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Old 12-02-2005, 09:44 PM   #1
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How do you prep a cast iron skillet?

I know there's something you need to do before you use it for the first time. Also, I know there are certain do's and don't for care. I just don't know the specifics.

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Old 12-02-2005, 09:53 PM   #2
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Check out this post. I did a search on cast iron seasoning to find this and other posts.

http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...iron+seasoning
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Old 12-03-2005, 12:57 PM   #3
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ooh, thanks!
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Old 12-03-2005, 05:43 PM   #4
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I just got a birthday gift of a cast iron pan and in the old days I would have to season it. However, the instructions said nothing needed to be done! It was already seasoned by the manufacture.

But the details for the old pans were to put in some quarter inch of oil, and about four table spoons of salt and put it on the stove on low and let it "cook in" for about a half a day. You stir with a wooden spoon once an hour. Then when you are at the end of the day you just wipe it out with a towel. And that is it.
But as I said before, the new ones say nothing to be done and do not use any abrasives on it, just water and wipe it out.
Some guys I knew in the old days, said they did not even allow water to touch the pan. After they got through cooking watever, they just wipped it out with a cloth and that was it!
So take your choice.
Good luck!
Me, I just wipe it out with a clean cloth or paper towels and that's it! It cooks beautifully!
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Old 12-04-2005, 02:57 AM   #5
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Had one for years that had a machined cooking surface. Never could get it to take a cure very well. I was getting there once and then we cooked spaghetti sauce in it for like 2 hours and it got wiped out so I gave up on that one. Trashed it. It was just not a good piece of iron I am afraid.

I suspect the metals used make a pretty big difference.

Bought one at an antique mall once too. The cure on that was really thick, dry and did not work. So older is not always better. I did not try to fix it. It is in the back of the cabinet someplace. I think.

The current pan is a Lodge. It's about 18 months old. It had a factory cure too. I supplemented that with additional olive oil coats followed by baking in the oven at 350 - 400 until the oil started to "dry". I know it's not really drying per se. There's more going on there than that. Cross linking long chain polymers and all that stuff.

It works well for eggs which is what I use it for mostly. Bacon is getting more and more sugar in it it seems, so it doesn't always work well for that, but pretty well. I wipe it out. Sometimes I use water like after cooking something that has sugar in it. Sometimes a very small amount of soap is needed. Then I coat it with a thin film of olive oil and put it back on top of the stove.

Oh...I use a plastic spatula too.......I figure the cure is basically home made, renewable teflon. Might as well treat it nice.

So there seem to be as many stories on this one as there are CI pan owners.

But I think the secret is a good intial cure with heat and oil and then take it easy on it for a while. As the layers of stuff build up it gets more and more durable. Just avoid long periods of exposure to hot water and / or cleaning solutions.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:59 PM   #6
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Yes, I, also, keep it oiled. Then when not in use, I keep each peice wrapped tightly in some of those plastic bags that your groceries are put in when you pay for your stuff at the supermarket checkout counters.

Also, for those of you who might not be in the know, Lodge now offers some of this authentic cookware already preseasoned (already blackened), saving you the aggravating time and bother of trying to season it yourself. I bought a chicken fryer that way.

You can get it from their website, or from ChefsCatalog.com.


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Old 12-20-2005, 11:57 AM   #7
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Cool

Keeping them oiled is certainly one of the key important pieces here. If you cook something that "distroys" it. It is not distroyed per say. What you do is take steel wool and you can even use soap in this situation as you are starting over anyways. Bring it down to the bare metal here. Take it all off. If you got a real old one that was out of reach of steel wool you could even use a hand drill attachment. Whatever it takes to get it down. Then build up the pan again.

Coat with oil and put on burner. Turn on the fan and open the door here this is going to puff out some smoke. You are trying to burn the oil in the pan is what you are doing. So after the pan is done set it aside to let it cool. Then do it again. I usually do this three times before coating everything and putting all my pans in the oven. Last thing I do... coat pans and put in oven at 350 for a few hours. I then turn off oven and let them just sit there for the night.

Does this seem like some work... well yes. Inicially. Trust me though after you do this a few times you are going to quickly learn that it is much easier to take care of them for literally 60 seconds after you finish cooking rather then taking care of them the next morning after the food is dried up and stuck to the pans.

Oh and remember... no soap. NO SOAP AT ALL. Cast iron and soap do no mix AT ALL! If you use soap you need to take out the steel wool because that soap will stick to the pan and you will more then likely taste it on the next thing you make
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:17 PM   #8
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Another way is to oil it and let it slow "roast" in the oven for several hours, letting the oil or shortening bake onto the pan. forming a coating that won't wash off so easily. Still another way is to just use it principally for frying. Anything that you plan to fry, just use the pan as yo normally would any other frying pan.

You'll be surprised just how quickly the pan starts to blacken! Another way is to put it on your BBQ grill when your cooking out, since you'll be cooking outdoors, it won't matter about the smoke, since cracoal smokes anyway.

And making blacned chicken of fish requires you to do it outside anyway because of the high volume of smoke. Also, do not wash this cookware in the dishwasher either. It should only be washed by hand.

Lodge now sells this cookware in all pieces seasoned and unseasoned. They also now have a new style for the cookware called Pro-Logic. I visited their website yesterday. You can order the cast iron cookware directly from them. Their address is http://lodgemfg.com .
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:24 PM   #9
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be sure to flip the pan over and season the bottom, outsides, and handle as well. otherwise, those surfaces could rust, and i'm uncomfortable cooking with anything rusty, even if it doesn't contact the food. it's best to do this over a large cookie sheet to catch the drippings, or you'll then have to clean the oven.
i've used crisco to season my pans, and it has always worked well.
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:33 PM   #10
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Yes, every part of the item MUST be greased, including the handle.


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