How to clean your Dutch oven

by Kade 19. December 2007 22:51

Dutch oven cooking can be one of the most enjoyable experiences of winter camping, or any camping for that matter. There is nothing better than a hot meal that tastes like heaven on a cold winter night. Then to follow that meal up with a fresh baked Dutch oven cobbler is like reaching the highest level of heaven. When you are done basking in the joy of your meal, you are brought back to real life when you realize you have to clean the Dutch oven. Here are a few tips to help you, when cleaning your Dutch oven:

  1. NEVER, and I repeat, NEVER use dish soap or detergent when cleaning a Dutch oven. The soap or detergent will soak into the small pores in the metal and the next meal you eat will have a NASTY soapy taste to it.
  2. The first real step in cleaning your Dutch oven is to remove as much of the food as you can. This may mean letting the boy scouts finish off the meal, or letting your friendly dog lend a helping tongue.
  3. Once most of the food is removed from the Dutch oven you may find you still have harder to remove chunks of food. DO NOT use a metal scraper or pad. The abrasiveness of metal pads may remove the seasoning on your oven. Place some warm water in the oven and heat it up until it is almost boiling. Then use a plastic scraper to scrape the stuck on food off.
  4. Drain off the rinse water and rinse down the Dutch oven with some warm water.
  5. Dry the Dutch oven as best as you can.
  6. Now use a paper towel to rub a thin layer of vegetable oil over the inside and outside of the Dutch oven. I like to pour a little bit of salt into the oil as I rub the inside of the oven because it helps to remove any additional food that step 3 may not have completely removed and adds flavor to the season of the oven.
  7. If you have any excess oil, be sure to wipe the excess oil off.
  8. Now fold up a dry paper towel and place it on the brim of the oven.
  9. Place the lid on top so that the dry paper towel is both on the inside and outside of the oven. (The dry paper towel will help to remove excess moisture/oil from the oven and helps air flow within the oven during storage.)
  10. Store your oven in a clean, dry space and start planning your next Dutch oven meal.

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