Keeping your Dutch oven clean is a must if you want to continue making heavenly meals and pass your Dutch oven on from generation to generation. And the best part is that it isn’t as hard as some people may think. If you’ve never tried cleaning a Dutch oven, you may be intimidated thinking where you’re supposed to start, as well as the proper method of the cleaning process. A well-seasoned pot allows you to strip off the dirt and residue from the bottom quite easily. This is why we recommend people to use as much seasoning as the dish needs. It doesn’t just make cooking your favorite meals easier, it also speeds up the cleaning.
Proper Dutch Oven Care
Cleaning your Dutch oven is generally a two-step process which involves cleaning and maintaining the seasoned coating.
Step 1 – Cleaning
Remove all the bits and pieces stuck on the surface of the Dutch oven. Then, pour a few inches of clean water into the pot. Heat it afterwards, then place the lid on top. The heating process is usually done right after cooking so you can leave it to heat up while you spend some quality time with your family eating or doing something else.
After a few minutes, remove the Dutch oven from the heat and give it a few minutes to cool down. When the water is cool enough to the touch, you can use a sponge or a food scraper to clean out the surface completely of left over bits of food. Discard this water and refill it with clean water. Repeat the process until you’re sure the surface has been cleaned thoroughly.
Step 2 – Maintaining the seasoned coating
After you’re done properly cleaning your Dutch oven, what you need to do next is to dry it. You can do this by either hanging it over or by placing it near a fire with the lid slightly askew to allow the heat to enter. When you’re setting it by a fire, the Dutch oven gradually starts to heat up and drives out the moisture, which is why the lid isn’t sealed tight for this. It doesn’t take long for the Dutch oven to dry up, usually just 5 to 10 minutes depending on which method you use.
Next, use a paper towel to spread some unflavored vegetable oil all over the inside and outside of the Dutch oven. Careful not to use too little or too much. It needs to be seasoned well-enough for the next time it needs to be used for your culinary creations. After spreading the oil, use a clean paper town to wipe off excess oil so only a thin amount is left which will serve as its protection for the next time you’ll need it.
That’s the old-fashioned way of cleaning your Dutch oven. Of course, if you’re constantly pressed for time or lead a very busy life, there are also dishwasher-safe models available on Amazon that can make things easier for you. Of course, take note that constantly using a dishwasher to clean your Dutch oven can sometimes lead to color-fading.