How to Season a Cast Iron Pan or Baking Steel

Cast iron is intimidating for no particular reason.  I absolutely love mine and am always looking for a reason to use it. They’re almost indestructible and will last forever if cared for properly. Oh wait, the care section. What do you mean you don’t have to use soap?  Yep, thats right folks, lots of hot water on a properly seasoned pan and wipe dry immediately and you’re done.  Think about it, everything made on a steel or pan is going in a very hot oven .  And for those of you thinking, uhh wait I just used soap! Never fear you can easily bring it back to life.

Depending on the state of the pan, you will have more or less work ahead of you.  Just have some burnt on food or rust spots from too much water?  Here are the basics.  This is also a general maintenance technique and something that can be done without a lot of effort.  Per Lodge and Baking Steel recommendations:

  • Wash the cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. (It is okay to use soap this time because you are preparing to re-season the cookware).
  • Rinse and dry completely.
  • Apply a very thin, even coating of MELTED solid vegetable shortening (or cooking oil of your choice) to the cookware inside and out. Too much oil will result in a sticky finish.
  • Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven (not directly on bottom) to catch any drips.
  • Set oven temperature to 350 – 400 degrees F.
  • Place cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven to prevent pooling.
  • Bake the cookware for at least one hour. After the hour, turn the oven off and let the cookware cool in the oven.
  • Store the cookware uncovered, in a dry place when cooled.
  • Repeat as necessary.  

Check out this helpful video too:

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