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How to Season Your Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Learn more about how to season a dutch oven and whether or not you need to season Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Ovens.

By George Steckel
Dec 3, 2021
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There’s so much anticipation behind a new Dutch Oven. Whether it’s all the recipes you've dreamed of making, the parties you’re planning on hosting with it at the center of the table, or the memories that will be shared after it is inevitably passed down generations.

There are two main types of Dutch Ovens—Enameled Cast Iron and regular Cast Iron. In this post, we’re going to cover the difference between the two and how to season a Cast Iron Dutch Oven.

Enameled Cast Iron vs. Cast Iron

The main difference between these two cookware materials is the enameled surface. Enamel is a glass-like coating, and in this case, it is on the entire body of the Dutch Oven. It covers the pores of the cast iron, providing a slick surface for your food to cook on, and preventing rust. You do not need to season Enameled Cast Iron Cookware.

However, if you have a Cast Iron Dutch Oven that is not pre-seasoned, you must season it to ensure it has a well-formed patina, which will aid in food releasing easily from the surface of the Dutch Oven. If you know how to season carbon steel, then this seasoning process will be familiar.

Here are the necessary steps you need to follow to season your cast iron dutch oven.

Prep Your Oven

Before you begin the process of cleaning your Dutch Oven, preheat the oven to 450F. You want to make sure that the oven temperature is higher than the smoke point of the oil you will be using to season your pan so that the oil polymerizes to the surface of the Dutch Oven.

Additionally, line a sheet pan with a layer of aluminum foil and place it on the bottom rack. This will catch any oil drippings from the inverted Dutch Oven.

Clean Your Dutch Oven

Whether it’s the first time seasoning a Dutch Oven or you are just re-seasoning it, it’s worth giving your Dutch Oven a good rinse with soapy water. This primes your Dutch Oven to receive its first layer of seasoning.

Dry Your Dutch Oven

Using a kitchen towel, dry your Dutch Oven and then place it on the burner over low heat to remove any excess moisture. Moisture is the enemy of achieving a layer of seasoning, so you want to make sure that the Dutch Oven is completely dry.

Next, turn your stove to medium heat to prepare for the next step.

Apply Your Oil

Pour your high-smoke point oil (we like grapeseed or vegetable oil) into a small deli container, dip a paper towel into the oil. Then, apply a very thin layer to the entire surface of the Dutch Oven.

If you add too much oil, it will cake onto the surface, leaving you with a splotchy look. Keep your pan on medium heat for two minutes and move the pan around the burner to evenly heat it.

Place Your Dutch Oven in the Oven

Simply place your Dutch Oven upside down in the preheated oven for one hour. The sheet pan below will catch any drippings. Turn the oven off after the hour is up and allow your Dutch Oven to cool in the oven.

Start Cooking

Once it is cool to the touch, your Cast Iron Dutch Oven is now ready to cook with. If your seasoning starts to wear off or your Dutch Oven’s surface becomes dry, you can always repeat this seasoning process.

However, if this process seems too lengthy, then we recommend opting for an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, one that doesn’t need seasoning and can be washed with soap and water in no time. Ours is made in Northeast France, and designed to help your finest meals shine.

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