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Sot (Korean cauldron).jpg
Revised Romanizationgamasot
Alternative name
Revised Romanizationsot
traditinal gamasot in South Korea
closeshot of Gamasot

Gamasot (가마솥), or simply sot (), is a big, heavy pot or cauldron used for Korean cooking.[1][2]


The origins of the ‘sot’ originate in the "Chung" which is made of bronze.[3] Researchers have speculated that copper would be easier to handle because it has a lower melting point than steel. Bronze ‘sot’ are frequently unearthed as remains of the Three Kingdoms period, because the meaning of 'Chung' was symbolic of the nation, the throne, and the industry. However, the history of iron ‘sot’ goes up to the Bronze Age much earlier than the Three Kingdoms period .[3] The copper ‘sot’ on the Korean Peninsula were first discovered in the remains of Gojoson, which belongs to the late Bronze Age Korean copper sword culture period. A large amount of ‘sot’ is excavated from the ruins of the 'Hansa-gun' which was installed as the Gojoseon was destroyed by Han in 108 BC. In particular, the remains of ‘Nakrang-gun’ are famous for the largest number of pots among the four groups.[3]


It was very large and recessed to fit the large family of Korea. In general, gama mean utensils when light a fire, and sot means pot and bowl that cook rice. The gamasot has no legs and the bottom of the pot is round and usually has a small recess at the edge of the entrance. There are four projections on the body, which is convenient to put across the stove. The lid is made of iron, and it has a convenient tap in the middle.[4]


From ancient times, the pot was not simply a device for cooking food, but a symbol of kingship, power, state, and industry.[5] It was used as a tool to record the achievements of public figures or to punish corrupt officials, religious ceremonies, or food for the dead. In ancient China, a cup of liquor, a bowl of liquor and a bronze pot was the symbol of kingship.[5] In 606 BCE, the first lord of Joo in Qing Dynasty, If the virtue of the king is beautiful and bright, it is difficult to move the pot even if it is small, and if the virtue is distorted and foolish, it is easy to move because it is big even if it is big. By comparing the virtue of the king to the size of the pot and expressing the kingship by the weight of the pot, he recognized the pot as a symbol of the kingship.[5]

Cooking rice in gamasot is a longstanding custom in Korea, that began at least during the reign of King Daemusin (18‒44 CE) in Goguryeo.[2]


The structure of a pot is generally divided into a lid that covers the pot and a pot, which is the body that cooks rice or rice. In the past, there was a leg on the bottom of the pot. A iron pot is a tool to cook rice in a fireplace by burning a tree in an oven. The lid is tightly attached to the pot, so that the steam generated when boiling the food can not escape well. It is also made to increase the pressure of water vapor in the pot with the weight of the heavy lid.[6]

In this case, there is a science principle that can produce delicious rice more than the general cooker or electric rice cooker we are currently using.

First, when you cook rice using a pot, you pour water with rice and burn it. Then, the temperature of the pot will rise due to the heat conduction, and the water will boil. The important point is that the lower part of the pot, which is directly exposed to fire, is made thicker, and the upper part is made thinner gradually to 1/2. As a result, the heat is transferred evenly in the pot, so that the moisture content ratio is high, and the rice balls are firmly formed.[7]

And another reason why delicious rice is made is found on the lid.[8]

When the water boils in the pot, water vapor is generated. When it is blown out, the heat in the pot is lost and the temperature easily falls. In order to prevent the steam from leaking out, the lid is covered, so when steam is generated, the steam pressure in the pot rises and the rice easily boils.[9]

This principle can be easily seen when we climb on high mountains and cook rice. On the mountain, the pressure is low and the boiling temperature of the water is lowered. To prevent this, we place heavy stones on the lid, which is the principle of the lid of the iron pot. That is, when the weight ratio between the lid and the pot is about one third, the pressure inside the pot is the most appropriate, and the high temperature is maintained for a long time, so that the color, the gloss, the smell, the taste and the stickiness of rice are the best conditions. And when the lid is made about one third of the weight of the pot, the lid is automatically opened by the water vapor when the rice is cooked. The ancestors see this signal that the steam is pushing the lid and reduce the heat.[5]

If you cook rice in gamasot, it is good because gamasot is breathing. And because the iron in the pot increased the hemoglobin level, it is said that there is no anemia when eating rice in gamasot.[10]

It can be seen that it is the electric pressure cooker which shows the new technology by combining the principle of gamasot with the modern science.[6][11]


The lid of Gamasot is heavy and slowly changes temperature. It maintains high internal pressure and high temperature, and it becomes delicious rice.[3] The Gamasot lid is much heavier than the pot lid made of other materials. The pressure cooker that is used these days is enough to lock the function.[3] If the pot lid is heavy, the air inside the pot will expand when heated with fire, and the water will turn into steam. If the lid is light, water vapor can easily escape, but if it is heavy, it will escape less and the internal pressure will rise. The higher the pressure, the higher the boiling point of water, the more rice is cooked at over 100 degrees, the better it gets at the lower temperature, and the better the taste.[3] To ripe rice, atmospheric pressure (1 atm) or more is required. When you cook rice, the air and water vapor in the pot escape, and when it is steaming it is less ripe. The traditional Gamasot lid weighs one-third of the entire pot, and this principle is applied by the electric pressure cooker.[3] However, since the electric pressure cooker can not put such a heavy device on it, the inner pot and the lid have a cog-shaped protrusion. When the lid is closed and the handle is turned, the gears mesh with each other and air and water vapor can not escape.[3] It is designed so that the internal gas can escape through the gas exhaust port when the pressure regulator is installed and reaches a certain pressure (2 atm) or more. Also, Gamasot is three-dimensional because the bottom is round. The thickness of the floor plays a different role in each area. In most Gamasot, thicken the area that first touches the fire and make the edges thinner to evenly distribute the heat. It is a good application of thermal conductivity[3]


In the hanok's kitchen, agungi can be used for heating and cooking, and gamasot is a large pot designed for use as a cooking utensil. Gamasot is very large, so it is common to use it almost fixed to agungi. Gamasot is a Korean traditional pot that has kept its kitchen for a long time. There were few places where it is not used, such as making fire, cooking rice, frying the side dishes and steaming. The closest thing to real life was gamasot. It is an important cooking tool that can not be used for cooking in Korea. Therefore, the pot was a history of the family.[12]


See also[edit]

Extra-large Gamasot[edit]

In July 2005, Goesan-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do completed an extra-large gamasot with over 500 million won in military budget and resident's contribution. The super-sized gamasot is 17.85 meters in circumference, 2.2 meters in height, 5.88 meters in diameter, and weighs 43.5 tons.[13] This gamasot is located in Goesan-eup Dongbu Clean Chilli Distribution Center. In the pot lid there are inscriptions of ascending dragons, turtles and Mugunghwa.[1] It is said that Goesan-gun could build 40,000 people of rice at a time, but he could not do it, and he only stewed 10,000 corns.[13] Goesan-gun applied for the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest cauldron, but abandoned the promotion of the Guinness Book by the fact that the earthenware of Australia was bigger. Also, Goesan - gun has not used this super - sized cauldron since 2007 and has neglected it.[14] So, Goesan - gun tried to find out how to utilize the super - sized cauldron with various meanings of the people, and finally decided to leave it for publicity.[15]


  1. ^ a b "gamasot" 가마솥. Korean-English Learners' Dictionary. National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b Pettid, Michael J. (2008). Korean Cuisine: An Illustrated History. London: Reaktion Books. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-86189-348-2.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "가마솥에 숨겨진 과학 '무쇠솥'과 '통가열식 압력밥솥'" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  4. ^ "한국인의 솔푸드 '가마솥밥' 지어볼까" (in Korean). 2010-09-16. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  5. ^ a b c d 국립민속박물관. "솥 - 표제어 - 한국민속신앙사전 - 한국민속대백과사전". (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  6. ^ a b "[문병도의 톡톡 생활과학] 내솥이 60도인 이유는? 가전에 이런 기술이" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  7. ^ 동아사이언스. "대한민국 1등 과학브랜드, 동아사이언스". (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  8. ^ "[밥이 답이다] 맛있는 밥 짓기, 세번째 이야기 - 소믈리에타임즈" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  9. ^ "[가전Tech] 선조들의 가마솥 과학 담긴 전기압력밥솥…잘 지어진 밥알이 세로로 서는 이유" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  10. ^ "전통 무쇠 솥
    4대째 100년 가업으로 이어 가고 있다"
    . Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  11. ^ "[알아봅시다] 전기밥솥의 작동원리는?". Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  12. ^ "무쇠솥으로 지은 밥은 왜 맛있을까 | d라이브러리" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  13. ^ a b "솥" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  14. ^ "애물단지 '세계 최대 괴산 가마솥'…어이할꼬" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  15. ^ "괴산군민 가마솥, 전시 홍보용으로 존치". 충청매일 (in Korean). 2017-06-25. Retrieved 2018-06-24.