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How to maintain and season a Dutch oven
to keep it in top condition?
(By Sean Porat, Oven cleaning guide)
Caution: These instructions mentioned apply for Dutch ovens made of cast iron or stainless steel. These pots were designed for cooking casserole dishes on an open fire.
However, there are modern Dutch ovens intended for cooking on domestic stoves. These pots usually have enamel or Teflon coating, and they should therefore be treated according to the manufacturer's instructions rather than the way that a classic Dutch oven should be treated, as outlined below.
A Dutch oven is usually a thick cast iron (sometimes stainless steel) pot with a lid and three legs. This kind of oven is referred to by different names in different countries: Camp oven, casserole dish, potjie, phutu, cocotte, sac, etc.
Usually, the oven arrives from the manufacturer coated in wax or shellac. The coating should be removed with hot water, soap and ScotchBrite. Don’t use steel wool to prevent scratches.
After thoroughly drying the oven with a towel, it should be seasoned. Open the window and turn on the hood since smoke can be emitted during seasoning.
After the pot cools off, cover it with an additional layer of vegetable oil and store it with its lid beside it rather than on top of it (for ventilation and to prevent rust).
When using it for the first time, it is preferable to cook a fatty meat dish (not an acid dish containing tomatoes or vinegar) so that seasoning is reinforced.
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