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Curing a dutch oven.

4109 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  grace
As some of you know, I purchased a 6 qt dutch oven online, and it arrived this week.

I am getting conflicting stories on how I should cure it.

Some sites say to use vegetable oils/fats because they don't break down in storage.

Some sites say to use animal fats such as lard because the vegetable fats make the cast iron sticky.

Does anyone here have any experience with curing cast iron?
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I have always heard, and followed using cooking oil. Either use oil, shortening, or lard.

Use your kitchen oven and heat the dutch oven up to about 200-250 degrees.

Once it is, use the oil and cloth to coat the oven inside and out. Put it back in the oven and get it to 300 degrees or so for a good hour. Then let it cool down, you should be set to go.

What he said about oil, shortning, or lard is right. My Grandma had cured her cast iron things that way. She very often used lard for her pans. If you put them in the oven with the oils on it. Bake it for an hour on low heat. It should work.
So have you cured it yet? I think the above is the right way to do it as well. Let us know how it goes after you do cure it.
I haven't cured it yet, because I have to get some lard.

When people say to use oil or lard that kinda defeats the purpose of my question.

Cooking oil is usually vegetable oil, and lard is an animal fat. I had heard that lard breaks down with storage, but that vegetable oil gets sticky when you cure it.

I decided to try lard, and make a vow to use the dutch oven every so often (even in the winter) to keep it from breaking down.
WEll keep us posted on how it goes, to make sure we do it right when we do it :)
I think you made the right choice with using lard. My Grandma used it for her cast iron pots. They never got sticky. Let me know how this goes for you. It looks like a large bottom so you'll need a lot of lard for it. My Grandma used to buy it in pounds.
kiteri-I may have missed it somewhere along the lines-but what dutch oven did you decide to go with?
So did you get it cured? I have been keeping tabs to see how it went...
Sorry it took so long to post about it!!!!

I bought the 6 quart uncured dutch oven that I posted about when I was looking to buy one.

I took good steel wool to it to get the coating off, smeared it in lard, and baked it in my oven for two hours at 325 and then did a second coat of lard and baked it again.

Because it has been cold and snowy, and because I live in the borough, I haven't had a chance to start up a fire and cook something in it, but when I do, I am gonna cook some sausage cuz the grease will help cure it more, and then stir in indredients to make a good stew!

Lard did seem to do a nice job because it melt evenly and doesn't bubble and blister. It made for an evenly cured surface to keep the cast iron from rusting.

I gotta get that baby baked in a real fire though to blacken up and feel like a "real" cast iron pot!
:thumbup1: I got in on your curing adventure a bit late...sorry. Bacon fat also does the trick. If you accidently clean it :smack-head:
(well meaning in-laws...Lord bless them), just re-season.

Can store the remaining lard in the freezer...or (if the thought of cooking with it gives you the willies) crush some birdseed into it for an end-of-winter bird-treat.
Bacon fat does work for many things. I have some new bake pans, and I got my cake stuck in it the first time I used them. I thought with new pans I wouldn't need as much grease and flour in it. Well I was wrong, they are non-stick, but I have to grease and flour them thoroughly. The last time I did it, the cakes came out perfect.
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