Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Re-Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet

Using a small cast iron pan to make breakfast. These eggs didn't stick at all!

My dad recently gave me a 12" cast iron skillet that used to live at his vacation house. I remembered the pan being very well seasoned, having been used by our family for over 20 years of making latkes and fried chicken, among other things. But, we learned that one of the downsides of letting other people use your vacation house is...People don't know how to properly clean and care for cast iron!

When my dad gave the pan to me, it almost looked brand new. And for those of you who use cast iron, you know that is NOT a good thing! Someone had done something to scrub off ALL of the seasoning on the inside of the skillet. I don't know what they did, but it must have taken a lot of elbow grease. Maybe they even put it through the dishwasher? I really have no idea, but what I did know was that I needed to re-season it before I cooked with it, because anything I cooked would stick terribly.

Luckily, this pan has seasoning instructions on the bottom. But for those of you who have a cast iron in need of seasoning, or re-seasoning, let me repeat the instructions here.

1. If the pan is new, or if there is any rust, clean it in warm, soapy water.
2. Rinse, and dry thoroughly.
3. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
4. Lightly coat the pan (inside and out) with a thin layer of oil. Use a high heat oil such as coconut or sesame.
5. Place the pan upside-down on the top rack of the oven and "bake" it for about an hour. Put foil along the bottom rack to catch any drips.
6. Let the pan cool, and it's ready for use!

And remember, NEVER use soap to clean cast iron! Warm water and a scrubber brush (when needed) works great, and keeps your pan well-seasoned for future use. And if you scrub off a bit of seasoning, no problem, just rub some oil on the pan while it's still warm, and it will be ready for next time!

Any questions? Type them in the comments below!

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