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Old 03-12-2014   #31
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
So I've only ever used Lodge Cast Iron ovens; I still have an 8" and 12" as well as a flat grill and a nifty little square pan. I bought them in the 70's and have dragged them all over the country. After I quit rafting I gave all my big Lodge stuff to a guy I knew would appreciate them and get good use out of them. He still has them, still uses them on trips, and thanks me regularly. I think 2 14" ovens and a big flat grill.

Here's the thing. When I went to the dark side and bought a ski boat the cast iron went into my boat cook box. We used them for the 6 years I owned the boat just about every time we went out. When we sold the boat they sat in my river gear box for probably 20 years, unused and forgotten. I found them during a spring cleaning marathon, dusted them off, seasoned them, and they were as good as new. Then, I put them in my outdoor barbecue cabinet and water got to them and rusted them to a pretty shade of...............rust. It took several hours of elbow grease to get them back in shape, but after over 40 years of use and abuse they are still my go to cook wear for camping or barbecuing. I also use them in the kitchen when I'm feeling "rustic."

I know; they are heavy, you have to keep them seasoned and you don't dare store them near anything wet. But, the investment was well worth it and I have no interest in the aluminum/steel/whatever stuff.

Of all the cast iron I've owned I had one flat grill crack. Lodge replaced it. I think it was probably 15 years old at the time and my wife took it off the camp fire and dumped it directly into icy water.

Cleanup is easy if you keep them seasoned, and clean them before they cool off much. I've used everything from Comet to sand on them, (I know; bad schutzie!) and they just keep looking good as long as they are properly seasoned.

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Old 03-12-2014   #32
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,031
I had one cast iron skillet crack on me.

It had been used for years in the kitchen and was well seasoned.

I'm camping near Popo in Mexico and it was around freezing in the morning.
I put the skillet directly on an optimus coleman type fuel stove that was blazing away.


Since then I have been careful with any placement of cold cast iron. For me it's not just hot cast iron in the river.

That was bitter.
Anyone ever tried to buy a decent cast iron skillet on the way to Central America?

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Old 03-12-2014   #33
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,031
Originally Posted by okieboater View Post
Tell you what, bringing up seasoning to a bunch of dutch oven cookers is a sure fire way to generate a lot of posts........
What I've heard and it seems to be true from my limited experience is that fat does the best job of seasoning. Lard is what the pioneers used. Grease from the pig was preferred.

The problem:
Fat seasoning goes rancid after a month or so. Depending on ambient temps. Pioneers used their ovens basically daily so this was not a concern.

If you lift the lid at a yard sale and it reeks - this is what happened. Make a low offer and put it in the back of your pick-up.

Crisco does not have fat in it. You can use crisco because it was made without animal fat, (no need to worry about it going rancid), and the transfat burns off when seasoning.

Have Marcy on your stomach, Cook with Crisco
The stomach welcomes Crisco was the advertising jingle that sold your Grandparents.


Seasoning is coating iron with tightly bonded carbon atoms.
The hotter the temps you use to season the more stuff besides carbon you are burning off. The question is at what point do you start burning off too much carbon too.


Full Disclosure:
After a few trials I prefer Canola oil. I don't use a DO except in the summer. Rancid is an issue and oils are easy.

Full Disclosure:
We remodeled the kitchen and there will be no more seasoning of yard sale recoveries there, especially in the GE Cafe' convection oven that would have done a perfect job.
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Old 03-12-2014   #34
Medford, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 204
Partner Steel Dutch Ovens

I own a Partner Steel DO and I love it. I especially love it because it is so versatile I use it as a DO and it is the pot of choice by nearly everyone I boat with because it doesn't burn anything and the top is awesome as a spare griddle. I like it so much I use it at home. If you just want a dutch that's great but don't over look it as a cook everything pot. I have the 12 inch and no one has ever complained about it being hard to clean. I use it in the kitchen when it is not on the river I like that much for cooking everything.
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Old 03-15-2014   #35's Avatar
lafayette, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 492
I season my anodized aluminum before using and they really become non-stick. When cooking I always coat with Pam spray before cooking. When baking biscuits, corn bread, brownies or chocolate upside down cake I usually bake with cake pans inside the DO for very easy clean up is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2014   #36
Owner: Class 5 Carvings
Paul the Kayaker's Avatar
The Fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 498
Just seasoned all my cast iron in my grill. The dreaded re-seasoning is forever gone. Dont know why I never thought of doing it in the grill before, but it works great, its easy, my DO, the lid and two fry pans all fit at once, no smoke in the house, no mess at all! Covered in veggie oil then cooked at 400 for about an hour and a half, let cool then recoated a second time and cooked for another hour. They came out like brand new! Thanks for the tip!
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Old 03-20-2014   #37's Avatar
lafayette, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 492
Once a year I take my cooking grate from fire pan, wire brush till shiny, then coat with oil and season like you would cast iron cookware. Burgers flip easier and much less rust build up. Fits in my gas grill perfectly for seasoning.
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