Seasoning Cast Iron

Cast iron cookware must be seasoned before use, and occasionally will need to be re-seasoned.  The purposes of seasoning are to prevent rust and to create a non-stick cooking surface.  The more you use your cast iron, the better seasoned it gets.

To season untreated cast iron cookware:

  1. Line the entire lower oven rack with aluminum foil to catch any drippings.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Wash the new cast iron cookware in hot, soapy water.  This should be the only time you use soap.  Rinse thoroughly and dry completely
  3. Using a soft cloth or paper towel, apply a thin, even coating of vegetable oil (not butter) over the entire surface, including handle and exterior surfaces
  4. Place the cookware upside down on the top rack of the preheated oven.  Bake for one hour, then turn the oven off; leave the cookware in the oven until cool

At this point, the cookware is seasoned and ready to use.

To use, clean, and store cast iron cookware:

  1. Always allow the skillet to heat up with the burner or oven; never place a cold skillet on a hot surface
  2. Always wash the cookware immediately after use while it is still somewhat warm, but not hot
  3. Wash the cookware with hot water and a stiff brush; do not use soap (detergents will remove the seasoning).  Do not place in the dishwasher
  4. Immediately towel-dry the cookware, then apply a light coating of vegetable oil to the cookware while still warm
  5. Store cast iron in a cool dry place; it require air circulation
  6. If cookware shows signs of rust, scour off the rust, and re-season according to instructions

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