South Africans have a favourite pot to cook in, it’s called the Potjie Pot. Over the centuries, many meals have been cooked in these wonderful pots.
But first, let’s take a look at the history of the Potjie Pot.
The Potjie Pot is made from Cast Iron and it is black. It has three legs and is designed to stand on an open fire. It can be traced back to the 1500s when witches used them to cook and perform ceremonies.
The potjie came to South Africa with the Dutch Settlers, It became popular with the Voortrekkers when they moved from Cape Town to the interior of South Africa, They couldn’t carry many cooking utensils with them so they carried a big black Potjie to cook with.
You get different sizes potjies, and you can gauge the size you need by the number of rings on it. The number one potjie has one ring on it and that is enough food for two people.
The number 3 Potjie has three rings on it and is enough for 6 people, although you can feed four adults and two children from that amount.
When you buy a new potjie, first wash it with warm water and dishwashing liquid, scrub it with a scourer all around the inside of the pot. Rinse and wash one more time with warm water and dishwashing liquid.
Coat the inside of the pot with oil, and heat the pot until it starts smoking, wipe with a newspaper until the black stuff stops coming off the inside of the pot. Wait for the pot to cool down, then wash the pot one more time with warm water and soap then coat it with cooking oil for storage.
Once the new potjie is clean I will normally cook pap in the potjie and vegetable peelings then I will start to use it properly for normal cooking.
The best way to clean a Potjie Pot is to wash it with warm water and dishwashing liquid. I use a dish scourer to give it a good scrub. Then i rinse it out and repeat the process another time.
After I have used the potjie I clean by washing it with warm water and dishwashing liquid, I then dry it and oil the inside lightly to stop it from rusting.