Thursday, December 4, 2008

the wonders of cast iron

to day i was asked how to season a cast iron skillet.

i have found two different useable methods for seasoning cast iron.

one involves coating the pan in a neutral oil

Neutral Oils - Use vegetable oils (canola, sunflower, etc.), shortening (like Crisco shortening) or lard for seasoning your cast iron pans. I recently experimented and found out that food-grade coconut oil/butter also works great.

and placing the pan in a 300 degree oven for 4 hours.

i have outlined the second more popular and easier method below

  1. Let the pan cool. Wash it with dishwashing soap and water. Never soak or let soapy water sit in the pan for any length of time. Rinse thoroughly, then dry with paper towels.

    A lot of people disagree with using dishwashing soap and water to wash cast-iron pans. A chef told me that if a health inspector ever found a pan that had not been washed with soap and water in his kitchen, he would be in trouble. Plus the grease that is left behind will eventually become rancid. You do not want rancid oil in your foods and body.

    NEVER put cast-iron cookware in the dishwasher.

  2. Place the cleaned cast iron pan on the heated burner of your stove for a minute or two to make sure that it is bone dry. While the pan is still hot and on the stove burner, lightly oil inside of pan (I mean a light coat) with a neutral cooking oil.

  3. Leave pan on the hot burner of stove for a few minutes. Remove from hot burner and wipe excess oil off the pan with a used up rag and tongs so you don't burn the shit out of your hand.

  4. Store your cast iron cookware with the lids off, especially in humid weather, because if covered, moisture can build up and cause rust. Be sure that you place a couple paper towels inside to make sure that any moisture that forms will be absorbed by the paper towel. Never put the utensil in the dishwasher or store it away without drying it thoroughly Seasoning at higher temperatures, approaching the smoking point, of the oil used will result in darker seasoned coatings in less time that aren't sticky or gummy.

that pretty much covers it... if taken care of properly a cast iron pan can last severl lifetimes. pretty much any and all foods can be cooked in it (with the exception of boiling water)


Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Do you wash it out and re-season every time you use it?

Ninja Zak said...

not every time... usually you can just wipe it out. use discretion though and reseason every couple weeks or so just to be safe.

Jack said...

thanks dude, I know i'm late on the comment but good lookin. I'm getting right back to that time again.