potjie pot on fire

How To Clean A Burnt Potjie Pot

A potjie pot is a heavy-duty, high-quality, versatile cooking utensil that is vastly used for preparing dishes in the kitchen and outdoors. Potjie pots can withstand heavy use over years, all the more reason why they should be cleaned. Cleaning a burnt potjie pot doesn’t have to be a hassle, neither does the task of cleaning burnt pots for other types of cooking.

Here you can read about the three best methods to clean a burnt potjie pot.

1. Using Salt And Water To Clean A Potjie Pot

Kosher salt is an abrasive cleaner with excellent cleaning properties when combined with water, and is safe for use on an enamelled potjie pot. Follow these 3 steps to clean your potjie pot using kosher salt: 

  1. Put one tablespoon of kosher salt into your potjie pot and add a small amount of warm water, use a sponge to scrub all the burnt parts.
  2. Rinse the pot with hot water until there are no more burnt pieces or salt left. 
  3. Use a kitchen towel to dry your potjie pot, then store it safely.

2. Clean A Burnt Potjie Pot With Baking Soda

Baking soda is a popular cleaning solution, there are two ways baking soda can be used for cleaning a burnt potjie pot. Read the five steps below for cleaning a potjie pot with baking soda:

If your potjie pot is more seriously burnt, try soaking it in baking soda: 

  1. Pour three to four cups of water into your potjie pot and bring it to a boil. 
  2. Add two heaped spoons of baking soda and let the mixture simmer for a minute or two.
  3. Turn the heat off, cover the pot with a lid and leave to sit further for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Empty out the solution in your potjie pot, then use a plastic scraper or steel wool to scrub the surface until all the burnt-on grime has lifted.
  5. Once the pot has cooled down, proceed to wash it with soap and water.
  6. Rinse thoroughly and dry.

If soaking your potjie pot does not properly clear all the burnt bits, you can use this method of rubbing baking soda:

  1. Make a paste using three tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of water.
  2. Use a spare toothbrush to rub the paste into the burnt debris in your potjie pot. You can use the paste for the outside of the pot too if necessary. 
  3. Cover your pot with a lid and let it sit overnight. 
  4. Rinse your pot the next day, the residue and burnt parts will have lifted, giving you ease to rinse and dry the potjie pot.

3. Using Vinegar To Clean A Potjie Pot

Vinegar can be used as a cleaning agent for a burnt, stained potjie pot, use these three simple steps to clean your burnt potjie pot:

  1. Pour a generous amount of white vinegar into the pot, then let it sit.
  2. Leave your potjie pot to soak for some hours or overnight. The longer it’s left to soak, the easier it will be to clean.
  3. After soaking your potjie pot, pour out the white vinegar. Scrub the burnt, or stained areas and rinse with warm water. Dry and store your potjie pot.

Tips For Cleaning Enamelled Cast Iron Potjie Pots

If you have an enamelled cast iron potjie pot, there are some things to remember when it comes to cleaning it. Read the tips to be sure your pot is cleaned properly:

  • Enamel-coated pots don’t require the same harsh scrubbing as a traditional cast iron pot. This is because the shiny coating reduces the chances of food sticking or burning to the pot.
  • When cleaning an enamelled pot, remember that they don’t need harsh scrubbing. You will find that they wash easily with soap and water, if not then leave it to soak for a while in hot water mixed with two to three spoons of baking soda.
  • For cleaning burnt food from the pot, use a nylon scraper or a wooden spoon. Don’t use steel wool or metal scrubs, this will scratch the enamel from the pot. Soaking it for an hour should be enough to lift any burnt residue.
  • An enamelled cast iron pot can chip or crack easily, especially if it’s not able to cool down. After cooking, you should let the pot cool down before cleaning it, don’t immerse it in cold water.

After reading this guide, cleaning a burnt pot should no longer be a big deal. Now that you know the techniques to clean your burnt potjie pot, whether it’s standard cast iron or an enamelled cast iron pot, use them the next time you have to clean a burnt potjie pot.