Is Earthenware Food Safe? (Understanding The Food Safety Of Earthenware)




Core Insights

  • Earthenware can be food safe under special circumstances. 
  • Check the label and try to find a “Food-safe” label before you use it to serve food. 
  • There are many types of clay that are completely food safe. 

Is your beautiful earthenware pot safe to use for food? This question is often a wave in my mind. When I started research on is earthenware food safe? And I can understand most of the craft lovers are grappling with these questions. Serving your delicious meals with a safe pot without any confusion.

Is Earthenware Food-Safe

In this article, we dive deep into understanding the food safety of earthenware. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of whether or not earthenware pots deserve a place in your kitchen. So, without any delay, let’s dive in together

Is There Any Food Safe Clay?

Yes, there are several types of clay that are food safe. But you must use them appropriately. When it comes to pottery and cookware, generally, safety depends on several factors including firing temperature and the presence of any ceramic glaze or coatings.

Is There Any Food Safe Clay

I got my analysis that the stoneware & porcelain clay are often considered food safe due to their nonporous nature after firing. Stoneware & Porcelain clay are typically fired at high temperatures.

On the other hand,

Earthenware is another common type of clay that can be food-safe. Because it is properly glazed and fired at the right temperature. The glaze creates a protective barriers. The glaze forms a protective barrier that prevents liquids from being absorbed.


  • Some clays are specially made for crafting or decoration; these types of content might not be safe for contact with food.
  • Make sure your handmade or artisanal ceramic for the right glazing and firing temperatures.

Food Safe Clay List: Here Are A Few Options

When you choose food-safe clay for your culinary applications. Then, it is essential to select those types of clays that do not contain harmful substances.

Food Safe Clay List Here Are A Few Options

Here are a few options for food-safe clays: 

1. Earthenware Clay

  • Earthenware is a type of clay that is fired at low temperatures
  • Typically, between 18000 and 2200 Fahrenheit.
  • It is known for its porous nature.
  • Earthenware clay is suitable for creating pottery items like plants, bowls, and mugs.
  • Ensure that the glazes are you using on your earthenware are also food-safe.

When I worked with my glaze, a question arose in my mind that is: Is glazed earthenware food safe? I find out the answer is It depends on the specific type of glaze. Let’s clear your confusion, The glazes or matte glaze can contain various materials, and they also include some substances that are not safe for food contact.

On the other hand,

A questions arise, is unglazed earthenware food safe? Unglazed earthenware may not be inherently food-safe, as its porous nature can absorb liquids and potentially bacteria.

Always choose earthenware labeled as “food-safe” and follow care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

2. Stoneware Clay

  • Stonewear is a versatile clay fired at higher temperatures.
  • Generally, between 2200 and 2400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • It has a less porous structure compared to earthenware. That’s making it more durable.
  • It is also essential, like earthenware to use safe food glazes.

3. Porceline Clay

  • Porcelain clay is a high-fired clay.
  • Porcelain gives you a non-porous and smooth surface result.
  • It is an excellent choice for you to create delicate and refined tableware.
  • Also, you have to ensure porcelain is free from harmful substances.

4. Terracotta Clay

  • Terracotta is a type of earthenware clay.
  • That is melted in a reddish-brown color.
  • It is commonly used for creating cookware such as baking dishes and pizza stones.
  • Also confirm your clay is free from harmful substances.

5. White Clay (Kaolin)

  • White clay, also known as Kaoline.
  • Kaoline is a versatile clay used for ceramics and pottery.
  • It also allows you to create porcelain and other type of white ceramics.
  • Also, ensure your glaze is safe for food.

Is Earthenware Food Safe? An In-Depth Analysis

Yes, earthenware can be food-safe. Just make sure there are no harmful ingredients.

Before explaining the answer to this question, you should know this is earthenware safe? 

Yes, earthenware is generally safe for use, but it’s essential to ensure that it’s intended for food-related purposes and that any glazes used are designated as food-safe.

Is Earthenware Food Safe An In-Depth Analysis

Suppose you are singing a glazed earthenware Make sure tha glazed is safe food. Glazes can contain various materials & sometimes, they may include those that are not safe for food direct contact.

Here are some considerations that will help you:

1. Lead In Glazes

  • Historically, lead has been a common ingredient in some glazes because it produces vibrant colours with a smooth finish.


  • Lead is toxic, but if glazed earthenware is labeled as “lead-free” or “food-safe,” then it is considered safe for use as food.

2. Food-Safe Glazes

  • At present, many modern glazes are food safe glazes because they are free from harmful substances.
  • When you buy, it is important to check the manufacturer. Most of the time, it gives you information about the safety of their glazes.
  • Definitely choose the kind of glaze those are labeled. 
  • Lebeled glazes typically do not contain lead, cadmium, or other toxic materials.

3. Testing For Your Safery

  • Definitely, you should fully inquire about your earthenware piece.


  • There are lead testing kits available that you can use to test the surface of glazed pottery.

4. Care Instructions

  • You have to follow manufacturer instructions that are provided in clay bodies.
  • Some glazed earthenware may be made for dishwasher safe


  • Some require handwashing to maintain the integrity of the glaze.

Using Earthenware Clay For Pottery: Here’s What You Need To Know

Earthenware clay is one of the most common clay in pottery. It is famous for its versatility and ease of use. If you are planning to work with earthenware clay & thinking, is earthenware safe to eat from?

Yes, earthenware can be safe to eat from if the glazes used are labeled as food-safe. We already discuss glazes. Now, you can plan to work with earthenware. Here is a guide that will help you to know what you need to do:

Using Earthenware Clay For Pottery Here’s What You Need To Know

1. Type Of Clay

  • Earthenware is made from a combination of minerals like kaoline, ball clay & red clay.
  • It is important to know its pliability.

2. Firing Temperature 

  • When the topic is coming to firing temperature, the first thing in our mind is, is Low Fire earthenware food safe? Low-fire clays earthenware can be food-safe if it is glazed with food-safe glazes and fired properly.
  • Fired at lower temperatures, generally between  1800 and 2200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • It will be ideal for you to choose those that are low-temperature 

3. Porosity

  • One key characteristic of earthenware is its porosity. It absorbs water unless it’s glazed. 
  • This can be an advantage if you’re making plant pots as the porous nature allows roots to breathe

On the other hand, It can be a disadvantage for items like mugs or bowls that need to hold liquids.

4. Durability

  • Earthenware is generally less durable than stoneware or porcelain due to its lower firing temperature.
  • This doesn’t mean it’s fragile. Properly fired and glazed earthenware can last many years with proper care.

5. Glazing

  • Glazing not only adds aesthetic appeal but also seals the glazed surface.
  • Glazing also makes it waterproof and more durable against wear and tear. 
  • However, glazes must be applied carefully because if applied too thickly, they may crack during drying or firing.

6. Ease Of Use

  • Earthenware beginners often favor clays because they’re easy to shape.
  •  It also has a wide range of firing temperatures.

7. Colour Variety

  • The natural colors of earthenware range from light grey. 
  • You can also add colorants or underglazes before firing. As a result, you will achieve a wide range of colors.

Amazing Project Ideas For Your Using Earthenware Clay 

Now you know is earthenware food safe or not. Let’s take it up a notch. Here are some amazing product ideas for using Earthenware.

1. Earthenware Clay Mugs

Create your personalized  food safe glaze mugs  using Earthenware Clay. You can design them with unique patterns as per your choice. But always clean your earthenware before you work.

2. Clay Flower Pots

Design and create your flower pots. In my opinion, this is a great way to add a personal touch to your garden or home decor.

3. Clay Jewelry

Use earthenware clay to make beautiful, rustic jewelry pieces like earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.

4. Decorative Plates

Create decorative plates that can be used for serving food or as wall decorations.

5. Clay Sculptures

If you are a pet lover, then it will be your best choice to create sculpting in your own way

6. Picture Frames

Make picture frames out of clay & capture your memories.

7. Candle Holders

Craft candle holders from clay for an earthy addition to your home decor.

8. Wall Art Pieces

Use your clay to create art pieces that can be hung on walls for decoration purposes.

9. Terracotta Wind Chimes

Design wind chimes using different shapes of terracotta pieces m.

10. Clay Coasters

Make coasters with interesting textures or patterns.   

11. Fruit Bowls

Create large bowls perfect for holding fruits on the kitchen counter.

12. Earthen Lamps

Traditional lamps made from earthenware are perfect projects

13. Clay Vases

Create a vase for your home decor.

14. Clay Bells

You can create small clay bells that can be used as decorative pieces.

15. Earthenware Clay Clocks

Design and create wall clocks using earthenware clay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Pottery Food Safe?

Pottery can be food-safe if made with safe materials, proper glazes, and fired correctly. Always check with the potter or manufacturer for specific details.

How Can You Tell If Pottery Is Food Safe?

To check if pottery is food-safe, look for labels, inquire about glazes, ask the maker, consider testing kits, and research the product.

What Kind Of Clay Is Food Safe?

Food-safe clays include earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, and terracotta. Ensure they are labeled as food-safe.

Is Unglazed Pottery Food Safe?

Unglazed pottery can be porous, potentially posing a risk to food safety. While some unglazed pottery is designed for culinary use, it’s crucial to confirm its suitability and adhere to any care instructions provided by the potter or manufacturer.

Earthenware Be Put In Oven?

Yes, earthenware can generally be put in the oven or electric stove. However, it’s crucial to check the specific care instructions provided by the potter or manufacturer, as different types of earthenware and glazes may have varying temperature and usage recommendations.


Earthenware can be food-safe if no harmful elements are used. Any item that is toxic or can cause toxicity in the food, if added for any reason directly with the clay or in the decorating items can lead to serious health injuries. 

All you need to do is to keep it in mind and check that no such thing is added and that the earthenware is absolutely safe for containing food. 
While purchasing the clay, color, glitter, sealer, or any items you are going to use, read the instructions on the label to find out if the clay is food-safe or not. Even if you are purchasing a readymade pottery item, also check those instructions. I hope these instructions cleared your confusion about is earthenware food safe.

About the author

Written By

William Prince

William Prince

Meet William Prince!

With over 20 years of ceramic artistry experience, William Prince is not just a skilled potter; he’s a passionate guide to your pottery journey. William holds a Fine Arts degree specialized in pottery and he was also nurtured under the guidance of renowned potters. With over two decades of experience, he seamlessly blends tradition with contemporary aesthetics.

William’s inspiration stems from nature’s imperfections, translating them into unique, organic pottery pieces. As a patient and warm-hearted teacher, he’s known for conducting pottery workshops and classes, nurturing talents with his expertise. Join William on “” and let his mastery inspire your own pottery adventure. Uncover the magic of crafting pottery with a trusted mentor who’s dedicated to both the art and the artist.

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