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Old 06-06-2009, 10:33 AM   #1
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What does it mean SEASON in cast iron?

Hello,

I'm reading a few threads and i see members mentioning SEASON when talking about cast iron. What does that mean?

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Old 06-06-2009, 10:41 AM   #2
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To bond a layer of carbonized fat to the surface of the utensil.
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:42 AM   #3
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Seasoning is a baked on coating of fat that protects the cast iron from rusting and provides a reliable cooking surface.
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Seasoning is a baked on coating of fat that protects the cast iron from rusting and provides a reliable cooking surface.

Just about every cast iron thread had instructions for seasoning.
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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It means that a new (or one whose seasoning has worn off) cast iron pan needs to be coated with shortening, inside and out, and put in the oven upside down for about an hour. The lard soaks in and creates a shiny, sort of non-stick surface for cooking. It can wear off if you cook acidic foods such as tomatoes in it. Never clean it with soap after it has been seasoned. Rinse well, getting all food bits out, then wipe clean with a paper towel. If it looks dull, wipe it with some more shortening or oil. For complete instructions, you might want to google "how to care for cast iron". A well seasoned and cared for cast iron pan is a thing of joy.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:59 PM   #6
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I agree with everyone. Although since I joined up here I find there are as many ways to season cast iron as there are cast iron enthusiasts. And thats alot. You will also find your favorite method. I like Crisco, and a procedure in the oven using different temps. This method was shared by The Pan Man, it works for me. I buy antiques, strip them to bare iron, and start over.
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:31 AM   #7
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Thanks Everyone! :)

The reason i asked is because i'm waiting on my emeril 10 inch square grille pan. I got it at amazon for $15.00 macy's had it for $39.99
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:28 AM   #8
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I find the square pans do not heat as even as the round ones do. Load it up with bacon, the middle slices cook quickly, the outsides do not. This is fixed by placing the pan in the oven at 350 for maybe 15-20 minutes before cooking in it. That heats the entire pan.
Now, is it a Lodge Logic? If so, they are pre seasoned, ready to cook. They don't get really good for a few years. At first, bacon, sausage, burgers and the like are best to cook in it, anything greasy. Search cast iron care and find the best ways to care for it.
I always find Amazon, and farm stores like Farm and Fleet have the best prices. Crate and Barrel sells a 12 inch Lodge Logic for $35, Farm and Fleet the exact same item for $18.
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:25 PM   #9
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The emeril 10" square is made by all-clad.
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:23 PM   #10
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Seasoning in relation to cookware means to build up a Patina which is effectively a layre of fatty residue that lines the inner walls of your pan.

Have you ever heard of the fact that you should never wash up a wok? I don't particularly like the idea of this but in essence it adds more flavours to your cooking.

Metals are infact porous. This means that when you heat up the metal the 'pores' in the metal will open up - kind of like your skin. You need to seal these pores with oil or fat to create a better cooking surface. As one of the replies already mentions this creates a non-stick-like layre.

Personally I refer to seasoning a pan as 'basting' and here is how you do it.

Wash you pan thoroughly in warm soapy water - especially if it is new as it will have manufacturing greases on it. Dry it by putting it on the stove on a low heat. Allow the pan to heat up gradually and then take a cloth or piece of old material and pour a small amount of oil onto this. Then, as if you were greasing a baking tray simply rub the inside of the clean pan with the oil while it is still hot. Becareful not to burn yourself! Take it off the heat and allow it to cool down naturally.

To create the best cooking surface you should repeat this process approximately once ever 6 weeks until the pan is about 1 year old after which you need only do it once every 6 months or when you notice that food starts to stick to the bottom more often.

Hoping to have helped x
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