Seasoning cast-iron pots...

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Digger

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I love my cast-iron and cook almost exclusively in my cast-iron dutch oven and frying pan. Just wondering how the rest of you season your cookware. I use canola oil spray and heat my oven to 500 degrees to bake the finish on. Just wondering what the rest of you do and perhaps share ideas on how to keep your cast-iron cookware in the best possible condition.
 
M

mlp

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I loved my cast iron pots, but I ended up giving them all to my ex. They've just gotten too heavy for me to enjoy using them. I broke both wrists within two years (and my right is held together with copious amounts of metal), and I just have never regained my prior wrist strength and mobility.

I used to use a paper towel to rub canola oil into the pans and bake them. And inbetween, I used to periodically rub canola oil in and leave them on a low burner for a while after washing them.
 

Pickle Juice

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I use peanut oil, and heat at 500 degrees F for an hour. I don't cook with cast iron, because I have a glass topped electric range, but I keep a dutch oven on top of the woodstove and I put water and essential oil in it to humidify the room while the fire burns, and I have some old cast iron irons and iron stands which I also keep shiny and rust free by seasoning them the same way.
 

silva

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In a VB thread someone mentioned baking potatoe cubes in olive oil and rosemary and I do that every few months.
Since I never use animal products I only wipe it with a paper towel after using and store in oven, or leave on stovetop.
I've heard you shouldn't use the canned spray oils on cast iron? They do seem like they leave a stickiness and I'd like to know why.
 

kazyeeqen

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In a VB thread someone mentioned baking potatoe cubes in olive oil and rosemary and I do that every few months.
Since I never use animal products I only wipe it with a paper towel after using and store in oven, or leave on stovetop.
I've heard you shouldn't use the canned spray oils on cast iron? They do seem like they leave a stickiness and I'd like to know why.

That's what I do, except the rosemary part (so I guess it wasn't me in the other thread... :) ) because rosemary tastes like pine.

I love my cast iron. I sympathize with you, MLP, I broke my left wrist and am not able to lift the big skillet when it's full of food with it, luckily I still have my good right arm. :)
 
M

mlp

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I love my cast iron. I sympathize with you, MLP, I broke my left wrist and am not able to lift the big skillet when it's full of food with it, luckily I still have my good right arm. :)

I'm sorry to hear that - it sucks worse when something like that happens when you're still young. :hug:
 

Forster

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I've never seasoned mine in the oven. Put just enough oil to make the inside look slick and covered and heat that thing smoking hot... actually remove it just as barely starts smoking unless one likes a fire in one's kitchen (been there done that). Then get a couple of paper towels and mop the pan out... your fingers will get hot. Remove it from the burner and let it cool down. Be sure to put the oil in first and let it warm up with the pan... DO NOT put oil in a hot pan (been there done that too).

Yeah and something about cooking potatoes in oil and continually scraping, seasons/keeps them seasoned nicely. Also when I'm done cooking something particularly messy I do a quick rinse and wipe with water only and warm the pan up and rub some oil in with a paper towel. Not as hot as the first seasoning.

Love my cast iron cookware.
 
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D

Digger

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I've heard you shouldn't use the canned spray oils on cast iron? They do seem like they leave a stickiness and I'd like to know why.
The only time I've had a problem with stickiness during the seasoning process is when I applied way too much oil to the pan. The best advice I've gotten is to apply the oil liberally in order to coat the entire surface, then take a paper towel and wipe all of it off... which of course is impossible so what you are left with is the kind of micro-thin coating that you want prior to burning the coating onto it.
 

Pickle Juice

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I use a pastry brush dipped in oil. About halfway through the baking, I will brush another layer of oil onto the hot cookware. It leaves the glossiest black coating.
 

Pickle Juice

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Oh yeah the smoke is nasty, but it goes away fast. I even brush oil onto the top of my woodstove, but I open the windows so the house doesn't fill with smoke. :p

I know it's not properly seasoned til its gone way past the smoke point.
 

Forster

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I disagree, mine get properly seasoned w/o setting off the smoke alarms, you do need to get it hot enough to just start smoking but IMO that is it.
 

Forster

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I will quite often rub the pan with a bit of oil after cooking in it while it's still warm. More of a maintenance thing.
 
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D

Digger

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I disagree, mine get properly seasoned w/o setting off the smoke alarms, you do need to get it hot enough to just start smoking but IMO that is it.
No need for us to disagree, we just all live in different settings... where I live even just steam from my shower sets off the alarms.

It's irritating to say the least.
 

Pickle Juice

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Reminds me of the time I was stuck on a winding one lane mountain road behind an old car that had been converted to run on vegetable oil. I couldn't pass him safely for ten miles. What a stink! Just like a wok fire. :p
 
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D

Digger

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I remember reading somewhere that flaxseed oil is one of the best choices for seasoning cast iron because it has such a low smoke point and therefore burns easier. Haven't ever tried it though.
 
M

mlp

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I disagree, mine get properly seasoned w/o setting off the smoke alarms, you do need to get it hot enough to just start smoking but IMO that is it.
I will quite often rub the pan with a bit of oil after cooking in it while it's still warm. More of a maintenance thing.

I agree.

Also, it's obvious that those of you in the *make it smoke* camp don't live with parrots. :p
 

Dropkick

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In a VB thread someone mentioned baking potatoe cubes in olive oil and rosemary and I do that every few months.
Since I never use animal products I only wipe it with a paper towel after using and store in oven, or leave on stovetop.
I've heard you shouldn't use the canned spray oils on cast iron? They do seem like they leave a stickiness and I'd like to know why.

Spray can oils have additives. This is one of the reasons I use olive oil in a spray bottle (plus it's cheaper).

spraybottle.jpg