This new red Dutch oven you just bought looks so pretty and feels so smooth, but… how do you season it properly?
That’s the question that popped into your mind as soon as you saw the instructions manual on how to care for your brand-new cast iron cookware.
It’s a valid concern because mishandling this process could render your dutch oven an expensive piece of decoration only.
That is, if you don’t want to use it in your kitchen again. If that’s what you are thinking right now, then this article is for you!
We will walk through all the steps on how to season a cast iron dutch oven correctly so that it lasts for years and years.
What Is Seasoning?
Seasoning a cast iron dutch oven is a process of oiling the pot and baking it at very high temperatures to get it ready for cooking with little oil.
So, the term ‘seasoning’ is used for oiling the pan and baking it at high temperatures to get it ready for cooking with little oil. It is an important process to get your cast iron pan ready for everyday use.
You can also consider it as oiling and baking a cast iron pan. And all this is done with a dutch oven.
But what is the reason behind doing all these things? The process of seasoning cast iron pot and dutch oven increases the longevity of your cookware by building a natural nonstick layer.
It also makes your cookware naturally non-stick, easy to clean, and rust-free. Moreover, seasoning your cast iron dutch oven is an easy and straightforward process.
And it doesn’t take much time. You just need a little patience.
The Importance of Seasoning A Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Before diving into the details of how to season a cast iron dutch oven, let’s first understand why we should do it in the first place.
Cast iron pots and dutch ovens are an investment for life. They can last for decades with a little TLC. And one of the most important steps to maintain the longevity of cast iron pots and dutch ovens is by seasoning them.
If you are wondering why you should bother with the process of seasoning cast iron pots and dutch ovens, then here are a few reasons:
– It makes your pots and dutch ovens naturally non-stick.
– It makes them easy to clean.
– It prevents them from rusting.
– It makes them more durable and long-lasting.
– It improves their overall appearance.
– It helps them to withstand extremely high temperatures.
– It makes the food taste better by allowing the seasoning to penetrate the surface of the cast iron.
These are the reasons why you should season your cast iron pots and dutch ovens.
3 Steps to Seasoning A New Cast Iron Dutch Oven
If you are a first-time dutch oven owner, then you might be wondering how to season a cast iron dutch oven for the first time.
Don’t worry, it’s not a complicated process. In fact, it’s quite simple, so let’s get started.
Step 1: Wash Your New Dutch Oven – It’s important to wash your new dutch oven before seasoning it. Make sure to scrub it well using a stiff brush or sponge.
Step 2: Dry It Thoroughly – After washing it, you need to dry it thoroughly to remove any water trapped inside.
Step 3: Coat The Interior of Your Dutch Oven With Oil – Now that your cast iron dutch oven is clean and dry, you can coat the interior with oil. The oil will seep into the pores of your pot, creating a non-stick surface.
How To Remove The Wax From A New Dutch Oven
If you’re looking to season a new dutch oven, then there’s a good chance that you have bought a new one that comes with wax coating.
The thing is, it’s not easy to remove the wax from your cast iron dutch oven.
To help you out, here are some tips on how to remove the wax from your dutch oven without damaging the pot.
1. Put it in the Oven – If you have an oven that is large enough for your cast iron pot, then place it in there and turn on the heat. While it heats up, keep turning until the wax melts and drips down into the pan. This will take about 30 minutes or so depending on how hot your oven gets.
2. Use A Nail Brush – After removing it from the oven and allowing it to cool down for a few minutes, use a nail brush (or something similar) to scrape off any excess wax residue left behind after heating up your dutch oven in an oven.
3. Use A Scotch Brite Pad – Once rubbing with a nail brush doesn’t get all of the wax out of the surface of your cast iron pot or pan, use a scouring pad (i.e., Scotch brite pad) instead after heating up again in an oven at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes or so).
How To Wash Your New Dutch Oven Before Applying Grease
After you purchase a dutch oven, you’ll want to wash it before applying grease or seasoning.
To wash a new dutch oven, first fill it with water and then place it in your sink. Next, add some dish soap and let it soak for about five minutes or so.
While the pot is soaking, you can clean out the sink because it will get dirty from washing your dutch oven.
After five minutes have passed, take it out of the water and use a sponge to scrub off any dirt that is left behind. If you are using warm water then this should be easy enough to do.
If not, then use cold or hot water instead since this will make things easier for you when scrubbing off any dirt on the cast iron pot or pan’s surface.
Applying The Grease To Your Dutch Oven
Now that your dutch oven has been washed, it is time to apply the grease on its surface.
When applying grease to your dutch oven, put about a tablespoon of lard or shortening in the bottom of it. Next, place it on the stove and heat up until the grease melts completely.
While you are waiting for this to happen, you can start scrubbing off any dirt that is left behind on the surface of your pan or pot. This will make sure that your cast iron cookware has a clean surface before you apply any seasoning.
Applying The Seasoning To Your Dutch Oven
After applying grease to your dutch oven, it is time to season it with oil or animal fat.
To season a cast iron pot or pan with oil or animal fat, put some vegetable oil in a bowl and then use paper towel to spread it across the surface of your pot or pan’s inside and out. Make sure that all areas are covered with vegetable oil while doing this.
Put the lid on top of the pot and let it sit for about an hour in order for the seasoning process to begin taking place inside of it.
After an hour has passed by, remove your lid from atop of your cast iron cookware and scrub off any excess oil left behind by using paper towel (i.e., lint free). Make sure that no excess oil remains
Tips and Tricks For Seasoning A New Dutch Oven
– Make sure your new dutch oven is completely clean and dry before you season it. If there are any traces of oil left inside, it could end up smoking or even catch on fire.
– Coat the inside of your dutch oven with vegetable oil or shortening. You can even use lard.
– Make sure the oil is room temperature. If it is too hot, it will smoke and leave a foul odor inside your dutch oven.
– You can even use melted coconut oil. It’s a very good alternative to other cooking oils.
– You can also use a baking tray to place your dutch oven inside the oven. This will help the oil to drip down and coat every nook and cranny of your dutch oven.
– Seasoning a dutch oven is a messy affair. So, make sure to do it in a well-ventilated area.
A freshly seasoned cast iron dutch oven can be the best cooking companion you’ll ever have. It will make your cooking experience easy, clean, and healthy.
It can withstand extremely high temperatures and make your food taste better. It can also make your kitchen look more attractive with its shiny, smooth finish.
And all this can be yours if you follow these simple steps on how to season a cast iron dutch oven correctly.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your dutch oven ready for cooking by following these simple steps.