Care and Re-seasoning of your Cast Iron Skillet
Like many people, I have a Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. I love cooking in it and how it heats up so much more even then my other pots. I pulled it out this morning to discover that somehow it had gotten wet while in the closet and had started to rust. Which means before I use it again, I need to clean it and season it. Seasoning a cast iron pot is simply putting a thin layer of oil all over the skillet.
If you buy a new Lodge Skillet it will come pre-seasoned. So you won’t have to worry about seasoning before cooking with it. If you find a rusted cast iron skillet at a yard sale or flea market this is exactly what you need to do to save and use it.
Removing Rust and Re-Seasoning Cast Iron
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Steal Wool with Soap
- Vegetable Oil
- Steal Wool
- Wash your skillet with HOT and soapy water, using steel wool if needed to remove stubborn rust. Sometimes you can just use a sponge with the scrubber side, but if rust is stubborn, steel wool is the way to go.
- Dry the skillet completely. Put the skillet on the stove and turn the heat on high. You will see the water burn off.
- Pour 1-2 tablespoons oil in the skillet and coat all sides of the pan using a paper towel to move the oil around. Make sure to coat the handle and backside of the skillet.
- Turn your oven to self-clean (or as hot as it can go)
- Place skillet upside down in the oven. You can put a pan to catch any dripping oil.
- Bake skillet for 1 hour before turning off the oven and leaving it in there to return to room temperature.
This is the process that I use when I find a cheap rusted skillet at a yard sale or have to take care of my own skillet. Most often, I use vegetable oil to season my skillet but you can use any cooking oil to do this. You want to use a neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point.
After using your skillet it is important to clean and season the skillet with a little bit of soap and water, using a scraper to release any stuck-on food. After cleaning the skillet, lightly coat with a small amount of oil (maybe a teaspoon), rub off excess oil with a paper towel. Just make sure you dry it completely before putting it away (and don’t put something damp on top of it…)
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