According to the care instructions that came with my Le Souk Tagine, a ceramic tagine needs to be re-seasoned if it is used less frequently than every two months. The tagine also has to be seasoned prior to its first use. Although the process isn’t difficult, it is somewhat lengthy, because the tagine needs to soak in cold water for 12 to 24 hours. The first challenge was finding a container large enough to fit a 12″ high x 12 ” circular ceramic tagine. I finally settled on a Rubbermaid container that is 17x17x14 (not sure how many gallons that is.) I debated whether to fill the container in my bathtub, but since it was a nice day, I ended up setting up the container right outside my kitchen door and filling it from the garden hose. I figured that after the tagine had finished soaking, I would use the leftover water on my plants. Recycling is a way of life around here!
I initially positioned the base leaning slightly against the wall of the container, but as I added water, both pieces sort of found their own positioning. I did move the lid around a few times, to release air bubbles and ensure that all the ceramic was soaking. I just left it alone overnight, and gave it a quick was with dish soap before letting it air dry for a few hours. The last steps are to rub the inside with olive oil, then place it in cool oven and gradually bring the temperature up to 300F for 2 hours. Let it air cool, and it is ready for use on the stove top (with a heat diffuser) or in the oven. A lengthy process, but super easy, and well worth the effort.
Here are the exact directions as provided by Le Souk Ceramique:
1. Soak the base and lid in cold water for 12 to 24 hours.
2. Allow to air dry for a few hours.
3. Rub the inside of the base and the inside of the lid with olive oil.
4. Place both pieces in a cold oven and bring up to 300F for 2 hours.
5. Allow to air cool and then your item is seasoned and ready.
1. Use only low temperature on the stovetop (gas or electric).
2. We do recommend using a diffuser.
3. Hand-wash only (no dishwasher) with any soap.
4. Discoloration with use is natural and part of continued seasoning.
5. Always allow a hot clay item to cool slowly (no water shock).
6. Place hot tagine or stew pot on wood or cloth, not a cold surface.
7. If tagine or stew pot is not used for two months, repeat seasoning.