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How to Season Cast Iron Pans


A brand new cast iron pan looks shiny, but it isnít ready to use until itís been washed and seasoned. Without seasoning, food will stick to cast iron, making a mess thatís hard to cook and clean up. As the result, seasoning your cast-iron pan is a must. Seasoning isnít difficult, and makes your iron pan perform wonderfully.

To season a brand new cast iron pan, following these simple steps.
  1. First, wash it in warm water. Dry with a towel immediately (you should always dry this type of pan by hand to avoid rusting.)
  2. Coat the pan with a thin layer of oil or cooking spray.
  3. Set your oven to 350 degrees. Then, put the pan on the stove at low heat.
  4. Once the oven is heated to 350 degrees, place the warm pan in it and let it ďbakeĒ for an hour. Be careful when you remove the pan from the oven because cast iron gets extremely hot or else youíll get severely burned.

Remember, you should use oil when cooking in your newly seasoned pan at least the first few times. This enhances the seasoning. If you follow some simple rules, you donít actually have to re-season your pan again. Avoid washing with soap or harsh dishwashing detergent, as this can wear down the seasoning. Use water alone, or add some salt if you need to scrub. You can use metal utensils in cast iron, but donít use steel wool to clean. Always dry immediately after washing. If a cast iron pan does get rusted or you really need to scrub it with scratchy scrubs, youíll have to re-season it.

The type of oil that works best for seasoning cast iron is said to be flaxseed oil. Most people use canola oil, animal fat like bacon drippings, or even cooking spray. Proponents of flax seed oil claim that it works because it is a drying oil and works on cast iron the way that linseed oil works on wood finishes. However, the flaxseed oil is more expensive and can be difficult to find. People have been using basic cooking oils to season cast iron pans for years, and because they can be seasoned multiple times if desired, you can use other types of oil to season new pans and then try flaxseed oil later.





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