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How to surface protect a new cast iron camp oven.

Updated on April 3, 2013

If you follow these simple steps on how to season a camp oven or how to surface protect a camp oven then your camp oven should last many years. Cast iron camp ovens are great for cooking awesome tasting camp meals and if you take the time to look after them they should last for generations of use.

Did you know that the Cast Iron Camp Oven is also known as the Dutch Oven? 

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When you bring a cast iron camp oven home from the shop you need to protect its surface. To do this you should first preheat your conventional oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Now you will need to ventilate your kitchen (and house for that matter) the best way you can. To do this open up your doors and windows, put on your oven’s range hood and switch on your ceiling fans. Also remove any pets or children that might be in the area and make sure they are supervised while you prepare your camp oven for surface protection. You need to go to these extremes as you will be baking your cast iron camp oven in your conventional oven and the smoke will cause headaches and irritations.

Now that your house is ventilated you need to coat your cast iron camp oven in oil. You can use cooking oils like vegetable oil, canola oil or olive oil to coat your camp oven. Make sure you cover the entire surface of the camp oven, even the bottom and the inside and outside of the cast iron lid. Now place your camp oven inside your conventional oven and ‘bake’ your camp oven for at least half an hour. You are trying to burn off all the oil as the oil penetrates into the cast iron surface. You will get a lot of smoke so you might have to cover or fan your smoke detectors.

Once your camp oven has been in your conventional oven until the oil has been burnt off you now need to carefully remove the camp oven and it’s lid from and place it outside or on a protected surface to cool. Don’t cool your camp oven with water otherwise it will crack, you should air cool your camp oven. When your camp oven has cooled enough to touch you need to recoat it with oil and repeat the baking process. You need to do this again as you will notice the surface of your camp oven is patchy with glossy oil.

Once you have repeated this process your camp oven should have an even glossy coating and it should now be black and not the dull grey that is was when you bought it new.

Now your cast iron camp oven is ready to use! All you have to remember is after each use and clean just apply an even coat of oil with a cloth or rag (there is no need to re-bake the camp oven)

You could do this baking of the camp oven in a camp fire but you will end up with uneven surface protection because of the nature of a fire. In a conventional oven you will get a more controlled and even bake on your camp oven.

Hope these tips help you get the most life out of your camp oven, happy camping!


Stop your camp oven from rusting! Have you ever come home from a camping trip and put all your camping gear away in a hurry, especially your camp cooking equipment. If you do this then next time you go camping you might be left with a rusty camp oven if you don't protect your camp oven from rusting! Ever wanted to know how to stop my camp oven from rusting or how to stop my Dutch Oven from rusting. Well by following these simple steps you'll have a glossy looking camp oven for a long time, well for generation if anything!


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    • Chuck RitenouR profile image

      Chuck RitenouR 7 years ago from Front Royal, Virginia

      very good.