Slate vs Ceramic Pot Calls for Turkey Hunting: Key Factors of Each and How to Use Them

By Shaggy Outdoor Team

April 4, 2023

Turkey hunting is a thrilling and challenging sport that requires a combination of skill, patience, and the right equipment. One of the most important pieces of equipment for any turkey hunter is their call. 

There are three main call types on the market; friction calls, mouth calls, and locator calls. Read our article on these three types here at The Top 3 Turkey Calls Every Hunter Should Own and Master Before Hunting the Season Starts

A pot call is one of the most popular turkey friction calls on the market. There are several different finish materials designed to mimic the sounds of a hen turkey. Surface materials for pot calls include slate, glass, ceramic, crystal, and aluminum.

These calls are used to make the hen sounds by hunters to mimic the birds and attract gobblers within range for a hunter to take a shot.

Since there are several pot call options available, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Let’s break down the two pot call types slate and ceramic call.

The Woodhaven pot call photo introducing this topic can be found on Amazon by clicking here for pricing and availability. 

Slate Pot Calls

Slate pot calls have been a popular choice among turkey hunters for many years. One of the key advantages of slate calls is their ability to produce very realistic tones, making them an excellent choice for hunters who want to create a convincing turkey call.

The call is relatively easy to use, even for beginners. It has endless use opportunities for hunters with proper care, conditioning, and storage. All that needs to be done to get quality sounds is recondition the surface with a maroon scotch brite pad and we’re back to making those fantastic clucking and purring sounds.

Wet conditions can inhibit the slate call and striker from being a tactical success. The problem with a slate call can be when it’s wet or when you get oils on the surface.

Keeping the pot dry is important for the best results. Condition your pot call often and condition your striker at the same time for the best results.

If your slate call gets wet, do your best to dry it out before your next use. Using a lighter and holding the pot upside down can help dry it out. But, be careful not to burn yourself or the surface.

Positive Factors of Slate Pot Calls

  • Soft, close-in-calling settings
  • Fairly easy to use for beginners
  • Great for low-end calls

Ceramic Pot Calls

Ceramic pot calls are a newer addition to the market and are gaining popularity among turkey hunters. One of the main advantages of ceramic calls is their ability to produce a higher pitch than the soft surface of a slate call. This can be useful for hunters who are trying to call in gobblers from a distance.

Ceramic surfaces allow for consistent striker contact, which makes them easy to use. A huge benefit for turkey hunters is the ability to use a ceramic call during harsh weather conditions, making them a good choice for hunters who hunt in areas with more moisture in the air.

The ceramic calls are good multi-use turkey calls. Pull it out and use it when the weather is bad and if paired with the correct striker you can keep calling in the rain.

You need to condition your ceramic pot similarly to that of the slate. Condition when you first get the call and condition after once you have used the call several times. To condition, use fine sandpaper and rub back and forth along the edge of the call. Using the edge is more typical of turkey callers than the center of the call.

Positive Factors of Ceramic Pot Calls

  • Higher pitch than slate
  • Ability to get loud
  • Easy to work with

How To Use a Pot Call

Using a pot call effectively takes practice and patience. To use a pot call, start by holding the pot with your non-dominant hand, using the tips of your fingers on its outer rim. Hold the striker as you would a pencil in your dominant hand and angle it at about 45 degrees to the surface.

Now gently tap the surface with the striker to produce a clucking sound. To produce a purring sound, drag the striker slowly across the surface of the pot. With practice, you can learn to produce a wide range of turkey sounds that will help you bring gobblers within range.

When starting check out our review of the best calls for beginner turkey hunters. Here we provide a list of the best choices to get started with this season.

Now that you learned a little move in this video. Here are the basic striker movements for pot calls. It does not matter which call surface you are using these movements are the same. 

How to make turkey sounds using a pot call. Directionally working your striker.

Which is better the Slate Pot Calls or Ceramic Pot Calls for Turkey Hunters?

When it comes to turkey hunting, any pot call is better than no pot call. Practice makes for better calling and experience in the woods and makes for the best opportunities to attract longbeards to your blind.

Turkey hunters should take advantage of all four types of calls; the mouth call, friction box call, pot friction call, and locator call.

If you are in the market for a new pot call or picking one up for the first time, check out our review of the top 9 Best Pot Friction Calls for Turkey Hunters. We’ll provide you with the most affordable pot calls that you can get started with.

As a rule of thumb pick up a slate call if you are starting out. This is a softer material that has more give and will allow you to continue using it as your skills get better. The flare tip striker or mushroom head will be a good pairing for the beginner pot turkey caller as this type of tip will have more forgiveness in the calling.