Preparing Your Dutch Oven To Use: from dutchovenguide.com
The first thing you will want to do when you purchase your Dutch oven is to prepare it for your Dutch oven cooking experiences. Many manufactures treat their cookware with a wax before shipping. This means that you will need to clean all the wax off the inside and outside of your Dutch oven when you first bring it home.
The first thing you will want to do is preheat your oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit as you will need it later for drying and seasoning your Dutch oven.
Run your sink full of hot soapy water and then using a nylon scrub sponge scrub your Dutch oven thoroughly inside and out including the lid. Washing it two or three times is the best way to insure that all the wax is cleaned from your oven. Then rinse well and place in your preheated oven to dry.
When your Dutch oven has dried thoroughly, which usually takes 7 or 8 minutes place a throw away tinfoil tray in the bottom of your oven then turn your oven up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating to this hotter temperature you are going to oil your Dutch oven inside and out.
- If you plan on using your Dutch oven frequently (at least twice a month) then choose a solid shortening such as Crisco to season your oven with
- If you plan on using your Dutch oven less frequently (once a month or less) then use canola oil
Using a paper towel spread a thin coating of shortening or oil on the inside and outside of both the pot and its lid and other racks that may have come with your Dutch oven. Try and coat it while the pan is still warm from the drying process.
Once the pan is seasoned with the shortening or oil then place it in the oven (the pot part of the Dutch oven turned upside down) heat at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and then reduce the temperature to 200 degrees for another hour. Remove from the oven and allow the pan to cool. (It should have a smooth blackened surface.) Although it is not absolutely necessary giving your Dutch oven a second seasoning repeating the same oiling and baking process will result in a better Dutch oven cooking experience.
Once your Dutch oven has been seasoned and is cool, place a dishtowel between the lid and the Dutch oven to allow good air flow.
Each time you do some Dutch oven cooking thinly coat the Dutch oven with oil before placing any food inside.
When cleaning your Dutch oven wipe all the food out with a paper towel, then wash in warm water and dry. While many people recommend drying your seasoned Dutch oven with a dish towel, using the 150 Degree oven for drying will help to keep the Dutch oven free of rust. Then thinly coat with oil and store.
With proper care and washing your Dutch oven should never need re seasoning as the continual cooking and coating with oils will keep your Dutch oven in perfect condition and your Dutch oven cooking tasting great.
Never wash your Dutch oven with soap of any kind as this will result in your food tasting of soap no matter how well it is rinsed. If it does happen to get washed in soap, clean it several times with good hot water and season it all over.
If your Dutch Oven rusts there is no need to throw it away simply clean it clear down to the metal removing all rust and then season it just like it was new
Using wooden utensils with your Dutch oven will help to keep the seasoning from being scraped away.
Although it is not required you can season an aluminum Dutch oven and that will result in better tasting dishes too