Cooking With A Dutch Oven

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                                           Cleaning and Storing your Dutch Oven
                                               By Glea Reno and Dennis Reno

  Cleaning and Storing your Dutch Oven
 by: Glea Reno and Dennis Reno

There are many opinions on cleaning a Dutch Oven. Not all Dutch Oven cooks believe you can use
soap in your Dutch Oven. Some cooks suggest never to wash them, others wash them, but not with
detergent. We have found that a well-seasoned oven will not be damaged by using a few drops of
dishwashing soap if you have been cooking something really greasy. Just be sure to rinse several
times to make sure there is no soap residue. If your oven is not well-seasoned, whatever you put in the
oven will be absorbed into the pot and become part of your next meal.

Dutch Oven care begins with seasoning, but it's important to clean them properly after each use.
Cleaning cast iron is easier than scrubbing pots and pans. As soon as possible after using your Dutch
Oven, scrape out as much food as possible with a plastic scraper. Put 1 - 2 quarts of hot water in your
oven and scrub with a plastic scrubbing pad or a vegetable brush. Immediately after washing, dry the
oven thoroughly by putting it in your kitchen oven at 150 to 200 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Cast Iron can only be dried by heating. Heat dries out the moisture in the pores. If a pot is not
completely dried after it is used, it will rust. The pores must be opened by heating up, and the moisture
dried out of it. Don't let the oven set around after washing, go straight from draining the rinse water into
the kitchen oven if possible. If you are camping and don't have a kitchen oven to dry a Dutch Oven, dry
it the best you can and try and store it away from moisture.

Dutch Ovens when cared for, will last for generations. Be sure your oven has been cleaned and lightly
oiled before putting it away. Try to keep your ovens in a dry, warm place. Remember, moisture with
cause cast iron to rust. Leave your lids slightly ajar, allowing the air to circulate. I like to store with a
paper towel rolled up and sticking out from under the lid. The towel inside the oven acts as a wick and
will help absorb moisture.

Tip: Here's another idea. If you need to store an oven for long periods of time, use a light-weight
food-grade Mineral Oil and coat the oven, inside and out. It's cheap and effective. Once you have
sealed the oven with mineral oil, no oxygen can reach the seasoning and it will last many months.

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With correct use and proper care, a well seasoned oven produces a unique flavor unequaled by any
other cooking utensil. That's the Magic, it looks great and tastes even better!

Glea Reno and Dennis Reno are the owners of They are based at Billings,
Montana and have taught Youth Groups, Scout Troops, Church Organization and friends what they
have learned over years in Dutch oven cooking. They also do cooking demonstration at various retail
outlets. They can be contacted at

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                                                    Cooking With A Dutch Oven
                                                          By Betty Robertson

 Cooking with a Dutch Oven is fun and easy. Any meal can be cooked in a Dutch Oven that would
normally be prepared indoors. The Dutch Oven is a great addition to camping and can be very handy
in a power outage. In many parts of the country you can even join club that is designed for fun,
cooking, sharing recipes, teaching Dutch Oven cooking, and Dutch Oven Cook offs.

Cooking is simple and easy to master. All you need is a good oven, charcoal, and practice. Dutch
Ovens can be purchased in most any sporting goods store and most ovens come with a complete
instruction book, a small book of recipes, and a guide for oven temperatures when using charcoal
briquettes. Many accessories are available but not necessary to get started cooking. Choose a Dutch
Oven with legs that will stand up over the charcoal and a lid that has a lip to hold the charcoal on the
lids surface. Several brands of ovens are available and vary in quality. When purchasing your oven you
should check for smooth texture inside the oven, a lid that fits. A cast iron oven is the best choice but
will weigh the most.

The most common size used for most recipes is a 12” inch oven. The 12” oven will cook a small
chicken or a large family sized side dish.

When you get home with your oven the enclosed instructions will tell you how to cure, clean, and cook
with your oven. Most kitchen tools will work when cooking with the oven but you remember not to use
tools that will scratch and remove the cured surface. I will add that a lid lifter and a lid stand is a great
help when cooking with the ovens. Lifting the lid and picking up the oven when hot much is easier
when using a lifter. If cooking with campfires coals the lifter will also protect you from the heat as you
the oven from the fire. When removing the lid to check the meal the oven lid stand is a handy tool. The
stand will protect your lid from dirt and your table from heat.

Once you get started you will find that cooking outdoors has never tasted so good!

Betty and her husband are outdoor enthusiasts that teach many classes on outdoor activities. The
instructions are given by Betty Robertson who has been cooking with a Dutch Oven for many years
and has taught in the past with the local Dutch Oven Society. Please Visit at

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