How To Season a Cast Iron Pan: The Right Way

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Cooking with exquisite flavors is made possible by performing every step in the right way. We should be extremely thankful to our mothers, grandmothers, and cuisine to maintain the legacy of authenticity in new generation food. Where some people run behind different foreign cuisines, some stick to the credible taste of granny’s hand. Having proper cookware, culinary items, ingredients, and skills is necessary to make a tasty dish. Most of the people use cast iron pans for preparing different food items. It is necessary to know the proper way to handle, care for, and clean your cast iron pan. It will not only assign a long-lasting life to your favorite pan but also keep it in a decent condition.

Even though many people use cast iron pans in their household kitchen, they forget to complete the most essential task. Yes! How can someone forget seasoning? Some people also carry a misconception of relating seasoning with greasing. Also, many of you might be confused about the sole reason for seasoning. Some consider it to enhance the taste, while yet others want to try it to cook food in a hassle freeway. Nowadays, cast iron pans are pre-seasoned. It doesn’t imply that you will be able to feel any grease if you swipe your fingers through its surface. But, somehow, you still have to season a pre-seasoned pan for a better experience.

Though, some people prefer to use the pan regularly for frying, sautéing, and steak. It will help to keep the pan seasoned organically. For all the people who have recently bought cast iron pans & learn to season the right way, we are here to help you with that. Following are the steps that you need to follow for seasoning a cast iron pan the right way:

Cast Iron Pan

1. Clean & dry the pan properly:

Cleaning and drying a new pan is an essential step & everyone must follow it. You never know what your pan may contain in the shipping and packaging process. The pan might appear clean with naked eyes, but you can’t visualize everything with that! Use warm soapy water to give a gentle scrub to the pan. Let it dry or towel dry the pan. Next, you might need to place it on the stove for entire drying. By doing this, you will ensure that the pan does not have any leftover moisture in it. Make sure to complete the first step properly to attain benefit from seasoning.

2. Polish it with seasoning oil:

After assuring that the pan is entirely dry, the next step is to choose seasoning oil. We recommend the use of canola, sunflower, or flaxseed oil. Alternatively, you can use any other plant-based oil as well. If you are running out of options, coconut oil & butter will be your ultimate savior. These aren’t the ideal choice, but you can use them. Rub the oil on the surface of the pan uniformly with a clean kitchen cloth/towel.

If you see any excess oil dripping, wipe it off with a paper towel. The material of the cast iron pan readily absorbs the oil to give it a nonstick finish. Even if your pan is non-stick & you experience the sticking of food, it indicates that the pan still needs adequate seasoning. Repeat the similar steps mentioned above.

3. Heat the pan in oven or stove:

You can either perform this step with the help of an oven or stove. Though we do not recommend going for stove heating. But, in case you don’t have an option, this is what you have to do. Let us look at both the ways:

  • For oven heating, set the temperature at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the oiled pan inside the oven for half an hour. You might need to turn on the kitchen chimney as it will get pretty much smoky there. We recommend using the oven; if you have it available. Because it helps in supplying more even heat in contrast to the stove.
  • For heating in the stovetop, let it heat till it starts eliminating smokes. However, the heating point for all the oils differs. Therefore, it is more prone to uneven heating, which might lead to the formation of hot spots in the pan.

4. Repeat the similar process a few more times:

Seasoning once would not absorb too much oil to form a non-stick layer on the top of the pan. Therefore, if you want your pan to be free from food material sticking during cooking, make sure to repeat the process of oiling and heating for a few more times. The polymerization of oil will take place only after several repeats. Once you are done repeating the steps 2-3 times, you will notice the formation of a plastic-like and hard coating on the pan. It prevents your pan to get dirty with sticky food material. Also, it helps in process of easy cooking and cleaning. Seasoning assigns a much longer life to your cast iron pans.

5. Make sure to avoid these mistakes:

Are you seasoning for the first time? It is obvious to make some silly mistakes. Therefore, here is a list of some mistakes that people commonly commit. Make sure to keep these things in concern, the next time you go for seasoning:

  • Putting the cast iron pan in the dishwasher is not ideal for cleaning the pan. It can lead to the blocking of the device as well.
  • Not drying the pan after cleaning it is another most contributory factor for rusting of the pan. If you don’t want to use a towel for cleaning. Use medium flame on the stove and let the pan sit for a few minutes until it’s entirely dry.
  • Never use the cast iron pan for storing food in the refrigerator. It will interfere with the seasoning, and the next time you cook anything, it will be sticky again.
  • Not preheating the cast iron pans before use will again cause sticking of the food. Make sure to preheat in low/medium flame.
  • You can use soap for cleaning the cast iron pan. If you have completed the seasoning in the right way, it will not interfere with the non-stick layer.

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People are usually afraid of buying cast iron pan due to the misconception that it needs high maintenance and time. On the other hand, the one who has cast iron pan, after following the easy seasoning tip, will be glad for life to go through our article. Thanks for reading! All the best guys!