Although the cast iron material is quite durable, the Dutch oven is still very easy to rust if it is not maintained regularly. The seasoning and proper care will eliminate rust issues and give you a delicious meal with easy clean-up. Did you know how to season a Dutch oven?
All types of Dutch veins when purchased are already seasoned, so as soon as you open the box, you just need to rinse it with water and it can be used. After a few months, you’d better season it again.
Seasoning is when you apply the oil (fat source) to the surface, and after being heated, the oil goes through two processes of carbonization and polymerization. When you apply correctly, the oil will create a thin polymer layer on the surface of your Dutch oven.
When heat is applied above the smoking point, it will create a carbon layer that finishes your non-stick seasoning. The oil is baked down into the cast iron pores and sealed, making that smooth, shiny black surface we all covet on our cast iron.
- Why Do You Need To Season a Dutch oven?
- When Should We Season a Dutch oven?
- Best Way To Season a Dutch oven
Why Do You Need To Season a Dutch oven?
Some Dutch ovens have a non-renewable coating that is easily corroded by metal cookware.
Seasoning a cast-iron product means treating it with vegetable oil or lard to prevent it from rusting and develop its non-stick surface.
Cast iron itself is not a non-stick surface, so seasoning is required. Furthermore, exposure to iron to oxygen in the presence of water or water vapor will result in rust spots in or on your oven.
Developing a nice patina on your pot will keep the iron itself from overexposure to moisture, resulting in a prettier, more unique piece of cookware and the execution of rust-free recipes.
When Should We Season a Dutch oven?
Seasoning a Dutch oven should be an ongoing process.
Simply cooking in the oven with lard or oil is one of the best means of seasoning its surface.
Before your first cooking attempt, you should season it yourself, and test that seasoning whether you’ve bought a brand new cast iron model. Brush a thin layer of cooking oil while the pan is still warm and then sauté them or store them in a dry place.
By seasoning before preparing any important meal, your food will not be wasted. To test the success of your seasoning, throw a potato slice in your oven and see if it will crisp without excessive scraping or sticking.
Sometimes you can see the wipes are stained black, this has absolutely nothing to do with your health or the quality of the pan. They are just residues of the polymerized oil layer or the result of a chemical reaction when you cook foods that are not very acidic or alkaline during the cooking process. They will disappear if you clean and care for the tool regularly.
You should also season your cast iron product after each cleaning and before using if the piece has been shelved for a while.
Best Way To Season a Dutch oven
- Wash your cast iron pan with soap and hot water before seasoning it.
- It is not always necessary to use soap. But if you like, you can still use it.
- Dry thoroughly with a lint-free towel, or you can dry your cast iron on top of the stove over low heat or place it in the oven for a few minutes on preheat.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Apply an extremely thin coating of oil all over the cast iron (rather than once with a thick layer). You don’t need canola, Crisco, or shortening to get a good seasoning.
- Wipe off any excess oil.
- Be sure that your cast iron is placed upside down inside the preheated oven.
- Allow baking for 1 hour. Use your oven fan if it starts to smoke at the end. After an hour, turn the oven off and allow it to cool down.
- Repeat if necessary. Absolutely stay away from the dishwasher. The extreme water pressure and detergents in the dishwasher can damage the lubricating oil of the Lodge cast iron cookware. In addition, you should also limit the use of metal brushes.
Remember, the more you cook and use your cast iron, the better the seasoning will continue to develop.
How often does a Dutch oven need to be seasoned?
How often to season the Dutch oven depends on your use of the oven.
Regular cooking with it is the best way to maintain its non-stick ability and durability.
If it is used regularly, you’ll rarely have to season. Because you’re using oil for cooking with it, it’s regularly getting seasoned every time you cook with it.
If it develops gummy or sticky spots, wipe it clean, and place it in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour. This will help any excess oil to polymerize.
If it’s incredibly sticky, gummy, or rusty, you’ll need to strip it down and then season it again following the steps above.
If you go a long period without using your cast iron, then you may need to season it when bringing it out of storage.
Occasionally if the it is sticky, it may be because the non-stick coating has worn off or the oil curing process is not up to standard. Please re-oil according to the instructions.
What is the best oil to the season in a Dutch oven?
Sometimes oiling cast iron pots and pans is a necessary step in keeping your cast iron pots and pans non-stick and rust-free.
The good news is that you have an array of options to select the best product to season your oven. The product should have a high smoke point to avoid burning off the patima when cooking and tainting the flavor of your food.
Flaxseed oil is usually used to create a polymerized layer for your oven, but you’d better consider these kinds of oils below.
Some sort of lard or vegetable oil is very necessary for you at first. The unsaturated fats are the best oils to use too because they can form bonds easier than saturated fats do. Soybean oils and peanuts can withstand heats 100 degrees higher than EVOO or butter without burning. Some best kinds of oil to season cast iron are vegetable oils such as soybean oil, canola oil, sesame oil.
How to season a ceramic Dutch oven?
Despite its sleek appearance, the ceramic pot is not a non-stick pan. You need to put a small amount of oil or a little butter in the pot before you cook anything.
There are two ways to season the ceramic model.
Option 1: is seasoning the iron part. This is for Dutch ovens with exposed iron parts. If it’s completely covered with ceramic or glaze, you don’t need to use this method.
- Step 1: Wash the pot with warm, soapy water and a brush.
- Step 2: Scrub thoroughly with a stiff brush.
- Step 3: Dry the oven with a towel.
- Step 4: Apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to the iron parts.
- Step 5: Place it on the oven rack and preheat the oven.
- Step 6: Place the lid upside down and the Dutch ovens on the top shelf. Bake for 1 hour at 190 degrees C. Then turn off the heat, leave the product in the oven for about 30 minutes to let it cool down.
Option 2: is sealing the Dutch oven’s coating.
- Step 1: With the newly purchased ceramic pot, fill it with water and place the lid on top, leaving a small space for steam to escape.
- Step 2: Bring the water to a boil and let the water dry until about 1 inch, then turn off the heat.
- Step 3: Let it cool down, then add water, wait for the temperature to drop to room temperature, then pour out the water and dry the pot. Leave the pot out in the air to dry completely, then store it.
How to season a Lodge camping Dutch oven?
Camping Dutch ovens are usually made of cast iron, have no enamel, and often have 3 legs for easy placement on coals. Steps for season lodge camping model:
- Step 1: Wash and dry them.
- Step 2: Use a spray bottle to coat the vegetable oil around the pot. Put some cooking oil in the pot and use a paper towel to rub it around. The lid doesn’t really need to be coated with oil, as it doesn’t come into direct contact with the food.
- Use a paper towel to wipe off excess oil to prevent the oil from sticking and ruining the process.
- Step 3: Place a layer of foil on the bottom shelf of the oven, then place the pot upside down on the top shelf. Bake at 350F for 1 hour or more.
- Step 4: Turn off the oven and let it slowly cool on the inside for a few hours.
So your product camping lodge is ready for the next camping trip!
How often do you season a cast-iron Dutch oven?
How often seasoning depends on how often you use your pot. If you use your pot regularly with cooking oil, you’ll rarely need to season it. If you rarely use them, in my opinion, once a month is a reasonable frequency.
It takes time to learn how to season a Dutch oven.
You’ll find yourself increasingly committed to taking care of it right when you come to appreciate the characteristics of your cast iron model — from its naturally non-stick surface to its unique beauty.
If you see Cooking with your cast iron Dutch oven like a 300-year-old culinary art form, you will cook slower than you used to and enjoy the experience of cooking.
The best feeling is after you have learned how to season a dutch oven and treat the oven well, you’ll notice your oven smiling back at you with a rich, shiny glow. If you allocate time to carefully clean and season your pot after enjoying each meal you cook in it, your cast iron model will maintain its long-term durability.
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