Cast Iron Cookware & Potjie Pots – The Quality Factor
When it comes to cast iron potjie pots & cookware, a pot is not a pot is not a pot.
Potjie pots have been a part of the South African household and heritage for centuries. Most people will identify with Atlas and Falkirk – The original manufacturers of cast iron pots and potjies in South Africa.
These pots have been handed with love from generation to generation because of the superior quality of the material and casting.
As with most braai, grill & bbq accessories, South Africa has seen an influx of mass produced eastern imports. These pots are lighter & thinner than the potjies we grew up with. They’re badly finished – One can easily see the casting joins and feel the inferior finishes, which leads to food catching, burning, and germs and bacteria hiding in these pores. Cast Iron is a strong but brittle material, and bad quality and casting can lead to fracturing and breaking if accidentally dropped.
Buying a potjie and other cast iron cookware is an investment. Best Duty is a South African manufacturer, based in Pretoria, that manufactures pots and potjies on par with the old familiar brands. In so doing, they create jobs and ensure that our precious Rands remain in South Africa and aren’t sent off to the eastern mass producing countries.
As a simple test, one can weigh a Best Duty pot, and compare the weight to an inferior, re-branded import.
In days gone by, a cast iron (or pig iron / black iron) pot or potjie had to be “seasoned” – This was a sealing process that improved the quality of the pot and the food cooked in it.
Best Duty pots and potjies are preseasoned, thereby eliminating the need for seasoning. Best Duty pots are available in 2 finishes:
1. Oil Cured
The pot is finished, treated with a food safe oil and refired in the furnace to seal the surfaces. Oil cured pots are generally more cost effective. Occasionally, you may oil the pot with any vegetable oil and bake in the oven on 200C for an hour to touch it up.
2. Vitreous Enameled
The pot is finished, sprayed with a black vitreous (porcelain / glass coating) and refired in the furnace. This is a permanent coating.
A handy storage tip is to spray your pot after cooking and cleaning (once dry) with Spray ‘n Cook, and drop in a handful of dry rice. The pot will be ready for use the next time around without requiring any cleaning – This prevents rusting and oxidation and creates a hygienic barrier. The Spray ‘n Cook will burn of when the pot is heated up.
BestDuty is THE ONLY cast iron potjie pot that’s manufactured in South Africa – It’s worth paying a little extra for quality.