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How To Season Cast Iron
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How To Season Cast Iron

Most cast iron pieces you can buy at the stores have directions to “season” the piece. They will tell you to use vegetable oil, even going so far as to name a specific brand. I tried regular, and the brand, and shortening, and all it does is leave a sticky coating on the bottom of the pan. (Remember, use soap and water and wash and dry the pots and lids before seasoning)

So let’s think of the pioneers who didn’t have vegetable oil, but beef suet, goose grease, and the like. I used bacon fat, drained off after a few breakfasts and kept in a plastic container in the refrigerator. Once I had ½ cup full, I smeared it liberally on each pot and pan, and their lids, inside and out. Even the handles! Then I put it all in the oven (lids separate from the pots, not stacked on them) at 300 degrees for several hours. Then let them cool., wiped them all with a paper towel, regreased them all and baked again at 300 degrees for several hours.

Do this on a nice day that you can open the windows! It will smoke somewhat and smell foul. Once cool, again wipe, then put a thin coat of oil on each piece, inside and out, and store in a dry place. Do not store with the lids on the pots! Each piece needs to be separate! (It will cause rust).

Now, you can fry and cook meat with oil, but wait till the piece ages and becomes blackened before cooking eggs or a thick stew, as it may stick. Pieces do lose seasoning and need to be reseasoned. Cook some bacon in it, and it makes a quick job of it! Just be sure to keep the pieces oiled and NEVER AGAIN use soap and water, or AHHHH! *faints* put in the dishwasher-YOU WILL HEAR ME SCREAM! Just wipe out when you’re done cooking, and coat with oil. If some food sticks bad, put some water in the pan and boil it. YES, WATER AND BOIL, PARTICLES WILL BUBBLE AND FLOAT TO THE TOP! TRUST ME ON THIS! Remove from heat and scrape (with a plastic scraper or scrubber-not metal) off remaining particles from surface. Dry thoroughly and coat with oil.

I just love my pans, can't you tell, they really make a difference in cooking, and you do have to baby them, but it’s well worth it! (and just so you know, these aren't my pans, this was a free stock photo instead, I would cry over the rust)!


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