The Palayok is an unglazed clay pot used in traditional Filipino cuisine. It is great for making native Filipino soups and stews such as Kare-kare, and its beautiful rustic black finish which together with a woven bamboo ring known as a Dikin (sold separately) makes for a great presentation for family style service. The round shape is better suited for gas ranges or open fire as the flames travels up the sides and evenly distributes the heat. For more traditional cooking, you can use a Wood Burning Kalan which will produce delicious recipes with the added smoky taste. Of course they can be used on electric and glass stovetops, especially if used with a wok ring.
Since the Palayok is made of clay which is naturally porous, steam during cooking is allowed to evaporate from its pores promoting a smooth and even boil. This results in very slow cooking at higher temperatures which brings out the most exquisite flavors from the food cooking in its own juices.
Our Palayoks are hand crafted by our artisans in the Philippines. Each piece is totally unique and may have markings and slight imperfections. However, these imperfections do not compromise the aesthetics or functionality of the pieces and are considered normal and to be expected. Although the lids sit properly on the pot, they may not always fit perfectly so as to seal the pot as is the case with their metal counterparts. The Palayok will last many years with proper use and care. The pots are unglazed, and totally free of any toxic materials or lead and 100% Eco friendly and truly rustic.
How we measure
Our Palayok can be used in the oven, microwave, stovetop, or direct fire. The round shape is however better suited for gas ranges or Clay Kalan (Filipino Stove) as the flames travels up the sides and evenly distributes the heat, however they can be used on electric and glass stovetops, especially if used with a wok ring (sold separately).
They can also function as a serving vessel and can go directly to the table with its woven bamboo ring for an authentic presentation.
As with any clay or glass cookware, the Palayok must not be submitted to drastic changes in temperature. It should be allowed to adjust slowly to heat, letting the pieces slowly heat up until they are hot, either on the stove or in the oven. (Placing it in the oven when the oven is cold is recommended.) Likewise, you should also allow the pieces to adjust to room temperature before washing or storing them, and never set a hot pot on a cold surface such as granite or tile.
After each use, allow the pot to cool, soak in warm water and hand washed using water and rock salt. You should never be put a Palayok in a dishwasher, use scouring powder or washed with scented dish washing soaps as they can absorb the detergent flavor. Food will likely not stick to the surface of the Palayok, but if it does, you can scrub it with a brush, or use mild soap.
Always rinse the Palayok with water and let it drain until it is completely dry before it is stored as any residual moisture can cause mold to grow.
Never use metal utensils, as it can scratch and damage the inside of the Palayok, use wooden utensils instead.
Before using a Palayok, it needs to be washed very well to get rid of the dirt left over from the manufacturing process. We recommend to not use heavily scented soap which can penetrate the clay. You should scrub the Palayok well with a soft scrub sponge under running water or with a salted water solution.
After you wet the Palayok, you will notice the strong “earth” smell. This is the natural smell of the clay and totally normal which will go away with curing.
To sure the Palayok, blot it dry with a kitchen towel, fill the pot with plain water, and let it soak overnight. Make sure to place the filled Palayok in the sink or a dish as some water may seep through. The following day, empty out the water and rinse it again. Fill the pot 2/3 with water and a pinch of salt, cover with the lid and place the pot on low heat for about 5 minutes. Bring the heat up to medium and let it cook. Let the water to a boil for about another 5 minutes for a total cooking time of about 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and discard the water. Let the pot cool, rinse, and let dry completely. The Palayok is now ready for use.
The Palayoks we sell are hand made by our artisans in the Philippines. It is a time consuming and laborious task so we appreciate thier labor very much. We hope you enjoy see the video on the right on how they are made.
Kare Kare is a classic Filipino slow-cook stew, usually using oxtail bok choy, string beans and eggplant, with deliciously thick deep yellow peanut sauce. It has a very subtle taste because it is traditionally unsalted, allowing the flavors of the peanut sauce and the meat to come out.