Cast-iron cooking is one of the most popular kitchenware today. It is naturally non-stick, retains heat perfectly, and looks great on dinner tables. It can also last for years if it is properly and regularly seasoned. Learning how to season cast iron Dutch oven properly is essential, so keep reading on to have more helpful information!
Why Should You Season New Cast Iron?
Seasoning is the process in which you add a layer of carbonized oil banked onto the surface of your cast iron cookware. When heated to a high temperature, this will form a protective layer on it. This process called polymerization, gives your cookware a natural, easy-release finish and makes cooking and cleaning easier.
You may certainly use new cast iron cookware after taking it out of the box. But it always recommends additional seasoning before the first use, below are some reasons why you should do it:
- Improve the cookware’s ability to retain heat well in an affordable, and easy-to-clean way.
- When cast iron is seasoned well, the oil layer that remains on the cookware makes it wonderfully non-stick. Unlike the standard nonstick cookware made with Teflon or ceramic coatings, the nonstick surface on cast iron can be renewed over and over again through the process of seasoning.
- Cooking specific cast iron cookware regularly will make it become dull, gray, or get rusty; this situation could probably benefit from being seasoned. The oily layer will prevent the iron from rusting, looking good, and cooking great.
How To Season Cast Iron
Cast iron Dutch oven care is easier than you think, you don’t need any costly equipment or specialized products or materials to accomplish it. Below are steps and tips you can apply when looking for how to season cast iron:
- Cleaning and drying the pot thoroughly. If the pot is new, give it a thorough cleaning in hot soapy water. Use a sponge and gentle scourer or brush; avoid anything metallic or harsh. Dry the pot with a towel, if there is something like damp patches on the pot, heat it over a medium flame until totally dry.
- Using a piece of folded kitchen paper, next, rub a small amount of sunflower or vegetable oil all over the pot (including the handle and the outside). Do not have any excess drips of oil, a very thin coating is ideal. Your aim is to leave the pot with the thinnest coating possible.
- Put the cookware in a preheated oven between 450°F–500°F (232°C–260°C) for approximately 40-60 minutes until the oil has coated the pot, you can reapply the process if needed. You may see smoke from the oil, it’s recommended to open the windows to have adequate ventilation.
- After seasoning, let your cookware cool down before putting it away. Turn the oven off and leave the pot inside until it is cool enough to remove and store.
Over and over time, the coating can deteriorate, rust, or lose its non-stick qualities. Acidic foods, like tomatoes, are especially damaging to cast iron. If your Dutch oven has substantial rust, you’ll need to properly clean it and begin the seasoning process from the start.
FAQ relate to the topic How to Season Cast Iron Dutch Oven?
What is the best oil to season a cast iron Dutch oven?
To season cast iron, mostly any type of cooking oil is acceptable, but remember that oils with strong flavors, such as avocado or sesame seed oil, may flavor your cookware and the dish you make in it. Many people prefer to use plain vegetable or canola oil because they’re affordable, easy to buy, and have a neutral flavor.
What temperature do you season a cast iron Dutch oven?
If you’re seasoning the cookware over a flame, set it to medium-high heat. In the oven, the process will take much longer. Set 450°F–500°F (232°C–260°C) for approximately 40-60 minutes to season the cast iron Dutch oven. If the cookware feels sticky rather than smooth, it means the process isn’t complete, and you’ll need to put it in the oven for longer.
How do I know if my Dutch oven is seasoned?
Cast iron before seasoning has a light gray color on the surface. It typically rusts very quickly from atmospheric moisture. The process of seasoning forms a tough but smooth, black coating of polymerized oil.
Why is my cast iron sticking after seasoning?
Your cast iron becomes sticking after seasoning because you used too much oil (the aim when applying oil is to have a thin layer of oil on the surface, so don’t use excess oil). Another reason is the cookware does not accept the seasoning because you started but did not preheat first.
Above is some helpful information to help you know more about how to season the cast iron Dutch oven. Hopefully, this article is helpful for you. Thanks for reading!
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