Finding the Best Moroccan Tagine Pot: What to Consider?
Tagine pots (also called tajines or tangines) are essential cookware in Moroccan cuisine. Every Moroccan kitchen has a collection of beautifully displayed Moroccan tagines. Growing up in Morocco, we had in our kitchen at least five Moroccan tagine pots of different sizes, glazed and unglazed, and for different uses and occasions.
Now and even if I live thousands of miles away from Morocco, I probably cook in my tagine pots 2 or 3 times a week. Believe me, once you start cooking in a tagine pot, you will be amazed at the deliciousness you will create, whether you are a beginner or an expert cook.
If you are looking to find the best tagine pot for your kitchen, this guide will show you precisely what to look for and where to look, whether it’s online or in Morocco if you are visiting the country.
Is Buying a Tagine Pot Worth it?
The benefit of buying and cooking in a tagine pot comes from the shape – the cone top – and composition – natural clay – of the tagine pot. Both help condensate the aromatics and slow-cook the ingredients, infusing them with delicious flavors. Because of the slow cooking, the vegetables and meat cooked in a tagine pot will be very fragrant, and deeply infused with herbs and spices flavors. Cooking in natural clay also adds more richness to the flavors and allows the sauce to caramelize, strengthening the flavors even more.
Where to Buy a Tagine Pot?
I recommend buying your tagine pot from sellers who give information about the materials used to make the tagine pot – which is an important point, I’ll come to that later! – and whether the tagine pot was handmade or not.
In fact, not all tagine pots available in the market are worth your money, and some of them can even be toxic. I’ve been approached many times by sellers who manufacture their tagine pots in factories and give no information about the origin or composition of their tagine pots. The composition of your tagine pot is key. Your food should be in contact with clay only and I honestly prefer tagine pots that are made in Morocco as I’m more comfortable with the craftmanship involved.
If you are in Morocco, you can buy your tagine pot in most medinas and souks of Morocco. If you have never been to a souk or medina in Morocco, then I highly recommend checking my Moroccan shopping guide. It will give you all the tools and tips to navigate shopping in Morocco, avoid counterfeits and get beautiful handmade products that will last a lifetime.
If you are shopping for tagine pots online, keep on reading. I will share the links to the tagines I use in my kitchen.
But before that, there are a few things you should keep in mind when searching for the right tagine pot for your family.
How Much Does a Tagine Cost?
A traditional tagine pot handmade in Morocco and 100% natural will cost from $60 to $120 in the US, depending on the size, type, and decorations.
If you are in Morocco then you will probably find a tagine pot for less than $15 in the medina market. It’s a big price difference compared to pricing in the US and other countries, but it’s totally understandable. A handmade clay tagine pot is really heavy and naturally costs more to ship from Morocco than to make. Tagine pots are also very prone to breaking in transit as they are made out of clay, and sellers have to take this into account when pricing their tagine pots as with any other fragile item.
The Difference Between Glazed, Unglazed, and Serving Tagine Pots
Glazed and unglazed tagines are different types of tagines that offer different uses and options. So, depending on what you are planning to do with your tagine (cooking vs. serving only), it’s important to pick the right tagine type for you.
What are Serving Tagines?
Serving tagines are tagine pots that are used only for serving. They cannot be in touch with a heat source. You can either use them to serve your tagine dish – if your regular tagine pot does not fit your table theme for example – or to serve other dishes like pasta, paellas, salads, couscous, etc.
Serving tagine pots are quick to spot. They are shiny with beautiful paintings and bright colors.
What is also very common to do in Morocco is the use of many colorful small tagines to serve side dishes, dips, and sauces. If you’ve been to Morocco, you’ve probably seen these mini tagine pots in every restaurant, cafe, or bar you’ve been in. They are essential in Moroccan table dressing. Here is a set of four colorful small tagines for your dips and side dishes.
What is a Glazed Tagine Pot?
Glazed tagine pots are the most common type of tagine pots. They are used for both cooking and for serving. They are shiny and sometimes have decorations in black. They are the best compromise if you want a tagine pot to use for cooking, but also that looks good on a table. The glazing helps food not to stick to the bottom of the tagine and makes cleaning easier. There are many glazed tagines to choose from in the market and usually, the bigger and more decorated the tagine is, the pricier it will be.
What is an Unglazed Tagine Pot?
Unglazed tagine pots are the rawest kind of Moroccan tagine pots. They are made with clay only and have no paintings or colors. Though these tagine pots are easily available in Morocco, it’s a little bit hard to find them online and they tend to be more expensive.
What Is The Best Size of Tagine to Buy?
The best size for your tagine pot will depend on how many people you will serve.
If only 1-2 people will be eating the tagine as the main dish, I would recommend looking for tagines 5-6 inches in diameter. These tagine pots are the perfect size for one serving and will feed one to two people comfortably.
For more than 2 servings, I recommend getting a tagine that is 12 inches. Tagines bigger than 12 inches are hard to find – even in Morocco. If you are serving more than 4 people, my tip is to make side dishes to complement your menu. This is what we typically do in Morocco. A tagine is always served with a mix of side dishes (salads, dips, marinated olives, etc) so that guests can eat comfortably and have options.
I use two tagine pots in my kitchen almost weekly: If you like glazed tagine pots, here is the 12-inch tagine I use. If you like the rustic feel of an unglazed tagine pot, I recommend this 13-inch unglazed tagine pot. Both are lead-free and handmade in Morocco following traditional tagine craftmanship.
Tagine Seasoning and Caring for Your Tagine Pot
If there is one key thing to remember about using your tagine pot and protecting it in the long run, is that tagine pots don’t like sudden changes in temperatures. That means that you should always cook your tagine on low to medium heat and that you should never never add cold water to your tagine when it’s hot.
Unfortunately, not all tagine recipes online respect these rules. As an example, many online recipes will ask you to add water to your tagine without specifying that water should be added either warm or hot. Adding cold water is in fact very risky as it increases the chances for your tagine to crack. That’s why I recommend this great tagine recipe book to anyone who is new to cooking in a tagine pot. In addition to having the classic – and delicious! – Moroccan tagine recipes, this downloadable recipe book details the steps to make each recipe, explaining what to do, and what not to do to avoid cracking your tagine pot. It’s a bestseller for a reason!
Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 19 reviews)
Rated 5 out of 5
June 16, 2020
just purchased my first tagine pot and a little anxious about using it. Fingers crossed it won’t happen! Thanks for the amazing tips!
thank you for the helpful links
Response from Moroccanzest
Hi Sheryl, hope you enjoy your new tagine pot! Just make sure you season it before the first use and follow the tips I share in this post, and it will all go smoothly. If you need a little more confidence and support to use and protect your tagine, the recipe Book I share in the NOTE section of this article is really helpful for all tagine pot users. You’ll get all the tips and tricks while cooking each tagine recipe. –xx
Question about tagine ustensils
Rated 5 out of 5
December 27, 2022
I have a tagine on order, totally unglazed.
I found your seasoning instructions and will follow them carefully, thank you.
I do have a question.
What cooking/serving utensils should I use with the clay tagine?
I was thinking either wood or bamboo, not metal. What do you suggest?
Response from Moroccanzest
Hi Jean, wood or bamboo-made spoons and spatulas are great to use as they will not scratch the surface of the tagine.
For serving, you can use Moroccan inspired plates like these:
You can also use any regular ceramic or clay plates you have.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Rated 5 out of 5
December 15, 2022
I already have a couple of unglazed tagine pots in my kitchen and wanted to purchase another one – this time glazed with black decorations. Thank you for the recommendations, I ordered the glazed tagine from Moroccan things and they are now out of stock. Glad I purchased it.
Response from Moroccanzest
Hi Katia, you are lucky you were able to order one! They consistently go out of stock after a few hours. -xxx
very useful guide thank you
Rated 5 out of 5
December 15, 2022
I just received my glazed 12.2-inch tagine from Little Moroccan Things and came back here for seasoning instructions. The tagine is really pretty and much larger than I was expecting it to be. Thank you for the recommendations and great tips, I feel confident using it and can’t wait to cook delicious tagines for my husband and 15 yo son.
Response from Moroccanzest
Thanks, Ingrid and glad you are happy with your new tagine. Cheers to the many delicious and heartwarming recipes you are going to make -xxx
Cast iron diffuser?
Rated 5 out of 5
May 24, 2022
Thanks for your advice, seasoned and ready to try – can you use a flat cast iron base as heat diffuser? Thanks 🙏
Response from Moroccanzest
Hi Mary! Yes, definitely! It will also protect your tagine -xxx
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From design and decor to food and travel, moroccanzest is the space where I share what I loved growing up in Morocco, and more. It’s your destination for everything beautiful, artistic, and made the Moroccan way with love.
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Honest Review of the Emile Henry TagineHow to Cook with a Tagine Like a ProThe 4 Moroccan Cookbooks to Have on Your Shelf in 2022Tagine Seasoning: How to Season and Cure a Tagine Pot The Right Way
What to Look For. The fit: A tagine is made of two pieces that fit together snuggly. So you want to check if your tagine has a good fit by opening and closing the lid a few times to make sure there's no wiggle room or gaps along the edge.What is the best material for a tagine? ›
Cast iron tagines cook food slowly and evenly, while stainless steel pots are the easiest to clean and look after, compared to terracotta and cast iron tagine pots. Let's explore these different materials and see what kind of tagine suits your cooking style best.How many people does a tagine feed? ›
Moroccan cooking pots come in a variety of sizes. There are small cooking tagines that serve 1 or 2 people, medium for a small family, and a large tagine pot for 6+ people. If the size is a factor the smaller tagines are good but a medium-sized tagine pot is a good investment for long-term use.Do you have to soak a tagine every time you use it? ›
However, all tagines should be soaked before use, allowing the water to absorb into the clay. So carefully take your beautiful tagine and soak it in cold water, instructions direct from the artisans themselves. Soaking should last at least an hour, but you can soak them longer.Which is better glazed vs unglazed tagine? ›
Glazed tagine is best for beginners – no seasoning or preheating needed. Whereas, unglazed tagine should be seasoned before use – it helps prevent cracking and adds flavor. Both glazed and unglazed tagines can be used on stovetops or in ovens.Does food taste different in a tagine? ›
With most other cookware, this steam escapes the pot/pan during cooking, meaning these nutrients are lost. With a tagine, however, these nutrients cycle back into the food as the steam is condensed, enriching the food's nutritional quality – this is why the food tastes better, too!How do I stop my tagine from cracking? ›
Tagines and other clay cookware may also crack if subjected to rapid changes in temperature. Avoid this by not adding cold food or liquids to a hot tagine, and by taking care not to place a hot tagine on a cold surface. Similarly, don't add hot liquids to a cold tagine, or place a cold tagine in a preheated oven.Can you put tagine directly on stove? ›
The versatile tagine pot can be used both on top of the stove or put in the oven. Dishes that are cooked in the pot can be taken straight to the table and served from there. Because of this, they are ideal for recipes for dinner parties or family gatherings.Why do you put water in the top of a tagine? ›
Add enough water or broth.
Adding liquid such as water or chicken broth to the tagine keeps food moist while cooking. Pour water or chicken stock carefully into the side of the tagine, around 1 ½ cups for a small tagine, and 2 ½ cups for a large tagine.
Le Creuset® brings generations of perfected craftsmanship and functionality to your home with this beautiful cast iron Tagine, a staple of slow-cooked and heavily seasoned North African cuisine.
If you have any leftovers, lamb tagine can last in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. What is this?How long will tagine keep? ›
Can I freeze leftover Lamb Tagine? Yes, absolutely – freeze once cooled, then it'll keep in the freezer for three months. To reheat, defrost overnight in the fridge and then heat until piping hot all the way through. Alternatively you can keep leftovers in the fridge for up to three days.Does a tagine need a hole in the top? ›
Some tagines have a small hole at the top of the lid that releases steam, meaning the sauce reduces as the steam escapes. But if your tagine doesn't have a hole, reduce the sauce by removing the lid in the last 15-30 minutes of cooking.Is a tagine the same as a Dutch oven? ›
Tagine or Dutch oven A tagine is the traditional clay cooking vessel for the dish; it has a base that is wider than its tall, cone-shape top. But you don't need a tagine to make this recipe. Use a Dutch oven or another lidded pot instead, as long as the lid fits tightly.Is tagine cooking healthy? ›
Tagine vegetarian recipes focus on various types of vegetables which have high nutrition. High-rich vitamins and protein are also necessary for every human being to make immunity strong and have a healthy life. This kind of dish completely implements the high-rich protein vegetables.What is the difference between Le Creuset and tagine? ›
The biggest difference between the two different companies is that they are made of different materials. Emile Henry tagines are made of flame ceramic while Le Creuset is an enameled cast iron.Do tagine pots go in the oven? ›
Traditionally, tagines would be cooked over coals or open flame, but you can use them over gas flames, electric elements or even in the oven. When heated, the ceramic expands slightly, sometimes creating small, thin cracks in the glaze.Do I have to season a glazed tagine? ›
A glazed tagine doesn't need seasoning, but you must still follow the cooking rules. Always read the manufacturer's instructions, because some glazed tagines are just for serving in, not for cooking. Always use a diffuser when cooking with a tagine.Do you eat bread with tagine? ›
Usually these are spread out so that each individual will have one of each salad. Another key element of serving a tagine is the bread (aka khobz), usually heated up and served in a small basket that's passed around the table.Do I need a heat diffuser for a tagine? ›
You can use a tagine on an electric stove. However, you will need to use a diffuser. A diffuser sits between the pot and the electric stove and helps to distribute the heat more evenly, preventing the pot from over-heating. Without a diffuser, your tagine may not cook evenly.
What to serve with tagine. Brown white or saffron rice are a staple side for tagine, but it's by no means the only option. Tagine can be enjoyed with bread, couscous, traditional Arabic tomato and cucumber salad, fresh green salad, olives, potato cakes, the options are limitless.How long do you soak a tagine? ›
Water and Space: The new tagine (both parts) needs to be submerged into water for up to 6 hours. If you cannot submerge it, place it in a clean sink and slowly fill the base with water until it stops absorbing it.Do I need to season a cast iron tagine? ›
Uno Casa 3.6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Moroccan Tagine
The base is enameled cast iron, so it does not need to be seasoned before use. The bright red ceramic lid seals in moisture during cooking and keeps food warm on the table, all while looking good doing it.
A Le Creuset Tagine consists of a cast iron base and stoneware lid and can be used on any hob and in the oven, making it a supremely versatile and rewarding kitchen and cooking essential.How long does it take to cook tagine? ›
When using a tagine, patience is required; let the tagine reach a simmer slowly. Poultry takes about 2 hours to cook, while beef or lamb may take up to 4 hours.Can you use a tagine on an electric cook top? ›
Using tagines on Gas or Electric Stoves
You can perfectly use your tagine pot on your Gas or Electric stove if you use your tagine pot on a heat diffuser on low-to-medium heat. When cooking in your tagine pot, check regularly to ensure the ingredients don't stick to the bottom.
Le Creuset uses high-quality materials. Their cookware is designed for performance, durability, reliability, and safety with large handles and knobs for easy use. Le Creuset's almost 100 years of experience honing its proven innovative designs and manufacturing skills are backed by offering lifetime warranties.Why is Le Creuset pots so expensive? ›
Le Creuset feels expensive compared to other brands and cookware, this is due to the high quality of the materials and the long-lasting quality of the cookware. They are both highly aesthetically pleasing, collectable and have a well earned following around the world for being one of the best.What are the different types of tagines? ›
- Moroccan Chicken Tagine.
- Moroccan Vegetable Tagine.
- Lamb Tagine.
- Easy Beef Tagine.
- Seafood Tagine.
- Moroccan Fish Tagine.
- Shrimp and Vegetable Tagine With Preserved Lemon.
- North African Style Tofu Tagine.
Traditionally a tagine is cooked in a conical ceramic dish called a tagine. I would love to have one but I really don't have room. Using a slow cooker may not be exactly the same but it does the job just as well. If you do have a tagine pan then you can use it instead.
While stews are definitely the most popular and well-known dish to make in a tagine, it can be used for much more. Rice, couscous, and beans all do fabulously. With the lid off, a tagine could be used as a roasting dish and then be carried straight to the table.What makes a tagine pot special? ›
The tagine's conical shape makes a uniquely moist, hot environment for the dish being cooked. The base is wide and shallow, and the tall lid fits snugly inside. As the food cooks, steam rises into the cone, condenses, and then trickles down the sides back into the dish.Can you overcook a tagine? ›
One secret to a stellar tagine is cooking the meat to just the right stage, almost falling off the bone, but not quite. Remember that even a stew can become overcooked and stringy, so pull the meat as soon as it is ready.Can you use a tagine on a gas stove? ›
Can a tagine be used on a gas hob? Yes, you can use a tagine on a gas hob. When using your tagine on a hob, always use a heat diffuser; a simple kitchen gadget that sits between your pot or pan and the flame and helps distribute heat more evenly so your food doesn't scorch.What is a cheaper alternative to Le Creuset? ›
- Chantal 7-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Dutch Oven. ...
- Lodge 7.5-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. ...
- Great Jones 6.75-Quart The Dutchess Dutch Oven. ...
- Misen 7-Quart Dutch Oven.
Tagine Pot vs Dutch Oven
Both can be used for braising. However, in terms of versatility, a dutch oven wins hands down. They create more food and you can do more with it. The main difference is that Tagines are supposed to be used as a serving dish.
Water and Space: The new tagine (both parts) needs to be submerged into water for up to 6 hours. If you cannot submerge it, place it in a clean sink and slowly fill the base with water until it stops absorbing it.Is tagine bad for you? ›
Health Canada has warned that some tagines may contain dangerous levels of lead if the ceramic isn't glazed uniformly or the pottery isn't fired at a hot-enough temperature, so make sure you're getting one from a reputable manufacturer.How long should you cook a tagine for? ›
Decant into a large saucepan and simmer on the hob on a medium heat for 15-20 mins. Stir regularly to avoid it sticking or burning, and you can add a splash of water during cooking if the sauce becomes too thick. Ensure it's all piping hot before serving.