An aluminum Dutch oven usually does not require any initial treatment except washing in hot, soapy water. However, some brands may come with a factory-applied wax coating that must be removed. If the coating is very heavy, place the Dutch oven in a gas barbecue, upside down with the lid leaning against the pot, set the temperature to medium, and close the lid. If you must use an indoor electric oven, open your house doors and windows, and heat in a 350F oven. When the Dutch oven stops smoking, turn off the heat and allow to cool. Be sure to wash and dry before using.
When you bring home a cast iron Dutch oven, you will find it also coated with a layer of protective wax to prevent rusting. If the wax is so thick you can scrape it off with your fingernail, burn it off by the same method as described for the aluminum oven. If it is not extremely thick, scour the Dutch oven well with an abrasive pad, using soap and hot water. Then rinse and dry. Regardless of the method you used to remove the wax coating, now coat the Dutch oven inside and out with white Crisco shortening or vegetable oil. With an indoor electric oven, heat your Dutch oven to 400F for 30-45 minutes, or until it stops smoking. If you are able to use a gas barbecue, heat your Dutch oven on the medium setting for 20-30 minutes, or until the oven stops smoking. You can tell the oven is properly seasoned if it has turned dark amber to black, and has a satin sheen to it. If it still looks essentially as it did when you opened the box, repeat the process. If the Dutch oven feels sticky, reheat until it stops smoking.