Last Friday I had a quick fix tip that got a bit of a response that some of my readers didn't think seasoning the cast iron pan was easy. The tip was cooking with cast iron gave you iron in your diet. Seasoning a cast iron pan is a separate tip. Seasoning the cast iron pan is time consuming but is easy. So today I thought I would show you just how easy it is to season a cast iron pan. Cast iron pans will last a lifetime or two, or three as long as they are cared for and yes it's easy. This is my Soup/Stew Pot and it needs to be re-seasoned.
If you have a new pan or one that you have let go to rust you have to "season" it. This is also sometimes called "curing". So get the pan out and follow along.
1. Put the pan in the sink and with steel wool or a stiff brush, add hot water & scrub the pan inside and out to remove the "new coating" that new pans come with or the rust that is there. Don't use soap!
2. Completely dry the pan with a soft cloth. The grease needs to get into the pores so make sure the pan is very dry. You can also put the pan on the stove burner on low to dry it.
3. Now coat the pan - inside, outside, top and bottom with a solid grease -crisco or bacon fat works best for this. You don't need much so be careful not to slather it on. If you have a cover, coat that too. I recommend solid grease here. Save the spray stuff for later. Here I had some bacon fat that was still a liquid so I used that.
4. 4. Pre heat the oven to 300 degrees and put tin foil on the rack. Place the cast iron pan upside-down on tin foil and bake for 15 minutes. If you have a cover put that in too, right side up.
5. Grab your pot holders (THE PAN & COVER WILL BE HOT) and take the pan out of the oven and using paper towel wipe the inside and outside. Do the same with the cover. After wiping them, put them back in the oven upside down again, but this time for an hour. Go vacuum, quilt, sew, balance your checkbook, read or whatever. Yes, your paper towel will be rust colored - it's OK.
6. For best results repeat steps #3, #4, and #5 again, either right away, or tomorrow or another day but definitely before you use it.
Now every time you use the pan, follow this
1. Once the food is out of the pan (duh) run hot water in the pan and using a brush scrub the pan. You don't even need soap-the water and pan are hot so wear gloves.
2. Put the pan back on the burner to dry. The burner should be "off" if you have an electric stove and on very - very low if you have a gas stove. If you have a gas stove, watch the pan and as soon as the pan is dry, turn off the burner.
3. Add a drop of cooking oil to the pan (or use the spray stuff here) using a paper towel spread it around very lightly. Done! Really it took longer for me to type these last three steps than it does to perform them.
It may be time consuming but it's definitely easy and once done, you will not have to re-season the pan for a very long time-assuming you take care of it.