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Seasoning a frying pan

John_Comstock's picture

I want to know how to season a cast iron frying pan. Is it different for seasoning a new one vs. an older one that hasn't been used in years?

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #53607, reply #1 of 6)

I'm surprised your pan didn't come with instructions - most new ones do. Wash with soapy water and dry. Coat the entire pan with a layer of vegetable shortening or another neutral flavored oil. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

The best seasoning for cast iron is
b use!
So after you season the pan the first time, make cornbread in your skillet and use it to fry when you need to. Another great use is to do steaks. Heat the pan on the stove and once it is very hot, toss some salt onto the pan and put your steak on it. There was a thread on that subject posted by (I believe) Sandra called,
i "I don't know why, I just do."
Take a look at that.

Once the pan is properly seasoned, do
b not
use soap on it. To clean a really gunked up cast iron pan, boil a bit of water in it for 10 minutes, then pat dry and re-coat with shortening.

To re-season an old cast iron pan (or, "How I handle most of my flea market finds..."), scrub it really well with a metal scrubber, such as a "chore boy." If there are any rust spots, scrub those until the rust is gone. Wash with soapy water, and re-season as above.

CLS's picture

(post #53607, reply #2 of 6)

John, we've discussed this several times, but in my opinion you can not discuss it enough. Cast iron pans are the best, but require some care.

I ditto everything Chiff said, and add this. After you've seasoned it the first time (and make sure you use an extremely thin layer of shortening - wipe it on with a cloth), use it, then each time you clean it do the seasoning thing again. Wash, dry, wipe down with a little unflavored crisco, put in the oven at 350 for an hour. After you've done this 4 or 5 times, you will only need to do it once every couple of months, if you are using the pan to cook with on a regular basis.

The (2) most important things in caring for cast iron are these:

*use the thinnest of all coats of shortening for seasoning; put the shortening on a rag and wipe down the pan including the outside and handle, then wipe off the excess. Proceed with baking. If you get too much shortening on the pan you will end up with stick spots. If this happens, you have to scrub down the pan and start over.

*NEVER, EVER USE SOAP IN THE PAN and NEVER EVER LET IT SOAK IN WATER!!! This pan is iron - it will rust. If you use soap in it, it will remove the seasoning you've worked so hard to obtain. Just scrub it down with a green scrubby and very hot water, then put it on the stove to dry via heat method.

Once properly seasoned, you will find you love the pan very much. It's the only pan I will make cornbread in.

sanderson_'s picture

(post #53607, reply #3 of 6)

I made Mean's chicken in my cast iron chicken fryer. To protect the seasoning on the pan I sprayed it with the usual pan spray and then got it very hot to seal the surface. I let it cool before I went on with the recipe. When it came time to whiz the sauce, the veggies and peppers came out just sticking. But then maybe there wouldn't have been any anyway.

Perry_Fielder's picture

(post #53607, reply #4 of 6)

I lucked out and got my great grandmothers cast iron fry pans. They have been in constant use for over 100 years. They're perfect condition and they cook like a dream. When I received them I got the instruction. "When you are done frying just toss them with the oil in them into stove and clean them up when you are ready to cook again." I have done that and they still are stickless. And no there is no smell.

Martagon_'s picture

(post #53607, reply #5 of 6)

But how do you keep your DH from using soap on it. He just won't believe me when I say no soap. And then, to dry it, he puts it on the element turns the heat way up and forgets it until it starts to stink. But the frying pan came with him, it's his; I brought a lagostina frying pan to the marriage. Half the time, we just use our 'own' frying pan to avoid arguments. (we've only been married 9 yrs, will we ever stop thinking of my stuff, your stuff. We were 'older' 37 & 41.) There's something to be said for getting married in your twenties, and starting out together, except for the lousy choices you make when you're 20.

CLS's picture

(post #53607, reply #6 of 6)

Threaten him with severe bodily harm!!!! Seriously. I nearly ripped his head off the first time he did that to mine, then we had a deal. I will clean the cast iron cookware. Period. He can cook with it, but he cannot clean it. It is my job. A small price to pay, IMHO.