Are you proud to own a Dutch oven made of ceramic and cast iron? If so, you already know how much fun it is to cook with this durable and useful kitchen tool. But, just like any other food tool, it needs to be taken care of properly to last and work well. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to clean your clay cast iron Dutch oven so you can keep using it for years to come.
At first, it might seem hard to clean a clay cast-iron Dutch oven, but don’t worry! With a few easy steps and the right methods, it’s easy to get your Dutch oven back in perfect shape. I’ll give you some useful tips and tricks that will make cleaning easy, like how to get rid of stuck-on food and stains.
Steps to Clean Your Ceramic Cast Iron Dutch Oven
To avoid ruining the ceramic coating, you have to be careful when you clean a ceramic cast iron Dutch oven. Here’s how to clean it the right way:
Step 1: Let the Dutch pot cool down first
When you’re done cooking with the Dutch oven, take it off the heat source and let it cool down on its own. Don’t put a hot Dutch oven right on a cool surface. The quick change in temperature can crack the ceramic.
Step 2: Get rid of any leftover food
Using a wooden or plastic spatula, gently scrape off any food bits or leftovers that you can see in the Dutch oven. Start at the edges and bottom and work your way to the middle. Be careful not to use metal tools on the ceramic covering, as they can scratch it.
Step 3: Soak in warm, dirty water
Fill the Dutch oven with warm water, making sure there is enough water to cover any dirty or stained spots. A soapy solution can be made by adding a few drops of mild dish soap to the water and stirring it gently. Give the Dutch oven about 15 to 30 minutes to soak. This will loosen any food that is stuck and make it easy to clean.
Step 4: Scrub the surface gently
Start cleaning the inside and outside of the Dutch oven with a non-abrasive sponge or soft-bristled brush. Start with the inside and work your way down from the top, paying attention to any spots that are stained or dirty. Use light pressure and a circular motion to get the last bits of food and stains off. For spots that won’t come out, mix baking soda with a small amount of water to make a paste and apply it to the stain. Give the paste a few minutes to work before washing.
Step 5: Rinse very well
When you’re done scrubbing, wash the Dutch oven well with warm water. Make sure to get rid of all soap and dust from both the inside and outside of the container. It’s important to rinse well to keep soapy tastes from getting into your next meals.
Step 6: Dry to the touch
With care, dry the Dutch oven with a clean, dry towel. Look at the lid, the handles, and any cracks where water could have gotten in. It’s important to get rid of all the wetness because any water left behind can cause rust or damage the ceramic coating. If you need to, you can also put the Dutch oven upside down on a drying rack or a clean, absorbent towel to let it dry naturally.
Step 7: If needed, season the cast iron part
If the cooking surface of your clay cast iron Dutch oven is made of cast iron, you may need to season it to keep it from sticking and keep rust from forming. Follow the directions given by the maker to season cast iron. Most of the time, this means putting a thin layer of vegetable oil or shortening on the surface of the cast iron and cooking it at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time.
Step 8: Store things right
Once the Dutch oven is dry, put it away somewhere cool and dry. Don’t put heavy pots or pans on top of it because that could damage the ceramic layer. If you can, put a paper towel or cloth between the Dutch oven and other pots and pans to keep them from getting chipped or scratched. It’s also best to store the Dutch oven with the lid slightly open to let air circulate and stop any wetness from building up.
Make sure to always check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning tips, as the care directions for different ceramic coatings may vary slightly. Cleaning and taking care of your clay cast iron Dutch oven will help it last longer and work better.
Can I clean a clay cast iron Dutch oven with harsh cleaners or rough scrubbers?
On a clay cast iron Dutch oven, you shouldn’t use harsh cleaners or scrubbers with rough edges. The covering on the Dutch oven is made of ceramic, which is a soft material that can be easily scratched. Harsh cleaners and scrubbers can scratch or remove the ceramic covering, making it less non-stick and possibly letting water and rust get to the cast iron below.
To keep the ceramic layer in good shape, it’s best to clean it with mild dish soap and sponges or brushes with soft bristles. These tools are good for getting rid of food residue and stains without hurting the surface of the pottery. Using baking soda and water to make a paste can be a gentle but effective way to get rid of tough spots.
By not using strong cleaners and rough scrubbers, you can make your ceramic cast iron Dutch oven last longer and keep it working well. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning tips, since the care directions for different ceramic coatings may be a little different. If you take good care of your Dutch oven, you can use it for cooking for many years.
Is it safe to soak a Dutch oven made of pottery and cast iron in water?
Yes, soaking a clay cast iron Dutch oven in water is usually safe. Soaking can help remove bits of food and make it easier to clean. There are, however, some important things to keep in mind.
First, make sure the Dutch oven is fully cool before putting it in water. Putting a hot Dutch oven in cold water can cause thermal shock, which could cause the ceramic layer to crack or get damaged.
Second, don’t let the Dutch pot soak for a long time. Even though leaving the Dutch oven in water for 15 to 30 minutes can be helpful, leaving it in water for hours or overnight may not be the best idea. Soaking for a long time could damage the ceramic covering or cause the cast iron to soak up water, which can cause it to rust.
Lastly, always soak according to the directions from the manufacturer. Some makers of Dutch ovens may have specific rules about soaking their products, and it’s important to follow those rules to keep the Dutch oven in good condition.
If you’re not sure how to care for and clean your ceramic cast iron Dutch oven, check the manufacturer’s directions or call their customer service. With the right care and upkeep, your Dutch oven will last and work well for many years of cooking fun.
Can I put a ceramic cast iron Dutch oven in the dishwasher?
Most of the time, you shouldn’t put a Dutch oven made of ceramic and cast iron in the dishwasher. The cast iron part of a Dutch oven can usually be cleaned in a dishwasher, but the ceramic covering can be damaged by harsh detergents, high water temperatures, and the abrasive action of a dishwasher. This can damage or change the color of the surface of the clay over time.
The hot water and strong jets of the dishwasher can also cause thermal shock to the Dutch oven, especially if it has just been used and is still hot. A sudden change in temperature can cause the ceramic layer to crack or warp.
Hand cleaning is the best way to clean a ceramic-coated cast-iron Dutch oven. Follow the steps listed above, such as soaking in warm, soapy water and gently cleaning with a non-abrasive sponge or soft-bristled brush. This makes sure that the cleaning process is thorough but gentle, which keeps the ceramic layer intact.
If you are worried about food getting stuck in the small cracks or pores of the cast iron, you can boil water in the Dutch oven for a few minutes to help loosen any leftovers before washing.
Always look at the manufacturer’s directions to find out how to clean something. If the maker says that the Dutch oven can go in the dishwasher, you might think about doing so. But be careful and keep an eye on the ceramic covering overtime to make sure it stays in good shape.
By washing your ceramic cast iron Dutch oven by hand, you can keep it looking good and make sure it works well, so you can use it for many years to come.
Can I use vinegar or baking soda to clean a ceramic cast iron Dutch oven?
Yes, you can clean a clay cast iron Dutch oven with vinegar or baking soda. Both vinegar and baking soda are natural and effective ways to clean your Dutch oven. They can help get rid of spots and smells. Use them in the following ways:
Fill the Dutch oven with equal parts water and white vinegar, making sure the mixture covers any spots that are stained or dirty. Let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes so the vinegar can get to work on the spots. Then, scrub the inside and outside with a sponge or soft-bristled brush that doesn’t scratch. Rinse the Dutch oven well with warm water to get rid of any vinegar that might still be in it.
You can make a paste with baking soda and a small amount of water to get rid of tough spots or smells. Apply the paste to the spots on the Dutch oven that are damaged and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, scrub the surfaces gently with a sponge or brush with soft bristles that won’t scratch. Rinse the Dutch oven well with warm water to get rid of any leftover baking soda.
Both vinegar and baking soda are gentle cleaners that still get the job done. They are also less likely to damage the ceramic coating than strong chemicals or scrubbers that are too rough. But you should always rinse the Dutch oven well after using vinegar or baking soda to make sure that no residue is left behind.
Make sure to check the manufacturer’s notes for specific advice on how to clean your Dutch oven, as some companies may have extra rules about using vinegar or baking soda on their products.
To keep the ceramic layer in good shape and make sure the Dutch oven lasts a long time, you have to be gentle and careful when you clean it. By taking the right steps, you can clear food residue, stains, and smells from the Dutch oven without damaging it.
After letting the Dutch oven cool down and getting rid of any leftover food, soaking it in warm, soapy water helps free any stubborn bits. Tough spots can be removed by gently scrubbing the surface with non-abrasive tools and cleaning it with baking soda or vinegar. To avoid soapy tastes or problems with wetness, it’s important to rinse and dry the Dutch oven well.
To protect the delicate ceramic covering, you should avoid using harsh cleaners, scrubbers that are too rough, and dishwashers. Instead, wash by hand and follow the guidelines from the manufacturer for specific cleaning tips.
If you take care of your ceramic cast-iron Dutch oven the right way, it will not only keep its good looks, but it will also keep its non-stick features and keep working well. With regular cleaning, seasoning (if necessary) of the cast iron part, and proper storage, your Dutch oven can be a reliable and flexible cooking tool for many meals to come.