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Dec 9, 2006 09:49 PM

HELP! Seasoning cast iron pans!

I am following the directions included with my cast iron pans for seasoning: Should my kitchen be full of smoke during the process?

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  1. You will get some smoking but should not be much. Start the pan range top and keep wiping the fat evenly around the bottom and sides until most is gone. Then place in an oven at low heat, like 250 for several hours. You will be fine and also start cookimg a lot of bacon in it.

    1. As an owner of several very well-seasoned pans, I'd also add that how you clean them is crucial to keeping them seasoned. I assume you've read up this already but just in case you haven't, NEVER use any soap to clean them. Best method is to heat the pan to loosen anything caked on it after cooking to get it hot again, then put it under the hottest running water, scrubbing with a steel wool while you loosen the grime. Put back on the stove to heat again which will cause whatever water is left on it to evaporate and then dry with a paper towel. The first few times you clean it you may want to rub some more oil on it with a paper towel.

      Have fun, I still think they're among the best tools we have in our kitchen.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kevine

        I ALWAYS wash my cast iron with soap and water then dry well on the cook top over a low flame. They are perfect. The soap and water thing is a myth.

        1. re: Candy

          If your cast iron pans are already well seasoned and sealed, there's no reason not to use a mild soap to clean them. It can help get rid of any rancid residue there might be. The reason the manufacturers of cast iron recommend not using soap is that if the pan is not yet perfectly seasoned, soap can get into the pores of the iron and affect the taste of the food. So, yes, go ahead and use soap if you want to (I don't), but make sure your pan is thoroughly sealed by seasoning first.

          1. re: JoanN

            True, yall. The "no soap" advice is a myth IF your cast iron is already well seasoned. So is the salt scrubbing. Good for when you are camping but why would you do that at home?

            My mom put her CI in the dishwasher if it was really bad. Not that I suggest this but hers is the slickest, smoothest CI I have ever seen.


      2. Yes. Open the windows and doors.

        1. I've never had one smoke too badly: did you put a sheet pan on the lower rack to catch any fat dripping off the skillet? Fat dripping onto the floor of the oven will definitely create lots of smoke!

          1. Smoke is common in my opinion. I have experienced it several times before. Try using your grill (gas or charcoal). Being outside, you can blast it and smoke is the last thing on your mind.