This is a high quality tagine that is also authentic. If you were to go to North Africa to purchase one the chances are you would get one of this same quality.
If you have never used a tagine there are some things you need to do before cooking with it for the first time. To start, you definitely need to follow the instructions and season this as soon as you receive it. It's a simple procedure that involves soaking both parts in water (I did mine for 24 hours), then lightly coating it with oil (I used olive oil), and baking it. For the last step, put it in the oven before turning on the heat and allow the tagine to warm as the oven heats. I heat mine to 300 degrees (F) and leave it in for an hour. I also allow it to naturally cool in the oven before removing it.
I also recommend against using this on a stovetop. While it's possible to cook on a stovetop if you use low heat and a diffuser, I have opted to not do that. My reasoning is that true tagine cooking is in an oven, and no matter what precautions you take it may still crack if you deviate in the least - like using heat a little higher than recommended. I have seen recipes that call for browning ingredients like onions in oil in the tagine before adding other ingredients. I recommend that you NOT do that because the heat required to brown anything is going to be too high for the tagine and it will almost certainly crack.
A few final notes: I clean mine only with water - no detergent - and allow to air dry. If there is an oil residue I will wipe that down, rinse in water again, and allow it to air dry. This augments the seasoning process. Even if, like me, you only use this in an oven, do not exceed 350 degrees F. In fact I consistently cook at 325 degrees and adjust my cooking time accordingly.
Finally, if this is your first tagine or you are giving it as a gift I recommend Pursuit of Spice Moroccan Tagine as an add-on. It will allow you (or the lucky recipient if this is a gift) to make their first meal with the tagine with minimum fuss.
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About the reviewer
Mike Tarrani (mtarrani)
My day job is in the technology sector as an IT consultant specializing in ITIL, and specifically, configuration, change and release management. I've traveled the world as a consultant before moving … more
Simple and functional, this authentic, handcrafted Moroccan cooking Tagine is ready to be used for your next flavorful and exotic Moroccan meal.The Tagine is to be use on the top of electrical or glass stove or inside the stove. If you have a gas stove with flames please use a protective metal piece to protect your Tagine from cracking. HOW TO CURE A TAGINE? It is necessary that it is seasoned before initial use. Please follow these simple instructions below for maximum results: 1. WATER: The new tagine needs to be first submerged in water for at least 1 hour. If you can't submerge it, place it in a clean sink bowl and slowly fill the base of the tagine with water until it stops absorbing it. Place the tagine lid on top and fill it as well. Let stand for 30 minutes to allow full absorption of water into the clay. Empty excess water and set to dry for 5 minutes. 2. OLIVE OIL: All you need is 3 table spoons of olive oil, 2 for the base and one for the lid. Spread the olive oil throughout the base and lid with your hand. 3: HEAT: While the tagine is still wet with the oil applied to it, place it in the oven as shown in the first or second photos, and set temperature at 350 F and leave for 45 minutes. The evaporation of moisture creates a vacuum effect to pull the olive oil into the clay which glazes and seals it. Then leave the tagine cool down in the turned off oven.