Sunday, January 31, 2010

re-seasoning my skillets

Some will tell you that, if properly cared for, a cast iron skillet never needs re-seasoning.  What that "proper care" actually is- I've yet to discover.  I know some don't use soap on their cast iron due to the soap breaking down the oil that keeps it stick-free.  As for me and mine, we use soap.  Unfortunately, that means that once a year or so, I need to re-season my cast iron.

I have two main 13" skillets that I use on a daily basis.  I love to cook with them.  I found one and bought the other.  One is a Lodge and the other a no-name.  Both are equally good, but I prefer the no-name one.  I re-season them when food starts sticking.

Anyhow, to re-season my pans, I get them hot on the stove with some water in them.  Then, I use steel wool (I use fine) and go to work on it, taking off a good bit of the black.  I rinse well with hot water and then repeat the process.

Next, I get it hot again on the stove (a good 5 min) to be sure there is no water left on the pan.  Then, I cut off the heat and put on a HEAVY coat of Crisco and put that in the oven at 250 for about 15 min.

After 15 min, I pull out the skillet (use a mitt) and pour the excess oil out of the pan into the sink.  Then it goes back in the oven at 280-300 for 2 hours.

This is a long process, and you can repeat the crisco and oven treatment 2 or more times if you want.  The more times, the longer and better the non-stick effect will be.  Let it cool down between each treatment.

Finally, everyone's grandmother has a different method for seasoning a pan.  I've tried a few, but find this to be the most sure fire way to make it happen without the risk of burning the oil.

1 comment:

Keith said...

Cast iron cookware was designed to be used over a wood fire. You do not need to season cast ironware if you dry it over the fire after washing. We do not use modern detergents, never have. We have been using cast iron cookware for about 30 years. We use plain hard launry soap.
I give it a good wash and stick it back on the hot stove top with a quick wipe with a tea towel.
Le Loup.