Cast iron cookware has been a kitchen staple for over two thousand years. Cast iron cooking pots improve the quality of meals, thanks to their durability and ability to retain heat throughout the cooking process. Many cast iron pans are “grandfathered” into families, passed down from generation to generation.
Cast iron pans come in a variety of sizes and styles. Some pots come already pre-seasoned but seasoning a cast iron pan is half the fun. Here’s a helpful guide to seasoning your cast iron cookware, some cooking tips with the new pan and how to care for the cookware so it lasts a lifetime.
How To Season A Cast Iron Pan
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees and wash the pan in hot, soapy water to remove existing oil or dirt. Dry the pan thoroughly. Put the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan (remember to use a pot holder) and coat the pan, inside and out, with lard, bacon fat or Crisco. Be sure to also coat the handle. DON’T use liquid vegetable oil. It will leave the pan sticky and doesn’t season as well as the other fats.
- Put the pan back in the oven, upside down on the top rack, with a piece of aluminum foil or flat pan on the bottom rack. This will catch any fat drips before they hit the bottom of the oven. Bake the pan for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven (remember the pot holder) and coat entirely again for another half hour.
- Remove the pan and complete coating process and bake for another half hour.
More Cast Iron Seasoning Tips
- The entire cook time is 1 and a half hours with three rounds of seasoning. Once this is complete, the pan is ready to use.
- Seasoning is usually one time but you can re-season the pan again at any point.
- To keep the pan naturally season, cook foods high in fat and let the grease sit inside to continue the seasoning process.
- This process will be the only time you will wash your pan with soap. Soap will remove the seasoning.
Caring For Cast Iron Pans
Seasoning a cast iron pan is a natural way to create a non-stick surface for cooking all of your favorite meals. Occasionally, the cast iron pan will need some extra care. Here are some tips for caring and cleaning the cast iron pan.
- Clean the pan while it’s still hot by rinsing it with warm water and scraping the surface with a spatula if necessary. Do not use a scouring pad or dish soap.
- Dry the pan with a towel and reheat the pan again on the stovetop for a few minutes to evaporate any moisture.
- Wipe a small amount of cooking oil on the surface of the cast iron pan to protect it from rusting or other damage.
- Always store the cast iron pan with the lid off, especially in humid weather. Keeping the lid on will cause moisture to build up, and possible rusting may occur.
Best Cast Iron Pans To Buy
Here are some cast iron pans, both unseasoned and pre-seasoned, to consider.
- Bluebonnet Cookware Polished Unseasoned Cast Iron – Be the master of the kitchen with this beautiful cast iron skillet. This versatile piece can sear, saute, fry, bake, and stir-fry.
- The Field Preseasoned Cast Iron Skillet – The Field Company’s cast iron is specially designed to take recycled and new iron and cast them into lightweight, super smooth cookware that outperforms the rest.
- Lodge Cast Iron Skillet – One of the best-selling cast iron pans on Amazon, the Lodge will be your go-to pan to cook just about everything.
- Cajun Cookware 15-inch Unseasoned Cast Iron Skillet – Heavy-duty and durable, this pan is designed to last forever.
Cast Iron Recipes To Try Immediately
Cooking with a cast iron pan will not only enhance your meals but make everyday cooking simple.
The BroBible team writes about gear that we think you want. Occasionally, we write about items that are a part of one of our affiliate partnerships, and we will get a percentage of the revenue from sales.