Seasoning a Dutch oven is a must to maintain the quality. When you get your Dutch oven it will have waxy oil feel to it. This coating is to help prevent your Dutch oven from rusting. This needs to be removed. Scrub your oven with soap (this is the only time you should use soap on your Dutch oven) and water until your oven feels like there is no more oil on it. Dry your oven and make sure that there is no moisture on the oven. If you have to, place your Dutch oven in the oven with the door open for 15 minutes at 200 degrees.
- Once your Dutch oven is dry, set your oven for 350 degrees.
- Next you want to grease your Dutch oven with vegetable shortening. Usually people use Cresco. Rub it in really well into the creases and dimples all over the oven and lid. With a paper towel, take the excess grease off.
- Place the Dutch oven and the lid in the oven upside down for one hour. The Dutch oven may drip so you can place aluminum foil under the oven to catch this. You can also do this on your grill if your Dutch oven fits under the lid completely or you can do it inside in your oven. This is going to produce smoke so be sure that you do it on a day that you can open up windows. The smoke is from the shortening being burned into the ovens surface.
- Once the Dutch oven has been in there for one hour, shut the oven off and let it cool in there for a little bit. Turn the oven back on and take your Dutch oven out and rub off any dripping grease with a paper towel. You then want to repeat the process by rubbing on more shortening and place it back in the oven for another 45 minutes to an hour. Remember to put it upside down so that the melting shortening doesn’t collect in the bottom of your Dutch oven.
- Once that hour is up you want to turn the oven off like before and let it cool enough so that you can handle it. When your Dutch oven is cooled, rub off any excess grease on the oven. You can choose if you want to add another thin layer of shortening but it isn’t necessary. If you do add more, you don’t have to put it back in the oven.
Your oven is now ready to use! After you have done this the food that has more fatty content and isn’t acidic will help to season your Dutch oven. You should not have to season it again as long as you keep it clean and use it often. If you don’t use it that much and you do start to notice it is rusting, do the exact same steps listed about but DO NOT WASH IT WITH SOAP! Soap will contaminate all of your food and you will continue to have that soapy taste in everything that you make.