Clay cooking pots are used by many different cultures. Cazuelas and ollas are two types of Mexican clay cookware and the tagine is most well known for its place in North African cuisine. In addition to curing or seasoning a clay pot before using it the first time, some special care must be taken when cooking with clay. Clay is a soft material that must be handled gently. Avoid pouring hot liquids into a cold clay pot (and vice versa) or placing a cold clay vessel into a hot oven. The extreme change in temperature can cause the clay to crack.
Soak the clay pot in a clean bucket of water for two hours.
Remove the pot from the water and dry it thoroughly.
Wipe all the unglazed areas of the pot with a paper towel lightly dipped in olive oil. Fill it 3/4 of the way with water. Place the lid on top of the pot.
Place the oiled pot on the center rack in a cold oven and turn the heat to 225 degrees. Allow it to bake for 2 to 3 hours, beginning from the time your oven reached the appropriate temperature. Turn off the heat and leave the pot in the oven until it is completely cool.