Dutch Oven Restore and Beef Stew

Discussion in 'General Dutch Oven Information' started by sqwib, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Dutch Oven Restore and Beef Stew


    After researching this subject to death I finally decided to restore my Dutch Oven. It was neglected from the last time I made apple butter on the pit a few years ago, anyhow, the seasoning was done poorly before as I was a DO Newbie...well I'm still a DO newbie but a wee bit more edumacated!
     
    The re-season method I used, was to place in the oven on the clean cycle, then remove the rust and ash by steel wool and wire brush.
     

    Here is the Dutch Ovens from the oven, The larger one I had already begun to scrub down with steel wool, plenty of elbow grease needed here. The smaller one will be done at a later date.



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    I ordered a few tubes of CampChef's Cast Iron Conditioner, (The ingredients listed, in order, are: Organic Palm Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Citric Acid.

    I think it's great and well worth the price.

     

    • This is after I scrubbed with a steel wool pad.
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    • This is the lid straight from the oven, after the clean cycle.
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    • Left side almost done.
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    • Starting the bottom.
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    • The DO was then washed with soap and water then placed in the oven as it was warming up to 450°
    • Now for the first seasoning with the Conditioner.
    • Oven was turned up to 450° warmed the DO, just enough to where it can be handled so the conditioner would go on thin as possible.
    • Once the conditioner was spread thin, it was wiped down again and placed in the 450° upside down for 1 hour, then allowed to cool, this was done 5 times.

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    • The 5th seasoning.
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    Ok now Im chomping at the bit to try this bad boy out.
    • A chimney of charcoal is started and I begin the food prep.
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    • Meats ready to be sliced.

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    • This was a very relaxing cook, all the food was prepped right on the table as I sat on my very comfy patio furniture while throwing back a few beers.
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    • The fat is trimmed and will be used to season the DO.

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    • The meat is sliced and cubed into bite size pieces.

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    • DO Is heating up.
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    • My makeshift lid lifter, I really need to get a lid lifter.
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    • Fat is added to season the pan, then removed after 5 minutes or so.
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    • A stick of butter is added.
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    • The pan is a wee bit too hot, I need to be careful not to burn the butter.
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    • The meat is added, while that cooks, the sausage is cubed.
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    • About ten minutes later, the sausage is added.
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    Now many folks drain the meat, I leave it in for more flavor. The meat is very lean and trimmed, most of the fat will come from the sausage.
    • While that cooks, I slice up the onions (ungyuns)
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    • About ten minutes later, the onion and two jalapenos are added.
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    • While the Meat, Sausage and onions cook, I peel and dice the potatoes.
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    • About 45 minutes into the cook, the potatoes are added with 16 oz of beef broth.
    • While the Meat, Sausage, onions and potatoes cook, I clean and chop the carrots.
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    • About 60 minutes into the cook, the carrots are added.
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    • Some spices are added, a bit of cracked pepper, a tablespoon or two of garlic salt, and a tablespoon of chili powder.
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    • About 70 minutes into the cook, the mushrooms are added and another 16 oz of beef broth.
    • I had to laugh... my neighbor came over and we were having a beer while I was making the stew and every time I removed the lid he would say, "man that looks and smells awesome", then I dumped in the mushrooms and he looked like he saw a ghost. I said, "are you OK", and he replies, "man I hate mushrooms"!
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    • Followed by a can of diced tomatoes. I was iffy on adding the tomatoes but at the last minute said, "oh what the hell'
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    • A little cornstarch is mixed with a cup of dry vermouth and added to thicken the stew.
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    And to insure a nice patina, I cleaned up with a scrubbie and seasoned a 6th time with the Camp Chef  CI Conditioner.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
    disco likes this.
  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good job on the DO. And the stew looked good to.

    Love my CI and use it instead of other utensils at every chance... I use my FB heat to get heat to the bottom, and a few Embers on top.

    Thanks for the heads up on the Campchef CI conditioner...

    Have fun and ...
     
  3. radio

    radio Smoking Fanatic

    Man that looks good! 

    If you want to get rid of the corn starchy taste and make the liquid richer, make a roux with flour and butter instead of using corn starch.  Melt 1 stick of butter in a skillet or pan and add enough plain flour to make a paste that is stirable.  If it gets too thick, add a bit more butter to thin it a bit.  Keep stirring over high heat with a whisk until the flour browns just a bit.  If you don't brown it, the roux will taste like flour paste.  Stir the stew while slowly adding the roux until you get the thickness you want.  Enjoy!
     
  4. redneck69

    redneck69 Smoking Fanatic

    great job on the clean up....and that stew looks AWESOME!! 
     
  5. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great restore job Dear!

    Kat
     
  6. Great restore job - that DO looks like new!

    I was loving your stew till it came to the schroons - I had the same reaction as your neighbor! [​IMG]   but - each to their own taste - it does look like a great stew.
     
  7. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This thread is great. I have heard of cooking with Dutch Ovens but never really paid it much attention. I love pot roast, stew, soup, etc but forgo it in the summer to avoid heating the house up. This would be a fun alternative. Thanks for posting.

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    Disco
     
  8. tank

    tank Smoke Blower

    Looks great. What are the metal containers that you sit your oven in?
     
  9. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Good clean tutorial.. I really need to fresh'n up my big DO.. I noticed a little coloring today when I moved some pots around...

    and the stew.. MAN>. I can wait for the weather to cool offf. I miss D.O. stew!!!
     
  10. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    They're feed containers, think they were around $5.00 or so on line.

    I was gonna fab a DO table, but liked the idea of the pans as they are portable, so I can sit on my fat @$$ while cooking or use them on my smoker or grill.
     
  11. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah many folks are turned off by schrooms, I love them but can take them or leave them in a stew.
     
  12. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Guys
     
  13. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Kat, is there any truth to the statement that DO's work almost like a pressure cooker because the lid is heavy and fits tight?

    I did not see any steam escape on this cook and it was bubbling like crazy!

    The meat was also extremely tender and I think this stew took only 2 hours, potatoes and carrots were tender as well.

    This would have taken three times longer in my slow cooker.
     
  14. A Dutch oven will almost always cook faster than a slow cooker.

    1.  The cast iron is a very good and very even heat distribution system.  I think it is more efficient than most crockery inserts found in slow cookers.

    2.  Most slow cookers do not have heat from the top - - that adds a lot to the cooking process.

    3.  If you are doing a full ring on top and 75% of that on the bottom - you are cooking at 350F - hotter than most slow cookers.

    4.  As you mentioned, with the heavy, tight fitting lid, little steam escapes, which helps to make things tender faster.

    I wouldn't call it like a pressure cooker - you do get some moisture escape - I can usually smell my stews in a 12-inch a little bit.
     
  15. Great tutorial and that stew looks fabulous!

    How did you like the conditioner? I bought some at Sportsman's Warehouse and was a little disappointed when I saw it was from China. 
     
  16. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great job on the restore and the stew. Well except that shroom fungi stuff you put in there. I cook year round in our DO and other cast iron pans and we love them. I have tried the conditioner before, but found that it doesn't last as well as using Flax seed oil. Flax seed oil is bomb proof!
     
  17. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That Stew looks OUT OF THIS WORLD I sure like my DO I have one cast iron skillet #14 that I got from great Grandparents, man can that cook up a large meal.

    Great job on the restore. I use good ol bacon grease for re storing mine. - Great job.
     
  18. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I like it a lot but as Dirtsailor said Flax Seed is supposed to be the best.

    The Flax seed is said to hold up better to cleanups and stuff, I saw a post from a guy who did a test running 2 pans through a dishwasher, the flax one looked untouched, the other needed to be reseasoned.

    I'll stick with my conditioner and crisco for now.
     
  19. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Quick question, will flax oil be ok to go over an existing patina or should it be removed.

    I have a few more pans to do but may try the flaxseed oil.

    The DO I'll continue with the conditioner.(Organic Palm Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Citric Acid.
     
  20. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have always removed the old oil, or whatever. The theory being is that the flax seed is then only sticking to the previous oil and not the metal. I do multiple coats of the flax though. I have found that 3 coats seems to be just about right. I don't run mine through the dishwasher and I don't use soap when cleaning. Burnt some onions the other day (oops). Wiped right out!
     

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