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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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...

    HTH
    Dave
     
  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.

    http://www.stovebolt.com/techtips/rust/electrolytic_derusting.htm

    http://www.nothingtodo.org/projects/norust.htm

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    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.