I have a Dutch oven that remained in storage for about three years. Apparently I covered it with oil prior to the storing. Now,it has that old oil smell to it that I can't get of.

Any advice on how to remove the oil and smell?


3 Answers 3


Try burning it off. Put it in a 500 degree oven for an hour or so. If there is oil on it, it will smoke.

After that, you may need to re-season the Dutch oven.

Good luck.


Yes, this can be huge pain to deal with. Note for the future - if "oiling prior to storage" mineral oil (USP) might be a better choice than vegetable oil, as it does not go rancid.

If you have a dishwasher you can run the pan through the dishwasher to remove most of the (now rancid) oil. Then follow @user40124's advice to burn it off (but have less smoke) and finally re-season it. Alternatively, burn it off in a wood fire where the additional smoke won't be an issue. The thread I just linked in a comment on the question suggests running it in a self-cleaning oven on the the clean cycle.

Dry promptly after the dishwasher runs or it will rust. Likewise, don't wait a long time between burning it off and re-seasoning, or the clean, oil-free pan will quickly rust.

  • In general, vegetable oil on a metal object that has been heated will not go rancid, as it is polymerised into a different substance, and is no longer oil
    – TFD
    Oct 19, 2015 at 6:58
  • And this was clearly a case where it was oiled and put away, without heating.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 19, 2015 at 14:37
  • Or, without heating enough, as I found out with a wok that I stored for a few months, then had to scrape the sticky rancid oil off.
    – Chris H
    Oct 19, 2015 at 15:49

Strip it and re-season it. Just make sure that when you prepare the cast iron for storage, that you bake the oil on, and don't store the cast iron wet. Depending on your choice of oil, it will be plus or minus 385 degrees until the oil is dry. About an hour usually if the pot is cold.

I don't use nor recommend FGMO, I don't want to eat that whether or not it's supposed to be harmless.

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