Wednesday, January 28, 2009

'Tis the Season to ReSeason!

(Okay, I'm sorry...I do know that the title was a little cheesey.)

We've had this old neglected cast iron pot sitting around since we've moved into together.

It belonged to Ms mother, and she had so many items, that she gave us one. Something tells me that she picked it up from a garage sale... :)

Cast iron is reknown for being a excellent conductor of heat and thus, a great surface for frying and cooking on. Furthermore, the pieces last lifetimes and, when treated right, can be made to be a great, non-toxic, "non-stick" surface.

The question for me was, how do I begin?

I'd watched Chef Michael Smith demonstrate how to season a cast iron pan on his show, Chef at Large, but my pot was a little rusty.

After some searching on the internet, I came across several articles and read them all through. The synopsis was that I had to remove the rust, heat the pot up to remove any moisture, then coat with animal fat and heat again to create a sticky layer of "season". Off I went...

I took a steel wool scouring pad and went to work. It took a fair amount of elbow grease, but that rust came right off! I rinsed well with hot water and set the pot and lid in the oven to dry at 300ºF.

After about half an hour or so, I removed the pot and lid from the oven carefully - it was hot (and heavy!) and placed them on a baking sheet.

Using an off-set spatula, a silicone basting brush, and some lard, I coated both the pot and lid inside and out with a layer of lard. It went back into the oven for about an hour, and repeated the process once.

It got smokey! Thank goodness it was warmer and drier that day! We closed all the bedroom doors, left the patio door and some windows open, and turned on the exhaust fan full blast.

In the end, the pot was all glistening and sticky and perfect. Ok, so it wasn't perfect. But it was nice and seasoned.

I used it the next morning to make breakfast (bacon and eggs) and the results were delicous! What a way to utilize natural products in the kitchen. (Can you say "green" cookware??)

Cooking Monster
Cooking Louisiana

There are a few more photos on my flickr photoset "Seasoning Cast Iron".

Cast Iron Skillet on Foodista
Seasoning Cast Iron on Foodista


  1. Interesting article. In your search for finding a way to remove rust, did you come across any articles suggesting to use Coca-Cola as a rust remover? I've heard of that, but never knew if that was a true fact. Thanks!

  2. Anonymous, I can't remember if I came across any advice on using Coca-Cola as a rust remover, but I'm sure it has its merits. I'd think that the high acidity / low pH of the cola (mainly in the form of phosphoric acid) would aid in rust removal, but the main thing for me was physical agitation. Hellooooo elbow grease! :)


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