You need to season a camp oven before using it. Seasoning prepares the inside surface of the camp oven for cooking assists in keeping the outside looking good and a well seasoned camp oven will provide many years of use.
After some use your camp oven may need re-seasoning. Follow the same process as outlined below to re-season your oven
I have heard of many different ways to season a cast iron camp oven over the years. After much research and experimentation this is how I season them. Your new camp oven will generally come from the manufacturer with a coating on it to prevent rust. This need to be removed and the best way is with hot soapy water and a stiff brush or scourer. After you have cleaned it dry it thoroughly
Wipe the inside and outside of the camp oven including the lid with a good vegetable oil. I use first press virgin olive oil. Now you need to heat it. I use a barbecue with a domed lid and season my camp ovens at 550 degrees Fahrenheit or 260 Celsius for an hour. Switch off the heat and let it cool. When it is cool again wipe the camp oven with oil and reheat it again for an hour
You can also place the camp oven in your oven at home or place it over a fire. The important thing is to get it as hot as you can
A well seasoned cast iron camp oven will have a nice glossy non-stick black finish.
Here are some photos of my seasoning of a ten inch Lodge Camp Oven
Spun Steel (Bedourie and Aussie Camp Ovens)
Spun steel camp ovens like the Bedourie require a different approach. Once again the best way to do this is in a barbecue however my old Bedourie was done over the open fire. First give it a good scrub in hot soapy water and dry it. Place about a teaspoon of oil in the camp oven and heat it in the oven until hot. Wipe the hot oil all over the inside of the camp oven as well as the lid. The paper towel will come away all black. Allow the oven to cool then repeat the process. Keep doing it until there is no black residue on the paper towel
A well seasoned camp oven should never have food stick to the insides. If this does happen, don’t scratch it out with a harsh abrasive. Simply place water inside and put it back on the heat. After a while any residue should come away from the sides and bottom
Food will burn on the bottom of the camp oven if you use too much heat. If this happens and you do need to use a harsh method of removing it such as steel wool you will need to re-season the camp oven
Remember to always place the camp oven back on the fire to dry after washing it and then while still warm wipe oil over the inside and outside to prevent rusting