Unlike camp stoves made from stainless steel or aluminum, knowing how to clean a cast iron camp stove is part of its regular maintenance. Cast iron is durable, a useful quality for camp stoves that do not need to be carried from place to place frequently. This makes the cast iron stove a suitable choice for hunters with well-established blinds and tailgate campers. The problem with these stoves is that in addition to encrusted, burnt bits of food and soot collecting on the stove's parts, the cast iron frame is also vulnerable to rust.
To clean a cast-iron stove you will need:
- Wire brush
- Mild soap
Household machine oil
- Scrub off any encrusted bits off the cast iron frame of the stove with a wire brush. Food falls onto the stove at the campsite just as it does in the kitchen, and this needs to be removed. Also, some big cast iron stoves come with their own grills. Those need cleaning just as a backyard barbecue grill does.
Scrub off any spots of rust with medium-grit sandpaper.
Rub mild soap onto the surface of the cast iron wherever it was encrusted with food, is stained with soot or smeared with grease.
Rinse the soap off the cast iron stove with a wet sponge.
- Wait for the stove to dry. Placing it in the sunshine will accelerate the process.
- Apply a few drops of machine oil and rub that into the cast iron surface to prevent rust. If the cast iron surface is losing its deep black color, use black stove polish instead.
"Heavy Metal Cooking." Camping Life. April 2003.
"Ask the Gear Guy." Boy's Life. October 2009.
"The Backcountry Epicure." Outside. July 1999.