Old Dutch Oven

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by East Texas Pine Rooter, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. East Texas Pine Rooter

    East Texas Pine Rooter Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2003
    I have found an old size #10 dutch oven, with deep sides. It is rusted, has the short legs on the bottom for using on a camp fire, and has a raised ring around the lid for the hot coals to stay on top with out falling off. I've always wanted to cook a peach cobler, and bake biscuits in one. The inside is rusty looking, but not knowing the history of where it has been, and if was indeed used for cooking. QUESTION: Do you think if I just put it on a fire, got it hot, used a wire brush to remove the rust, then oiled it, it would be okay to use? There is a test kit I can buy to see if any lead is present. Anybody have any thoughts?
  2. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 9, 2003
    I would wash it and scrub it with a steel wool pad, dry it, oil it and cook it for a few hours. I'm not certain, but I think the conditioned oil surface separates the dutch oven from the food. I would still want to get the cooking surface pretty clean of rust.

  3. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    I second gobug. Steel wool and elbow grease. I would reseason it daily for at least a week, though.
  4. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    East Central Alabama
    As cast iron is porous I tend to burn the rust and crud out of all of the new (old) pieces i get. Remove the handle, if wood or if it has one of the wire bail types, put the pot/pan in a fire (I use an Ashley woodburner) till dull red, pull it out using a hook or big pair of pliers and place on a dry brick or rock for half an hour or so till cool. Brush remaining crud out/off with steel brush and wash. Reseason with oil of your choice in oven at low heat. Been doing it this way for 30+ years and ain't lost one yet...

  5. I've used elbow grease to clean cast iron pans. It took hours. What a pain!

    Then I heard of electrolysis. It's easy to do if you have the appropriate automotive battery charger.

    I found a pan at a yard sale that had fresh red rust and a lot of crud on it. I put it in a 5 gallon bucket and hooked it up, using baking soda. 24 hours later I did a quick clean up with a scotchbrite pad and the pan was like almost new. Even the crud in the nooks and crannies was gone. With no elbow grease.

    I re-seasoned ti and use it regularly.

    Here are some sites about rust removal.



    Hope this helps.
  6. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    I second what Dave said. Throw the oven in a campfire and burn the bejeesus out of it. It should clean up with a damp rag after doing that. Then, reseason.
  7. I would want to be certain it was used for cooking only. Other than that, it should clean up and be useful again.