The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Dutch Oven Smoke

juperdat's picture

Dutch Oven Smoke

I have baked about 60 loaves of bread so far and the 2 dutch ovens I have been using are in desperate need of re-seasoning. As anyone had any success seasoning their cast iron dutch ovens so they don't smoke and set off the fire alarm each time you use it?

I am familiar with the different smoke points and how the general process works. If you usually use your dutch oven at 450F, pick an oil with a higher smoke point, bake for an hour at a temperature higher than the smoke point, cool, repeat for however many layers you want.

My problem is that when I bake artisan bread, I pre-heat the oven and dutch oven to 500F (about the maximum of my oven) and then drop the temp when bread is the oven. So I can't oil it with an oil with a higher smoke point and go beyond that point so it doesn't smoke when I use it at a lower temperature simply because my oven can't heat high enough. Has anyone figured out a successful way to bake with the dutch oven and not set off the smoke alarm?

gerhard's picture

so there is nothing to smoke. I bake the bread on a baking stone and place the Dutch oven upside down over the bread for the first 20 minutes.

suave's picture

My baking DO is raw cast iron on the inside, no seasoning or anything.  Never had any sticking issues.

idaveindy's picture

Welcome to TFL!

Although cooking/baking/frying does serve to season a pan/pot if you cook/bake with oil, intentional _seasoning_ procedures are distinct and different from baking/frying times and temps.

Intentional seasoning sessions are not done above the smoke point.

See, or:

and for specific _seasoning_ instructions.


I sometimes oil my DO prior to baking. But I add oil _after_ pre-heating, right before loading the dough.  I use grape-seed oil in such a case, as it has a high smoke point. actually has better instructions than Lodge, in my opinion.


Nickisafoodie's picture

After seasoning, the Dutch oven should not be sticky or tacky, if so you need to bake it for 90 minutes rather than 60. That will ensure a bone dry finish, which doesn't smoke. 

I preheat my two Dutch ovens at 500 degrees for one hour before baking, then bake for 5 min, reduce to 475 and covered for 20 min total, then uncover reducing to 475 for 25-30 more on a 75% hydration loaf. See Jonathan Weissman sourdough on YouTube, my newest fav making 50% bread flour, 45% whole wheat and 5% rye.  You could drop by 50 degrees and bake a bit longer if a lighter colored crust is desired. I point this out as the temps I state are his.


juperdat's picture

When I bake bread, I pre-heat at 500F for an hour and then drop to 450F for the bake. I put the loaf from a banneton onto parchment paper and then into the dutch oven because I feel like it gives me a lot more control. The only reason I am talking about seasoning the dutch oven is because the outside is beginning to get dust rust on the outside which I am assuming is from all the cycles of heat with nothing to protect the outside. I think both of my dutch ovens are 40 loaves in each without re-seasoning the metal for protection. 

idaveindy's picture

I have not used Panman's cleaning (rust removal) procedures. But take a look at his instructions:

He includes instructions on removing rust.  But I have not needed to do that.

I have used his seasoning/re-seasoning procedures to good effect. Same page.

I believe his seasoning procedure uses a conventional gas or electric oven: bottom heat only, no top heat, no fan/convection.

Good luck, amigo.