Cast iron lids
Although I have great success with a durable seasoning on my cast iron pots and pans, I've always had a bit of trouble with the lids. Unlike the rest of the pans, cast iron lids are mostly subjected to water vapor from cooking food, which (in my experience) gradually wears the seasoning off. And since the lids tend not to have a thick layer of seasoning in the first place (unlike the pan surface which builds up over years of cooking), it's hard to maintain. I find it's more of a problem with pans that might be subjected to higher heat, which seems to strip the seasoning faster.
I like some things about the design of many cast iron lids -- many have those little spikes which collect moisture and return it to the food, which is useful for keeping volatile flavoring compounds in the pan. And they're obviously useful for cooking over a fire or something because of their durability. But after a few long slow-cooking sessions, I sometimes find a bit of rust appearing, which isn't as appealing as an addition to my food.
Obviously reseasoning is always possible, but it's a bit annoying to do frequently. It's also harder to do periodic "stovetop seasoning" given that the handle usually tips the lid to a side when placed upside down, and it's difficult to get an even layer of oil across and between all the spikes.
What do people think here? Do you have any tips for using cast iron lids and keeping them seasoned? Do you like them? Do you also have difficulties with them? Or do you just use other lids on your cast iron (as I do sometimes).
(By the way, before someone asks, I don't store the lids on my pans, so that's not the source of the rust.)
Yeah, I've always had the same problems. I love my CI dutch ovens, and I have four different sizes of Griswold skillet lids, too (my Preciouses: #7, 8, 9, and 10--cost more than the pans!) but everything you say is true.
I make sure to spray some PAM type stuff on the interior of the lid prior to use. And I find that most lids will allow their handles to slip down between my oven rack bars, stabilizing them, when I'm seasoning. When they don't, I sometimes invert them over a not great CI skillet, merely as a holder, while seasoning.
Also, after washing, I make sure to pop the lids over the burners for a few minutes--on medium--to make sure they're good and dry before storing.