Ang Mahiwagang Kaldero!

I am trying to find out what kaldero is made of. The traditional kaldero we are using to cook rice. It is among the best vessel for cooking rice aside from automatic rice cooker and palayok. Oppps! I suddenly remembered that I have not tried cooking rice with other medium like thin aluminum pot and stainless steel casserole. My assumption is purely base on my mom’s testimony, experiences and observations.

cauldron kaldero ng kaninLarge rice quantities can also be cooked in large kaldero and tulyasi with the employment of some special techniques, like occasional stirring and covering with fresh banana leaves.

A new kaldero is silvery in appearance with a slightly rough finish. The silvery color makes me think it is aluminum. The complexion becomes darker with time and repeated use. If used over a wooden stove, the bottom turns black almost instantly, carbon deposits I guessed. Mom always reminds me not to scrubbed clean the black chalky bottom as it will create a hole and will render the cooking vessel useless. It really does specially for old kalderos.

Regarding the hole thing. Some have manufacturing defects discoverable upon use or after few cooking sessions. A thin metal film can be bought from public market and be used to seal the hole. Carbon deposit sometime cover the hole unintentionally.

Its use with lpg and electronic stove have slower darkening effect. Both will end with the same color eventually except for the chalky bottom. The inner surfaces also become darker with continuous use.

So what makes our very own kaldero so special? If the palayok is not so fragile, then I will choose palayok. A rice cooked in palayok over a wood fire is simply awesome. If the electricity cost is not so damn expensive, then I will go for automatic riced cooker. Set it, leave it and eat after. If rice can be cooked well in stainless steel casserole, then I’ll choose it, way pricier than kaldero but never darken with repeated use.

Going with back with what the kaldero is made of. I cannot find its exact match over the web. I am seeking the help of local kaldero manufacturers.


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2 Comments

  • I’m also interested to find out what the cadero is made of. Please post it here when you find out.

  • I remember being told by our cook when I was much,much younger that the original kalderos were made from airplane parts, from which, I don’t know, the wings or fusilage maybe. I think he was only pulling my leg, or maybe he was telling the truth if they used scrap airplane metal that was melted down to mold the kalderos, as aluminum was used for planes because of the strength but light weight.
    I am sure Filipino calderos produced these days are at least partially if not completely aluminum. Here, one can buy aluminum pots made in Asian countries and Mexico in ethnic stores, but they are lighter and will dent easily. Our calderos are heavier and ding-resistant. Good American brand names also produce aluminum pots, but not as heavy as our calderos.
    They are good for cooking as aluminum conducts heat evenly. Why are they particularly good for cooking rice? I don’t really know, but I think it’s because we have become so used to using calderos before rice cookers were ever invented, that we think rice is best cooked in our kind of calderos.
    I used to cook rice in a caldero by putting it on low heat from start to finish, unlike the usual method of getting the rice and water to boil first at high heat, then turning the heat down. I prefer my method because you don’t have to be mindful and afraid that it will burn or cause a “tutong”.

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