Since You Asked: Seasoning Cast Iron

Well I hope you all had an amazing Christmas celebration with your friends and families! I know we had quite the feast over here at our home, and really enjoyed ourselves. A week or so ago, I had posted about using cast iron, and how much I LOVE it. A reader asked at that time if I would write about seasoning a new skillet, and I thought that was a pretty good idea.

A reader of mine had brought a cast iron skillet at the second hand store and wanted to know how to properly season it. For those of you out there who go thrifting, these stores can be a great place to pick up cast iron that other people simply don't want any longer. The first that you will want to do when you get it, though, is DE-season the skillet.

Why? Because while you might want someone's second hand skillet, you probably don't want their second hand seasoning. So, to de-season the skillet, simple wash it with soap and water by hand. This should give you a fresh pallet to work with. Now you will be ready to re-season!!!

Seasoning your cast iron isn't rocket science, though, if you do a little research some people really do make it a science. Seasoning your cast iron simply means that you getting the surface oily and slick through repeated coating. Seasoning also protects the cast iron from rusting, something you definitely want to avoid.

When I got my cast iron, I did ZERO research into seasoning it, and today my cast iron is well seasoned, so some of it, I would suppose is intuitive. All I did was simply rinse it with piping hot water before the first use and then I oiled it with extra virgin olive oil--the staple of any good Italian kitchen--and cooked with it. After cooking in it for over a year, it's seasoned to perfection :)

I did do a little research for this post, though, and I found out that I was not too far off. If you really want to pre-season the skillet before you use it, all you need do is oil it with some high quality oil. Olive oil doesn't have the highest smoking point, so one COULD say that perhaps it isn't the best for seasoning. You could use avocado oil, or flaxseed oil--both are high quality oils and have higher smoking points.

Initially you want to go ahead and coat your pan with oil, and then wipe it "clean" with a paper towel. Though it'll look like you have taken off all the oil , there will be some left. then you want to put another good coat of oil on it and place it in the oven 450-500 degrees hot. Let the pan "cook" for 30 minutes, turn off the oven and then let it com back to room temperature (don't put cold water in the pan, it could cause it to crack if it's hot!) You can repeat this process about 4 times, and then you'll be seasoned!

And there you have it! I hope that this helps out with your seasoning needs :)

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