Do I need to season a new lodge cast iron skillet?

  • By: Emma
  • Date: May 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

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Do I need to season a new lodge cast iron skillet?

Lodge cast iron is the most popular cast iron cookware found in kitchens across America and at the Lodge Foundry in Tennessee. Lodge has been making high-quality, American-made cast iron cookware for over 100 years.

Most people when buying it usually have questions that do I need to season a new lodge cast iron skillet?

Mostly when you buy a new lodge cast iron skillet, you’ll see a label of seasoned cast iron skillet. But any experienced chef or cook will tell you that still you should have to season it because it’s not properly seasoned as it should be.

What is seasoning cast iron cookware?

Seasoning cast iron cookware simply involves applying a light, baked-on oil coating to the pan. That ensures it’s free of rust and other forms of corrosion. The seasoning also gives cast iron its non-stick capabilities.

Which iron cookware should be seasoned?

Non-enameled cast iron cookware must be seasoned. Although Lodge, America’s only cast iron foundry, now comes pre-seasoned, the manufacturer still advises a fast rinse with warm water and then a thin layer of oil straight out of the box.

How often cast iron cookware should be seasoned?

Seasoning your cast iron cookware at least once a year is a good rule of thumb, but the process will have to be repeated more frequently depending on usage. Simply give the piece a thorough wash with warm water and soap to get started. To clean out food and other debris that has grown entrenched in the pores of your work, use a strong-bristled brush like the Lodge nylon scrub brush, which is designed for this purpose.

If rust began to form on the cast iron after a long period of inactivity, simply scour it away to remove the oxidation and then wash it. Most surface rust may be totally removed with a common potato as a preliminary treatment for this task.

Cut a slice off the end, then rub the exposed portion of the meat of the potato onto the rusty areas. If you notice that your efforts to rust remove are stopping, simply cut off the end and start again with the fresh portion.

Making a paste of salt and a little water is one more approach to get rid of rust using items you likely have on hand in your kitchen. Scrub the mixture into the rusted sections of the pan with your fingertips.

After you’ve cleaned the entire cast iron cookware, including the non-cooking surfaces, let it air-dry completely. Otherwise, the oil will not settle uniformly onto the surface if it is not completely dried using a clean cloth.

If rust has formed on your cast iron pan after a long period of inactivity, simply scour it away to remove the oxidation and then wash it. The majority of surface rust can be removed using a simple potato as a preliminary treatment for this operation.

Rub the meat from a potato slice over the rusty areas if you notice your effort stops removing rust. If your efforts cease to work, merely cut off the end and try again with the newly visible area.

Making a paste of salt and a tiny quantity of water is another approach to eliminate rust using items you likely have on hand in the kitchen. Scrub the solution over the rusted regions of the pan with your fingers.

After you’ve washed the cast iron cookware’s entire surface, including non-cooking sides, rinse it thoroughly to remove any soapy residue. Then use a clean towel to dry it completely otherwise the oil will not be evenly distributed across the surface.

How to season lodge cast iron?

Here are 10 simple steps that you can follow in order to season your newly bought lodge cast iron skillet.

  1. First, you should clean the cast iron skillet with hot water and dish soap to remove any dust or debris. Make sure to dry it thoroughly before applying anything to it.
  2. Next, preheat your oven to 350°F/177°C – 400°F/204°C if high altitude.
  3. Place the piece of aluminum foil on top of a cookie sheet for easy cleaning in case any oil sprays out when seasoning the pan.
  4. Take some paper towels along with a few tablespoons of vegetable oil, and apply a very thin coating of oil onto all surfaces which will prevent rust from forming on your pan later on down the road after washing it with warm water and soap in between uses.
  5. Place your cast-iron skillet upside down on top of the aluminum foil-covered cookie sheet and bake it for at least an hour.
  6. Let it cool off and inspect to see if you missed any spots, if anything is sticking simply use a soft cloth and rub more oil on until the stuck areas stop acting up.
  7. Lastly, place this pan in your oven which has been preheated to 350°F/177°C – 400°F/204°C If high altitude once again for 1-2 hours or when smoke starts coming out from your stove pipe that means that all moisture has been removed from the piece of cast iron cookware.

Don’ts while seasoning cast iron skillets

Here we also mention 6 ‘do nots’ while seasoning your new lodge iron skillet

  1. Do not over oil your piece of cookware, you only need a thin coat on it at all times until you are done with the process.
  2. Never place it in the dishwasher after seasoning has been completed as this will ruin everything that you have worked for so long.
  3. Keep your skillet away from water until it is completely dry then store it in an oven-safe container or bag that can be closed properly.
  4. Lastly, do not ever think about placing the whole thing into the oven while still wet as this will result in having rust on your new cast iron cookware set.
  5. Do not use short- or medium-grain rice for this purpose, as these will stick to the pan during the seasoning process.
  6. Put it away and don’t touch it for at least a day so to give it ample time to cool off and let the oil settle in your cast iron cookware surface before using it the first time.

Best oils to use while seasoning your cast iron skillet:

There are numerous different oils that can be used to season your cast iron skillet after its initial purchase.

Choosing the correct oil for seasoning cast iron is very important as it will increase the longevity of cookware. Some of these oils include animal fat, duck fat, lard, flaxseed oil, and shortening. These oils are recommended due to their low smoking point and they are very heat resistant.

According to Lodge Foundry, you should avoid the following oils while seasoning your cast iron skillet: Sunflower oil, soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oil. These oils have a low smoke point causing them to burn at approximately 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This will cause an acrid smell that will remain in the pan after cooking, ruining any dish prepared on the piece of cookware.

Expert Advice

The piece of advice we can offer you would be to buy two pieces of Lodge cast iron, one for cooking and another as a standby that only sees the inside of your oven every now and then just keep that piece as smooth as possible without scratches or bumps on its surface if ever comes to reselling the second piece which never goes into any pots or pans, that’s because those bumps can damage those nice new shiny pots and pans you might want to put through its paces once this seasoned stovetop makes way.

Storing a cast iron skillet after seasoning

You should never store your cast iron cookware in a damp area as this will cause the formation of rust on any surface. To prevent this from occurring, you can place a paper towel inside the pan and place it in an oven-safe container. A cotton cloth bag can also be used to store the skillet for several days or weeks until its first use.

Casting iron skillet care and maintenance

This is perhaps one of those rare pieces of equipment that gets better with age as repeated usage enhances its flavor and makes it more non-stick over time. In addition, spending some time learning how to properly care for your cast iron skillets is important if you want them to last for decades.

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to strictly follow the instructions on the packaging of your new piece of cookware since they’re generally written by marketing personnel trying to sell more skillets through their company’s “unbeatable” warranties. You can season it before the first usage and also clean it several times before actually using it. This way, you’ll be able to use it several times throughout its lifetime before neglecting it for a decade or so.

In the end, you need to learn how to properly care for your cast iron skillets in order to increase their longevity and usability. This will also ensure that your new cookware outlasts any cheap alternatives you can find at a local retail store.

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