I’ve been cooking with a donabe pot for probably ten years now. They are so useful. Now I have three of them, in different sizes, and they’re all three in use most of the time — now especially since I’m cooking for myself mostly, because I can’t eat anything in restaurants, and am “cooking ahead” so I have something I can take along for lunch and pack my lunchbox fast.
This is my big donabe pot; I happened to find it at a local thrift store for $6 several years back. What a find! I don’t think anyone else knew what it was.
They’re safe to put on the stove, over an open flame — I’ve cooked with gas ranges for the past 10 years; I don’t know how they’d be on an electric stovetop. They’re safe to bake with in the oven; they go in the refrigerator and probably the freezer, too — just don’t try heating up a frozen donabe pot over an open flame; I think that would be the end of the donabe pot. I microwave my donabe pots too.
They’re made out of a certain fireproof clay that not all pots are made of, giving them the ability to not break when they’re placed over a direct flame. Most of mine have the word “flameproof” etched in the clay on the underneath side of the pot.
And of course we know that tens of thousands of years ago our ancestors cooked with clay pots over open flames. So here you go: caveman cookware. Find them online at private stores, or on Amazon, or at your local Japanese market.