June asked: How do I get grease off the outside of a clay crock? I was given a large, original Suffolk bread crock with a lid. It is glazed on the inside, but there is quite a bit of grease on the outside clay of the crock. How do I get it off? I was afraid to do much in case of damaging it. It was made in Suffolk, England, where I am from. Thank you for your help.
One of the most important things to remember about cleaning clay cookware is to never use soap or detergent. Soap can leach into unglazed surfaces and eventually taint the flavor of any foods you cook in the crock.
You Will Need:
- Coarse salt
- Stiff brush or soap-free steel scouring pad
- Extremely hot water
- Rubber gloves (optional)
Steps to Remove the Grease:
- Partially fill the sink with very hot water. It needs to be hot to help cut the grease, but you’ll need to be able to work with the temperature without burning yourself. Rubber gloves can also be worn to help protect your hands from the heat.
- Place the clay crock in the hot water. Allow it to sit for a few moments.
- Turn the clay crock to the side and sprinkle it with coarse salt, covering only the portion facing “up” as you work.
- Scrub vigorously with the stiff brush or scouring pad, working the salt and hot water against the outside of the crock.
- Work your way around the pot until it’s clean. If the water cools, refill the sink with hot water as necessary.
- Allow the crock to air dry, ideally in a sunny location.
Additional Tips and Advice
- To deodorize, scrub lightly with a paste made of baking soda and water. Allow it to sit for up to 30 minutes, then rinse clean.
- If the exterior clay is damaged (which may include cracks or loose/crumbling clay), proceed with caution. Scrubbing may further weaken it.