My buddy was trying out my recipe for a simple stir fry in a skillet but I failed to mention in that recipe that I make that particular portion size in a 12” Lodge Cast Iron. So as he was going to do the recipe he realized it all didn’t fit in the skillet he had. So he did what any level headed person would do – he bought a larger cast iron skillet.
Now whenever you buy a new cast iron skillet it says they’re already seasoned in their factory, which is true but it’s always a good idea to give them a really good seasoning again yourself. Cast iron skillets will still take a while to break in, you’ll have to cook with them a lot and not use soap to clean them for them to really turn into awesome non stick pans. However, the starting place is to do an initial seasoning of your own.
Now, I’m not reinventing the wheel here, nor was my buddy who offered to take photos of him seasoning his own skillet. He followed Nom Nom Paleo’s guide, so the directions listed below are just following Nom Nom’s guide with the exception of doing the seasoning at 350°F instead of 400°F because a lot of the people’s comments said 400°F smoked like crazy.
Brand spanking new skillet from Amazon.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Give the pan a good scrub with hot water to remove any weird stuff that could’ve collected on there from Amazon’s warehouse. Note: Scott’s brush is terrible, I suggest using these to “clean” your skillet after you’re done cooking with them. Just don’t use soap.
Nom Nom says to use refined coconut oil, but Scott just used what he had on hand. No worries, the idea is just to get a good saturated fat on the pan because saturated fat has less of a propensity to oxidize like a mono or polyunsaturated fat. Some argue that the oxidation is what you want on the pan so they use canola oil, but I don’t like the idea of even buying death canola oil. It’ll just take a little longer for the saturated fat to oxidize in the skillet I guess.
Then throw in about a teaspoon or more of your fat of choice and rub it all over the skillet.
Place the skillet upside-down in the oven after it reaches 350°F. Make sure you have a foil lined baking tray in the bottom to catch anything that drops and to prevent smoking in the oven. Leave it in the oven for about an hour.
After the oven and skillet cool, you can enjoy your re-seasoned cast iron skillet! Now remember stuff will still stick for awhile, you’ll just need to keep using it and it will get better with time. Like a good pair of raw denim or natural leather.
Finally, Scott can fit my skillet recipe in his skillet.
Photo credits: Scott Dreger