[Sca-cooks] Salt corrosion of pots?

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Sun Jan 13 13:03:22 PST 2013

Glass is amorphous fused silica which is mostly inert and non-porous.  Clay 
used in pottery is a phyllosilicate with a high degree of plasticity.  When 
fired, the crystalline structure of the clay produces densely packed rigid 
layers.  Ceramic vessels are slightly porous and can be permeated by 
liquids, which is essentially eliminated by glazing.  Clay based ceramics 
are not inert, but the degree of reactivity is dependent on the minerals in 
the ceramic and the contents of the pot.  You appear to have been unlucky in 
the mix of brine and clay.  Next time, I think I would try a glazed crock or 
glass jar.


>I have a couple of Pomaireware unglazed clay pots 
>(http://pomaireware.com/clay-cookware/) that I use with some regularity. 
>Most recently I used one to brine cure a few pounds of olives. Over the 
>course of the cure (about 3 months), the brine solution soaked through the 
>pot; in fact, the outside of the pot became encrusted with salt as the 
>brine dried.
> A couple of days ago, I transferred the olives to another container. As I 
> was cleaning the pot, I noticed several places where the clay had 
> corroded: it had become soft and crumbly. I didn't think that fired clay 
> pots would be affected by salt in this way. I'm no ceramicist, but isn't 
> fired clay just fused silica, which is extremely inert?
> I'd be interested in hearing whether anyone else has had this experience.
> -- Galefridus

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