I’m not going to make a big deal out of it because there is a chance I’ll jinx it but; I think we are on our way to spring. Yeah, I know the dates on the calendar but I was beginning to think Ma Nature forgot.
This is a great time of year to cook outside with your Dutch Ovens if you are in the lower 48. I think it was Goldy Locks who said it best, “Not too hot, not to cold, just right”. I know that many of you cook in Dutchs year round, outside and in, and good for you! But for the rest of you “just got to do it because its that time of year almost”.… (July heat and hot Dutch Ovens…I’ve never been able to figure that out and yes I’m guilty because she said I had to). For you/me I have a couple of tips/reminders.
I left this oven out all winter on the deck. It sat under my stove and I swept the snow off and used it but for the most part….I was trying to be rough on it. You may have a couple of spots of rust on the outside. Easy enough to take off with a little conditioner and elbow grease. You are not going to eat on the outside of the oven anyway. It is the inside that may have some issues, especially if you didn’t use your oven over the winter. The issues usually comes from leaving too much oil in the oven and it has pooled then with the temperature fluctuations, and a tight lid the oil has become sticky and rancid smelling. So what to do?
Flip the well (bottom) of the oven upside down over your Camp Chef stove burner and start the burner on low heat, bring it up to low/med. Watch it start to smoke and when the smoke starts to subside and all but stop you will have removed the bad oil. Turn off the burner. You may have also cut into what good time honored seasoning it may have had. Not to worry. Allow it to cool and while still warm to the touch sparingly rub a coat of Camp Chef cast iron conditioner on the inside of the well. You should be able to run your finger across the surface after coating it and see barely a track in the oil. If the finger trail is too apparent you have too much, so wipe the excess off with a clean cloth. Now turn the well upside down and again with low heat, moving up to low/med get it to start smoking. Here is the key. As the smoke starts to slow at all turn off the burner and the oil will carbonize to the surface creating a new patina (finish/seasoning). The oven should finish up black and dry. It may take you a couple times to get the hang of it because….it really is all about the heat.