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How to cure cast iron

It’s easy! Whether you inherited vintage cast iron covered in rust or forgot to dry your skillet after washing, we’ll show you a few simple steps that will restore your cookware to like-new condition. Let’s take a look at how rust occurs and ways you can tackle it so you can start cooking again in no time.

How to cure cast iron

Our cast iron cookware is made of a mix of pig iron, steel, and alloys. Without the protective layer of carbonized oil called seasoning, cast iron is susceptible to rust. Even a well-seasoned pan can rust if it’s left in the sink to soak, put in the dishwasher, allowed to air dry, or stored in a moisture-prone environment.

There’s no need to throw away a cast iron skillet that’s a little (or a lot) rusty. In fact, the next time you stumble upon some rusty pots and pans at an antique store or flea market, imagine the potential! Follow these five easy steps to restore cast iron cookware to its former glory.

A little (or a lot) of rust on your cast iron cookware is no reason to panic. Follow these simple steps to refurbish your cast iron finish, and you’ll be cooking for decades to come.

Scour the rusty sections with steel wool or the Lodge Rust Eraser. Then wash the pan with warm, soapy water. This step may remove portions of the seasoning, but that’s okay because we’re preparing to re-season the pan.

How to cure cast iron

Completely dry your cast iron skillet with a paper towel or lint-free cloth. You can place it on the stovetop on low heat for a few minutes to make sure it’s completely dry.

How to cure cast iron

Add a very thin layer of cooking oil to the entire surface of your cast iron with a cloth or lint-free paper towel. Go easy on the oil—you want just a thin layer, not enough to drip or run when you tilt it. Thin layers are important for baking seasoning into the pan.

How to cure cast iron

Preheat your oven to 450–500 degrees F. Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any excess oil. Put your cookware upside down on the center rack. This helps prevent oil from pooling on the cooking surface. Bake for 1 hour.

How to cure cast iron

Turn the heat off and allow the cast iron skillet to cool in the oven. This allows the seasoning to further cure and adhere to the iron.

How to cure cast iron

How to cure cast iron

I tried to season my pan and now it’s sticky and gummy. Now what?

This will happen if too much oil is used to season your cast iron or if you didn’t heat it for a long enough time. It’s easy to fix! Just pop it back in the oven for another hour, or until the stickiness is gone.

My cast iron looks dull and burnt. How do I fix it?

Cast iron will become dull if it’s heated without any oil on the cooking surface, or if it’s heated without enough oil in the pan to cook the food. The dullness comes when the oil on the pan burns off before cooking. To fix this, just re-season the pan. If your cast iron still looks dull after re-seasoning it, repeat the process until it achieves a slight sheen.

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How to cure cast iron

Cast iron skillets are durable cooking devices that can last for decades. These skillets are so durable that they can be handed down from generation to generation. But just like any durable type of equipment, cast iron skillets must be properly taken cared of after each use. This guide will show you the proper way how to cure a cast iron skillet.

Curing a cast iron pan is also called seasoning the pan. You must season the skillet after each use before storing it in your cabinets. If you do this properly, a patina or coating will form on the cast iron skillet with regular use. This coating creates the non-stick surface of the pan while also allowing it to be used for high heat cooking.

Curing a Cast Iron Skillet

Whether it is an old heirloom or newly bought, a cast iron skillet must be well seasoned for it to last for many years. Follow these steps on how to cure a cast iron skillet.

  1. Wash all the dirt off the cast iron pan. Scrub the pan with dish soap to make sure that everything comes off. It is recommended to use warm or hot water for this step to make sure that all the dirt or grease rinses off with the soap.
  2. Once properly cleaned, dry the skillet with a kitchen towel or paper towels. You can also place them on high heat on the stove top until these are dry.
  3. Preheat your oven to 200oF and place the skillet inside to warm it up. Take it out of the oven after a few minutes. It shouldn’t be too hot.
  4. Use canola oil, flaxseed oil, or solid shortening to season the skillet. Using a paper towel, rub the oil or shortening all over the pan. Do this for the inside of the pan, the outside, and the handle. No parts of the pan should be left oil-free.
  5. Using another clean and dry paper towel, wipe off all the excess oil or shortening.
  6. Place the cast iron skillet upside down in the oven on top of an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet so any excess oil won’t drip on the insides of your oven.
  7. Set the oven to the highest temperature it will go, or to at least 350oF for 1 hour.
  8. Turn off the oven and allow the cast iron pan to cool for about 1 and a half hours or until the oven is completely cool.
  9. If you have the time, repeat the process twice especially if you are seasoning an old cast iron skillet that hasn’t been used for a while, or a brand new one.
  10. Store the cast iron skillet in a clean and dry place in your kitchen. If your skillet has a lid, do not store it with the lid on because moisture can become trapped inside which will lead to rust.

Conclusion

This was a basic guide on how to cure a cast iron skillet. Doing this regularly will make your food taste better, and your cast iron pans will last for a lifetime.

How to cure cast iron

Image By: Joshua Weissman Via YouTube

Cast-iron cookware is the favorite of many cooks, there really is nothing quite like it. I have searched the world over and have never found anything that cooks like it or lasts like it anywhere on Earth. When I found this awesome video tutorial by Joshua Weissman, on YouTube, describing how to restore and cure cast-iron, I knew I had to try this method. Cooking on cast iron is both nostalgic and healthy and is often considered the gold standard in cooking for their ability to distribute heat evenly for a consistent dish every time, like steak. A steak seared in a cast-iron skillet is so good! But what to do when your gorgeous cast iron gets rusty and crusty? Do not fear, there is a fail-safe easy method to restore your gorgeous cast iron to its former glory with a little elbow grease, and know how you can make your cast iron great again.

Materials To Restore And Cure Cast-Iron:

  • 50% Water & 50% Vinegar Soak (soak pan between 1 to 5 hours)
  • Baling soda (as much as you need for the level of dirt and rust you have)
  • Scouring pads (steel wool, or metal scouring)
  • Flax oil (some people use Crisco)

Directions:

In this awesome video tutorial by Joshua Weissman, on YouTube, you will learn how to restore and cure cast-iron in a few easy steps.

How to cure cast ironImage By: Joshua Weissman Via YouTube

Then you will bake it in the oven at the hottest temperature for one hour.

This is a fantastic method of cleaning cast iron, I really love it!

How to cure cast iron

How to cure cast iron How to cure cast iron How to cure cast iron How to cure cast iron How to cure cast iron

How to cure cast iron

Oh Bother Blog / Featured

October 22, 2020

How to cure cast iron How to cure cast iron How to cure cast iron How to cure cast iron

How to cure cast iron

Our trusty cast iron skillets are used almost daily in the test kitchen, where proper care is paramount. After all, good cast iron cookware can be expensive, but it’s an investment worth making.

When cared for correctly, cast iron skillets are virtually indestructible, despite what some may say. They also get hot and stay hot better than most pans, not to mention they’re super versatile — in what other vessels can you make a juicy steak, a beautiful brunch dish, and perfect Southern-style cornbread?

They’re also easier to season and maintain than most people think. But what exactly does caring for cast iron entail?

The Cure

Curing, or seasoning, is an essential step after purchasing new cookware. Essentially, curing is just baking oil onto cast iron via a process called polymerization, forming a natural, almost non-stick cooking surface that — bonus — also helps prevent your pan from rusting.

A few years ago, flaxseed oil was touted as the best curing agent on the market, but it’s really expensive and prone to rancidity. In the test kitchen, we usually go with canola or safflower because we always have it around and it’s cheap.

At the end of the day, the specific oil with which you choose to cure doesn’t matter as much as its properties. Choose an oil with a high smoke point and one that is not fully saturated so that its unsaturated fatty acids can form bonds with the skillet when the oil heats up and oxidizes.

The Technique

As is so often the case in cooking, technique matters most. Pop your clean cast iron into the oven and crank it to 200ºF or whatever your lowest setting is. When the pan is warm, rub it all over with a very thin layer of oil, about 1/2 teaspoon. Warm iron, like laughing brains, is more absorbent. Remember, total coverage is key, not just the bits that touch the food — in other words, make sure you coat the bottom, exterior sides, and the handle, too.

Now, here’s where things can go very wrong. If the oil layer is too thick, the resulting surface will be sticky, and you’ll have to strip the pan and start over. So, add a very thin layer of oil and then wipe it off until you can’t see it anymore — don’t worry, there’s still plenty on there. Place the pan upside-down, mid-oven, and crank the hot box to its highest heat for one hour. Then, kill the heat and leave the pan inside until it’s completely cool. If you can, repeat the cycle two more times. Yes, that means it’ll take about eight hours to cure a pan, and yes, it’s worth it.

The Final Touch

Keeping up with a properly seasoned pan means cleaning it well after each use. Luckily, the process is fairly simple:

  1. Wipe out the pan or skillet.
  2. Return it to the heat — anywhere between medium and high is fine.
  3. Add about 1 tablespoon oil.
  4. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons kosher salt.
  5. Wad up some paper towels and grab with tongs.
  6. Scrub ’till the vessel is clean and the salt is dark brown or gray.
  7. Dump out the salt.
  8. Wipe with a very thin layer of oil. (See above re: thick oil layers and sticky surfaces. Avoid!)
  9. Cool.
  10. Store.

If your pan is too dirty to be cleaned using the above procedure, you can introduce water and a sponge, but make sure to dry the pan thoroughly afterwards. In the test kitchen, we like to place the pan over low heat first to evaporate any liquid, then crank the heat up, and follow the procedure above starting at step 3.

Tips and Tricks

Since cast iron is virtually indestructible, there are plenty of very old skillets out there that are perfectly good for cooking (if not better than those that are made today). Keep a lookout for vintage skillets at garage and estate sales, as well as well-stocked antique stores. The kicker is that they’re usually not well cared for, but this, believe it or not, is an easy enough situation to remedy…with a little elbow grease.

To clean and cure a rusted, beaten-up skillet, scour the surface with steel wool (gloves are highly suggested for this step) until the rust has been removed. Wash the skillet thoroughly with warm water and a touch of dish soap. If small amounts of rust persist, use a scouring pad or bristle brush to gently scrub. Dry the skillet thoroughly, and then follow the above curing technique, repeating at least 3 to 5 times.

Fun fact: If you choose to invest in carbon-steel pans in addition to cast iron, you can season your new cookware with the exact same procedure.

Blue jeans need wearing in. Guitars need tuning. Cast iron pans need seasoning.

Seasoning is the black patina that builds up on your cast iron skillet with regular use, a non-stick surface that’s slick enough for eggs to skate across the pan, but tough enough to withstand the blazing heat needed to properly sear a steak. It’s the at-home work you do to turn a cast iron pan into an heirloom, and it’s as important for your cooking as the iron your pan is made from.

There’s a lot of advice on the internet about seasoning and cast iron care, and a lot of misinformation as well, so we want to set the record straight on what you really need to know to season a cast iron skillet correctly. We’ve spent years obsessing over how to make the best cast iron pan, which means we’ve devoted hundreds of hours to researching and comparing different ways to season it. That’s included testing a wide range of oils, heat ranges, and techniques while consulting chemists, machinists, and cast iron lovers around the country.

When subjected to high heat, long chains of fat molecules break down into short-chain polymers that bond with naturally produced carbon and bare iron, forming a kind of glaze. This is seasoning, and it has smooth, non-stick properties similar to Teflon. It also forms a natural barrier between the air and the naked iron in your pan, acting as the first line of defense against rust.

How to cure cast iron

If you put cast iron under a microscope, you’ll see that its surface is bumpy and porous, and those bumps and pores expand once the pan is heated. Seasoning, especially in the early life of a pan, bakes right into the iron, filling in those pores and smoothing everything out into an even surface. Over time, as layer after layer of seasoning builds up, the cooking surface eventually becomes pure seasoning, securely bonded to the iron underneath.

How to cure cast iron

How to Naturally Season Cast Iron

We’ve found the best way to build seasoning is also the simplest: cook with your pan as often as you can. Every time you heat oil or fat for an extended period of time in cast iron, you have the opportunity to add a thin, durable patch of seasoning to your pan. These thin layers build on each other like coats of paint on a wall, slowly but surely forming a resilient, ultra-slick surface.

We designed Field Seasoning Oil for exactly this purpose: apply a dab after you use your skillet, and next time you heat it up, our blend of organic oils will help build durable, non-stick seasoning. Meal after meal, you’ll be adding to your skillet’s seasoning and improving its performance.

When it comes to good seasoning that lasts, we can’t stress the importance of thin layers enough. Compare it to thick coats of paint on a windowsill; once air and moisture sneak past the surface and work their way down to the wood beneath, those coats will start to peel off like a giant scab. In a pan, thick layers of seasoning will scrape off with normal use. Only the thin layers, molecularly bonded to the pan and each other, will stand the test of time.

How to cure cast iron

At the beginning, this won’t look pretty. Factors like what and how you cook, hot spots on your stove, and even the exact angle of your stove will shape how initial coats of seasoning form. They’ll likely appear in patches, darker in some spots than others, rather than a perfectly even layer. But patchy seasoning is actually a good thing—it allows layers of seasoning to interlock with and strengthen each other for a truly durable coat of seasoning.

Seasoning Cast Iron in the Oven

Seasoning a pan—as a verb—adds a thicker, more thorough coat of seasoning all over the entire pan, all at once. It’s a way to kickstart the seasoning process and build a base layer that will grow stronger every time you cook with your pan.

Some cast iron owners do this for every new piece of cookware they get, and then repeat the process every few months or years; others never bother, opting for a slow and steady “keep cooking” policy. Field Skillets are well-suited for either method. Our preferred method: cook with your skillet often, and apply Field Seasoning Oil after every use.

How to cure cast iron

After testing every technique out there, we’ve developed an approach based on gradually boosting the temperature of the pan to bake the seasoning into the surface, not just on top of it. Your ideal seasoning temperature is just below the smoke point of your oil, the point where it breaks down into carbon and short-chain polymers that can bond with iron. Below that point for too short a time, and the oil won’t fully polymerize; above that point for too long, and the oil runs the risk of skipping past the polymer stage and straight into completely burnt carbon.

The best oils for cast iron seasoning

The best fat polymerization comes from oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids—the compounds that give ‘drying oils’ the ability to thicken and harden once exposed to air. After testing dozens of seasoning methods with all kinds of fats, our favorites are organic grapeseed oil and sunflower oil — Field Seasoning Oil uses both. These oils break down into tough but thin coats of seasoning that build well on each other over time.

Saturated fats like lard and coconut oil aren’t the best choice for oven-seasoning; as they break down, they don’t open sufficient bonding points for carbon molecules to adhere to the molten polymers. On the flipside, beware of drying oils that are very high in unsaturated fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil. While flaxseed oil is a popular choice on the internet, we’ve found the seasoning it produces can be brittle and prone to flaking. Grapeseed strikes a good balance, is easy to find in most supermarkets, and it’s also a great everyday cooking fat.

Caring for Your Cast Iron Cookware

Compliments of Lodge Manufacturing Company
America’s Largest and Oldest Producer of Quality Cast Iron Cookware

Here’s something unique! Our products are built to literally last a lifetime. They won’t chip, crack, peel, dent, warp or wear out. When ‘seasoned’ properly, not only will they last a lifetime, they will perform like new every day. Cast iron cookware always outperforms other materials due to its even heating properties and heat retention. Plus it is value priced!

How to ‘Season’ Cast Iron Cookware

Seasoning is the process of allowing oil to be absorbed into the iron, creating a non-stick, rustproof finish. Here’s how to do it:

1. Wash with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. Rinse and dry completely.
2. Oil the cookware (inside and out) with MELTED solid vegetable shortening.
3. Turn upside down on the top rack of a 350°F pre-heated oven.
4. Put aluminum foil on the bottom rack to catch any excess drippings.
5. Bake the cookware for one hour at 350°F.
6. Let the cookware cool slowly in the oven.
7. Store, uncovered, in a dry place when cooled.

The New Utensil

Wash thoroughly with mild dishwashing liquid to remove the wax coating used for protection in shipping. Rinse with hot water and dry completely with a soft cloth or paper towel. NEVER ALLOW TO DRAIN DRY, OR WASH IN A DISHWASHER. Oil the utensil on the inside thoroughly with a LIGHT COATING of solid vegetable shortening. Do not use salted fat (margarine or butter). Treat all cast iron lids in the same manner as the pot. Place the oiled utensil in a 250-300 degrees oven and bake. After 10-15 minutes remove from the oven and drain off all excess oil. Return to the oven and bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool naturally to room temperature while in the oven.

Your utensil is now ready to use.

If your old or new cast iron ware gets light rust spots, scour the rusty areas with steel wool, i.e. SOS pad, until all traces of rust are gone.
Wash, dry and repeat seasoning process.

If your food gets a metallic taste, or food turns “black”, it means one of two things are wrong. Either your pot has not been sufficiently seasoned, or you are leaving the food in the pot after it has been cooked. Cast iron utensils are NOT to be used as storage vessels.
Remove food from the cookware as soon as it is cooked. Always clean your utensils immediately with boiling hot water and brush. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Prior to storing, oil very lightly with vegetable shortening, such as Crisco or spray with a shortening spray, such as Pam, then wipe dry with paper towel. Store in a dry place uncovered. This is especially important in humid climates. If you put a lid on a pot for storage, condensation could occur causing rust. Give your pot clean, dry air in a place where the temperature is fairly stable.

It is recommended that you cook foods with high fat and grease content the first few times to expedite seasoning. This would include cooking bacon. sausage, hamburger, or deep frying potatoes, chicken, etc.
Soups, stews, etc. (foods with high moisture and acid content) have a tendency to remove seasoning from a cast iron utensil and may want to be avoided at first, or be aware your utensil may have to be re-seasoned after use. After regular use, clean, oil lightly while warm, then wipe dry with paper towel or soft cloth before storing. Your ironware will darken with use and improve with age. A well used piece of ironware will develop a patina that truly is the ultimate in non stick
cookware.

In the case of a cast iron cake pan, corn stick pan, popover pan or muffin pan, if seasoned properly, as previously stated, you should have great success with no sticking occurring. Prior to cooking in these utensils oil well, or spray heavily with Pam or other similar spray shortening. It could be said that Pam is cast iron bakeware’s best friend. NOTE: Before baking in any cast iron utensil, oil and preheat before pouring in the batter and bake in a preheated oven.

Serving from a Cast Iron Black Pot

If you are camping out or having a western party at home and want to serve beans, stew or chili from the cookware, a few rules are to be followed and no metallic taste will be imparted.

Keep food simmering in the pot until ready to take to the table. To protect the table from the hot pot, place it on some form of trivet. After food is served, cover the pot to keep food hot for second helpings. As soon as the meal is finished, remove food, wash utensils, dry and prepare for storing.

Just for fun, watch everybody’s face light up when they see food just as it comes out of a beautiful cast iron utensil. It never fails. There is something special about food in a black pot.

Nutritional Benefit of Ironware

You may not be aware that iron cookware imparts a significant amount of dietary iron to your food, which is absorbed by the body. In other words cast iron is the healthiest cookware on the market.

Cast iron cookware is the original waterless, energy saving cookware and served this purpose in the sparse life of the pioneers.

The most tender of roasts, cooked in a variety of sauces can be simmered while on low heat on top of the range in a Lodge Dutch Oven.
Very little moisture and/or juices are lost, and top- of-the-range cooking is very inexpensive.

Cast iron cookware evenly distributes heat. It discourages “hot spots”.
If your food burns, it means only one thing – you got the pot too hot.
Less heat is needed with cast iron. However, searing, etc. needs to be done on medium-high heat, with temperatures lowered for slow cooking.
You will learn the techniques of this cookware as you become experienced with its nature.

How to cure cast iron

Cast iron cookware is as durable as it is frugal. When properly seasoned, cleaned, and maintained, your pots and pans will last for generations to come. Cast iron cookware is very forgiving. Clean and season your cast iron properly and you’ll have it forever.

How to Season Cast Iron

Seasoning, or curing, a cast iron pan is the key to getting that perfect non-stick surface that makes cooking with cast iron a joy. If you skip this step, absolutely everything will stick to the pan.

Some cast iron pieces now come pre-seasoned from the manufacturer, which is a nice time saver, but if you purchased a piece of cookware that hasn’t been seasoned yet, or you’ve acquired a second-hand piece that’s in need of re-seasoning, the process couldn’t be easier. You just need the pan and vegetable oil or shortening.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Coat the cast iron cookware liberally with vegetable oil or shortening. Be sure to do the inside and outside. If there’s a lid, do it, too.
  2. Then, place your cookware in a 300-degree oven for one hour.
  3. Remove the cookware from the oven and wipe off any liquified shortening. Your pan is now seasoned!

Seasoning Tips

  • To avoid a mess in the oven, place a piece of foil under the pan.
  • A true non-stick surface takes time to form. To avoid cooking frustrations, only use your pan for meats and other fatty foods in the beginning.

How to Clean Cast Iron

To avoid removing the seasoning that you’ve built up on the pan, you need to take special care when cleaning your cookware. Follow the proper way to clean cast iron:

  1. Wash your cast iron in hot water immediately after use. Due to concerns over bacteria, you may want to wash with soapy water, though there are many cast iron users who feel it’s best to stick to water only. Whichever route you choose, be sure not to scrub too vigorously and take care not to submerge the pan in water. Scrubbing will remove the seasoning you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
  2. Dry your cookware completely. Cast iron will rust if it isn’t dried immediately after washing. Start by towel drying your cookware. Then, place it on the stove over low heat for a minute or two to pull out any remaining moisture. If desired, lightly coat the inside of the pan with oil, and heat for a minute or two longer. This will help restore any seasoning that might have been lost during washing.
  3. Store the pan with the lid off. To further protect against rusting, store your cookware with the lid off. Many cast iron users also recommending placing a paper towel inside the cookware to absorb any additional moisture that may be present in the pan or the surrounding environment.

Cast Iron Maintenance Tips

Follow these tips to maintain your cast iron cookware.

  • Cook over low heat to avoid damage to the pan.
  • Use plastic or wooden cooking utensils to prevent scratching.
  • Remove acidic foods from your pans immediately after cooking and wash promptly to prevent damage to the seasoning.
  • Do not store foods in cast iron as this can break down the seasoning.
  • Never fully submerge cast iron in water.
  • Never put cold water in a hot pan; this can cause the pan to crack or warp.
  • Do not wash cast iron in the dishwasher.

Why Your Cast Iron Pan is Rusty

Rust indicates that a pan is not properly seasoned. This can occur when a pan is new and not fully broken in. It can also occur when the pan has been scrubbed too hard or not dried adequately after washing. To remedy the problem, scrub or sand off the rust then re-season your pan.

Food Sticking to Cast Iron Pan

If food is sticking to your pan, it’s a sign that the pan isn’t fully seasoned. To achieve the desired non-stick surface, you will need to re-season your pan. You may also find it beneficial to lightly oil your pan before and after each use and to cook fattier foods until a deep seasoning develops. Bear in mind that a true non-stick surface develops over time and after much use.

To remove caked-on food, start by scrubbing out all of the stuck-on food, just as you would with any other pan. Then, once the pan is dry, evaluate the condition of the seasoning. Are there areas where the seasoning was removed? If so, you’ll need to re-season the pan before you can use it again.

Description

This section is from the book “Machinery’s Shop Receipts And Formulas”, by The Industrial Press. Also available from Amazon: Machinery’s Shop Receipts and Formulas.

Chilling Cast Iron

Mix together Ѕ pint of oil of vitriol, 2 ounces of saltpeter, and 3 gallons of clean water. Heat the casting, and plunge it in this solution, keeping it there until cold.

Dayton, O. George E. Hetzler.

How To Soften Hard Cast Iron For Drilling

Heat to a cherry red, allowing it to lie level in the fire. Then with a pair of cold tongs put on a piece of sulphur a little less than the size hole to be drilled. This will soften the iron entirely through, providing it is not too thick. O. E. Voris.

Case-Hardening Cast Iron

To successfully case-harden cast iron, the pieces to be hardened should be heated to a red heat, then rolled in a composition of equal parts of prussiate of potash, sal-ammoniac and saltpeter. All pulverized and thoroughly mixed. Every part of the casting must be covered by the composition before plunging (red-hot) into a bath of 2 ounces prussiate of potash and 4 ounces sal-ammoniac to each gallon of cold water. A.

How To Case-Harden Cast Iron

To case-harden cast iron use a pot of suitable size for the piece, packing it in with 2/3 raw bone and 1/3 charcoal ground to about the same size as the bone. Seal the pot cover with fire-clay and place in a furnace and run it about 5 hours. Then take out the work and dip in oil or water.

How To Case-Harden Cast Iron

I have successfully case-hardened cast Iron, using the following receipt: Pulverize and mix together equal weights of saltpeter, prussiate of potash and sal-ammoniac. Make a dipping solution by adding to each quart of cold water 1 ounce prussiate of potash and Ѕ ounce sal-ammoniac Heat the cast iron pieces till red-hot, roll them in the powder, and then plunge them into the liquid.

Los Angeles. Cal. J. M. Menegus.

How To Toughen And Surface Harden Cast Iron

To toughen and surface harden small cast iron machine parts, which are subjected to wear, such as small gears, cams, etc., heat to a dull red and quench in a saturated solution of cyanide of potash and water which should be kept as near boiling point as possible. This can be accomplished best by putting the solution in an iron pot near the fire in which the parts are being heated. J. H. V.

How To Harden Cast Iron

To harden cast iron take Ѕ pint vitriol (sulphuric acid), 1 peck common salt, Ѕ pound saltpeter, 2 pounds alum, ј pound prussiate potash, and ј pound cyanide potash, dissolve in 10 gallons of water. Heat iron to a cherry red, dip, repeating until hard enough. W. T. Sears.

Hardening Cast Iron

The following process can be used for hardening cast iron whether rough or after machining. The casting is first heated to a cherry-red heat; it is then dipped in a bath which consists of a practically anhydrous acid of high heat-conducting power, preferably sulphuric acid of a specific gravity of from 1.8 to 1.9, to which is added a suitable quantity of one or more of the heavy metals or their compounds – such, for example, as arsenic or the like. The preferable ingredients of the bath are sulphuric acid of a specific gravity of approximately 1.84 and red arsenic in the proportions of ѕ pound of red arsenic crystals to 1 gallon of sulphuric acid. The castings may be either suddenly dipped in the aforementioned mixture, and then taken out and cooled in water, or they may be left in the bath until cool. In preparing the bath, when sulphuric acid and red arsenic are used, better results are obtained when the crystals are added to the sulphuric acid and the bath is allowed to stand for about a week before using. O. G.

How To Anneal Iron Casting’s

Iron castings that are too hard to machine or which have hard spots destructive to tools may be nicely annealed by packing closely in covered cast iron boxes with black manganese, and heating to a temperature of 1,500 or 1,600 degrees P., until thoroughly heated through. A large box packed in this manner with a closely-fitted cover luted with fire-clay must be heated for several hours to raise the interior to the annealing temperature. To be sure of getting the interior heated properly, a number of witness wires should be placed in the box, projecting through the cover where they can be conveniently grasped with tongs and pulled out one at a time to show how far the heat has progressed. When the interior has reached a bright red heat the box should be hauled out and covered with ashes so that it will cool slowly. It is claimed that hard spots in gray iron castings can be softened with black manganese by applying the manganese and heating to a dull red, using a blow-torch or any other convenient means of heating. M. E. Canek.

How to season your Field Skillet for natural non-stick cooking.

Seasoning is what makes your Field Skillet the best tool for everyday cooking. The best way to build up — and maintain — seasoning on any cast iron skillet is to cook with your pan, regularly. Field Skillets arrive with two coats of grapeseed oil seasoning, but some folks like to start by seasoning new cast iron to help break in the pan.

It’s also good to have a go-to cast iron seasoning method ready for care and maintenance purposes. If you ever need to patch up your seasoning after, say, cooking with too much acid or finding a spot of surface rust, these instructions will get your pan back in top shape.

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

What you’ll need:

Field Cast Iron Seasoning Oil
Absorbent, non-shedding paper towels (blue shop towels are perfect for the job)
Conventional oven

How to cure cast iron

Field Company Cast Iron Seasoning Instructions

Preheat oven to 200°F. Give the oven 10 minutes at 200°F to evaporate any moisture inside the oven.

Clean pan thoroughly — as you would after any meal. Your goal here is to remove any loose debris or residue you wouldn’t want to bake into your seasoning.

Wipe out excess water with a towel, attempting to remove all beads of water.

Evaporate remaining moisture by heating pan on a stovetop burner.

Place pan in 200°F oven for 10 minutes. This completes the drying steps and helps prepare the pan for oil application.

Remove pan from oven.

Increase oven temp to 300°F.

Add a dab of Seasoning Oil to your Field Skillet. You’ll only need about ⅛ teaspoon of oil to season your cooking surface, but you want to start with more, to make sure you have even coverage before wiping away any excess.

Use a clean paper towel to rub the oil in concentric circles, then take a fresh paper towel and wipe up all the residue. When you’re done wiping up excess oil, the pan should look dry, with a dull matte finish. Though it might not look it, plenty of oil will still be on the pan, just in a super-thin layer, which is exactly what you want. Remember, your goal is to bake a layer of seasoning into the pan, not on top of it.

How to cure cast iron

Repeat on the bottom and handle with another ¼ teaspoon dab of oil. That’s it—no more oil than that.

Place pan in 300°F oven for 10 minutes.

Remove pan from oven.

Increase temp to 400°F.

If necessary, wipe out any pooled oil with a fresh paper towel or rag. If excess oil remains, you’ll end up with spotting or “spiderweb” marks on the finished product. (Mistakes happen! — Don’t worry, cook on. Ugly pans still cook delicious meals.)

Place pan upside down in 400°F oven for 1 hour.

Turn off oven, but leave pan inside, allowing seasoning to cure. 30-60 minutes is recommended.

Repeat 2-3 times as needed.

It’s especially important to thoroughly wipe away excess oil where specified. You’ll end up with much less than 1 teaspoon on the pan surface when you’re done wiping down. If excess oil remains in the pan, you’ll see pooling or “spiderweb” marks on the finished product.

How to cure cast iron

Seasoning by cooking

The best way to achieve reliably non-stick seasoning is also the simplest: cook with your skillet as often as you can. Every time you heat oil or fat, you begin to add a thin, durable patch of seasoning to your pan. These thin layers expand and interlock, building on each other like coats of paint, and with time create a resilient, ultra-slick cooking surface.

We designed Field Seasoning Oil to keep this process on track: apply a dab after you clean your skillet, and next time you heat it up, the Seasoning Oil will go to work. Every time you cook, you’ll be adding to your skillet’s seasoning and improving its performance.

Now that your Field Skillet is ready for action, where to start? We recommend breaking in your skillet with a few seasoning-friendly meals. Start here, with 5 easy recipes to break in your cast iron cookware.

This morning, as with many, I let my skillet dry by leaving it on the burner. Unfortunately, my attention was drawn away and I forgot to take it off the burner! Of course, the moment I noticed, I moved it to another burner to cool, but this light-brown ring appeared.

How to cure cast iron

After it cooled, touched the ring and discovered it was a powder, not merely a discoloration:

I’m not sure what this signifies. How do I recover the skillet?

How to cure cast iron

6 Answers 6

It is hard to tell from the picture, but this doesn’t look like burned off seasoning, it is more like a burned on residue. If that’s the case, you can try cleaning it some way. The problem is that physical cleaning methods probably won’t be sufficient, chemical cleaning with alkali will damage the seasoning and chemical cleaning with acid, if the seasoning is compromised, can rust the pan a bit. So there is a high chance you will end up reseasoning.

If this really looks and feels like a buildup and not like exposed oxidised metal, my preference would be to soak in warm, not hot, acid. Vinegar or a citric acid solution should work well. Afterwards, try to scrub off with a stiff plastic brush.

If it doesn’t go away, or the seasoning goes away too, or if this was missing seasoning from the beginning, you have to strip and reseason. We have several questions on the topic, and the Internet is also full of suggestions. I personally prefer doing it with lye (best results, strips both old seasoning and rust), owners of self-cleaning ovens like incinerating it, and there are a list of other methods to work with.

How to cure cast iron

Give it a good salt scrub and re-season. Cast iron is virtually indestructible. As long as it’s not cracked, it can always be cleaned up and used again.

How to cure cast iron

Don’t worry, it takes far more than that to damage a cast iron pan. The worst that could happen is that you overheat the seasoning on it, in which case it may flake off. If it does start flaking then you need to remove what is loose and then re-season.

That’s the great thing about cast iron. Rub it with salt, steel wool, sandpaper, heck even sandblast it. Give it a good rinse, re-season it and carry on. Like @Jason Whipple says, unless you’ve cracked it, you can usually recover it.

I did this same exact thing and I believe the reddish-brown powder is rust. It stuck on my fingers like rust would. When I wiped off the powder, the bottom was no longer slick so I think I burned the seasoning off.

There were no flakes per se, but around the rust area there was a light yellowish ring which I beleived to be the seasoning starting to peel away from the metal.

I used sandpaper on it, rinsed it, and reseasoned it.

How to cure cast iron

This looks like rust. I believe what happened is you burned the seasoning clear off and quickly so that ash didn’t get a chance to develop but went up with the smoke. While cooling the bare iron developed a surface layer of rust.

This happens also when you strip your cast iron in the clean cycle of your oven. As it cools it turns orange, which then needs to be scrubbed off again, and the cast iron put back in the oven to warm just enough to drive off the moisture before wiping on the first layer of oil.

The resolution here is to use hot water and a green scrubby to get rid of the rust. The hot water simply preheats the pan so it dries faster. Put the pan back on the burner, and wipe out the water with a paper towel. Check thenair about an inch over the surface of the pan starts. When is starts to feel like the pan is near cooking heat, pour in a teaspoon or two of your prefered seasoning oil. Spread it out and wipe it back up with a paper towel. Leave the pan on medium low heat, and don’t go anywhere. As the oil starts to lump up (it will climb into drops on the bottom of the pan) use a fresh paper towel to wipe them up. Let the bottom of the pan get dry from the heat, then pour in another teaspoon of oil, and repeat 3 or 4 times to restore a few layers of seasoning.

If you wish you can continue this for even up to 9 times SO LONG AS YOU DRY THE OIL EVERY CYCLE, but you eventually lose return on investment. It just won’t get any better. The only way to continue to improve the seasoning is to use the pan and care for it properly and the seasoning will build up nice smooth and slick.

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How to Season Cast Iron With Beeswax

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How to cure cast iron

Let me tell you, if you’re not cooking with cast iron you’re missing out! For years I was intrigued by cast iron but the care and seasoning process intimidated me. It seemed strange and unsanitary that you didn’t use soap to clean it. It also seemed like a pain in the neck to have to go through all of those steps each time I used it.

But after a while, curiosity got the best of me, and I asked for a cast iron pan for Christmas.

After a bit of research, I’ve found that caring for cast iron is really no big deal. It takes less time and effort than cleaning my juicer. (My least favorite kitchen gadget to clean) And the cooking payoff WAAAY out-weighs the care required.

Benefits of cast iron

  • It’s all about the sear. Cast iron sears the exterior of food into a crispy, crunchy, caramelly crust and it’s amazing! Steak gets this amazing sizzled browning that is out of this world! Fried potatoes … don’t get me started!
  • It cooks evenly. The heat distribution travels uniformly across the entire pan surface so you don’t get hot and cool spots.
  • It has a fairly non-stick cooking surface without the use of Teflon or other possibly toxic technologies.
  • You can move from stovetop to oven with ease.
  • You can crowd the pan and still get crispy food.

Caring for cast iron

The enemy of cast iron is water. Really that’s the logic behind the seasoning process. The seasoning process heats the pan to remove any water that may have penetrated into the porous surface of the cast iron. Then it is sealed with an oil as a protective layer.

You can wash your cast iron with soap, but soap will remove the protective oil. So you’ll have to repeat the seasoning process.

Why beeswax?

Most of the time seasoning is done with a room temperature solid oil. I like to use rendered lard, but vegetable shortening or coconut oil works well too. An oil with a high smoke point is best.

Seasoning with beeswax works especially well if you plan to store cast iron for a period of time. The wax also holds up better if you do have to use soap.

Beeswax is a great waterproofer. It’s also completely edible and natural. Beeswax hardens better at room temperature than oils so you won’t get that sticky residue that sometimes happens with oil. Beeswax has the slightest honey flavor which may be detectable if you’re cooking something without a lot of flavors right after you season your pan. But, with most food it’s undetectable and will disappear after the first round of cooking.

Cooking Australian food

Question: How Long To Bake Cast Iron To Season?

How long does it take to season cast iron in the oven?

How To Season Your Cast – Iron Skillet: Scrub skillet well in hot soapy water. Dry thoroughly. Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the skillet. Place it upside down on a middle oven rack at 375°. (Place foil on a lower rack to catch drips.) Bake 1 hour; let cool in the oven.

How can you tell if cast iron is seasoned?

A well- seasoned skillet will have a dark, semiglossy finish and won’t be sticky or greasy to the touch. It won’t have any rust or any dull or dry patches. An easy way to test a skillet’s seasoning is to fry an egg (heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes, then add egg).

Can you over season cast iron?

The process of seasoning cast iron cookware consists of coating it with oil, heating it in the oven, letting it cool, and repeating. Seasoning a pan with too much oil will cause it to be sticky, and then you ‘ll just have to start over.

How many times do you season a cast iron skillet?

All in all, you’ll want to do this oiling-and-heating process three to four times, to set down a good initial layer of your own seasoning. Once you’re done, just let the pan cool down. It’s now ready for cooking.

What temperature do I season my cast iron?

Place the cookware in the oven upside down. Place a large baking sheet or aluminum foil on the bottom rack. Bake at 450-500 degrees F for one hour. Allow to cool.

Can you put butter in a cast iron skillet?

Do not use olive oil or butter to season your cast – iron pan — they’re great to cook with, just not for initial seasoning. For a seasoning bonus, cook bacon, thick pork chops or a steak in the pan for its first go-round. The natural fats in these meats will work wonders on its finish.

What is the best oil to season a cast iron skillet?

The best oil to use to season your cast iron is either flaxseed oil or grapeseed oil. Corn oil, sunflower oil, or olive oil and all great alternatives that will give you just as good results.

Why is cast iron sticky after seasoning?

If the seasoning in your pan is sticky, this is a sign of excess oil built up on the cookware. The Fix: To remedy stickiness, place the cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven and bake at 450-500 degrees F for one hour. Allow to cool and repeat if necessary.

Can you ruin a cast iron skillet?

Famously durable, these pans are often passed down through generations. With proper reseasoning care, years of frequent use can actually improve the pan’s “seasoning”—its natural nonstick coating. But sadly, cast iron skillets can indeed break.

Do you season the bottom of a cast iron pan?

Once the pan is clean, use your rag or a paper towel to coat it with a thin layer of neutral fat, like vegetable oil or flaxseed oil. The important thing is to coat the entire pan with fat, and yes, that means the exterior, bottom, and sides of the pan.

How do you clean and Reseason cast iron?

Wash them in hot soapy water. If they are rusty or coarse use a copper or untreated steel wool pad to really scrub them. You can scrub inside and out. The goal is to remove any old oil, sticky spots, or general “crud”.

Do you clean cast iron after every use?

Clean cast – iron skillet after every use Wipe interior surface of still-warm skillet with paper towels to remove any excess food and oil. Rinse under hot running water, scrubbing with nonmetal brush or nonabrasive scrub pad to remove any traces of food. ( Use small amount of soap if you like; rinse well.)

Why does my cast iron look blotchy?

Cooking acidic foods or following improper cleaning procedures can damage the seasoning on your pan, creating spots of dull, patchy, dry- looking metal on the inside of the pan instead of the smooth, rich black of well-seasoned cast iron.

Is rust on cast iron dangerous?

If your rusty cookware happens to be made of cast iron, most culinary authorities say it’s completely salvageable. Experts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign agree that a little bit of rust on cookware isn’t likely to harm you. (Even rust in drinking water isn’t considered a health hazard.)

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  • GRILLING INSPIRATION
  • BURNING QUESTIONS
  • BEHIND THE GRILL
  • TIPS & TECHNIQUES

Having porcelain enameled cast iron grates means you get all the benefits of cast iron grilling without the upkeep of raw cast iron. Cast iron retains heat well, offering an extremely hot cooking surface. This is especially important if you’re looking for those professional grade sear marks, the true sign of any seasoned griller! Since these grates have a porcelain enamel coating on them they will never need to be seasoned. The coating is baked on during the manufacturing process at extremely high temperatures resulting in a very durable and non-stick cooking surface.

Different models come with different types of cooking grates and it’s important to know which ones came on your grill. All our 2017 gas grills except for the Summit and Genesis II LX come with porcelain enameled cast iron cooking grates.

Genesis II has very unique cooking grates. For the first time, on Genesis II models the cooking grates are reversible and you can grill on either side of the grate. The thinner side of the cooking grate is ideal for delicate foods such as fish, vegetables and shrimp. While the wider side creates thicker sear marks enhancing the flavor of your food for items like steak, chicken breast or pork chops.

To make sure your cooking grates last as long as possible, check out the tips below!

Care – When it comes to cooking grates, the maintenance is the same for Porcelain coated cast iron as it is for Stainless steel. Before each use, we recommend preheating your grill to 500-550°F, brushing your cooking grates clean with a stainless steel bristle brush and then adjusting your control knobs to your desired grilling temperature. It is not uncommon for food to stick more to new cooking grates. As you continue to use and clean your grates you will break them in reducing the amount of sticking.

Rust prevention – Make sure to clean your grates before each use. If you’re using a marinade, try to get as much liquid off as possible before placing the food on the grill and if using a BBQ sauce, wait until the last 5-10 minutes of grilling before applying it to your food. Using excessive marinade and applying BBQ sauce too early in the grilling process can result in the sugar burning causing a dark color and sometimes an off-putting taste. All that extra liquid is also going to mean that you’ll have to spend more time cleaning your grill. And let’s be honest, cleaning a grill is not on most people’s short list of things they’re excited about!

Tools to use – Weber offers a variety of grill brushes to clean your grates. They are all approved for use with our porcelain enameled cast iron grates. We don’t recommend anything with sharp edges as that can damage the porcelain enamel coating and open the door for corrosion issues. Make sure to test your brush for any loose bristles before each use and please keep in mind we recommend a new grill brush annually. You can check out our grill brushes on weber.com.

Cleaners – We have a line of cleaners made specifically for our grills. These make cleaning your grates a piece of cake!

If you’re ever in a grate debate you’ll now have enough knowledge on porcelain enameled cast iron cooking grates to impress any griller!

Learning how to properly season cast iron cookware will ensure years of dependable service. Cast iron is durable, and when properly seasoned, it is essentially non-stick and is often passed down for generations. Seasoning is a fairly simple process and should be performed before the first use.

Cast iron has been used for thousands of years. It contributes a small amount of iron to the diet and is popular with chefs for its even heat retention and ability to go directly from the stovetop to the oven.

What is Cast Iron Seasoning?

You won’t need herbs and pepper when seasoning cast iron. Seasoning cast iron refers to creating a polymerized layer that adheres to the surface of the pan. This slick layer creates a non-stick surface, which becomes slicker with regular use. When cleaned and stored properly, the seasoning on a cast iron skillet can last for years.

How to cure cast iron

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Signs Cast Iron Needs Seasoning

Due to its durability and longevity, people often pick up cast iron cookware at garage sales, flea markets, second-hand stores, or may even inherit pieces from family and friends. These pieces typically require re-seasoning. An infrequently used pan, or one that has been soaked too long, may also be a candidate.

Three signs cast iron needs to be seasoned are:

  • Rust
  • Dull, gray appearance
  • Difficulty removing food

How to cure cast iron

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Oil and Shortening Options

Almost any type of cooking oil or shortening, including coconut oil, can be used to season cast iron. Saturated shortenings such as butter, lard, and even bacon fat aren’t recommended. If the pan isn’t used often, they can turn rancid. Most manufacturers recommend using flaxseed oil or grapeseed oil for seasoning, although any cooking oil will work.

How to cure cast iron

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Step One in Seasoning Cast Iron

Each step of seasoning is important. The first step is to thoroughly clean the surface of the pan. Cast iron muffin pans can be tricky, as they have small areas that are difficult to reach without a long-handled scrub brush. Use dish soap and cast iron to remove any oil or previous coating from both the inside and outside of the pan. Rinse and place the pan on a burner to thoroughly dry.

How to cure cast iron

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Step Two of the Seasoning Process

After the pan is dry, use a paper towel to apply your choice of oil to both the interior and exterior of the pan. Next, use a clean paper towel to wipe off most of the oil. Leave only a very thin layer of oil for seasoning the pan. This also helps alleviate smoking up the house in the next step.

How to cure cast iron

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The Final Step

Two preparation tips for the final step are to lay foil under the oven rack and to turn on a vent fan to remove smoke. Set the oven to a minimum of 375 degrees. Place the pan in the oven upside on an oven rack over the foil, and bake for an hour. Allow it to completely cool before removing it from the oven.

How to cure cast iron

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A Well-Seasoned Pan

At this point, the pan should be ready to use. If you don’t plan to use it immediately, lightly coat it with oil, wipe dry and put it away. A light coating of oil should be wiped on and off of the pan every time it is cleaned. Use a paper towel to buff the pan. It should have a lustrous sheen rather than being sticky or oily.

How to cure cast iron

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Test the Seasoning

The egg test is one of the most popular and easiest ways to test your seasoning. Add a tablespoon of butter or cooking oil to a cast iron skillet and place it on a burner. Get the pan hot, and drop an egg onto the melted butter. After the egg is fried, approximately three minutes, use a spatula to remove it from the pan. If the egg sticks, the pan should be re-seasoned.

How to cure cast iron

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Protecting Cast Iron

Once it has been thoroughly seasoned, cast iron is easy to care for. The non-stick surface allows most food to simply be wiped away using a paper towel. Avoid harsh soaps or steel wool, which can strip away the seasoning. Avoid soaking the pan and make sure it is thoroughly dried before putting it away.

How to cure cast iron

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Cooking with Cast Iron

Cast iron has retained its popularity over centuries. It is safe to use, non-stick, and versatile. A single skillet can be used to cook on the stovetop, bake pizza, or dessert. The handles get hot, so be prepared with hot pads. Cookware options include wooden handles and enameled cast iron, as well as the standard solid cast iron.

Shrinkage cavity are large and concentrated cavity that can be clearly seen, while shrinkage porosity is small and scatted cavity that are unclear. Shrinkage cavity and shrinkage porosity are more common in ductile cast iron than in gray cast iron, in order to prevent them, more attention and control much be given. In most cased, shrinkage cavity are generated at the upper part of the hot joint of the casting; there are often scatted shrinkage porosity at the hot joint of the casting and below the shrinkage cavity. However, for some centers with uniform wall thickness, or in the thick wall shrinkage porosity may also appear in the center.

How to cure cast iron

The shrinkage hole and shrinkage porosity volume of ductile cast iron are larger than gray cast iron, however, in production, the no-riser process can also be used to obtain sound ductile iron castings, the reasons for shrinkage cavity and shrinkage porosity of ductile iron are as follows:

1.Spherical graphite precipitates in molten iron After spheroidizing treatment, spheroidal graphite will precipitate in molten iron immediately, and as the temperature gradually decreases, the graphite balls in the molten iron gradually grow up. The process of graphite precipitation and growth is accompanied by the expansion of liquid metal.

2.Divorced eutectic transformation nodular cast iron undergoes eutectic transformation in a divorced eutectic way. The coagulation method is porridge-like coagulation that is almost simultaneous inside and outside, so it is easy to form microscopic shrinkage.

3.The eutectic expansion is large. Due to the porridge solidification, the casting will last a long time during the eutectic transformation. The eutectic time of ductile iron can be more than doubled than that of ordinary gray cast iron, which leads to the eutectic transformation. The graphitization expansion is large.

There are also other influence factors, such as spheroidizing treatment increases the subcooling of molten iron etc.

So what are the measures to prevent shrinkage cavity and shrinkage porosity?

1.The iron composition content of carbon, silicon, manganese, RE and magnesium must be appropriate. High carbon content can reduce the tendency of shrinkage cavity and shrinkage porosity.For thin-walled castings, when the carbon and silicon content is low, free carbides are easily produced,for thick-walled castings, lower carbon content can be used, and silicon content should be appropriately increased. Manganese is easy to form carbides and easily promotes the formation of shrinkage cavities and shrinkage porosity. For this reason, efforts should be made to reduce the manganese content, especially for as-cast ferritic ductile iron. Under the premise of ensuring spheroidization, the residual amount of magnesium and rare earths should not be too high.

2.The state of molten iron. The tendency of shrinkage cavities and shrinkage porosity is small. The slope of the cooling curve of the molten iron should be small and the degree of subcooling should be small. The expansion of the eutectic during solidification is small, and the secondary shrinkage is also small. The conditions to be met are: (1) slow cooling rate (2) high carbon equivalent and high tendency to precipitate graphite. (3) There are many effective graphite cores in molten iron. (4) Good gestation effect.

3.Casting temperature in order to prevent shrinkage cavities and shrinkage porosity, it is necessary to reduce the amount of liquid shrinkage, and low casting temperature is advantageous. However, for thin-walled (10mm) castings, carbides are prone to appear. At this time, it is difficult to use the feeder to feed. Therefore, the appropriate pouring temperature also depends on the structure and wall thickness of the casting.

4.The gating system adopts a sequential solidification method, which can effectively prevent the design and placement of castings, risers, riser necks, internal runners and runners, as well as the setting of external cooling iron and the use of metal molds when necessary. Effective measures for shrinkage and porosity.

Anyang Huatuo Metallurgy in the raw materials such as silicon, manganese, carbon for cast iron industry for more than 10 years, own rich experience in the cast iron production, if you need, we want to share more experience of the cast iron to you.

Cast Iron Skillet

I think that the Apple Pancake recipe should be made in a cast iron skillet – the old fashioned pan your grandmother used. Maybe it’s just that it feels traditional to me but other pans that I have used are simply not heavy enough.

When you buy a cast iron pan you need to cure it to keep food from sticking. Here’s how:

  • Place about 4 tablespoons oil in the bottom of the pan and put the pan in an oven that has been preheated to 400°F.
  • Use an oil without much flavor, like canola oil.
  • After about 3 minutes reduce the temperature to 300°F and leave the pan in the oven for 45 minutes.
  • Turn the oven off and let the pan cool inside the oven.
  • When the pan is cool enough to touch wipe the excess oil out with a paper towel.

It is best to clean any porous skillet without detergent because soaps strip the oils (and thus your “cure”) from the pan. Simply rinse the pan with hot water and wipe clean. For food that is stuck to the pan scrub gently with salt or a plastic scrub pad.

Dr. Gourmet Recommends:

Lodge is the industry standard in cast iron cookware. Note that this one says “Pre-Seasoned.” Pans that are not pre-seasoned are now very hard to find. Although Lodge pre-seasons their pans when they are made, they do note that like all cast-iron pans, the seasoning can be stripped from the pan by using soap to clean it. You can easily renew the seasoning if necessary by following the instructions above.

How to cure cast iron

Cast iron is a traditional piece of iron-carbon alloy that has been prevalent for centuries, requires great care to maintain, but is very durable. However, over time exposure to water oxidizes the exterior of the pipes. This causes them to rust, then break down and let dirt, roots, and rusted metal into the water source. This can quickly endanger all users of the pipeline. However, Advantage Reline offers services to ensure that the infrastructure is not disturbed by using our cast iron sewer Cured In Place Pipe Lining. Through careful relining of the cast iron sewer line, we make sure that your valuable infrastructure is able to receive the care it needs and that it can last a lifetime.

What Are Cast Iron Sewer Lines?

When cast iron sewer lines were laid, they seemed like the natural choice. They were durable, strong, and could be expected to last for decades. Over time, however, the metallic surfaces of these pipes would contact moisture and cause them to rust and corrode. This means that eventually the pipe must be replaced due to advanced deterioration or failure.

As the pipe continues to rust and deteriorate, the stream of wastewater will etch into the bottom of the pipe and erode through it. This will cause more and more dirt, metal scraps, and animal waste to enter the water system. As this goes on, wastewater may escape the pipe and erode the soil surrounding the pipe, and eventually lead to catastrophic collapse.

How To Strengthen Cast Iron Sewer Lines

In order to make sure a cast iron sewer line lasts, it’s important to treat it with Cured-In-Place Pipe Relining. We’re very proud of our CIPP Relining, and we feel it’s the natural solution to ensure that cast iron sewer lines are able to last for years to come. In order to begin a cast iron sewer Cured-In-Place Pipe Relining, we first have an experienced team member review the site, survey potential damage, and verify that a cast iron sewer Cured-In-Place Pipe lining is the best treatment for the job. Once the team member has done so, we send other team members and equipment to begin the work of relining.

Cured-In-Place Pipe Relining is a form of trenchless rehabilitation for pipes, so you don’t need to worry about our team members excavating large expanses of pipe, parking digging equipment, or a protracted repair process. Instead, Cured-In-Place Pipe (CIPP) Repair is a trenchless pipe repair option that prescribes precise care on damaged pipes. In order to begin the cast iron sewer cured in place pipe lining process, we first apply a polymer-impregnated felt tube, line it through the repair area, and cure it into place to reinforce the structure of the pipe. Depending on the state of the pipe, we may cure it through either hot water or steam. If the cast iron sewer line is severely corroded, we may use one of our UV light generators. The perfect CIPP repair can last for over 50 years and is covered with our lifetime warranty.

What Comes Next?

Eroding cast iron sewer lines require quick repairs to ensure that you, your family, and the environment remain safe. Reach out to us for a free consultation, and for additional information about how to report an eroding cast iron sewer line in your area. Learn more about all the services Advantage Reline offers by following this link.

So you just got yourself a cast iron skillet, but it desperately needs to be seasoned, and you don’t have an oven, now what?

How do you season cast iron without an oven and is it even possible?

While an oven is an ideal way to put a solid seasoning on your skillet, as it gives you temperature control and evenly heats the iron, it’s by no means the only way. Any source of heat that you have some degree of control over will do just fine.

Next to the oven, no controllable source of heat is more available than the stovetop.

So let’s walk through the steps and learn how to season cast iron on a stove!

How to Season Cast Iron on a Stove

Properly seasoning your cast iron skillet is one of the most important components of owning and maintaining these impressive pieces of cookware.

But if you neglect your duties, your skillet will not only rust, but food will quickly begin to stick as you cook.

In a nutshell, seasoning your cast iron skillet is nothing more than bonding a layer of oil to the iron that protects it from moisture – which makes it rust – and gives it a sleek and non-stick finish.

The process of this oil transforming into a hard and slick film is called “polymerization.”

So let’s walk through the steps of seasoning cast iron on a stove, starting with how to prep it!

Step 1: Washing Your Cast Iron

The first step to successfully seasoning your cast iron is to make sure that it is clean of anything that will get in the way of the oil bonding with the iron – such as dust, rust, or old grimy oils and grease.

The most accessible and most natural cleaning solution is simply water and salt.

The salt acts as an abrasive substance while the water lubricates and softens the salt, keeping it from digging into your iron.

Simply apply a generous amount of salt and a little water to the inside of your cast iron skillet and, with a towel, softly scrub the skillet in a circular motion until clean.

You can also consider investing in a special chainmail scrubber that uses smooth and round stainless steel that won’t scratch your iron. They are very inexpensive and will last for years!

If this is your first time using that particular skillet, consider using a little soap to help get rid of any unwanted chemicals or other nonsense that might be lingering on the pan.

However, after the initial seasoning, use soap sparingly. While not the end of the world, soap can soak into the pores of the iron and seep into your next meal.

After you have given the skillet a good scrubbing, run your fingers around the inside and ensure that everything feels clean.

Once everything looks and feels clean, it’s time for what is arguably the most crucial step!

Step 2: Properly Drying Your Cast Iron

This step is VERY important!

Now that your cast iron pan is clean, you need to dry it completely.

You must dry it thoroughly as you want the oil to be able to soak into the iron.

Even more so, because metal expands under heat if you use very hot water during the cleaning process, then water likely seeped deeper within the pores of the iron. If you don’t get all the water out, it will mess with the seasoning process as water and oil don’t mix well.

To properly and fully dry your pan, simply wipe it dry with a towel, place it on the stovetop, and turn the heat up to medium!

Leave it on the stove for about 5 – 10 minutes and let the heat further expand the iron and evaporate all the remaining moisture!

Now turn the heat off and let your skillet cool for a minute or two – but not too much as you want to apply the oil while it is still relatively hot and the iron pores are still open.

Step 3: Oiling Your Cast Iron for the Stovetop

So your cast iron skillet is now clean, dry, and still slightly hot. Now it’s time to start seasoning!

This is also an excellent place to cover oil briefly. If you can, try and use something like flaxseed, grapeseed, or sunflower oil. These oils have a very high smoke point and low saturated fat content, which results in a slick and durable finish!

However, canola oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, and Crisco also work great.

Do your best to stay away from oil olive. Not only does olive oil have a very low smoke point – the point at which it starts burning – but it can also degrade quickly and go rancid, which ruins your cast iron’s seasoning.

We’ll dive deeper into the best oils for seasoning in another article soon.

Now that you have your oil pour about a tablespoon into your cast iron pan and smear it around using a towel. Make sure to coat the entire inside – bottom and sides.

Continue to rub it in until it begins to look like it’s “soaking in.”

Next, grab another clean towel and wipe all of the oil off until all that is left is a very thin layer! If you leave too much oil in the cast iron, it will pool up and form dark and sticky spots. So wipe it down well!

Now that it’s oiled up, it’s time to season!

Step 4: Seasoning Your Cast Iron on the Stove

Now because we are using a stovetop, the cast iron is going to heat from the bottom up. If the bottom heats up significantly faster than the top, the result is going to be an uneven season – or uneven polymerization.

We don’t want this to happen.

So to battle this, we are going to apply heat gradually.

Begin by placing your cast iron skillet on the stove and turning the burner to low – medium. After a few minutes – or when the skillet is hot to the touch – turn the heat up to medium-high. This will typically bring your temperature up to about 330 – 350 degrees F.

Leave it on medium-high heat until the oil begins to smoke slightly.

Turn the heat off and let the pan cool for about 10 minutes!

Congratulations on your newly seasoned pan!

For the best results, repeat the process of oiling and seasoning your cast iron several times. The more coats of oil that you let polymerization, the more protected your iron will be, and the less food will stick!

Step 5: Finishing it off!

During a standard oven-style seasoning, you would typically rub the entire pan down with oil; however, a stovetop doesn’t allow you to season the outside. But if you want to be extra proactive in preserving the overall quality of your cast iron pan, consider seasoning the outside and handle.

This can be done via stovetop by simply repeating steps 3 and 4, but this time flipping and cooking the pan upside-down so that the bottom is facing up! This will keep the heat off the oil and allow the pan to heat evenly from the inside out!

That should about do it!

Remember always to be patient with your cast iron, and if you take care of it well, it will serve you for the rest of your life!

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    How to cure cast iron

    Ever had a cast iron Dutch oven, Skillet, or griddle acquire a smell that may not be so favorable? If so, it’s probably gone rancid. It can happen from time to time due to how people tend to clean their cast iron, or perhaps more common, how long it’s been since they last cooked in it.

    After cooking a tasty meal in your cast iron and properly cleaning it, it’s a good idea to rub a small amount of cooking oil, crisco, or cast iron conditioner into the piece and briefly heat it back up. This will help protect your patina and protect your cast iron. However, cooking oil and crisco do have a shorter shelf life than conditioner but all can go rancid at some point if your cast sits too long.

    Here’s a quick minute-and-a-half video from Gary House of how to simply clean rancid cast iron.

    How to cure cast iron

    I love my cast iron pan: super affordable, sturdy and invincible, and amazingly versatile. It can handle everything from perfectly seared steaks and stir-fried rice to fluffy pancakes and delicate crepes. Don’t be intimidated by the naysayers who claim cast iron pans are difficult to clean and maintain: just a little TLC goes a long way for these kitchen workhorses.

    What exactly is “seasoning” in this case?

    Short version: It’s a thin layer of oil baked into the pan.

    Long version: Cast iron pans are porous, meaning they can rust easily without a protective barrier. Most new commercial cast iron pans come with a pre-seasoning, but it’s not a bad idea to strengthen that layer with a seasoning session of your own. Seasoning happens when a layer of oil on the pan is heated past its smoking point and carbonizes. This process, called polymerization, transforms the oil into a plastic that bonds to the pan. The plastic coating seals the porous surface of the cast iron, preventing excessive sticking during cooking, as well as warding off rust.

    This method works for all kinds of cookware made of cast iron, as well as carbon steel pans. So if your pan is looking a little rusty, dull, or worse for wear, grab a scrubby pad, a little soap, some oil and paper towels and follow these simple steps to give it a fresh coat of seasoning for a flawless cooking surface.

    1. Soak, scrub, rinse.

    How to cure cast iron

    If your pan is especially rusty or crusty, give your pan a quick soak in mildly soapy, hot water, then use an abrasive scrubby pad or brush to remove any and all unwanted particles until the surface is smooth and free of unevenness or sticky gunk. (Steel wool should only be used if you’re prepared to strip the pan completely.) Rinse thoroughly.

    2. Dry (completely!).

    How to cure cast iron

    Do a quick 2-step drying process: wipe your pan down with a paper towel or a dish linen, then set it on the stove over a medium heat until all moisture has evaporated. It should get hot enough until you can smell the heat coming off of the pan. This step is crucial! Cast iron is porous, meaning it traps moisture below the surface: the only way to completely drive off all lingering moisture is to heat up the pan and evaporate off all the water. Proceed on to the next step with caution to avoid burning yourself!

    3. Oil and buff.

    How to cure cast iron

    Drop 1 teaspoon of oil into the pan and use a paper towel to rub it in evenly across the entire pan. Flip the pan over, add 1 more teaspoon oil if needed, and repeat the rubbing process until the entire pan (handle included!) is coated evenly with the thinnest layer of oil. Keep rubbing and buffing the oil into pan until it no longer looks greasy. Avoid using too much oil to the point where the pan is slick and wet with it: too much oil will result in a sticky, grimy finish. If you slide your finger across the pan and it looks like you just ate delicious fried chicken and french fries, that’s too much oil! Keep buffing!

    What kind of oil you use is totally up to you, as long as it’s 100% oil. Avoid using butter or unrefined coconut oil because the trace amounts of dairy solids and pulp will burn and scorch; traditional lard will turn rancid faster without frequent use. We recommend unsaturated oils that are neutral in flavor with a smoke point hovering around 400°: canola, vegetable, grapeseed, sunflower, and safflower are all great. Some cooks swear by using flaxseed oil, and it does yield good results, but due to its very low smoke point at 225°, note that the baking process will turn your kitchen into a very hazy, smoky atmosphere.

    4. Preheat and bake.

    How to cure cast iron

    Preheat your oven to at least 450°, then slide your pan into the oven. The goal here is to hit your chosen oil’s smoke point to trigger a chemical reaction called polymerization that bonds the oil to the pan to create that layer of seasoning. If you’ve chosen another oil, look up the smoke point of that particular oil and be sure your oven is preheated to at least 25° above that specific temperature.

    Many tutorials call for placing the pan upside down in the oven and covering the floor of your oven with aluminum foil to catch drips, but if you oiled minimally and buffed adequately, this precaution shouldn’t be necessary. Place your pan in the oven, bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, then turn off the oven and let the pan remain in the oven for another 15 minutes without opening the door. Carefully remove with thick oven mitts, admire your handiwork, and let it cool completely.

    Double insurance.

    To secure your seasoning, you can opt to repeat steps 3 and 4 again to create a more solid layer of protection. (Some cooks like to repeat this process up to 6 times after completely stripping their cast iron pans!) However, note that each time you use your cast iron pan, you will probably be cooking with some sort of oil or fat, which in turn becomes a mini-seasoning process. Over time, through proper use and maintenance, the seasoning on your pan will become stronger organically with repeated cooking sessions.

    Proper use and maintenance.

    Use a sufficient amount of oil or other fats when cooking to ensure proper browning and clean releases. Most cast iron pans, even when well-seasoned, won’t perform like a true Teflon-coated non-stick pan, but they can get pretty close to it when you use a good amount of fat.

    After cooking, avoid using soap or abrasive scrubbies during routine cleanings to preserve the coating of seasoning. Opt instead for a soft sponge, a handful of kosher salt if you need to buff away any residue, and hot water. Wipe dry with a paper towel, then set your rinsed pan on the stove over medium heat to drive off all remaining moisture to prevent rusting. If the pan is looking a little dull afterwards, drop 1/2 teaspoon of oil in and rub it in thoroughly and evenly across the pan with a paper towel while the pan is still hot.

    Published on April 15, 2021

    How to season cast iron skillet with just a few simple steps! If your cast iron skillet is old or new, these simple steps will help!

    How to cure cast iron

    Re-season your Cast Iron Pans!

    Maybe you have picked up some cast iron cookware for a steal at a yard sale or thrift store and its been neglected, or perhaps like me you have abused yours a little bit.

    I have been loving my cast iron skillet so we’re using it every day now, so it doesn’t take long for the cast iron skillet to show some wear and need to be re-seasoned to make it look like new again!

    Things like tossing it in the dishwasher, soaking it in the sink, letting things burn in it. It’s probably be shoved to the side and forgotten about.

    How to cure cast iron

    Either way, over time your cast iron probably needs some TLC. I am going to show you the simplest way to season your cast iron skillet and prepare it for all kinds of tasty cooking.

    Nothing beats cast iron cooking! Once you have a perfectly seasoned cast iron pan, it will become your favorite skillet! You’ll be amazed at just how easy the seasoning process is.

    Side note, even if you have purchased a new cast iron skillet that has a layer of pre-seasoning on it, you will want to perform most of these steps to prepare it as new ones are coated in a special oil.

    How long to season?

    Depending upon what shape your cast iron skillet is in and how long it takes to get the cooking surface back into a usable state, it really doesn’t take very long to season your cast iron cookware. Actual hands on time is about 5-10 minutes and then you have a little over an hour of your cast iron seasoning in the oven.

    I highly recommend that you take the time to do all of the steps for seasoning cast iron so that you can have the perfectly seasoned pan, though!

    These steps help food not to stick to your skillet since the oil has become bonded to the metal. This layer of seasoning, as it’s called, makes cooking in cast iron so easy.

    How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

    If you don’t have a cast iron skillet you may want to consider purchasing one, it is good for cooking in and on the oven for a wide variety of foods.

    • First, start off by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.
    • Then you need to wash your skillet in soapy water, using steel wool and scrubbing vigorously if necessary to remove burnt on food or rust. Allow it to soak for 5 minutes.
    • Next, dry your cast iron skillet thoroughly. You can either let it air dry or you can dry it off with a clean towel.
    • Then place the cast iron skillet in a hot oven for 5 minutes to be sure there is no water left. Let the pan cool completely.

    How to cure cast iron

    What type of oil to season the pan with?

    • After the skillet has completely cooled, pour 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in pan. If you don’t have vegetable oil, you can use canola oil or a high quality olive oil. You just want to make sure to use an oil that has a high smoke point, so avoid flaxseed oil and avocado oil.

    How to cure cast iron

  • Then take a paper towel and rub the cooking oil all over bottom and sides of pan making sure the entire pan has a thin layer of oil. Use your paper towel to remove any excess oil.
  • Next, place the pan into an oven preheated to 400 degrees F for an hour.

    How to cure cast iron

  • Lastly, turn off the oven and allow the pan cool to room temperature in oven.

To maintain your cast iron, every time you wash it, season it by repeating steps 2- 6.

Then you may either do 7 and 8 or season on stove top by turning on medium high heat until it starts to smoke. Then turn off the burner and allow it to completely cool before storing in the cupboard.

A few helpful tips:

First use as little soap as possible when cleaning your cast iron every time you cook. Most times hot water and a scrubber will be sufficient to clean your cast iron skillet.

Also, if you find that food is sticking to your skillet, that means that it is time to re-season it. Just follow the steps above regularly to enjoy your cast iron skillet.

Though cast iron cookware provides superior heat retention and sears food beautifully, many people hesitate at the thought of actually cooking with these rustic pans. They’ve heard worrisome rumors about high maintenance and a mysterious process called “seasoning” (but not the salt and pepper kind). The truth is, seasoning and correctly washing cast iron isn’t hard to do. And, if you do put in a little effort, breakfast foods (or any food, for that matter) will glide around your cast iron skillets, dutch ovens and griddles as well as any teflon pan.

What is seasoning, anyway? Seasoning is simply the process of baking cooking oil onto the surface of a pan until it dries into a moisture and rust-proof layer (or “patina”). This semi-permanent layer protects cast iron from rust, but also bestows it with natural non-stick properties. Reinforcing layers of this patina develop every time you use it, so basically, the more you cook with it, the more non-stick it gets.

Start with a Clean Pan-
Hopefully, this initial scrub will be the last time you have to wash your cast iron skillet with soap. Soap breaks down fats, so it can deteriorate the patina of a good, seasoned pan with enough exposure. But if we can assume you’re seasoning a brand-new skillet, or an old one that needs to be re-seasoned, it’s best to start with a clean and clear surface. So scrub up your pan with a mild detergent and scouring pad. After you’ve cleaned the pan, make sure to rinse all the soap away with cold water and dry it well.

Warm Up the Cast Iron-
Set your clean and dry skillet in a 200° F oven for 15 minutes. Heat opens the pores of cast iron, so that it will easily accept the seasoning. Cast iron retains heat and the entire pan (including the handles) will get hot- so don’t forget to use an oven mitt or potholder when you take the pan out of the oven. It’s also a good idea to use dry kitchen towels or trivets to protect counter and tabletops.

Lightly Oil, Then Wipe It Dry –
Any cooking fat will work, but some make more sense than others. For example, there’s absolutely no reason to waste extra-virgin olive oil or other expensive oils for your cast-iron seasoning. We use Crisco shortening because it’s inexpensive and easy to apply. Use a clean, folded up paper towel to carefully coat the ENTIRE pan- interior, exterior, bottom, handle, and sides. Be thorough, then use some fresh paper towels and wipe away all excess oil. Do your best to wipe it dry- there should be no pools or drips of oil left.

How to cure cast iron

Back to the Oven-
Place the oiled pan upside down, on a baking sheet and place both in the oven. Then set the oven to 350° F. Heat the pan at that temperature for two hours. Turn off the oven, but leave the pan inside and allow oven and pan to cool completely- about two hours.

How to cure cast iron

Pro Tip: If you want to ensure the thinnest and smoothest patina, after 15 minutes at 350° F, use a thick, dry towel to carefully remove the hot pan and set it on the range. You’ll notice in our pictures below that the seasoning oil has “risen” a bit on various spots of the skillet. Wipe the pan dry again with a wad of clean paper towel, then return it to the oven for the remaining 2 hours, plus cooling time.

How to cure cast iron

Your Pan Is Seasoned!

The before and after picture below shows the difference that seasoning makes, but you can feel the difference even more. Even with only one good layer of seasoning, the right side feels slick and smooth as glass. And it’s ready to cook! However, if you would like to create a very durable seasoning and really jump-start the non-stick performance, you can repeat the process. Or just keep cooking with it, and your cast iron will have an increasingly dark appearance, and an ever-improving non-stick surface.

How to cure cast iron

Maintenence is Key-
Deglazing with wine or cooking with a lot of acidic foods like tomatoes or lemon, can break down the top layers of patina. So depending on your cooking habits you may want to reseason the pan occasionally. You can simply re-apply per the steps above or, for quicker maintenance, heat the pan on the stove to remove any excess moisture and use tongs and paper towels to lightly coat the pan with oil. Wipe away any excess oil and continue to heat the pan over medium-low heat for a few more minutes before allowing it to cool and putting it away.

Otherwise, just make sure to clean your skillet the right way (you can learn all about that on our Cookware Cleaning page), and dry it completely before putting it away. See, cast iron cookware is easy to work with! Now you’ve got a perfectly seasoned pan with a sleek non-stick surface that gets more and more slick every time you fry potatoes or sear steaks. If you’re like most of us, in time you’ll look back and realize it’s one of the most cherished pieces of cookware in your collection.

Want the Strongest Seasoning Possible?
Head to the health food store and pick up some flaxseed oil and use that to season your pan. Flaxseed oil is the food-grade equivalent of linseed oil, a very durable drying oil that’s used by artists to give their paintings a hard, polished finish. When exposed to high heat, the fatty acids in flaxseed oil combine to form a strong, solid matrix that polymerizes to the pan’s surface. This reaction is no different than what happens when you season a pan with any other oil, it’s just that flaxseed creates a stronger bond. In fact, in test kitchens, pans seasoned with flaxseed oil were washed in a dishwasher (a no-no for cast iron) and came out shiny and unscathed. If you don’t want to be bothered with frequent reseasoning, or you’re not very gentle with your cookware, then flaxseed oil is the ideal seasoning oil for your pans.

October 2, 2014 By Zsu Dever

Congratulations on your new baby! Your new cast iron pan. You’ve brought it home after much deliberation – buy it? don’t buy it? the dilemma! – but now you are the proud owner of a piece of iron that you have heard will result in a non-stick cooking surface, at least after a little bit of time.

I’ve been using cast iron pans for about a decade and have the pleasure of being able to cook pancakes, tofu and vegan omelets without the need for much fat, something I cannot do with any sort of success in a stainless steel skillet.

Not only is a cast iron pan great as a cooking surface once seasoned, it is a heavy piece of vessel that I find oddly comforting. It holds heat well and with more consistency than any other pans I have and, for the occasional pan frying, nothing beats it.

More than likely, your new cast iron pan is pre-seasoned (or at least it claims to be), but I’m not a big fan of factory seasoned cookware, so it is important to wash your pan in hot soapy water. This is more than likely the last time that your pan will be washed in soapy water, so make it count.

Contrary to your innate instincts, once seasoned, cast iron should not be washed with anything stronger than water. Once you season your pan, it will develop a patina, or a coating, on the surface which will be scrubbed away with soap and water, rendering your pan UN-seasoned. We don’t want that to happen.

I remember the incredulous look on my husband’s face when I first tutored him on the proper cleaning methods of our new cast iron baby. It has taken a while for him to reconcile with this new way of cleaning a pan, but we are both on the same page now and relish the dishes that the pans produce.

What exactly is “seasoning the pan?” It isn’t a way of adding salt and pepper. It is a way to create a coating on the surface of the cast iron by sealing the porous pan with a type of fat. The fat burns into the pan during cooking and creates a seal.

Let’s get to down business:

How to cure cast iron

How to Season or Re-season Your Cast Iron Pan:

1. Wash your pan in hot soapy water.

2. Dry with a towel.

3. Rub the pan liberally with vegetable oil (grapeseed, coconut or sunflower are good choices), inside and out.

4. Place the pan upside down on a baking sheet.

5. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 1 hour. Allow to cool.

How to Care For Your Cast Iron Pan:

1. Use at least a little bit of fat each time you cook. Over time more patina will coat your pan, therefore requiring less and less fat needed for cooking.

2. Clean your pan after use.

3. After each and every cleaning, heat the pan over medium heat until thoroughly dry, about 3 to 5 minutes. If your pan is losing some coating, rub the pan with a teaspoon of oil using a paper towel.

4. After storing your pan without use for a long period of time, wash in soapy water and re-season. The oil used previously to season your pan could have spoiled and that is not good eats.

How to cure cast iron

How to Clean Your Cast Iron Pan:

1. Remove all food from your pan.

2. Wash in warm or hot water (no soap), using a kitchen towel or plastic scrubber.

3. If you have stuck on food, add water to the pan and soak for 5 minutes. Use a steel wool to clean off the burnt on food, but do not(DO NOT) scrub with the wool. Only barely wipe the wool over the pan. This takes a gentle hand as you do not want to scrub away your hard work; you only want to remove the stuck on food. This is how I clean my pans every time – just a gentle brush with the steel wool, barely touching the pan itself.

4. Do not submerge your pan in water as you will remove coating from the bottom of the pan and will need to re-season to avoid rusting on the bottom.

5. Don’t forget to heat the pan for 3 to 5 minutes to evaporate all possible liquid that could cause it to rust.

Tips:

1. A small skillet is great for toasting spices, nuts and making single serving sandwiches.

2. Your largest skillet should not be larger than your largest stovetop burner, otherwise you will have cool spots in your pan, which will drive you nuts.

3. If you use metal spatulas (I do), be gentle and don’t jab into the pan. If you need to scrape food off the bottom of the pan (the sucs or fonds), use a sturdy wooden spatula.

4. If you cook lots of liquid in your pan (such as gravy or sauce) make sure you rub the pan with a teaspoon of oil after the cleaning as the cooking liquids tend to remove some seasoning.

5. Your cast iron will need to be preheated for a few minutes before it is actually heated through and ready for use. Plan accordingly.

That’s it! Once you get into a routine with your pan, you will find yourself reaching for it repeatedly, over any others. I keep mine right on the stovetop, as I use them continuously. And I do mean “them” – I have a small skillet, a 10-inch skillet and a grill pan. Once you experience the true benefits of a cast iron pan, any others just won’t cut it.

How to cure cast iron

Reader Contribution
By Sarah C.

How to cure cast iron

There are a few tools that every cook should have in their kitchen – a great seat of knives, a heavy-duty stand mixer, a food processor, stainless steel nesting mixing bowls, a Dutch oven, and a cast iron skillet.

Cast iron is one of those things that people either LOVE, or it scares the beejesus out of them because they don’t understand it. The reasons against cast iron are that:

3. “I don’t know how to use it.”

Once you cook with a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, all of the above reasons just fall away. The problem for most people lies with the “well-seasoned” part. Unless you have a granny ready to hand down some cast iron to you, you’re likely going to have to do some of the seasoning yourself. And what is better way to reduce resources, save money, and preserve a well-loved tradition, than to purchase cast iron at a thrift store or garage sale. Much of what is available out there is pretty rusty and damaged. Follow these simple steps, and you will soon be cooking on a well-seasoned piece of history.

How to Restore Cast Iron

How to cure cast iron

1. Clean the skillet with soap and water. In my humble opinion, this is one of the last times your skillet should need soap.

2. Then put it in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes.

3. Remove from the oven and pour a puddle of oil (I used olive, but any kind will work) and a generously helping of kosher salt in to the center.

4. Using a rag you don’t mind getting dirty, paper towels, a very stiff scrub brush, or pieces of newspaper, work the oil and salt in to all parts of the skillet. Pay special attention to the rusty areas.

5. Then, rinse off the skillet, and put back in to the oven until it is mostly dry.

6. Put it on the stovetop on medium heat with another puddle of your oil of choice and work it around with another rag. I used a pastry brush. Let it heat and “cure” on the burner for about 5 minutes. Careful, the oil will be hot!

7. Pour the oil off, and put just a dab of high-heat oil in the skillet. Some people prefer vegetable oil for this part. I’m not a veggie oil fan – including canola – so I used a dab of bacon grease. Let the oil melt/get hot, and then work it around to cover the entire surface of the skillet. Then, using a paper towel or piece of newspaper and remove all excess oil from the pan. Bake for 90 minutes at 300 degrees.

8. Then, everything from step 7, and bake for another 90 minutes at 300 degrees.

How to cure cast iron

You can keep adding oil and baking as many times as you want. After two times, this skillet was ready for its big debut in my kitchen. It made perfect eggs the next day.

A quick and final note on cast iron. No matter how much seasoning you give it, you’ll always need a pinch of fat (butter, oil, shortening, etc.) in a hot pan prior to adding food to it. Always allow ample time – about 5 minutes – for the skillet to heat up prior to adding the fat and the food.

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May your thrift store adventures bring you a cast iron gem of your own. The rusty and ugly ones need/deserve our love and help too.

Sarah C writes about doing more with less, gardening, wholesome from-scratch food, and DIY, with silliness and snark atbeingfrugalbychoice.blogspot.com.

Published on Aug 29, 2013

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