By Dan Alvey, Dandi Outdoor Products

As I go around to various groups and do demonstrations I am amazed at how many people have bought Dutch ovens, or received them as gifts, but are afraid to even take them out of the box and use them because they have heard they have to be "seasoned" before you can use them. Well, relax, it isn't hard to do; anyone can do it.

The first thing you need to do once it is out of the box is scrub it out with soapy water (I like to use a Scotch Brite Pad). This is necessary to remove the coating put on by the factory to keep them from rusting. Rinse it off and dry it completely. Now you need to cover all surfaces, inside and outside of the pot and top and bottom of the lid, with a very light coating of vegetable oil. It is important that you don't put too much oil on because as it gets hot it will thin even more and you don't want it to puddle in your pot.

I turn my oven (range) to 400 degrees then put the lid of my clutch oven on the bottom shelf with the pot turned upside down on the top shelf directly over the lid. Let it cook for 2 hours then turn the oven off and let it cool. You are now ready to use your Dutch oven.

Here is a recipe that we have done at several demonstrations and classes and have received some very favorable responses. I hope you enjoy it.

3 onions
1 small bunch of celery
6-8 potatoes
1 lb broccoli
1 lb cauliflower
2 16 oz cans of corn
4 6 oz cans of clams
1 5 oz can diced green chilies
3 large (2 6 oz) cans cream of mushroom soup

Dice onions and celery and saute until celery is tender. Add potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower and cook until potatoes are done. Add remaining ingredients – including juices). Salt and pepper to taste and simmer for at least 30 minutes.