking materials like cast iron and enamel to ensure longevity and versatility.  

Seasoning your Tagine Pot 

Traditional clay pots, especially those that are unglazed, undoubtedly need to be seasoned before first use. Seasoning traditional cookware involves coating it with a non-stick layer, which prevents the food from directly coming into contact with the clay and protects the pot itself.  

There is still some debate, however, about whether or not you need to season a modern cast iron or enameled pot to achieve great results. While modern versions are designed to be used immediately after purchase, seasoning them beforehand will nevertheless condition them for intensive cooking.  

To season your brand new tagine pot, you will need:  

  • A large container (e.g a bucket, sink, or washbasin)

  • Olive Oil  

  • Paper towels or a tea towel  

  • An oven 


1. Fill a large tub with tape water and allow the tagine pot and lid to soak for a minimum of two hours (for clay pots, overnight is more effective).  

2. After the appropriate time, remove the pot and lid from the water and dry with a towel.  

3. Rub the interior of the pot and lid with olive oil; use sparingly.  

4. Place the cookware into an oven and heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Set a timer for two hours maximum to ensure you don’t overheat it. 

5. After two hours, turn the heat off and let the pot and lid rest in the oven until completely cool to the touch.  

6. Wash the cooled pot and lid by hand, then apply one more coat of olive oil before using.  

If you have a clay tagine pot, you can also speed up the staining effect of using it as cookware by curing it as you season it. To do this, simply rub ashes into the pot and lid along with the olive oil, then heat it for a minimum of eight hours in a cooler oven. This will give your pot a beautifully aged look and add to the overall effect of authentic Moroccan cooking!  

Storing your Tagine Pot 

With proper use and care, your tagine pot will last you for many, many years and whip all manner of delicious meals.  

Authentic clay pots need a bit more TLC than modern enamel and cast iron versions. Some can crack if exposed to too high a heat, so always cook at a temperature of under 325 degrees Fahrenheit when using them. Remember, a tagine pot is designed for slow cooking, so you’ll need to be patient during the cooking process.  

Cast iron pots, meanwhile, are more hard-wearing, so you can safely cook with them at temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, on both stove tops and in the oven.  

When storing your tagine pot, it’s a good idea to keep the lid slightly open so that air can freely circulate. Traditional pots have a hole in the top of the lid, but modern versions do without this, so you need to encourage airflow when not in use. 

If you do find your pot has developed a light layer of mold, simply wash it with vinegar and baking soda and rinse well. Don’t forget to give it another coat of olive oil before use too.  

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