From frying to baking, cast iron pots and pans are all-purpose cooking tools. They’re heavy, durable, and easier to clean than to cook in (Why must coq au vin be so challenging?). Keep your cooking cool and learn how to clean cast iron Dutch ovens:
1. Clean your cast-iron Dutch oven after every use.
While the Dutch oven is still warm (not hot), wipe the interior with paper towels to remove excess food and oils. Under hot running water, use a nonmetal brush or nonabrasive scrub pad to remove any traces of food. You can use a small amount of soap, but make sure you rinse it off completely.
2. Lightly oil your Dutch oven after cleaning.
Dry the Dutch oven completely with a towel and heat over a medium-low stove until all moisture is evaporated. Add about ½ teaspoon of flaxseed, sunflower or soybean oil (for a medium/large pot) and coat the pot interior using a paper towel. Rub into the pot until it’s dark and no oil remains. Cool the pot completely.
Pro Tip: Your cast-iron Dutch oven should be dark and semi-glossy—never sticky or greasy.
If your Dutch oven is blotchy, season your pot.
Using a stovetop: Heat your Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Dip a paper towel in 2 tablespoons of oil. Place between tongs and gently wipe the surface. Wipe until the oil smokes and there is no residue left. Let the pan cool slightly, and then repeat 3 to 5 times, letting it cool between each oil application.
Using an oven: Heat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Dip a paper towel in 2 tablespoons of oil and wipe it across the interior of the pot. Use clean paper towels to remove the excess oil. Put the pot into the preheated oven for 1 hour. Use potholders to remove the pot and let cool completely.
By taking care of your cast-iron Dutch oven you’ll increase its lifespan while preventing rusting. Regular cleaning will also ensure the surface remains smooth, seasoned and ready for your next cooking creation.
Keep your newly cleaned pot in an equally sparkling kitchen with these tips: