DONABE DO’S AND DON’TS

Japanese artisanal pottery shines in each Iga-yaki donabe by Nagatani-en. Handcrafted by expert craftsmen, these beautifully glazed vessels take two weeks to create and each has a unique unfinished look consistent with the Iga-yaki’s “wabi-sabi” aesthetic.

Follow these Donabe Rules and your clay pot should last a lifetime.

  • Use a gas flame to heat your donabe. If you don’t have a gas stove, we suggest you buy a portable butane gas burner with butane cartridges (this portable option is also great for outdoor cooking and hot pot style dining)
  • Clean light burn spots by soaking the area in water and then scrubbing with a soft sponge.
  • Clean heavy burn spots by filling the donabe with water to cover the affected area, boil for 10-15 minutes, allow the donabe to cool, pour out the water and scrub with a soft sponge. This process can be repeated if needed.
  • Expect small cracks (‘Kannyu” in Japanese) to emerge within the glaze of your donabe. These fine lines are the signs of a well-loved and authentic donabe.
  • Use your best judgement with wear and tear of your donabe. When it comes to chipping, very small chips at the very rim of the pot may not be a huge problem but larger chips and internal cracks can cause the donabe to break during cooking.
  • Do not heat your donabe while it is empty–this can cause cracking.
  • Do not overheat your donabe.
  • Do not add oil to an already hot donabe – never use your donabe for frying!
  • Do not burn food inside the donabe (if you do–see above for cleaning instructions)
  • Do not store food in your donabe