What is the best way to clean a cast iron dutch oven.

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It has a little bit of rust inside and appears to have been cleaned with oil as it smells bad. He wants to cook soup beans over an open fire. ty

  9 answers
  • Ken Ken on Dec 06, 2017
    Yes, vegetable oils will become rancid over time and that is what you are smelling. Congrats on finding a wonderful piece of cookware.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Dec 06, 2017
    use a plastic scraper you can find them online and at Walmart then a wet paper towel to get crud out - small amt. of oil then wipe out excess, put into 300 degree oven for about 90 min, let it cool and wipe clean and should be ready for next use. Lodge.com makes cast iron and they have great ideas for cleaning,e tc

  • Gale Allen Jenness Gale Allen Jenness on Dec 06, 2017
    I believe the best solution is to scrub the rust out with some steel wool and oil till you get it cleaned out. you can rinse in water and dry out right away and then reoil the Dutch oven and reseason it bringing it up to oven temps. After that don’t clean with water, just scrap clean with a wooden spoon or other wooden gadget made for cast iron and wipe out with a paper towel! Ready for the next meal to be cooked!

  • Tina Mcnicholas Tina Mcnicholas on Dec 06, 2017
    My Dad always put his iron skillets in an open fire and "burned them out" first. Then, when they cooled he would take lard or you can use crisco, and rubbed them down inside and out lightly. I still do this to mine to "season " them as he called it. Also, when I wash them after use, I use regular hot water and dawn wipe them out, then put them in a warm oven to throughly dry them out. This will combat and future rust. Of course, his method was for the older totally iron cookware. I've noticed some of the newer ones have wooden handles, which would burn in a fire.

  • 27524803 27524803 on Dec 06, 2017
    I have had the problem that you do... the dutch oven that I bought at a swap meet had been sprayed with WD 40 so it would look pretty...
    HobbyFarms.com has a really good tutorial on how to clean and re-season cast iron.. both rusty and not...
    I cleaned mine using the self-cleaning oven method and when I re-seasoned it I found that Crisco Vegetable Shortening worked the best for me. I repeated the seasoning process 4 times (slather, bake 375 for 45 min, cool in oven) By following those instructions... my vintage (an not) cast iron looks and cooks like new. A stiff dish brush and very hot water gets them clean and once thoroughly dry (towel dry and heat on a low burner for a few minutes) a quick (very light) smear of Crisco keeps them seasoned.
    Remember to NEVER store food in your cast iron and to never soak it in the sink... If you stack your cast iron, put a large paper towel between pans, etc.

  • Sharon Sharon on Dec 06, 2017
    You can use coarse kosher salt to scrub out the pot, the reason it stinks is someone used cooking oil..... you use lard or the fat off salt pork to slowly reseason it in an oven 225 degrees..... keep basting the oil all over the inside of the pot for at least 4 hours. Repeat again another day.

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Dec 06, 2017
    The oil you smell is from someone trying to keep the cast iron from rusting. Clean it well, then "season" it well by baking it in the oven. There are many U-tube videos explaining the procedure. Take are of the dutch oven. It'll last for years. If it an old one, it's even better than the newer made ones.