It wasn’t until relatively recently that I learned how to season a cast iron pan. Growing up, the food we cooked always stuck to my dad’s cast iron skillet and it was so hard to clean off. For a long time I just thought that was how it worked. I figured that was the price you pay for using a healthier kind of pan without all the toxic chemicals in a non-stick skillet. Little did I know that there was a very easy solution…season it!
Seasoning is a very simple process that creates a non-stick surface for your cast iron pan. You can season your pan as much as you want. If you find that food has begun to stick to your pan again, you can always re-season it. Some brands like Lodge Logic are considered pre-seasoned, so you don’t have to season it before you use it. However, I bought a lodge logic that was pre-seasoned and it was still a little sticky and definitely needed a re-season after a bit of use. It only requires about 5 minutes of preparation.
How to Season a Cast Iron Pan:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 300°-350°. I usually put it at 300°.
2. Cover your pan in some kind of fat (butter, oil, etc.). I always use pastured butter and it works like a charm! I just make sure to rub butter all over the inside on the pan including the sides. Some people suggest using vegetable oil, but I would NEVER recommend canola or vegetable oil because most are highly processed, contain GMOs and come from products heavily sprayed with pesticides (read more on that here). I’ve also heard of people using coconut oil, but I’ve never tried it myself, so I’m not sure how it turns out. I would also avoid using olive oil because it has a very low smoke point and can become dangerous if over-heated.
3. Place pan in your oven for 1 hour.
4. Remove from the oven (be careful it will be hot!) and let cool. If you want to remove some of the excess oil you can blot the skillet with a towel.
Now your cast iron skillet is non-stick and ready to go!
A few tips for caring for you cast iron skillet:
- Don’t wash it with soap and water. Letting it soak in water can cause it to rust. To clean you can rinse it with hot water and dry immediately or just wipe it out after cooking with a paper towel. If you need to scrub off gunk, do it with a scouring pad.
- Don’t boil water in your cast iron skillet… it could rust!
- It helps to retain the non-stick nature if you cook with oil when you use the skillet. When I cook with my skillet I always start by melting a dab of butter or coconut oil.
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Kelly the Kitchen Kop- Real Food Wednesdays
Frugally Sustainable- Frugal days, Sustainable Ways
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage- Full Plate Thursdays
Vegetarian Mamma- Gluten Free Fridays
Food Renegade- Fight Back Friday
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