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Aug 25, 2011 02:01 AM

Seasoning cast iron with wooden handle?

I just picked up a very nice little cast iron skillet with a wooden handle (like this: and while it came pre-seasoned I can see light grey spots in it where this has already worn off during transportation and at any rate it is very dull to the eyes (it's grey rather than black), doesn't look well seasoned to me. Obviously I cannot place this in the oven or in a fire place.

I know it's possible to season carbon steel on the cooktop, can I do the same for cast iron? I'm familiar with the techniques for seasoning in ovens described in previous threads.

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  1. Sure you can.

    I heat the properly cleaned pan a little, wipe canola/sunflower/corn oil round with kitchen paper (Just enough to make the surface glisten. Any more may result in sticky blobs of burnt oil), leave on low to medium heat for about 30 minutes and then allow to cool. Repeat about 3 times and you're pretty much there.

    My exteriors got the odd oily wipe early on and now seem to stay rust free despite getting thoroughly washed.

    1. It looks to me like the wooden handle is screwed in - if so, it could be temporarily be removed.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rosetown

        I agree. Handle looks removable.

        If not, you can do as Robin Joy says, or it's also possible to wrap the handle in a damp cloth, then wrap that in foil, and then bake the whole thing in the oven.

        1. re: Bada Bing

          Will this stop the handle from turning black? A friend and I once started preheating her oven with a frying pan with a wooden handle still in it (they apparently used to store it in there). handle was black by the time we opened the oven to put our cake in...

          1. re: Xantha

            It's not my method, actually, but instead what Ms. Tane Chan from the Wok Shop in SF recommends. The process starts at about 1:20 on this video:


      2. The handle does not appear to be removable sadly, it's cast iron all the way out to the end but encased by wood - not really sure how they did it but it won't budge =(.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Xantha

          I have no idea how they would have managed to put wood on that handle without it screwing in. Screwing in a wooden handle is fairly standard on that kind of design, at least, as far as I know.

          It might take more force than you were using. You unscrew from the metal end of the handle and probably will require a good pair of pliers. The metal end of the handle is not parallel to the pan which again suggests it was screwed in.

          1. re: rosetown

            I tried to phone them - but it's 9.59PM in Sweden - will try again tomorrow morning - want to get to the bottom of this :). Free international calling is included in my phone contract.

            1. re: rosetown

              Keep me posted - as I was actually at their factory outlet when I bought it it would have been clever to ask wouldn't it...

              1. re: Xantha

                I'm still going to phone them tomorrow but I did find this on their website:


                See under 'The pan has turned grey':
                PLEASE NOTE!! If the pan has a wooden handle etc etc etc

                1. re: rosetown

                  I talked to them this morning and they told me that although the handle is screwed in for safety reasons not to remove it. I didn't persue those reasons. I just accepted that they have legitimate safety concerns.

                  Personally, I would use a stove top method.

        2. I wrote about a method for doing so near the end of this thread:

          Basically, if you use flaxseed oil on a wide burner kept medium to high (depends on your stove), you can apply many layers of seasoning quickly to the bottom of a pan. This is the quickest, most effective way I've seen to generate a fully nonstick surface on the pan surface, actually reminiscent of a pan that's been in use and for years, slowly building a coating.

          - generates lots of smoke. Use a fan or vent.
          - doesn't season the sides of a pan. Though if you think about it, there aren't many reasons the sides of a CI pan would need to be seasoned
          - if your burner is too small or your pan too large, you won't create anything near so nicely a seasoned surface near the outside edges of the pan. You may be able to get around this by moving the pan around - I haven't experimented fully.

          - faster than any other method of seasoning CI that I've seen. The whole process takes under an hour.
          - creates a much better nonstick surface than any other method I've seen (save repeated use and building a seasoning over time).
          - the wooden handle is no problem at all.

          1. i would start like cowboyardee says..a layer of flaxseed or your preferred oil to get a layer started..

            but then just start using it...
            frying bacon...sausages...butter..lard..the more you use it-- the more its going to season....

            and i dont see where the handle comes off...

            i probably wouldnt put it in the oven at all....the wood will dry out...
            it looks like its made for the stove top only...

            if u want/need one for going in the stove u will probably need to get one without the wood handle..

            1 Reply
            1. re: srsone

              I second srsone's comment - cook some bacon this weekend for breakfast and you should be able to do some double duty. Leave the greasy pan on your stove until lunch or dinner so everything sets in.