If you are looking to season your new Dutch oven, it is a relatively simple process to do. But, it can get tricky if it is your first time and does not know what to do. Seasoning a Dutch oven will make the surface non-stick and can also prevent rust and corrosion from forming.
To season a Dutch oven, preheat your oven to 400 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is pre-heating, clean your Dutch oven, dry it thoroughly, and coat it with your preferred oil. Put the Dutch oven in the preheated oven and bake it for one hour. Let the Dutch oven cool off then repeat the oiling and heating process two to three times until the Dutch oven is fully seasoned.
In this article, we are going to go over how to season a Dutch oven step-by-step. If you want your Dutch oven to last long, seasoning is an important process to do before you can use it. We will also be answering a few questions you may have so make sure to stay until the end.
Why Do You Need To Season A Dutch Oven?
Seasoning a cast iron skillet is an important process if you want to protect your cast iron cookware and make it more durable. The same process needs to be done if you have a cast iron Dutch oven.
Seasoning a cast iron Dutch oven will give the pot a coating of polymerized oil to prevent food from sticking to the Dutch oven, essentially making it a non-stick cookware. A seasoned Dutch oven can also prevent rust and corrosion from forming in the long run.
Most new Dutch ovens are already pre-seasoned, but it is still good to practice seasoning a new Dutch oven to ensure that it forms a patina. The patina gives the cast iron a shiny finish.
The seasoning can also develop over time and can infuse flavors into the dishes that you cook in a Dutch oven. For enameled Dutch ovens, you do not need to season them, unlike cast iron Dutch ovens.
How To Season A Dutch Oven
Seasoning a Dutch oven is an easy process but it can take a couple of hours and you need a couple of things to get started.
What You’ll Need
You do not need any fancy equipment and these things can be found in your home or easily bought in your local grocery store.
Here are the things you need to season your Dutch oven:
– Baking sheet
– Aluminum foil
– Paper towels
– Clean lint-free cloth
– Cooking oil with a high smoke point
– Oven mitts
Oils You Can Use For Seasoning A Dutch Oven
For seasoning cast iron cookware, you need cooking oil that has a high smoke point. Since seasoning cast iron in an oven requires a high temperature, the oil you use should withstand high temperatures without burning otherwise the oil can burn off making the seasoning ineffective.
Here are the different cooking oils that have high smoking points which you can use to season your Dutch oven:
– Canola oil
– Vegetable oil
– Olive oil
– Sunflower oil
– Grapeseed oil
– Avocado oil
Step-by-step Guide To Seasoning A New Cast Iron Dutch Oven
1. Take out the Dutch oven in its packaging and remove any plastic covers and other protective coatings it has.
2. Take a baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil. This is where you will place the Dutch oven and the aluminum foil will catch any oil drippings which will make cleaning easier. Place the baking tray on the bottom rack of your oven.
3. Preheat your oven to 400 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (204 to 220 degrees Celsius) depending on how high your oven temperature goes.
4. Wash your Dutch oven with hot water and mild dish soap. Scrub the Dutch oven gently to remove any dirt and residue and make sure to clean the lid as well. Dry the Dutch oven thoroughly so the oil can coat the Dutch oven well.
5. Using a paper towel or a lint-free clean cloth, apply a thin layer of your preferred oil to the entire (interior and exterior) Dutch oven, including the lid. Remove any excess oil.
6. Once the oven has been pre-heated, place the oil-coated Dutch oven upside down carefully on the pre-heated baking tray lined with aluminum foil and let it bake for one hour. Smoke may come out of your oven so make sure to keep your kitchen well-ventilated.
7. After one hour, remove the Dutch oven using oven mitts and let the Dutch oven cool on a cooling rack or on top of the stove.
8. Once the Dutch oven is cool enough to handle, repeat the oiling and heating process at least two to three times to give the Dutch oven a good initial seasoning.
9. After the last seasoning process, let the Dutch oven cool down and then it is ready for use.
How Do You Know If Your Dutch Oven Is Fully Seasoned?
You’ll know if your Dutch oven is seasoned if it develops a shiny dark color. If you touch your cooled-down Dutch oven, you will feel a smooth finish instead of a greasy or sticky feeling. Your Dutch oven won’t have any dull or dry patches in it. This means that the oil coated the Dutch oven well.
To test if your Dutch oven is fully seasoned, you have to start using it. Frying an egg in a newly-seasoned Dutch oven is an easy way to test if it is fully seasoned.
If you season your Dutch oven properly, the food should not stick to it as seasoning a Dutch oven makes it a non-stick cookware. If the food is still sticking to your Dutch oven, it might not be seasoned enough. It can also be because you are cooking with too much high heat causing the food to stick. Either way, it is best to repeat the seasoning process to improve the seasoning in your Dutch oven.
How Often Should You Re-season A Dutch Oven?
The seasoning in a Dutch oven improves when you cook with it using oil. But, the seasoning can wear off, especially when the Dutch oven is used regularly.
There is no specific schedule as to when you should re-season your Dutch oven. If you see that the seasoning has worn off or your Dutch oven has dull and dry patches, it may be time to re-season your Dutch oven.
If food is starting to stick on a surface, it is also best to re-season your Dutch oven. If you don’t use your Dutch oven regularly, you may not have the need to re-season it just yet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you use a Dutch oven for?
A Dutch oven is a versatile heavy-duty pot that can be used to sauté, simmer, fry, braise, or bake food. The colored Dutch ovens you often see have an enamel coating which means that it does not need to be seasoned, unlike a cast iron Dutch oven.
What is the best oil to season a Dutch oven?
Cooking oil with a high smoke point is the best oil to use to season a Dutch oven. An oil with a high smoke point allows you to heat up the Dutch oven without burning the seasoning off. Some of the oils with high smoke points that you can use are vegetable oil, canola oil, and grapeseed oil.
Seasoning a Dutch oven is a simple process. You just need to pre-heat your oven, clean your Dutch oven, coat the Dutch oven in oil and bake it at 400 to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour. Letting the Dutch oven cool off and repeating the oiling and heating process two to three times will fully season it.
We have a step-by-step guide on how to season a Dutch oven and we hope this article was helpful for you to have a well-seasoned Dutch oven. If you have any questions, let us know via the contact form on our website.