Re-setting Cast Iron Cookware

My cast iron frying pan (and dutch oven) were in dire need of a good scour (to remove some rust) and a re-seasoning. They haven’t been treated as nicely as I would have wanted to treat them recently, and was not taken care of during our move to CA. So I wanted to strip off as much of the current seasoning that was already there and basically, start from scratch.

Solution?

Throw them in a self cleaning over and run them through a cleaning cycle.

The pot/pan came out with most of the seasoning carbonized and flaking off. A thorough scrubbing with a brillo pad and Ajax cleaner cleaned up everything else. Bits of rust and carbon flakes.

After that I needed to re-season the pots. My new method is much better than my old one.

My new seasoning method

  1. Wash the pan thoroughly.
  2. Dry off as much water as possibly with some paper towels.
  3. Put it on the stove and set the heat on high for a few (5-10) minutesto make sure all the water has evaporated and the pan/pot get really hot.
  4. Turn off the heat.
  5. Pour some peanut oil into the pan. I think peanut oil is the best for this. I’ve used Crisco (most sites on the internet say to use Crisco) and Canola oil in the past. They are both okay, but I think peanut oil is the shit.
  6. Take some NEW, dry paper towels and spread the oil around as much as possible. You want the thinnest coat possible. Make sure to get both sides, the lip if there is one and the handle. Cover the entire pan. Use more oil if necessary. Remember to use a kitchen towel or something to hold the handle. But remember, don’t use too much oil.
  7. Put some aluminum foil in the oven, on the lowest rack.
  8. Place the cast iron pan/pot, upside down on the aluminum foil.
  9. Turn the oven to 450 deg F.
  10. Bake the pan/pot for 90 minutes.
  11. After baking, let the pan/pot cool in the oven.
If the pan/pot needs a little more seasoning, start again from step #3 after the pot/pan has cooled. Don’t try to do it in one step with more oil, you’ll just end up with ‘gunk’ on the pan that comes off during cleaning after regular use.

P.S. I also find this works much better in a gas oven than an electric one. I haven’t really figured out why yet.