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Seasoning a Cast Iron Pan

I rotate my 3 cast iron skillets and Dutch Oven and bake a batch of corn bread to keep them in top shape.

Pour one tablespoon of oil in bottom of skillet and put it in oven to heat while preheating to 400 degrees F to cook the cornbread.

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Mix your dry ingredients in one bowl and your liquid ingredients in another. When the oven is at temperature, take skillet out of oven and set on stove. Quickly mix ingredients until just mixed, pour into hot pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Your pan will just need crumbs wiped out and will be ready to use.

By jeanne

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When seasoning a cast iron pan, I always heat the pan on the stove pot until very hot. Using a paper towel dipped in oil, wipe the inside of the pan, the sides, and the bottom with the oil.

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To season a brand new cast iron skillet, heat skillet on stove top. When the skillet gets hot, remove from heat and thickly coat with pretty much any kind of cooking oil. The inside and outside of the skillet should be shiny.

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Cast iron will last for generations if properly cared for. A properly seasoned pan will be non-stick and will clean up very easily. After washing, I warm up the pan on my stovetop. I then use Crisco on a paper towel to rub all over the pan.

Seasoning a Cast Iron
Pan with Crisco.

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10 Questions

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October 10, 2011

I bought an old, Griswald cast iron round griddle. I cleaned all of the rust off, washed and dried it, then tried to season it several times. No matter what I use or try, it keeps coming out sticky. I can't even wipe it out with a paper towel when I take it out of the oven. And it isn't black like my other skillets; it is more of a shiny gunmetal color. When I try to season it (twice now) it turns a coppery color. Any ideas of what I can try on it?

I have tried the conventional method (2-3 hrs in a 250 degree F oven with Crisco rubbed in it, and also placing it in a 450 F oven for 30 minutes. Thanks for any advice. It does say "cast iron' on the bottom.

By Kathy

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October 10, 20110 found this helpful

I was told by a friend a while back who I did civil war reenactments his method of reseasoning cast iron. He said if I found some decently priced pieces at a rummage sale or thrift store that were either rusty or sticky to take them and put them in a campfire or fireplace in the hot coals for a few hours. I guess the idea was to burn off all of the rust and/or stickiness.

Afterward rinse it well with water and rub on ample amounts of Crisco all over the piece and place in the oven for a few hours at 350, and repeat a couple of times. Maybe the acid in the campfire coals helps somehow? I've never tried it myself, but he swore by it. Whatever method you use, be careful not to burn yourself, and I hope that you're able to restore your piece!

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October 10, 20110 found this helpful

It might just have a build-up of baked on grease. You could try spraying the griddle with some oven cleaner. Spread out some newspapers and make sure your area is well ventilated. Why not pick a nice day outdoors. Just follow the directions on the can of oven cleaner.

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October 12, 20110 found this helpful

Please do not use oven cleaner. It will pit the cast iron and you will have defeated your purpose. The reenactment friend was right and you only need to leave it in the coals long enough to get all the gunk off it. Then try cooking over a real flame till it is seasoned. It may be the Crisco too. I use lard and now even that has an additive added to it. The nearest you can get to the natural way of seasoning an iron pan is over outdoor fire but the oven will work. You could just keep on like you have and just get it hot each time and let it cool and add more grease each time. It builds up in layers but takes a while. Cook biscuits on it and just wipe it off each time usually works.

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October 12, 20110 found this helpful

The shiny gun-metal color part makes me wonder if it's true cast iron. I don't know. But sure makes me wonder. I'd try all the other tips from people, especially the one from imafrayedknott, and then if it still doesen't come out right, I'd have it checked to be sure what it's made from. As for putting it in a fire, if you don't have a fireplace or a place for a campfire, I suppose you could put it in the fire in a grill. It's worth a try.

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June 25, 2008

I have a new cast iron pan that I would like to oil or season before using it? What is the best way?

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June 25, 20080 found this helpful

As a young Southern gal, I grew up with my Grandma and Mama using cast iron pans, mostly for cornbread and biscuits. I now own a cast iron pan and one of those that make the cornbread sticks, both are 'old' cast irons. I was taught to leave the cast iron in the stove at all times, and when you cook whatever in it, to grease it with shorting. My question is , after an incident where I made a mess of my cornbread stick pan, by dripping batter all over it and then leaving it in the stove to burn off. And then tried to clean it and reburn it, but there are black flakes chipping off of it, to the point where I can see the metal underneath. Do I need to just wash it and reseason it? Thanks yall, for any advice yall send my way!

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June 26, 20080 found this helpful

Oh boy-- the magic of the Internet!

www.lodgemfg.com/usecare1.asp

If-- for some reason-- you can't get to this site, here are the basics--
(Please forgive any typos.)

Seasoning is the process of applying a thin coat of cooking oil to the entire surface of the cookware (inside and out) then baking the oil onto the cookware creating a natural non-stick finish. Here's how it's done:

1.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2.) Wash the cookware (inside and out) with mild detergent using a stiff brush.

3.) Rinse, then towel dry the cookware thoroughly.

4.) Spread or spray a thin coat of MELTED solid shortening or spray-on vegetable oil over the entire surface of the pan, including handle and exterior surfaces.

5.) Lower both your oven racks to the bottom positions. Line the lower rack with aluminum foil (to catch drippings), and place the cookware UPSIDE DOWN on the middle rack. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off leaving the cookware in the oven until cool.

Original finish cookware will come out slightly brown and ready to use. However, if you would like to repeat this process it will only further season the cookware, turn it even darker, and improve the appearance.

"The blacker it gets, the better it cooks."

Cleaning:
After cooking, clean with a mild soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly and towel dry.
Do not cover when stored. And NEVER clean cast-iron in a dishwasher.

"Super-Cleaning" -- after many years of use, there may be "gunk" building up on some areas of the pan. You need to get that pan as hot as humanly possible to burn it all off. My solution? I waited until winter and got a good fire going in the fireplace and tossed it in there-- got it red-hot, then let it cool in there over night. In the morning, I wiped out the ashes, then washed as mentioned above, and re-seasoned.
*** *** ***
A side note:

Funny, isn't it?
Our parents and grandparents knew how to season and use a cast-iron pan or dutch oven-- that information had been passed down for a long time. These days, this same information almost seems...esoteric. Like folk lore.
And it also seems that those of future generations will one day find an interesting old cast-iron skillet at a yard sale-- paint it with a high gloss lavendar enamel and hang it on their dining room wall as a decoration-- then use the microwave to cook an egg.
hmph.
Funny.

"Where are we going? And why are we in this handbasket?"
:-)
hmph.

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June 26, 20080 found this helpful

What has always worked for me for new cast iron is to get some suet from the butcher or meat market. Smear it over the surface of the cast iron, then I'd put mine in my gas barbecue for a while, put on more and keep cooking. It will season it nicely. This works well for new or cast iron that needs reseasoning. Oil can also be used. This keeps the smell of the cooking cast iron out of the house, and the heat out in the summer.

Susan

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By kayray (Guest Post)
June 26, 20080 found this helpful

The best way to clean off rust is with salt. Rub a handfull in with a couple of paper towels. Rinse, dry, and season as usual. Also, always dry the skillet well after rinsing. I put mine on the burner for a couple of minutes. Never use soap on your skillets.

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By Anita Broxson (Guest Post)
September 10, 20080 found this helpful

To season my cast iron cookware I wait until we have a bon fire and grease my pots really well and let them burn all night. the next day they are still hot but get a pot holder bring them in wash them dry them and oil them pick them up.It always works.

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By Tim (Guest Post)
December 17, 20080 found this helpful

I got an old wash pot for my birthday from my parents, and it has 17-3's stamped on the side of it. Can anyone tell me what this means?

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January 9, 2011

How can I repair my cast iron frying pan that was washed with too harsh a detergent?

By anak

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January 9, 20110 found this helpful

If the patina is not all gone (chunks missing), you need to remove it with steal wool and reseason. If it is just not shiny you can just reseason it. Rub the inside of the pan with lard (corn oil will work but lard works better). Place in a 300 f. oven for 1 hr., let cool and wipe out. Do this 4 or 5 times and it will be good as new. You can find lard where the Crisco is. This is how my grandmother reseasoned her pans before non stick coatings. Never put acid foods in them, no tomatoes, etc. They will eat off the patina.

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January 12, 20110 found this helpful

Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of your oven or use a cookie sheet wide enough to hold the frying pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
I presume there is little rust, so scour it off with steel wool and rinse lightly. Dry pan.
Heat the pan on top of the stove on low heat and add about a teaspoon of shortening or oil. Remove the pan from the heat and wipe the entire surface with the oil.
Place the pan upside down in your oven so that any excess oil drips down instead of pooling in the pan.
Bake for 1 hour. There may be some slight smell and smoke. No cause for worry.
After the hour, turn off oven and keep pan in there until oven and pan have cooled.
Use pan.

After use, clean and re-coat with a light layer of oil before putting it away. Put paper towel over surface if any other pot sits inside of it. (That prevents rust forming.)

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January 12, 20110 found this helpful

Fry bacon in it. Do not eat the bacon. Rub the bacon greese all over the inside and place the skillet in an oven under low heat. 180 will do. You may cook something else in there too to not waste the energy. Do this for an hour. Then wipe the skillet out good and it should be fine.

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August 6, 2013

How do I season a cast iron pan?

By T.C. from Dallas, TX

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January 9, 2011

To keep my cast iron skillets and pots seasoned, I wash them in hot soapy water after use and then dry them on the stove.

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June 25, 2008
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