Restoring an Old Pot


That’s what happened. While cleaning out a shed I found a rusty old Dutch oven. It was hiding behind some stuff that I don’t think had been touched in almost 15 years. I sent some pictures of the pot to Colleen Sloan and she suggested that it could be 50 or so years old and made by Lodge. By the looks of the flanged lid it also appears that it was made to hold hard wood coals rather than briquettes. Take a look at these pots. What would you do with this pot?

















I have an idea in my head as to what I’m going to do with this guy. What are your ideas?

Stay tuned and see how this turns out.


OK, so, all my buds back in Utah know this one and I have another post on this web site that describes the vinegar and alfalfa method of removing rust from cast iron. The bottom line here is that rust, and eventually the cast iron, will be disintegrated by the acidic reaction of the mixture.
Here’s the pictorial sequence of events with a few comments.

Photo 1

In the 1st photo I emptied a 15 ounce bag of alfalfa cubes that I picked up from a pet store. I probably could have put another half bag in the bin.





Photo 2


The 2nd picture just shows the pot on the alfalfa cubes.






Photo 3


The 3rd photo shows the pot completely covered in a solution of 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water. I boiled the water before putting it in the bin. In this case I used 2 gallons of water and 1 gallon of vinegar.





I’ll let this sit in the solution for 24 hours but no longer. The risk at that point is that the solution will begin eating away at the cast iron. I’ll check it several times before the 24 hours is up and remove it when I’m satisfied that the solution has done it’s job.

PART 3 Tomorrow

OK, so do you remember that rusty 50 something old pot?


Take a look at this renewed little guy now!











After the alfalfa and vinegar treatment I put the pot and lid in the BBQ grill and turned the heat up to the max to burn off anything residual.  After letting it cool enough so that I could handle it but still hot enough to keep the pores open in the metal, I coated it with organic unrefined flax seed oil. I made sure that it was a thin coat and then wiped it off again, and again. Remember, on a warmed up pot you don’t need much. You don’t want to see an obvious pool of oil or even a sheen that is still very slippery to hold. I guarantee, there will be enough to season the pot.

Next, get your grill up to as close to 500 degrees as you can. The smoke point of Flax seed oil is around 225 degrees. You want to break through that smoke point and get the oil to actually go through a polymerization that will give you that non-stick seasoning that is so desired. On the pot in the picture above I completed 3 passes of the process. The very first time it came out to a very clean and even brown colored finish. The 2nd pass gave me that first black coat and the 3rd was an even blacker coat. I think I will make 3 more passes before I say I’m satisfied.

I’m not a chemist. Probably the best Internet source I’ve found, and the one where I got my info for this seasoning recipe is Sheryl Canter’s blog.

Check it out, Sheryl Canter has done our homework for us.

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