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Nov 21, 2007 11:45 AM

Quick and Dirty Reseasoning of Cast Iron Pan?

Just saw that my cast iron pan, that I use once a year to make tarte tatin, has rust in it (shame on me, I know). If I scrub out the rust with a brillo pad, coat with crisco and bake for a couple of hours at 350 - will that do the trick?


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  1. That should definitely do it, but it's not exactly "quick and dirty." How about BLTs for dinner tonight? Frying up a pound of bacon would do it better and faster.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      He he - thanks! My husband is wedded to ordering fromPig Heaven tonight while I keep on cooking!

      Edit - it's in the oven now - along with the omelette pan and fish pan I bought two months ago and never got around to seasoning!

      1. re: MMRuth

        You see. It was all a plot to finally get you to season your omelette plan!

        1. re: JoanN

          Oil it up really well then take it outside and throw it on a hot gas or charcoal grill for a half hour or so, turning it once. This keeps the smoke from the burning oil out of the house, as happens with the oven method.

          1. re: Dave B

            Thanks for the tip - as my apartment did smell more like oil than wafts of apple pie - but no "outside" in Manhattan apartment.

    2. According to Louisiana Chef John Folse

      Seasoning and care of a black cast iron pot

      Seasoning, the process whereby the pores in cast iron absorb oil and create a natural non-stick finish, is not complicated and shouldn’t discourage first-time cast iron users.

      Directions: Seasoning a New Cast Iron Pot

      1. In order to start the process, wash, rinse and thoroughly dry the new skillet or dutch oven to remove the protective wax coating. I recommend drying the utensil over a low flame to remove all moisture from the porous metal, 2-3 minutes.
      2. Put two tablespoons of liquid vegetable oil in the utensil. Do not use saturated fat, such as butter or bacon fat, because this fat will become rancid during storage. Use a paper towel to coat the entire surface of the utensil with the oil, inside and out -- including all corners, edges and lids.
      3. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Line a large baking pan or cookie sheet with aluminum foil and turn the utensils upside down, including the lid, to prevent the oil building up on the inside of the pan.
      4. Bake the utensils for 1 hour, turn off the heat and allow the skillet or dutch oven to cool completely in the oven with the door closed, 4-6 hours.
      5. Remove from oven and wipe with a paper towel. This completes the seasoning process, and you are ready to use your nicely seasoned cast iron skillet.

      In addition to seasoning, the general care of cast iron is also important. By following these easy steps, you can ensure your cast iron pieces will be around to serve you for a long time to come.

      Directions: General Care of a Cast Iron Pot

      1. Always wash with a mild detergent, rinse and dry thoroughly. I recommend placing a thoroughly rinsed utensil over heat or flame, 2-3 minutes, to remove any moisture from the porous metal. Never scour or use a dishwasher. (You may use a plastic bun to remove stubborn food particles).
      2. Cook food with little water content the first few times. Avoid cooking acidic foods such as tomatoes, unless combined with other food. Uncover hot food as you remove from the heat, because steam may remove the protective coating.
      3. Rust, a metallic taste or discolored foods are signs of improper or inadequate seasoning. If this occurs, wash thoroughly and re-season.
      4. Since cast iron heats evenly, it is not necessary to use extremely high cooking temperatures. Best results are obtained with medium to medium-to-high temperature settings. Do not overheat or leave empty utensil on the burner. Never place the utensil on an already heated burner; rather, allow the utensil to heat as the burner does.
      5. Always store cast iron utensils with tops or lids off so moisture won’t collect inside. Store in a warm, dry place. A paper towel placed inside the utensil will absorb any moisture and prevent rust.