The basic steps of seasoning Cast Iron cookware are the same for new pans. Just remember to read carefully through the manufacturer’s instructions when seasoning a metal pan, and follow them to the letter. For pre Seasoned pans, the cooking process is a little different, especially if they’re pre Seasoned. Never use harsh soap on a pre-seasoned pan! Use a wire rack to hold the pan in place and scrub gently but thoroughly with a stiff brush or soft dish soap.
Once you’ve done your thorough cleaning, it’s time to season the pan, if it’s brand new. To season cast iron cookware, start by placing a small amount of oil on the cooking surface. Oil will give the pan an evenly browned appearance and help the seasoning adhere better. Don’t go too overboard with the oil, as your cooking surface could end up burning if you don’t have enough.
Now put the pan into the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Remove the cap from the top of the pot, and check the bottom for any oil droppings. If there are none, wipe the bottom with a clean towel, and insert the measuring cup again into the cookware. You should now have a tablespoon of oil in each measuring cup. Leave the pots in the oven for about five minutes, checking on the time after three.
After removing the pots from the oven, turn them upside down and clean the inside of the casserole by wiping it down with a dish detergent and warm water. Then, remove the racks from the oven and preheat them again, so they are hot when you put the cookware back into the oven. You may want to preheat the cast iron pans until they are hot enough to handle without moving them around.
Once the casseroles are ready, it’s time to serve them. Put the thin metal fillet on the griddle, using two spoons or two forks. If you want to avoid the dreaded “rust,” make sure the food is hot enough when you put the cast iron piece onto the griddle. Use the fork to take a slice from the middle of the fillet and flip to cook the other side.
When you season new cookware, it is best to do so right away. This will help prevent rust from forming on the metal, and will make it easier to cut the food into the appropriate sizes. Cooks will love being able to season their new cast iron pan with olive oil and lemon juice instead of butter and salt.
If your seasoned pan has a non-stick surface, you can still season it before putting it into the oven or even cooking on the stove top. Before seasoning your piece, wipe any excess oil from the surface with a sponge or non-stick sponging pad. Then, wipe down the entire surface, removing any traces of oil. The cooking utensils should slide right out of the pan once the oil-soaked cloth is removed.
Using the cooking utensil that came with your pan will help ensure that the pan comes to a high smoke point before it begins to burn. Once your pan has reached the high smoke point, turn the oven or stove off. Wait about two hours before checking for doneness. If you find that the pan needs more time to finish cooking, place the pot in the oven or stove for a short time to bring the temperature down. Check again after two hours to make sure the pan is cool. Remove the cookware from the oven and allow it to cool before placing it into the dishwasher or cleaning by hand.