Thursday, 14 November 2019

Restoring My Dutch Oven

After moaning that the school my two daughters go to doesn't do enough outdoor stuff, I ended up volunteering my services to go in and do a session with them one afternoon. 


The teacher who I'm going in to assist wanted to cook up the huge pumpkin that she had got in for halloween a few weeks ago.

Her idea is cook pumpkin soup outside on an open fire. Something I was really keen for, kids love cooking outside.

This got my mind thinking. The ideal way to cook this would be with a cast iron pot in the fire itself. My wife got me a dutch oven years ago (before kids I think), but I hadn't used it in ages. When
I went to get it from the shipping container it wasn't in a good state! Too many years to neglect!

I managed to google up some instructions on how to restore it. Turns out it was surprisingly easy.

First I scrubbed it and even used soap! I know you're not supposed to but I was taking this right back to the start so apparently it's fine. Then I put it in the oven to dry off.

Then I got some vegetable oil and coarse sea salt and scrubbed the whole thing, inside and out.


Then I washed it out and scrubbed it again with a vinegar water mix.

It then went in the oven to dry off and burn my sinuses slowly away.

The reseasoning could then start. For this I rubbed in some lard on every surface. Back in the oven at full temperature for an hour. This didn't smell amazing it must be said! 


But it came out looking as good as the day I got given it.

Because of the weather and the floods the outdoor cooking has been postponed but at least now I'm a little bit prepared for it! Should be perfect to cook up some soup lovingly prepared by 24 six year olds!

Just if anyone would be brave enough to eat it will be another matter...

Who else cooks with cast iron?

13 comments:

  1. Good job. Love cast iron and cook with it almost daily.

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    Replies
    1. I need to start using it more! Now we have a bigger kitchen I have no excuse.

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  2. Can you come over to Ireland and clean our copper kitchen ware? Like the cast iron cooking pan. Like something out of a cowboy Western film. Could imagine it filled with baked beans. Heinz of course.

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    1. Beans and bacon would suit me cooked in it. Last time my brother and I did a stew in it out in the field, it was great!

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  3. i cook with cast iron all the time. i have a ginormous cauldron with a steel tripod that hangs over my fire pit. it's fun to cook in that!

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    1. That sounds great. I bet there temptation is to say "eye of newt" everytime you go to put soemthing in it.

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  4. What a shame the weather stopped play. Looking forward to see what you make.

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    Replies
    1. The weather was really bad in the end so quite glad it got moved. Going this Thursday instead now so should be fun!

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  5. I have a ton of cast iron. Besides boiling water it's all we cook with. Great job restoring yours. They are truly heirloom items, I still use a cast iron cornbread pan that belonged to my great grandmother.

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    1. What does a corn bread pan look like? I've heard many people from the states talk about corn bread and I'd love to try it one day! Just not something that's eaten over here!

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  6. That's why it's called a Dutch oven: we Dutch are real proper people :D lol
    But job well done! Hope the weather will turn favorable for you!

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    1. I'm sure the weather will pick up! Should be good fun to cook on it and might have to get some facts together for the kids to do with this style of cooking and the cowboys!

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  7. Never eaten corn bread?! Horrors!!! You're in for a treat. I'll share my input: First, use a cast iron pan to cook it in. I just put our ordinary cast iron skillet to use. We also have a cutesy 'stick' pan that makes corn shaped little sticks - about 10 - at a time. I prefer the 'cake' from the skillet. Here's the biggie: Wipe the pan with oil, and put it into the oven BEFORE your add the batter. Pouring the batter into a hot skillet makes the cornbread release like it was a teflon pan. Grind your own maze if you have it. Eat it piping hot with loads of butter and honey if you have some. Add it broken into spoon sized pieces with ham-n-bean soup just as you begin to eat. It is best fresh, doesn't keep well, if there is any left to keep. Simple easy good. Enjoy! (Recipe available on request, if you need one.)

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