ATTENTION - PLEASE READ:
cast iron pots and skillets have a protective coating on them which
must be removed. American companies use a special food-safe wax;
imports are covered with a water-soluble shellac. In either case,
scrub the item with a scouring pad, using soap and the hottest tap
water you can stand.
just purchased a cast iron skillet which was not seasoned. I
scrubbed and scrubbed to get the protective coating off as the
manufacture states. I think it is paraffin - I hope anyway. Do know
what they use to protect the Iron? And If I can't get it off will it
have any bad effects? - Frank (12/14/05)
I called the manufacture and I was
told that wax is used in the molding process. They state that you
don't really need to wash it off. They recommend to wipe it down
with peanut oil and place it in the barbecue because it will smoke a
recently purchased a cast iron grille pan that was pre-seasoned
at the factory. I washed it with hot water and sprayed it with oil
prior to the first use. The problem is that when I now clean the
pan I keep getting black stuff off the pan. My brush that I use is
black now. What is causing this? When I oil it after washing and
wipe the excess off, the paper towel is black. Please help. Thank
you. - Barb (11/01/05)
I have never used a pre-seasoned cast
iron pan. From what I understand,
even pre-seasoned pans will eventually
need to be re-seasoned.
Here is what I would do:
Both the natural, classic finish
and pre-seasoned pans are seasoned in the same way. First wash
with hot, soapy water and a stiff, nonmetallic scouring pad or
brush. Then rinse and dry completely.
soak or let soapy water sit in the pan for any length of time.
Apply a thin coat of melted, plain
vegetable shortening such as Crisco to the entire surface, both
inside and out. Cooking oil or sprays should not be used for
seasoning because they'll eventually make the surface sticky.
(Both, however, can be used for cooking.) Coat the handle, edges
and corners of the pan, and if it has a cast iron lid, coat
that, too. Wipe out excess shortening with a paper towel.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
the lower oven rack with aluminum foil to catch any drippings.
Place the cast iron pot upside-down on the middle rack and bake
2 hours for the new, natural-finish pans, and 1 hour for older
pans with either finish.
Turn the oven off and let the pan cool
before removing it from the oven. Wipe again with a paper towel.
Once seasoned, a new, natural-finish pan will acquire a
brownish-gray color. With time and use, and reseasoning, it will
become shiny and black. Seasoning is an ongoing process, and a
well-seasoned pot has a surface that will release food easily. A
rule of thumb to consider: If the crust on your fried fish or
chicken begins to stick and burn, it's time to re-season.
The right seasoning also will repel
rust, but if the pan begins to show traces, or if it takes on a
metallic smell or taste, wash it with soap and hot water. Scrub
off rust with an abrasive, nonmetallic pad or stiff brush (never
a metallic scouring pad such as SOS) and then reseason.
Allen-Grier suggests cleaning pots
after cooking with a stiff brush and hot water only. Never wash
cast iron pans in the dishwasher or scour with abrasive
detergents. In fact, purists don't use soap of any kind on their
cast iron pans. Salt is rubbed on the surface to clean the pan;
it's then rinsed and dried immediately.
If that makes you uncomfortable, clean
the pan immediately after use with a little mild dishwashing
liquid and hot water. If, soap is used, however, the pan will
need to be re-seasoned more often.
or let soapy water sit in the pan for any length of time.
rinse and dry immediately with a kitchen towel. Set your pan
back on your burner on medium heat until it is completely dry
(air-drying eventually will cause the pan to rust). Then apply a
light coating of vegetable oil to cookware, wiping out the