Cast Iron Dutch Ovens I just bought a cast iron dutch oven. It came with no instructions and I didn't know you couldn't put it in the dishwasher. It is now covered with a light coating of rust. Does anyone know how I can remove the rust and how I can re-season it? Thanks.
Scrub of the rust with steel wool or a brillo pad or something. Don't use soap!!! Don't ever trust a "pre-seasoned" skillet. It's just not adequate. So, to re-season (or to season a new pan), melt a fat in the dutch over. You can either use a high smoke point oil (ie canola, safflower, peanut, etc) or use an animal fat. The ideal would be to cook some bacon in the pan. After the bacon is removed, spread the bacon grease all over the inside of the dutch oven. Heat your oven to about 500 degrees (F) and put a cookie sheet on the bottom rack. Then turn your dutch oven upside down on the top rack. Let it hang out in there for about an hour, then turn off the heat. Leave it in there until it's relatively cool. Wipe any excess grease with a towel, but don't wash it. Seasoned!
If you go to Lodge website and click on News, under the top ten news stories is a post from the New York Times - Mark Bittman's blog, Bitten, that has a detailed description of how to season pans, as well as his reasoning on the benefits of cast iron.
We can describe for hours if not days the variety of ways there are to care for bare cast iron, the easiest and best resource available to you is youtube. search "cast iron care" or "season cast iron". One of those videos will no doubt answer your questions and leave nothing to the imagination regarding technique
if you have a wood stove or a fire pit, build red hot coals and place iron ware in coals. let it get white or yellow hot. turn it over and heat the other side. this will turn loose rust or built-up carbon (burnt food & grease). pull it out of the coals (be careful of burns and don't bang it against any hard object) and let it cool. when you can handle it, rub with a scowering pad, steel wool or such, and rinse off. you can use warm water and a small amount of dish soap. when clean set it on a cook stove burner and get it hot and spray a small amount of pam type oil on it and wipe off excess after it has cooled completely. it's now ready to use. germ free and as it blacker from use, it gets better each time.
I've grown up using cast iron cookware...remember my grandmother and great-grandmother using nothing but cast iron on the old wood stoves... I'd recommend the 7qt - especially if you plan on only buying one size... SOOO many more options for dinner - and one can NEVER have too much fried chicken, right ?? ;-)