Rejuvenated dutch oven - Questions

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Sep 26, 2021
This was my weekend project for this week, to finally rejuvenate it, bring it back from the brink, in preparation for family/friends campouts.

The boring history: This dutch oven came to us about 5 years ago from a local scout troop that was being dissolved. With the troop, we'd used it on a number of camping trips, and I know that it was washed with soap, and very infrequently seasoned. "Used hard and put up wet." Hence, it came into my possession already somewhat rusted. Since then, it was stored on my screened in back porch, sheltered from the rain, but subject to Florida humidity, until I could figure out what to do with it.

I have no before pics, but I can tell you, the top of the lid was badly rusted (completely rust-covered), and the interior of the bowl wasn't faring much better.

I scrubbed and scrubbed using vinegar and #1 steel wool and water for a few good hours, and still there remained some minor rust areas. But in the end, it's been through it's first seasoning in the oven, and I think it's looking good!

- There was still some minor rust in some areas. Nothing flaky or even detectable to the touch. Seemed no matter how much I scrubbed, I couldn't get rid of it. After seasoning, I can't even find the rust areas visually. Should I be concerned?
- I'm thinking about putting it through the seasoning process again (light oil, and oven) to continue adding protection. Any reason not to?
- This will likely be infrequently used, as it won't be often we will use this massive thing in our small get-togethers. Storing it inside might also be an issue due to space. What's the best way to store it outdoors (screen porch or garage)? Would storing it in one of those waterproof storage bags be sufficient, especially if it's stored in a tote as well?
- Anyone know what brand it might be? There are no markings, and I have no idea it's age. The only telltale I can see might be the handle design that starts thick and ends thin? I know it's been through a lot of scout trips, and survived a rough and tumble life and is still in one (two?) piece, so I surmise it's good/ok quality.


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Just from the photos, it looks pretty well cleaned, but if you are still seeing some rust, you'll want to get it off completely - any hint of rust underneath seasoning, with CI or carbon steel will take hold, and grow, with the slightest moisture. Given the uneven surface of CI, compared to CS, you might want to use some naval jelly, and scrub it with some ScotchBrite, then clean it thoroughly, dry over heat, and season well with the oil. Here's another recent thread, on seasoning a CS wok:

I wouldn't keep something seasoned in a bag. Are you in a very humid area, and this is why you are considering that? Maybe put it in the bag, with one of those moisture adsorbant pads?
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Looks great but if you want to get it completely cleaned, put it into your oven that has a cleaning cycle. That will remove any residual junk. I've done this many times and it works well. After that, season, season, season.

As for storage, anything you can do to deter moisture is the key. Perhaps storing it in a heavy-duty zipper lock-type of bag.
Whether you choose to the care of the hidden rust now or not, I'd recommend you do a couple/few more seasonings. One seasoning isn't enough, especially if you're going right into storage. If possible, keep it indoors where it's less humid.
I don't know, but I think a desiccant in the bag with the Dutch oven would help. Some desiccants can be "recharged" by heating them in the oven. You probably don't want the desiccant touching the cast iron, but I don't know if it would matter. A common desiccant is silica gel.
Thank you everyone. I'll see if we can store it somewhere in the back of the pantry or cabinet inside. And I will put it through a couple more seasoning cycles.
If you store it with the lid on, place a paper towel inside and leave a small portion of the towel outside. This will wick any moisture to the outside of the pot.
If you store it with the lid on, place a paper towel inside and leave a small portion of the towel outside. This will wick any moisture to the outside of the pot.

The Internet is amazing. After I read your comment, I happened to be in Youtube, and a video by "Cowboy Kent Rollins" popped up, mentioning wicking for storage.
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