I have been looking into ways to clean my dutch oven and I wanted to try several different ways, but what I have been doing is so easy that I don't really want to try any other ways. But I will. So far, I have been scraping my warm dutch oven out with a small, square plastic scraper. If anyone has used Pampered Chef's stoneware then you know the scraper I am talking about. It is small with rounded corners that are different sizes and can fit into the corners of almost any pan. With a little bit of elbow grease I can get almost everything out. After it is scraped and I have removed the excess food, I spray the inside of my oven with a mixture of 1 part cider vinegar and 4 parts water and let it sit for just a minute. If the oven is warm, it won't take long. Then I just wipe it out with paper towels. It is that easy. After the oven is clean I put on a light coating of oil. I have found a nifty tool that makes oiling your oven really easy and prevents using too much oil. It is a kitchen spritzer (see the picture below). This one is from Pampered Chef. I fill it with vegetable oil, pump air into it with the special cap and then just spray. It is like using Pam spray, but without the preservatives and propellants that can cause a sticky build up on your oven. It has become one of my favorite tools. I have also seen them at local big box retailers.
One of the other ways I have seen people clean dutch ovens is by boiling them out. I can see needing to do that on rare occasions, like when I char my first batch of biscuits--Ha! Ha!--but overall, it doesn't seem healthy for the oven to do it on a regular basis. Please correct me if I'm wrong. It also seems like a royal pain. I have enough problems with having the coals right to want to mess around making sure I have enough hot coals left to boil out my oven. I think I will skip this method unless I really burn something and it won't scrape out.
My kitchen spritzer My cleaning supplies
If anyone has a method they really like let me know and I will try it. Meanwhile, I will try something different this week.