Using a clay pot to cook with has a long history, and certain meals will taste so much better when slow-cooked in a clay pot. Because we’re used to non-stick pans and cleaning things with total ease, cleaning a clay pot can seem scary. It’s not as hard as you’d think though, and we can help you get it right.
Let’s jump right in with our clay pot cleaning. If you’ve just whipped up a tagine or donabe, you’ll enjoy being able to serve straight from the pot – clay pots are so beautiful it would be a shame for them not to decorate your table. The good news is that you need to wait for clay pots to cool down completely anyway before you can begin cleaning a clay pot. So, have a long, lazy meal with friends and family and let your clay pot cool down while you eat. Once you’re done, we can move on to the actual business of clay pot cleaning.
- Remove any leftover food and store it in your kitchen.
- Soak the pot in lukewarm water without soap while you clean up the rest of the dishes and kitchen.
- Once the clay pot has been soaked, use a clean scrubber sponge to remove stains and debris.
- Because clay is porous, it is not advised to use detergents. Although commercial detergents are the best choice in most situations, clay pots need to be cleaned in water and bicarbonate of soda or salt. The porous nature of the material means that it can absorb the soap and spoil your next meal. So stick to the bicarbonate of soda for this one.
- If you’re worried about bacteria, you can bake the empty clay pot in an oven at 90°C, to kill off any germs. To save energy, you can wait until you’re preheating the oven, for example, to put the clay pot in the oven. Bear in mind that you’ll need to take the clay pot out once the oven gets above 90°C.
- Done! Your clay pot is clean, dry, and disinfected.
Cleaning a clay pot is different to cleaning metal cookware, or the glass of an oven door, for example. However, with the above steps, you’ll have a sturdy kitchen utensil for a long time. There are other things you can do to care for your clay pot properly – here are two of our best tips:
- Gently does it: Heat a clay pot gently, and not suddenly. If the pot is exposed to sudden changes in temperature, it’ll break. That’s why it needs to cool before you add water to it to soak.
- Sensitive soul: Clay pots don’t like being knocked around – that is both during storage and cooking. Store a clay pot away from other cookware to avoid accidental knocks and bruises, and use wooden cooking utensils rather than metal.
For other cleaning and care tips around the house, check out our cleaning section where you’ll find gems such as how to clean a urinal and how to clean a sandbox.