from Wired Magazine
The VitaClay distinguishes itself from other slow cookers with its removable Zisha clay pot. Also known as Yixing clay, Zisha is a natural earthen substance formed over thousands of years in southern China. Zisha is rich in iron oxide, so it has a reddish hue and is usually left unglazed. It's where VitaClay gets the "Organic" in the cooker's name – the machine itself is not organic, but the pot used to cook food is.
The 8-cup, 500-watt cooker is brain-dead simple to use. I just stuck whatever ingredients I was cooking in the clay pot, closed the lid and pressed one of three dedicated buttons on the front: rice, slow cooker, or yogurt. An LCD display on the front indicates your cooking time.
A convenient feature is the ability to delay the cooking time from 10 minutes to five hours. That way, you can time it so your meal is ready only when you're ready to eat it. There's also an automatic warming cycle that kicks in and keeps the pot full of cooked food warm for up to half a day.
Cleaning the clay pot after use requires no elbow grease. Any rice that sticks to the bottom can quickly be removed with a short soak in warm water. The unglazed clay absorbs moisture – part of its cooking charm – so drying time is a tad lengthier, but no big deal. Also, I can't view the Zisha clay as anything less than a huge asset. Because of the slow and steady steam evaporation from the clay pores in the closed chamber, meats and vegetables are more tender. More flavorful, too.
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