Many manufacturers claim that a Dutch oven can go in a dishwasher. However, Repeated washing with abrasive cleaners used in dishwashers can damage a dutch oven’s enamel coating. So, it’s safer to stick to hand-washing when it comes to your dutch ovens.
I learned a lot about cooking from my grandmother, including a healthy respect for dutch ovens and old-world recipes.
These cooking appliances have worked wonders in my kitchen ever since I inherited them five years ago. I use them for boiling, steaming, and baking, and they can sear, sauté, and brown like a crockpot.
I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever received until I realized because of the high heat used in the dutch oven cooking, it’s nearly impossible to keep food from sticking to the pot surface. So, cleaning after use is always a challenge.
If you’re anything like me and you dread having to wash stacks of pots and plates after each meal, you must have considered putting your dutch oven in the dishwasher.
However, Before I did try it, I checked the manufacturer’s instructions to figure out if it was safe to wash the dutch oven in the dishwasher. And, yes, it was considered safe.
But is it truly safe?
Continue reading to find out what I discovered about putting dutch ovens in the dishwasher and how you can keep your dutch oven’s gleaming enamel coating.
Can You Put Dutch Oven In A Dishwasher?
Most manufacturers recommend washing a dutch oven in a dishwasher. That is partially correct. The dishwasher can effectively remove food and oil stains from the dutch oven and quickly dry it before storing it or using it again.
However, repeatedly washing dutch ovens in the dishwasher can result in undesirable outcomes such as rusting, fading, and scratching.
As a result, most chefs, like me, recommend that you hand wash your dutch oven with soap and a sponge to maintain its beauty and durability.
Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Dutch Oven In A Dishwasher
Dishwashing can certainly be a chore. So, after slaving away at the sink, it’s only natural to want to just toss everything in the dishwasher for convenience. However, before you put your dutch oven in the dishwasher, you should think about some of the potential consequences.
- The detergent used in the dishwasher may react with the pores of the cast iron dutch ovens, causing rust.
- The abrasive cleaner used in the dishwasher can also remove the seasoning from the surface of the dutch oven, exposing the surface to rust.
- Washing an enamel-coated dutch oven in a dishwasher repeatedly may ruin the sparkling enamel finish, resulting in a dull surface, chipping, drying, and cracking.
- Cracks in your enamel coating are unsafe for dishes because the glass from the enamel coating can get into your food.
- When washed in the dishwasher with other items such as spoons, knives, and plates, your dutch oven can become scratched, and such marks are impossible to remove.
Instructions For Cleaning a Dutch Oven
Dutch ovens are unique in that they are adaptable to several heat sources; they can be used on stoves and in conventional ovens.
However, Keep in mind that how you care for your dutch oven, including your washing methods, affects its shelf life.
The steps required to wash a dutch oven vary depending on the material used in its manufacture. So let’s take a look at how to properly clean the most common types of dutch ovens.
How To Wash Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Ovens
Enamel cast iron dutch ovens have an enamel finish on both the inside and outside. They have a shiny surface that does not require seasoning before use.
Unlike traditional cast iron dutch ovens, enamel cast does not rust easily. So washing techniques tend to be different in order to be effective.
To start washing your enamel cast iron dutch oven:
- Allow the pot to cool completely before filling it with cold water. This will help to protect the enamel surface from thermal shock cracks.
- Next, Add mild dish soap and baking soda to the already soaked dutch oven to remove tough food stains.
- Then, Scrub the dutch oven gently with a soft sponge or, preferably, a dish scrubber.
- After the tough stain has been removed, wash with mild soap and warm water.
- Dry with a paper towel or carefully place in a drying rack.
- Avoid using steel wood pads and abrasive cleaners to avoid damaging the enamel coatings.
- Also, ensure that the oven is dry before storing.
How To Wash Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Ovens
During the seasoning process, a seasoned cast iron dutch oven is coated with special oils. This is done to ensure that it is not prone to corrosion.
It is essential to wash your seasoned cast iron dutch oven carefully because using it in a dishwasher will wear away the oil coating, resulting in rust and cracks.
The washing procedure is nearly identical to that of enamel dutch ovens, except for soaking the oven, which will affect the coating on its surface.
Take note of the following steps:
- Allow the oven to cool for at least 15 minutes, or until it is cool enough to be touched.
- Pour hot water into the oven to remove tough stains.
- Scrub the interior gently with a brush scrubber or a damp sponge. Do not use steel wool or a metal scraper to protect the seasoning.
- Use hot water to rinse the oven and a power towel to dry it. Make sure not to air dry to avoid rust.
- In addition, a small amount of cooking or seasoning spray can be used on the oven.
The care for your dutch oven doesn’t stop at just washing and drying. It’s also essential to know how to properly store it for subsequent use.
Here are some storage tips that will help improve the shelf life of your ovens
Tip to properly Store Your Dutch Oven After Washing:
- Thoroughly dry the cookware after washing. The dutch oven will rust during storage if not correctly cleaned and seasoned. This is especially true if stored in damp locations such as a basement or a damp garage.
- Place a paper towel or newspaper inside the Dutch oven to collect the moisture during storage. The paper towel is to be folded flat and placed in the bottom of the pot.
- You should also avoid placing the dutch oven near other items that are prone to getting hot. For instance, don’t leave it next to a microwave or range hood because these devices may cause the dutch oven to become overheated while idle.
FAQs Can Dutch Ovens Go In The Dishwasher
What Is The Best Metal For a Dutch oven?
The best metal for a Dutch oven is cast iron. Cast iron has superior heat retention and distributes heat evenly, which means that your food will be cooked evenly and you won’t have to worry about hot spots
Can I Use Soap Or Detergent To Clean The Dutch Oven?
If you must use a detergent or soap, a mild soap is preferable for cleaning a dutch oven. A strong detergent will react with the surface coating or seasoning, making it rusty. It’s also a good idea to avoid soaps and detergents that contain hydroxide or caustic soda.
Can I Preheat An Empty Dutch Oven?
It is not advised to heat an empty Dutch oven. Preheating a seasoned or enamel-coated Dutch oven on high heat is just as bad as cooking with it on high heat. It can overheat and cause the surface and food to burn. Preheating can also cause the enamel to crack.