CARING FOR THE DUTCH OVEN
Cleaning your Dutch oven is an easy two step process. First, you need to remove the food from the oven. Using a plastic or wooden scraper remove as much as possible. Fill the oven with warm clean water and heat until almost boiling. Using a plastic scrubber or a course sponge gently break loose food and wipe away. DO NOT USE SOAP. After all the food has been removed rinse with clean water. Allow the oven to air dry. Second, heat oven over the fire until just hot to the touch. Apply a thin coating of oil to the inside of the oven and the underside of the lid. You will not need to oil the outside unless there are signs of rust beginning to form. It is important to never use soap with your Dutch oven. It will need to be re-seasoned if you use soap. It would be a good idea to pack a plastic scrubber in a Zip-lock bag and keep it stored in your Dutch oven or chuck box to use exclusively with your oven.
One sage of Dutch oven cooking, likes to fill a spray bottle with one part vinegar to four parts water to clean her ovens. She sprays the dirty oven while it’s still warm, puts the lid on for a few minutes, and then wipes the oven clean with a paper towel . Do not allow water to stand in or around your Dutch oven. Rust can develop through the best “seasoning.” Using soap on your Dutch oven will cause it to impregnate the pores of the metal and taint the flavor of your meals. If soap is used the oven should go through the complete seasoning process again. Do not pour cold liquid into a hot Dutch oven. This will cause the oven to crack.