How do you cook with a tagine?


Quick Answer

A tagine cooks food by trapping steam while heating food, much like a slow cooker or Dutch oven. This makes the vessel ideal for stews and other moist dishes. Most recipes call for heating the ingredients at a low simmer in the tagine over the course of two or more hours. Generally all of the ingredients cook together, though some recipes call for slightly browning the meat in advance.

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Full Answer

A tagine works with a wide range of cooking tools, including stove tops and ovens. When cooking over a direct heat source such as a stove burner, use a heat diffuser to prevent scorching. Tagines also work over open flames or grills; however, doing so requires additional care to ensure a consistent low heat.

Most tagine recipes call for a significant amount of oil. About.com advises cooks to be generous with oil to avoid the steam causing dishes to become watery.

Cooking with a tagine requires patience; opening the lid to check on the food before it's ready causes the steam and heat to escape the vessel, in turn increasing the cooking time.

Make sure to bring the tagine to room temperature before cooking. Placing a chilled tagine over heat may cause cracking.

Traditionally tagines function as serving dishes as well as cooking vessels. When starting the cooking process, try to arrange the ingredients to be ready to serve once cooked.

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