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How to Season Your Cast-Iron Pan

Cast-iron pans that aren’t preseasoned come from the factory with a protective coating. To season your cast iron, you need to wash the coating off and then get to seasoning. The cast-iron seasoning process is pretty simple:

  1. Scrub the pan using hot water, a mild dish detergent or soap, and a stiff-bristled (not wire) brush or a scouring pad (not steel wool).

    You can boil about 2 cups of water in the microwave and pour that water directly into the bottom of your pan.

  2. Dry the pan thoroughly.

    Use a paper towel or dish towel. You can also put the pan on a burner and let it warm up until all the moisture is gone.

  3. Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack in your oven and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

    Make sure that you cover the area underneath your cast iron to catch any excess shortening that may drip off.

  4. Place the cast-iron pan on a heated stovetop burner and melt about a tablespoon of shortening in it.

    If you don’t melt the shortening, you run the risk of getting too much on the pan, which isn’t a huge problem — it’ll just be more to drip and smoke in your oven.

  5. Using a paper towel or sponge, wipe the entire surface of the pan with the melted shortening.

    Be sure to get all the surfaces.

  6. Place the cookware upside down in the oven.

    You place the pan upside down so that any excess shortening drips off instead of pooling inside the pan.

  7. Bake for one hour.

    While the cast iron cooks, you may notice a slight smell and perhaps some smoke. Fortunately, the smell and smoke dissipate pretty quickly.

  8. Turn the oven off and leave the cookware in the oven until the oven cools down.

    The cast iron is still baking while the oven cools, so you achieve a deeper cure.

  9. When the cast iron is cool, remove it from the oven.

    Didn’t get the shiny black surface that you were expecting? Don’t worry. The black, shiny surface comes when you use your pan.

Put your cast iron away or start cooking!

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