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Old 08-25-2008, 09:50 AM   #1
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We just bought a new 4 qt dutch oven. I read through the seasoning instructions and will try to do this in the next few days. We have another camping trip Sep 5 so I want Sherry to try her stuffed peppers in it. Looking for tips to make sure it is seasoned properly.
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Old 08-25-2008, 03:45 PM   #2
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We have tons of cast iron (figuratively, but close) and all I've ever done is coat the inside with peanut oil and heat it until it smokes, let it cool, and repeat. I usually do it three or four times. Using it for deep frying occasionally also helps. (WARNING: DO NOT USE GRIDDLE FOR DEEP FRYING! [This warning is required by OSHA and my lawyer. ])

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Old 08-25-2008, 05:25 PM   #3
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We just bought a new 4 qt dutch oven. I read through the seasoning instructions and will try to do this in the next few days. We have another camping trip Sep 5 so I want Sherry to try her stuffed peppers in it. Looking for tips to make sure it is seasoned properly.
Just go to Lodge.com and you'll find the instructions for doing it properly. The oil to use, the heat, and turning your pans upside down so the oil doesn't pool.

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Old 08-25-2008, 08:53 PM   #4
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We have tons of cast iron (figuratively, but close) and all I've ever done is coat the inside with peanut oil and heat it until it smokes, let it cool, and repeat. I usually do it three or four times. Using it for deep frying occasionally also helps. ([b]WARNING: DO NOT USE GRIDDLE FOR DEEP FRYING! [This warning is required by OSHA and my lawyer. ])

Pat
p.s.: Never wash seasoned cast iron with soap! I just wipe it clean with a paper towel. This drives my wife crazy, but when you pre-heat it you are sterilizing it.

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Old 08-25-2008, 09:05 PM   #5
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My sister's mother-in-law has always put a handful of salt in the pan and wiped it around with a paper towel. Her pans are who knows how many decades old and the inside is as smooth as a silver spoon. Someday maybe mine will be like that.

Another benefit of cast iron: friends of mine in their 80's were getting their yearly checkups. The doctor couldn't believe how high their iron levels were, considering their ages. Edna told him it was because she had cooked with cast iron all their lives.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:30 PM   #6
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I put a light coat of Camp Chef Cast Iron Conditioner on all surfaces. Place upside down on the top rack of a cold oven. Place foil on the rack beneath to catch any drips. Set the oven on 500 degrees F. and leave for one hour. Turn the oven off and let the cast iron cool in the oven for several hours.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:47 AM   #7
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all I've ever done is coat the inside with peanut oil and heat it until it smokes, let it cool, and repeat.
I wonder if this might effect people with peanut allergies. I doubt anyone with the allergy would use this method, but I was thinking about sharing the food with others. If they asked if you used peanut products in the preparation of the food would you remember the "seasoning"? I would think canola oil may be a better choice...
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:22 PM   #8
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Lars,

This can be a touchy subject. The old saying (not my saying, just an old saying) “Loan out your car, loan out your wife, but never loan out your cast iron” says it all.
I'm a collector of old cast iron, mostly Griswold and have done a lot of seasoning. I will only give three thoughts here though.

1) What Glen said: “Go to lodge.com and read what they say" Note: They recommend solid vegetable oil for seasoning.

2) For those that have not bought yet. Buy Lodge brand - they are now preseasoned and are a USA made product. Lodge is substantially better than the other brands.

3) Seasoning is like painting, several thin coats are better than trying to apply a lot at one time. If you put it on too thick and it pools, you may never get an even coat.

Here is a picture of one of my pieces of cast-iron. This one is a Griswold Tite-Top Dutch Oven from the 40's.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:20 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. Dean&Mary that picture almost looks identical to the oven we bought. I did see a Lodge or two I think but they only had the really big ones, the lids did not have the "lip" either? The one we purchased is a 4 qt and I think the brand is Texsport. I do believe it is imported but for $20 I didn't feel I could go wrong trying it out. I did check out Lodge's website (www.lodgemfg.com). Along with that and the posts here, I should be able to get this seasoned.

Another question about the lid. Haven't used it yet, but I can foresee ashes from the lid getting inside when removing the lid? Even a little breeze?
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:17 PM   #10
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Another question about the lid. Haven't used it yet, but I can foresee ashes from the lid getting inside when removing the lid? Even a little breeze?
Remove the lid downwind (with the wind). You can also make a ring of foil around the edge to increase the lip.

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Old 08-26-2008, 07:20 PM   #11
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Here is a link to a good discussion about seasoning.

http://www.dutchovendoctor.com/CastIronSeasoning.htm

About the lid and ashes, does your pot lid have a raised rim?
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:11 PM   #12
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Here is a link to a good discussion about seasoning.

http://www.dutchovendoctor.com/CastIronSeasoning.htm
Tom, Thanks for the link. I enjoyed reading it and learned some more about seasoning.

Lars, I have never found the ashes to be a problem.

Here is a picture of a one of my working 12 inch Dutch Ovens.


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Old 08-29-2008, 10:03 PM   #13
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The best way to keep ashes (boy scout pepper) out of the Dutch oven while cooking is to have a top quality lid lifter. There is none better than a Mair lifter. Once I bought one all the others have been left in the garage to gather dust.

Tom Trostel

http://www.mairdutchovenlifter.com/
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:18 AM   #14
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The Mair's lid lifter is definitely the way to go. That lid lifter and a pair of welding gloves and you're set. The Mair's lifter used to be mail order only, but I believe both Cabela's and Sportsman's carries them.
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:17 AM   #15
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I made a lifter out of a three-prong garden tool by bending the center prong all the way back -- I can lift or shift the lid easily and the tool packs in the pot.

I recall reading in a tips column in Yankee Magazine that the best way to 'unseason' cast iron to start the seasoning process again was to put the pot and lid in a pile of oak leaves in the Fall and set the pile alight, letting it all burn down and then cool down slowly.

If anyone is in the vicinity of the Lodge factory in Tennessee, I understand they have some really good deals on seconds (which I am told are extremely hard to detect from firsts).

I recall seeing one family camping in Great Smokey Mountains Natl Park, where the Dad had the entire Lodge outfit including the table to cook on (Heavy!!). Mom thought it was a tiny tad overkill, but she wasn't about to criticize as long as Dad was eager to cook -- And he was a good cook, sharing with his camp neighbors, of course.

http://www.lodgemfg.com/images/gear_category_Img.jpg
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:58 AM   #16
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If you buy Lodge you get quality. You get lids that fit. You go cheap and you get lids that don't and that is a critical element for cooking.

But, over to peanut oil. Maybe I know nothing. But, a freind of ours teaches at a school in a low-income area. She notes that the kids at her school don't have peanut allergies, because that's what they can afford to eat. We've now got a whole industry built on allergies, and I'm not buying it.

As a kid in Africa, I ate all kinds of stuff that you either were supposed to wash or not eat at all. And, I, and the other kids did a lot better than our parents who took their pills and were careful what they ate.

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Old 09-07-2008, 08:49 AM   #17
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Another benefit of cast iron: friends of mine in their 80's were getting their yearly checkups. The doctor couldn't believe how high their iron levels were, considering their ages. Edna told him it was because she had cooked with cast iron all their lives.
Remember when SunMaid raisins were mentioning iron as one of the benefits to the product? They don't mention it anymore -- Reportedly the iron was coming from processing with cast iron vats, but when they upgraded the system to stainless steel pots...
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:04 AM   #18
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I agree fully with regard to bacteria-based upbringing; studies have shown that farm-raised kids develop so many immunities that they get sick far less than city kids. That's sort of a Nurture kind of development.

Allergies, however, are a different story because they seem to be encoded in our DNA from our genes. Shellfish allergies run through my family, apparently from my mother's side -- I didn't have an allergic reaction to shrimp (and I've eaten many quarts of the tasty little bugs in my time) until I was in my 60's-- That's sort of a Nature kind of development.

Unfortunately, they don't have any cures yet for food allergies.

I was also allergic to bee stings, having been stung many times as a kid, but after a severe incident in the service, where I was falling unconscious and had to be med-evaced, I took the shot series and am no longer allergic to insect stings (which I have field-tested many times). I sure wish I could get back to eating shrimp, crawfish (fresh water and Florida Spiny), lobster, scallops, clams, mussels, etc.

My ex-wife has all sorts of food and vegetation allergies, which she has apparently passed on to our daughter, but our son has shown no allergies yet. Both raised in the same household.
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:48 AM   #19
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Talking

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2) For those that have not bought yet. Buy Lodge brand - they are now preseasoned and are a USA made product. Lodge is substantially better than the other brands.
I watch the Discovery Chanel and recently saw a "new" show: Some Assembly Required.
Quote:
EPISODE 6
[b]Brian travels to South Pittsburg, Tennessee to the Lodge Cast Iron Cookware to learn how to make cast-iron cookware. Then, on to Old Town, Maine where for the last 100 years the craftsmen of Old Town Canoes have made some of the world's finest watercraft.
Airs Thursday, August 21st at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:45 AM   #20
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Our dutch oven worked great. I followed the directions for burning off the wax coating. then scrubbed it clean and dried it on low heat. I used Olive Oil to season. There was a website and I will have to see if I can find it again that listed all the smoke points of different oils. It was recommended to use oil with a high smoke point and to season at high temperature. Olive Oil has a high smoke point. I ended up doing 2 full coats and heating, the first didn't seem to set in certain spots. The 2nd turned out good.

I do have another question though I read several places that said that your cast iron should be pre-heated. So I did pre-heat and everything turned out fine. But I have also seen warnings to not put cold liquid in/on heated cast iron? We made stuffed peppers, so tomato paste is used and it was at room temp. Could we have put all the food in the dutch oven and then put it on the coals? Or should we pre-heat both the oven and the ingredients?
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