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Cast Iron- buy it preaseasoned? [moved from a thread on the Ontario board]

You can get Lodge everywhere, like Canadian Tire, or one of the Loblaws that carries cookware. Just make sure that you get a preseasoned one.

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  1. You will not be dissapointed with Lodge...great stuff...the preseasoned is a good way to go...takes all the work out of a new cast iron pan...you can get right to the fun part..cooking!!

    1. But... seasoning the pan is the best part of getting cast iron cookware.

      17 Replies
      1. re: SherylKirby

        I gotta agree. I've bought new cast iron, used cast iron at garage sales and even antique cast iron on ebay. A cast iron pan is never so completely yours as when you start with it from the very beginning. That means seasoning yourself.

        1. re: inuksuk

          keep in mind, even if the pan is pre-seasoned. Once you wash that baby, you will have to reseason it again.

          Which is why you should never wash cast iron pans.

          1. re: aser

            But how about when you have gunky fat all over the pan and some black stuff on the bottom that doesn't quite come off easy? Then is it okay to wash it? Or is there another method of cleaning a really messy pan?

            1. re: bluishgnome

              I read a (martha stewart maybe) article about properly seasoning and cleaning cast iron pans. Basically if i recall correctly you should only scrub the pan with a mildly abrasive cloth/synthetic sponge/scrubber and straight water.

              For tough 'guck' it suggested using coarse salt. Just put a bit on the pan and rub it back and forth on the tough spot with a wrung out cloth, it should clean it off.

              Keep in mind you should never use soap when cleaning a cast iron pan as it will effect the seasoning, although through my own experience it is okay to use a mild dish cleaner once the pan has been thoroughly seasoned (we're talking a few years) but you should generally still avoid it.

              When you are done cleaning it is imperative that the pan is dried, the best way to do this is to wipe it down and then sit it on a hot element for a few minutes. If you do not dry the pan out it will rust surprisingly fast (especially if it isnt well seasoned).

              One trick I use for the seasoning is putting a very light drop of oil on the pan after cleaning it and spreading the oil around with a cloth or paper towel. Just enough to barely cover the entire surface with a sheen (no more than 1/2 tsp is necessary). If you cook often you needn't worry about the oil going bad.

              Finally, it's always good to give the pan a full seasoning now and again to spruce it up. You can do this by simply covering the entire surface of the pan (make sure you get the edges and sides, but dont leave any excess on the pan) with cooking oil and putting it into an oven set to 250oF for an hour. This will cook the oil into the surface and help it remain non-stick.

              If it isn't obvious I'm a fan of self-seasoning -- the best part about it is that you can get a cheap cast-iron pan in Chinatown or at a garage sale for $10, and it will work just as good as a pan that may cost 3-4x the price.

              1. re: ryth

                Remember to rub the surface w/ salt before seasoning w/ oil. Salt acts as an abrasive that opens up the pores of the surface, thus allowing more oil to penetrate the pan.

                Obviously you dump the salt out before you add the oil.

                1. re: ryth

                  Wow, that's some good stuff. Thanks ryth. Both my cast iron skillet and I appreciate it. :)

                  1. re: ryth

                    I just purchased my first cast iron skillet. I seasoned it the first time and used it twice since. Question, after cleaning the pan after use, I spread a light layer of oil around the pan - do I need to do this all over the pan (including handle and outside) or just the inside?

                    1. re: MeowMixx

                      Just the entire inside of the Pan, the handle/base/outside don't need to be seasoned because you dont need them to become non-stick. Good luck and be patient.

                  2. re: bluishgnome

                    When the gunky fat happens, I pour some water in and bring it to a boil and it cleans off just fine - Even cleaned up some burnt stuff. A slight re-seasoning occassionally is usually recommended.

                    1. re: bluishgnome

                      It's perfectly fine to wash your cast iron pans. Once they are seasoned well, it's also fine to use soap if you have to. The "no soap" advice is a wive's tail.

                      Believe me, I've been doing it for more years that I will admit to you.

                    2. re: aser

                      Which is why I'll never have a cast iron pan in the kitchen. My SO scrubs the hell out of our pots and pans and has to make sure every dollop of grease is gone. There's no way he would feel comfortable without using soap and a scrubbie.

                      1. re: aser

                        For when I really need to "scrub" my pan, all I do is put in water, bring to a boil, and it cuts the excess grease. Scrape with a spatula if you really need to..
                        No soap, ever.
                        My cast iron is 8 years old now. It is almost as good as any non-stick on the market.
                        Give another couple of years and it will be just like mom's.
                        And to the other poster, yes, if I have to be that aggressive in cleaning, I recoat with a very small amount of olive oil just to give it back that sheen.
                        It was an Executrive Chef that got me back into using a cast iron fry pan, I will never look back.

                        1. re: Poorboy

                          Regarding a Lodge Pre-Seasoned piece...I recently bought the really nice Lodge Grill/Griddle at a grand opening of a GoodWill. Great find at $7 and it looked brand new. Here is my question:

                          If it is pre-seasoned, can the seasoning come off or be scrapped off? How does the "pre-seasoning" actually work?

                          I got the thing home from GW and used my scrubbie on it...fried up some bacon right away and noticed some burnt ickiness on the grill. I used metal tongs to scrap up the burnt stuff (not my bacon) and it appears I scrubbed off some of the pre-seasoning. Supp with that?

                          1. re: ktcolt

                            nooooo, did you not read the thread?

                            you're not supposed to scrub a cask iron pan. All you do is wipe it down w/ paper towel right after each use. Depending on usage, you will have to re-season it from time to time. To re-season, read above.

                            1. re: aser

                              Yaaaaaaaaa I know how to season cast iron...BUT this Lodge pre-seasoned grill/griddle had some ick on it and I used salt and scrubbies and and and and .....BUT it was still stuck on so I used my metal tongs to gently scrub off the little piece of ick and I think I scrapped off some of the pre-season...is that possible????

                              1. re: ktcolt

                                Just re-season it again. Your pre-seasoned panned won't stay seasoned for life, it just saves you the first step of seasoning. Any cast iron pan has to be re-seasoned intermittently depending on usage.

                                Let me repeat, NEVER scrub your cast iron pan w/ anything hard. I know it's hard to resist the urge to coming from a normal person's perspective. NEVER DO IT!

                                To clean it, just wipe when it's still hot. Or if it's cold, just re-heat the pan to soften up the hardened bits then wipe.

                                1. re: aser

                                  A well seasoned and properly maintained pan is pretty close to non-stick. No, you would not use it for cooking melted cheese or other items that stick like glue as a rule, but you can come pretty darn close...
                                  You can't go wrong with investing the time and proper care into a cast iron skillet.