Easy Methods To Restore (after Which Prepare Dinner On) Solid Iron

Searching for motivation to wash up that outdated, rusty Dutch oven? This campfire recipe for traditional baked beans should do the trick.

The Dutch oven is the right companion for a cookout. The legs beneath it will let you place a number of charcoal briquettes or campfire coals beneath the pot whilst you cook dinner. And the ridge on the lid means that you can place sizzling coals on high, creating warmth sources each above and under the meals, thus making it an “oven.” This implies you possibly can cook dinner almost something: biscuits, stews, cobblers and relying on the pot’s dimension, even complete chickens.

Widespread Dutch Oven Myths

Earlier than studying the best way to restore a rusty pot, let’s set the file straight. Listed here are among the commonest myths about forged iron Dutch ovens:

Washing it would destroy the seasoning. A great seasoning on forged iron means the polymers within the oil have bonded with the iron. Some mild scrubbing with a bit of little bit of soapy water isn’t sufficient to strip the seasoning.

Forged iron cooks evenly. Not even remotely. Prepare dinner a pancake in a forged iron skillet over an electrical range and also you’ll see precisely the place the pan is sizzling. (Trace: It’s formed just like the heating factor.) Forged iron is, nevertheless, an awesome conductor of warmth. When heated correctly, it’ll keep sizzling.

You’ll be able to’t cook dinner acidic meals on it. Although iron is a reactive materials, a well-seasoned piece shouldn’t have any drawback dealing with acidic meals, akin to tomato sauce.

Restore Your Solid Iron

The next care and restoration directions apply to any kind of forged iron, although right here we’re specializing in the holy grail of camp cookware: the Dutch oven.

1. Take away Rust

Your first order of enterprise is to strip the seasoning and remove any rust. There are strategies abound on how to do that, starting from utilizing buckets of lye to rigging a automobile battery to a fish tank. Nonetheless, I discovered that utilizing some 60- or 80-grit sandpaper, metal wool, vinegar and good old school elbow grease will do the job with zero danger of electrocution.

Begin with the sandpaper, eradicating any caked-on residue, rancid oil or no matter else is clinging to the pot. You’ll be able to even use an orbital sander if you’d like—principally, you are able to do no hurt.

After the seasoning is stripped, take away no matter rust and residue are left with metal wool and a 50/50 combination of water and vinegar. Take note of your complete piece, not solely the cooking floor.

2. Oil Your Pot

When the rust and seasoning have been eliminated, the steel will probably be uncovered and seem extra silver than black. This implies you’re right down to the naked iron. At this level, that you must work rapidly to stop the iron from oxidizing, (a.okay.a. rusting) instantly. Rub oil—flaxseed, although costly, is finest, however corn or canola oil will work positive—throughout, listening to the nooks and crannies on the surface, handles and beneath.

three. Bake Your Pot

Preheat your oven to 400° and place a rack within the center. Put a baking sheet on a rack under it to catch oil drips. Take away any extra oil from the forged iron and place it straight on the higher rack, the wrong way up, over the baking sheet.

Depart it for an hour, then flip off the warmth and permit it to chill within the oven. I extremely suggest leaving a window open for this, because it’s going to get smoky. If you take it out, it must be black, clean and able to use.

Traditional Baked Beans Recipe

Whereas the choices are almost limitless, begin out with one thing easy whilst you get the cling of dutch oven cooking. Right here’s an uncomplicated recipe to get you began.


three 14.5 ozcans white beans (Nice Northern, navy, or different)
½ lb. bacon, lower into lardons
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ C ketchup
¼ C molasses
¼ C apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. dry mustard powder
Sprint of sizzling sauce
Salt and pepper, to style


First, begin a hearth and add logs till you’ve gotten a mound of sizzling coals to cook dinner with. (Read more detailed cooking-fire building instructions here.) Place a handful of lit charcoal briquettes or glowing pink campfire coals beneath the dutch oven.

Permit it to warmth for about 5 to 10 minutes earlier than including the bacon. Let the meat cook dinner till it begins to crisp, then add the onion and garlic. Prepare dinner till the onion is gentle and beginning to brown.

Then, add the beans with their canned liquid, ketchup, molasses, apple cider vinegar, mustard powder, sizzling sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Cowl and add coals or lit charcoal on high of the lid. Let the beans bake for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring sometimes. If an excessive amount of water boils down, add sufficient till the beans are simply barely lined. Take away the lid and simmer till the liquid has grow to be thick and barely sticky. Take away the baked beans from warmth and serve.

[All pictures by Nick Cote]

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Easy Methods To Restore (after Which Prepare Dinner On) Solid Iron

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