What Are We Talking About?
Seasoning a cast-iron pan is something you may have heard of, but it’s definitely something you should do if you ever use one. The cast-iron pan is a definite requirement in any modern kitchen, despite it’s age-old design. When you season it, you’re effectively filling in any cracks and cuts in the pan with natural oils. These cracks reduce the non-stick nature of the pan, and by filling them up, you’ll increase the desired slickness. Additionally, some report that you’ll bring more flavor to the dish by adding some of the natural oils now inherent to the pan to whatever you’re cooking in. Finally, you just can’t make proper cornbread without a good, seasoned, cast-iron pan.
Who Should Do This?
Anyone with a cast-iron pan, which might be found in everything from major restaurants to tiny apartments.
How Do I Season A Cast-Iron Pan?
- Using a food-safe oil or butter (coconut oil/butter seems to work best) and a paper towel, rub and scrub the inside of the pan. When you are finished, there shouldn’t be any actual oils moving in the pan, but it should have gotten into crevices.
- Place a sheet of foil in the oven, and place the cast-iron pan upside down over it. Bake at 350-400 degrees for 30 minutes. Smoking is normal, akin to a dirty oven.
- Turn off oven and let cool.
- Repeat 3-4 times for better seasoning.
- … put the cast-iron dish in the dishwasher.
- … keep the cast-iron dish in storage with the lid on; moisture can collect in it, leading to rust.
- … boil water in the dish; the “seasoning” can come loose and mix with the water.
- … pour large amounts of cold liquid into the pan.
- … leave food in the pan after it’s cooked.
- … and don’t grab the pan without some protection; the handle will heat up and burn you.
- … using the pan on an electric range, as hot spots can cause it to crack.
- … cooking on the grill.
- … cooking and baking casseroles in the pan.
- … using less butter or oil when cooking; the non-stick nature should help reduce fat.