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How to store Dutch ovens


Q. What’s the best way to store Dutch ovens to keep them away from dirt and bugs and to stop rusting?
— Rusty Pot Paul, Spotsylvania, Va.

A. While I’m an expert at eating all sorts of tasty stuff baked in Dutch ovens, I’m not so handy with care and maintenance tips. That’s why I got in touch with Brenda Wildish from the International Dutch Oven Society. Here’s what she had to say:

  • Make sure the oven has a good seasoning (a coating of lard, vegetable oil, etc. that makes it stick-free).
  • Place a paper towel inside the oven to collect the moisture. Some folks also use newspaper.
  • Prop open the lid with a folded paper towel, just a small crack to let the air circulate. The helps keep the oven from going rancid.
  • To prevent critters from getting in, store your oven in a box or pillowcase, or buy a carrying bag to fit the oven.

There you go, Rusty. For more info, check out the International Dutch Oven Society at And if you need help cleaning the fresh-baked brownies out of your Dutch oven, let me know!

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6 Comments on How to store Dutch ovens

  1. Our unit has found that canola oil is better for long storage. Vegetable oil will smell and give a bad taste to your food. We do all the other tips but no cover bags in the Troop trailer.

  2. BrockGrimes // July 20, 2016 at 6:34 pm // Reply

    Grape seed oil is high temp and won’t burn like lesser oils.

  3. I use my 3 leg “Dutch” (and all my cast iron) regularly. I even use it on the stovetop. here is my routine: wipe and scrape it out (plastic scaper). Water only wash with a plastic scrubber / sponge. Heat dry on the stove. while it is still warm, wipe it down inside and out with vegitable, corn or olive oil. Place a paper towel between the rim and the lid and hang it up where it can get plenty of air. I never have a problem with rust on any of my cast iron when I do this. Clean, dry, well oiled – No rust.

  4. Store your oven in an oven bag; keeps dirt and dust off it. Once you are set to store your oven, make sure the basin is clean- clean; then and only then wipe it down with sunflower oil. This will keep is from being “bad” Don’t wipe it down with animal fat or peanut oils before storing, they will rot in the pot. Lastly, always pre bake your pot before each use to kill off any germs that could be incurred. Happy cooking.

  5. I have stored my dutch oven just like it says two times now and again it has gone rancid. What is going on.

    • Rancid odors come from organic fats. That means that the oil or shortening or lard you used got old during the time your dutch oven was in storage. Your seasoning will only last a few weeks then must be used again; by doing so, you are storing a fresh coating of oil.

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