There’s a lot of different ways to care and tend for Dutch oven and cast-iron cookware. I will share a few of my favorites. I almost always cook on cast-iron, weather in the home or out on an adventure. So caring for cast-iron well, will most likely determine how well you like using cast-iron. The first step in caring for cast-iron is taking your new or my Preferred route of used cast-iron and seasoning it well. The next step would be tending it post cooking. We will go through these even though they have a lot of similarities.
How well you can “ season” a cast-iron pot somewhat is determined by the quality of the cast-iron. A supper rough cast iron will never function like no. Stick, seasoning it well more serves as cutting down on cleaning time. my preference is to go around used stores or online to find pre-loved cast-iron. there are a few brands that I like more, however they are harder to find as they’re not necessarily manufactured anymore. If I can find Griswold cast-iron I buy it if I am able, it tends to be exceptionally smooth and well cast on the inside. The brands that I always look for in particular in used stores the Griswold has a big cross stamped on the back they are very well-made. There are others but figureing out the brand can be difficult on old cast iron. But if you end up with some other and they tend to be rough simply find a shop that has a grinder and grind out the inside till it smooth, this has worked well for me. Once you have your pan the way you like it, heat up your oven to 200°. Then place a pan to be seasoned in the oven, leave it in there for 10 to 20 minutes. Now get some oil put it on the pan everywhere inside and outside. People use special types of oil for the cast-iron which is great but I find that whatever I have in the kitchen generally works well enough. Now that you have oil inside and out put it back in the oven for 40 minutes. Repeat this oiling and heating four or five times. Let it cool compleasty, then it should be ready to go.
OK so go ahead and start cooking in your cast-iron either over the fire or on the stove top doesn’t really matter. Depending on what you cook of course will depend on what is left in the pan when you’re done, scrape it clean. a lot of cast-iron‘s come with plastic scrapers which will get off most of the food particles. But to get it really back to where you want it sometimes it requires a little more elbow grease in the form of a scrubbing, I find this is substantially less if you use a Chainmaile scrubber. Also if that’s not available pour some kosher salt into the pan and use it to scrub around over low heat with a wooden spoon, this also cleans them up nicely. Please, please, please do not pour a bunch of soap in it and scrub it down with soap it will undo all of the beautiful seasoning that you have done and you will hate cooking on cast-iron because it will stick to everything. Once you have it food free, heat it back up either in the oven on the fire or stove top, wipe it down with oil and a paper towel. Vuoala it is ready for use.
By way of sidenote if you’re doing this in a fire for cooking or seasoning after cooking I do recommend turning your cast-iron especially just shove them upside down in the fire and really let the fire burn all the food out before you oil it works beautifully.