Ignite FB Tracking PixelSeasoning Your Skillet - Donald F. Norton
Seasoning Your Skillet

by Donald F. Norton 04/14/2019

If you cook in a cast iron skillet or use other cast iron cookware, you’ll know that periodically, they need what is called “seasoning.” But just what does that mean? The way that cast iron works, oil baked into the service prevents the iron from forming rust and keeps food from sticking too much. As long as the pan is adequately protected, the seasoned finish improves with age, giving you that much sought-after easy-release veneer.

What you need

  • The manufacturers of newer pans sell special soybean-based oils that are highly refined to use on their cookware.
  • If you’ve inherited grandma’s cookware, however, she probably used cooking oil or even lard to keep her pan seasoned. If you cook in the pan all the time, lard (pork fat) or tallow (beef fat) still are excellent seasoning choices. But, when you use it only occasionally, both lard and tallow can become rancid and ruin the flavor of your food. Additionally, you may use melted shortening or vegetable oil.
  • A cleaning kit (sold at better homeware stores) or a soft, lint-free cloth.

How to

With a clean, dry skillet, cover the pan inside and out with a thin layer of oil (or lard/tallow). Be sure to get the bottom and the handle as well. For best results, rub the oil on with a lint-free cloth.

Heat your oven to 350°F. Place the pan upside down on the top rack of the oven and place a sheet of aluminum foil or an aluminum cookie sheet on the bottom shelf to gather any oil drips. Let your pan season in the oven for one hour. Let your pan cool completely before using.

Troubleshooting

If your pan feels sticky, excess oil may have built up on the surface, or the oil has not fully converted to seasoning. Turn your oven on to 400°F and place the pan upside down on the upper rack. Allow it to bake for an hour. After your pan has cooled, test the surface again. If it is still somewhat gummy or sticky, repeat the process at 400°F for an additional hour.

If dark residue appears on your cleaning cloth, your pan may be reacting to high heat or an acidic food such as tomato sauce. Just wipe it out as much as possible and continue to use your pan regularly. The darkened areas should resolve.

If your pan has rust, perhaps from improper storage, or because you picked it up at a garage sale, gently remove the rust with very fine steel wool or a scratch-free scrubber. Then, wash the cookware in hot, soapy water to remove all the metal filings and loosened rust. Let your pan dry so that you can see if all the rust is removed. Once is it completely clear of rust, follow the seasoning instructions above.

As your property professional if there are cooking classes in your area to become a pro at using your cast iron skillet.

About the Author

Author
Donald F. Norton

Thank you for viewing my website, and why I hope you will choose me to represent you as your agent whether your buying or selling here in the Boston/North Shore area. A lifelong resident of Somerville, married to Patricia in 1967 and together we raised a small family, we owned our first home in 1972 a single family and our second home was in 1976 in the City Hall area of Somerville, we both have worked for the city off and on over the years, but together we got our Brokers license in 1977. With a small group of individuals we opened our first company in 1983, lower Broadway with Ross Blouin, Don Snow, Ron Marble, Roy Scarpato, Jerair Gharibian and Stan Koty we ran a successful Real Estate company till 1990 when we all broke up and decide to go on our own way, still maintaining a friendship the entire time.    In 1990, Patricia and I purchased the ERA franchise for the local area, that we kept for just about 20 years and then decided it was time to move on without the high cost of a franchise and to maintain the business on our reputation which was and is one of the best in the area. We pride ourselves on innovations and moving ahead of the business, being first in a web page using the internet to market homes, being one of the first to look at Buyer agency as a unique opportunity to represent clients interest in buying as well as our clients the sellers in selling. We are proud of our work, our long time in the business, lots of agents and brokers come and go, we are still here, one of the oldest companies to keep on moving ahead. I am also a state certified Real Estate Teacher, since early 1990's. I have taught at Somerville High Adult Evening School for about 18 years, successfully having a high success rate in students passing the exam. I am a member of the TAN network of broker/agents, Top Agent Network, which is an exclusive organization of only those agents who have obtained top sales over the years, I rank in the top 20% of the agents/brokers active today and have for many years. I have sold over the years, churches, shopping centers, large commercial and all kinds of residential properties throughout Massachusetts since 1977. I personally and as a broker/owner have never had a violation of Ethics or even a lawsuit for myself or our company. I teach our agents to represent clients in buying or selling a property as if it's their own transaction. We stand by our clients as if they were the only ones we represent.