You’re walking down the aisle at your local superstore and you see the clay pots. Those are just used for planting flowers, right? Oh how wrong you are!
We’re preppers and homesteaders, right? We find unusual uses for everyday items. The same goes for clay pots. They’re not just for planting, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today!
1. Potting Plants
I had to say it! Clay pots are, of course, used for plants – haha, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get creative!
2. Clay Pot Refrigerator
Clay pot refrigerators such as the one shown here can reduce the internal temperature by 30 degrees or more. That makes it cool enough in most cases to store perishables; at least fruits and veggies in order to slow spoilage.
Strangely enough, it works on the same theory as a standard refrigerator. It pulls moisture from the inside of the pot, thus cooling the inside of the pot. Click on the picture below to read our article and see how we built it!
3. Clay Pot Smoker
I’ve seen several versions of this, and I’m dying to try it for myself, except I don’t want to use an electric hot plate that all of the plans call for. I’m going to try simply using an old metal bowl with charcoal in it.
The concept is that you place the heat source (usually the hot plate, but I’m going with the bowl) in the bottom of a large clay pot, then light the charcoal and set a barbeque grate on the inside rim of the pot. You light the charcoal, let it burn to white as usual, then place the grate on.
Put the food on the grate and turn another clay pot the same size as the other (with a hole in the bottom) upside down on top of the other one. The food smokes and cooks inside.
I don’t see why it wouldn’t work this way. If anybody has tried it, please let me know in the comments section below. Otherwise, I’ll just give it a shot and see what happens.
4. Clay Pot Candle Heater
This is a pretty cool trick for cooking without power or an open flame. We’ve made a detailed plan to make one in this article. It’s good for camping, cooking at home when the power is out, or for any other time that you need to cook without electricity or a large open flame.
You can’t cook a lot over it but it will certainly do for heating soup or coffee.
5. Make a Clay Pot Oven
One of the foods that go the furthest is biscuits and bread, which make them great survival foods. You can use a clay pot oven to bake them and anything else that you’d like to bake. The directions are actually pretty simple, and so is using it. This clay pot oven works exactly the way a brick pizza oven works.
You’ll need a 24”x24” concrete paver, a large, thick-walled terra cotta pot, at least 16” in diameter, with a hole in the bottom, and a saber saw with a tile blade. You’ll also need a couple of 2”x4”x18” pieces of wood.
Draw an opening for the door on the rim of the pot. Make it 8” or so tall and about the same wide so that you can get a loaf of bread in, but not so big that you’ll lose heat. Cut it out with the saber saw SLOWLY so that you don’t break the pot.
To use it, set the tile on the wood, then pile 50 or so charcoal briquettes or wood on the tile and light it. Let it burn until there are no flames, then put the pot over the charcoal. Put an oven thermometer in the top hole and let it reach at least 375 degrees.
You have to get the hang of controlling the draft by using a small ceramic tile over the opening and controlling the hole on top. When it’s ready to use, slide the charcoal to the edges of the oven and slide your bread in!
6. Line the Bottoms of Planters
Broken clay pots can be used as filtering material in the bottom of your planters in place of rocks to keep your soil from washing out the bottom. Broken clay is much lighter than rocks, so this makes your planter lighter as well as repurpose a broken item.
Or you can use broken pieces as mulch. Planters and window boxes are great places to grow vegetables and herbs, but weeding them isn’t so fun. Use broken pieces of clay pots as mulch to keep the moisture in our plants and to prevent pesky weeds from growing.
7. Use Clay Pots to Make Fermented Foods
How do you think sauerkraut is made? It’s cabbage, vinegar, and some spices combined in a clay pot and kept in the dark. The same concept applies to kimchi, wine, and any other item that needs fermented. Use a clay pot with a lid to make any of these foods.
Make sure that it’s glazed and food-safe though. If it’s not glazed, it’s highly possible (probable even) that the liquid will leach through the pot.
Can you think of any other uses for clay pots? If so, please share them with us in the comments section below!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.