Carbon steel cookware is easy to use but to get the most out of it a bit of upkeep is required. The process of seasoning the pan helps to prolong its useful life and give it a nonstick surface, making cleaning up after cooking much easier. In this case, you want to get rid of any little food particles and bits of rust on the surface before you season, so you can create the smoothest possible coating. If your pan is rusted out, take some steel wool to it and scrub that red color off. Really go for it, and feel free to scour the outside of the pan as well—it can’t hurt.
- Generally speaking, the oil you use is not important; whatever you have in the kitchen is fine.
- Wish I could go back and learn so many things from my grandmother, one thing being how she cared for her cast iron.
- When the cookware is warm (make sure it’s not too hot or it will smoke) I apply coconut oil.
- Neutral Food-Grade Oils – Use vegetable oils (canola, sunflower, etc.), shortening or lard for seasoning your cast iron pans.
- With repeated use, the seasoned layer builds and less oil is needed for cooking.
The advantages to animal fat and butter are that both are widely available, you likely have some at home already. Plus, you can build up layers of best electric wine opener seasoning as you cook, rather than using oil you wouldn’t normally cook with. These are the classics when it comes to seasoning cast iron and have been used for hundreds of years.
Should You Season Cast Iron After Every Use?
Wipe away any excess oil and continue to heat the pan over medium-low heat for a few more minutes before allowing it to cool and putting it away. An often asked seasoning question concerns what to do about the inside of tea kettles. While the outside can be rust-proofed with a layer of most any type of commonly used oil or fat just like with skillets, the inside is a different story. Repeatedly boiling water, especially hard water, will build a coating of lime scale that will help keep rust at bay. Instructions with Wagner tea kettles recommended filling with water and boiling completely dry two or three times. Also note that smoke point in and of itself does not necessarily correlate to the superiority of a particular oil or fat as a seasoning medium.
Please check out my Q&A pages below on the many different techniques on restoring and seasoning cast iron pans. Heating the pan upside-down may help prevent gumming but protect your oven by using a foiled-lined baking sheet or aluminum foil to catch the grease. Seasoning at higher temperatures, approaching the smoking point, of the oil used will result in darker seasoned coatings in less time that are not sticky or gummy. One of the reasons cast iron is so highly valued is for its cooking properties.
In order for this process to take place, you’ll need to know an oil’s smoking point so that heating up your pan will be as effective. Even after a run in the dishwasher, the pan seasoned with flaxseed oil held on to its perfect seasoning. Using avocado oil for seasoning cast iron is a great idea because of its high burning point and neutral taste.
Set the cast iron on a heat-safe surface after taking it out of the oven. Since it wasn’t in the oven for long, the cast iron won’t be extremely hot. However, it can still cause damage, so be careful when handling it.
Can You Use Olive Oil To Season Cast Iron?
Avoid using an actual scour pad or steel wool, which can be a little too aggressive and will wear away the seasoning. But thankfully, it’s never too late to restore your seasoning! Read on to learn how to season a new pan or restore the seasoning on an older one. You might need to season a brand new pan a few times before you’re satisfied with it. When your timer goes off, turn your oven off and open your oven door part way. If you bring it right out into the much cooler room the skillet might crack.
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Its most desirable quality is that it is technically a drying oil (essentially the food-grade equivalent of linseed oil). That means flaxseed oil starts to harden when exposed to air, which can help create a rock hard polymerized layer on your cast iron. Unsaturated oils are best for seasoning because their chemical structure is more reactive than saturated oils. This makes it easier for them to polymerize to the metal. Nearly every new cast iron pan you purchase will come “pre-seasoned” from the manufacturer.
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The first seasoning tends to be weak and create a mottled, bumpy surface. Your cast-iron pieces are so durable that they’ll likely outlive you and your kids, too, if taken care of properly. What is the best oil for cooking in cast iron?