15 Tips for Handling Cast Iron — How to Use Your Dutch Oven the Right Way
For more than 100 years cast iron has been the optimal tool for outdoor cooking and today still many grandparents use it for cooking on the stove at home. With Dutch Oven & co. the German traditional brand Petromax offers durable cooking equipment providing you with a wide range of applications in different shapes and sizes. Cooking, roasting, baking, simmering, smoking or grilling: With the cast-iron Dutch Ovens and Fire Skillets of the dragon brand new cooking experiences lie ahead, waking an original feeling with the taste of adventure.
For correct handling, optimal care and long durability of cast iron you should observe the following 15 tips:
1. Tip: You shall not use any other cookware beside it
A Petromax Dutch Oven can do a lot and can do that very well. Cooking, roasting, simmering, smoking, grilling: all that offers you the Dutch Oven from the dragon brand and thus ensures for diverse cooking adventures. It reliably accompanies you as robust equipment during your expeditions under the open sky, but also serves you loyally for cooking at home. All paths are open to you already with one single cast-iron Dutch Oven, of which the lid can also be used as pan when turned over.
2. Tip: Size does matter
No matter whether a strengthening meal in-between, ravenous hunger or a horde of bushcrafters with empty stomachs: With seven different sizes (each available with or without feet) you not only find one Dutch Oven to your taste, but also for any challenge. Here you can find an overview on the models as well as your correct Dutch Oven size.
3. Tip: Unpack, ready, GO
Petromax cast-iron products arrive already seasoned and ready to use. The surface is patinated in the final stage of production (seasoned finish). Therefore, it is not necessary to season the cast iron before the first use. After unpacking just rinse your cookware with clear water and keep in mind not to cook any acidic foods the first few times.
4. Tip: Adventure for indoors and outdoors
Cast-iron pots and pans are suitable for all heating sources. The Petromax Dutch Oven can be hung over the fire or placed inside it. As model without feet it can be used easily on all types of home stoves or in the oven. In that case, however, please keep in mind to implicitly lift your Dutch Oven for relocation, for instance on the ceramic hob. That way you preserve the surface.
5. Tip: Do not burn your fingers
Cast iron provides for optimal heat distribution and storage. Your dishes are simmering evenly in the Dutch Oven and thus remain nicely succulent. Only keep in mind that lid, handle and carry handle heat up as well. Thus, always use a Lid Lifter, heat-resistant gloves or potholders when touching it.
6. Tip: Dutch Oven Patina is sexy
Just like yourself your cast iron improves with age. The distinctive patina on your pots and pans not only provides for rust protection, but also for a natural non-stick coating. Proper care, however, is a fundamental requirement for an optimal cooking experience. The more you use your cast iron the stronger your patina becomes.
7. Tip: The toolbox for your Dutch Oven
By means of the Petromax Lid Lifters you can lift the lid from your Dutch Oven and handle it safely; with the Petromax Chain Mail Cleaners you easily remove even burned food residues from the cast iron surface after outdoor cooking. Do not use scouring pads for cleaning!
8. Tip: Hard-wearing material
Cast iron is not only fire resistant but is also rust will not strike it down too quickly. You can remove light rust by greasing, for instance with a neutral oil or vegetable fat. If accidentally, your Dutch Oven has developed heavy spots of rust, just proceed as follows:
Completely remove the rust with a wire brush, wash your cast iron with dishwashing detergent and dry it thoroughly. Then grease the inside and outside with a neutral oil. Bake your cast iron either over the fire, on the grill or at home in the oven (356 °F, approx. 2 hours). Caution: Provide for adequate ventilation indoors as smoke will develop! Afterwards, let your Dutch Oven cool down slowly.
9. Tip: Heat — grill — repeat
The best way to protect your cast iron for a long time is constant use. Due to frequent roasting, grilling, baking and cooking the patina strengthens over time. The more often you use your cast iron, the better the non-stick properties of the surface become and the less oil you need for roasting. Therefore: Cook, cook, cook!
10. Tip: It‘s future investment
It sounds like an old wisdom, but if you care and store your Dutch Oven correctly, it will stay with you for a lifetime. Thus, make sure to dry your cast iron thoroughly after cleaning and at best apply a thin layer of a neutral oil or a vegetable fat (works best while the cast iron is still warm). Thus, treated and stored at a dry, well-ventilated place you will still be able to bequeath your Dutch Oven to your grandchildren.
11. Tip: Clean cast iron with care
The strongest asset of your Dutch Oven is its patina and thus its non-stick coating. The patina consists of a natural grease film, which protectively coats the fine-pored surface of your cast-iron Dutch Oven. However, the surfactants contained in dishwashing detergent dissolve the fat constituents and destroy your protective layer. Therefore: Hands off dishwashing detergent and metal sponge! Warm, clear water and a soft sponge or cloth suffice for cleaning.
12. Tip: Avoid stress, preserve iron friendship
Cast iron is a robust material easily enduring high temperatures. If your Dutch Oven has just been used in the scorching hot cooking place, you must avoid direct contact with e.g. cold water. The sudden temperature difference would lead to a punctual contraction of the before expanded material and thus will stress cracks.
13. Tip: Appropriate care for your Dutch Oven
After cooking is before cooking and with a simple care routine your Dutch Oven is also ready to use. For that purpose, after washing and drying thoroughly just apply a thin layer of a neutral oil or vegetable fat onto your cast iron and that’s it.
Extra tip: The neutral fat spreads more easily while the material is still warm.
14. Tip: Prevent flash rust
When you give your cast iron a break, store it at a dry place. Thus, flash rust will not stand a chance and your Dutch Oven will not let you down when next used in the outdoor kitchen.
15. Tip: Let your Dutch Oven catch some breath
Always ensure for good ventilation as soon as your Dutch Oven moves into storage. Friendship will thus remain fresh, the Dutch Oven loyal and the surface clean. By means of small wood sticks or firm cardboard you create some extra distance between pot and lid.