On a windy, wet and snowy day – one of my favorite things to do is season my cast iron ware. This ‘chore’ takes on a warm-the-house feeling when I choose to do it in the winter. So it’s not at all a drudgery for me.
What is ‘seasoning’ you may ask? It’s simply the act of creating an oil coating on the porous cast iron so that the foods cooked in it don’t stick. People use many different oils (solid fats and liquids) to season their cast iron.
We have a favorite two oils we use: Grape seed Oil or Coconut Oil. We use these because of their higher smoke point.
How we season our cast iron:
- Be sure the cast iron item is clean by scrubbing with very hot water and a wire brush, plastic brush or steel wool – no soap – EVER because the pan will soak up the suds and ruin. Water is alone all that is needed.
- Situate the racks in the oven to fit all sizes of the cast iron. Preheat the oven to 35O degrees.
- Generously pour the oil or grab a ‘glob’ of solidified oil and spread all along the interior, exterior and handle of the cast iron ware. Now some folks like to use a paper towel or a brush to do this…not me, I like to use my hands. This way I can feel if there are any bits of food left or flaws that need extra oil (to avoid rust). Plus, it moisturizes my hands.
- Be sure there are no puddles of oil, but that it is smoothly and evenly distributed.
- Place all the cast iron in on the racks and turn it off. Some folks say to put it in upside down, we don’t do that because I don’t want any oils dripping directly on the heated coils of the oven.
- After the oven and the cast iron wares have cooled, rub one more time to be sure to distribute any oils. Store in cabinet and you’re ready for use at any time!
Using cast iron is one of the most healthy ways to have a non-stick surface, add trace amounts of iron into your diet and, create an heirloom piece of kitchen ware that will out last you – that can be handed down to the grand-kid’s grand-kids.
Donna Miller is a teacher, author, sought-after speaker and trainer. She has been a both guest and host on internet and broadcast radio talk-shows and in television interviews.
She is the hostess of “Your Preparation Station” on Preparedness Radio Network. She and her husband are the Organizers of WNC Preparedness Group in Asheville, NC. She is an Adjunct Instructor for Frontier Christian University. She teaches local classes & ladies retreats for people to learn hands skills.
Joseph and Donna have been happily married for 27 years and have three adult children, and one daughter in-law.