Time for a Makeover: The Best Way to Seasoning your Cast Iron Cookware

Now that you are here and before we get into the “how to” I hope you have noticed how beautiful the new website is. Sleek, clean, functional, a little less artsy than before, but hey, changes is good. Now down to the reason you stopped by.

photo-of-the-cast-iron-dutch-oven-croppedRecently, I had situation with my cast iron Dutch oven. It was used before I had the chance to season it. It was just an innocent mistake and lack of communication on my part, but nonetheless, my new Lodge Dutch oven was in need of some TLC right out of the box. So, I did a little digging around on the internet and found these two great articles on how to both restore a cast iron pan which has been abused as well as how to season the pan the best possible way.

BTW – if you are wondering what this has to do with baking I promise to bake some yummy cobbler or something in this Dutch oven and share the recipe soon, a good Dutch oven has so many uses in the kitchen that it is always relevant.

I combined the approaches from these two articles and results were great. I had to remove just a minimal amount of rust visibly starting on the inside of the lid. This was really very minor compared to what this writer in Field and Stream was dealing with, but I followed his instructions for cleaning right through to the use of the white vinegar, followed by a rinse of clear water and then through the part about thoroughly drying in the oven at 450F for 10 minutes. I stopped there and instead of using his instructions for refinishing, I switched over to the Cooks Illustrated method of seasoning with flaxseed oil, which according to them, is the Holy Grail of seasoning oils. They have just a few simple steps and I will tell you that I actually did step number 4, which is to repeat the process 5 times, just like they recommended, even though it seemed excessive.

My cast iron Dutch oven is a thing of beauty – no trace of the pain it suffered. I am so excited to use it! Many thanks to our friends at Field and Stream as well as Cooks Illustrated. I just might be the only person to ever cite these two publications in the same blog, but hey, truth is what works!

3 thoughts on “Time for a Makeover: The Best Way to Seasoning your Cast Iron Cookware

  1. Hey cousin! I did all of my cast iron a few (maybe four?) years ago, following, more-or-less, the method from Cook’s Illustrated. It worked pretty well, but then, after a late summer camping trip last year I left a pan and dutch oven out on our back porch over the winter and both were trashed when I found them in the spring. I did the same again, but a colleague recommended two changes: 1) Bacon fat / lard instead of Crisco (you probably don’t approve 😉 ) and 2) Use a charcoal grill instead because it can get that much hotter and you can do it outside, which means not stinking up the house. I’m not sure the bacon fat made a difference, but I absolutely recommend using the grill! I imagine it would be tough if you had to do a bunch of pieces at once, but for one or two, it works great!


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