How To Season Your New Cast Iron! Now if you are new to cast iron, this is much easier than it sounds. I grew up on Cast Iron and now it’s what I prefer to use in my smoker to make dinners, soups, and sides.
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Now there are two different types of cast iron, the black pans or the ones that are cast iron Enamel. The enamel ones are much easier to clean, I use this one Enamel Dutch oven. I have to say even with the enamel it came clean really well and the care is a bit easier than regular cast iron. Plus Uno Casa has several options when it comes to their cast iron options to purchase.
Now Lodge is the most common brand of cast iron, and it looks more like what we were used to seeing in Grandma’s kitchen. This is versatile in that you can cook on the stove, oven, campfire, and bbq with no problem. Often I was lectured by grandma not to use soap, you only marked that mistake once. I love that cast iron allows for food to have more flavor.
How To Season Your New Cast Iron:
If you find yourself with a new cast iron skillet, you may be wondering how to season it. Seasoning your cast iron skillet is important for many reasons. The coating and seasoning protect the pan and also hold flavor for when cooking as well. Plus you can use cast iron on the stovetop, oven, grill, open flame, or even in the smoker as well.
Step 1: Wash and Dry Your Cast Iron Skillet
Cleaning your cast iron is always the first thing you want to do. It may look ready to go right when you take it out of the box or unwrap it, but you never know what has crossed its path to get to its destination.
This is one of the few times you will do this. You will want to scrub it with warm soapy water. Typically, you want to avoid using soap on cast iron, however, if you are looking to start seasoning it or want to reseason the skillet, soap is a safe way to do so.
After you have scrubbed it clean, hand dry the pan thoroughly. After drying your pan, if you find that it still has some moisture on it, you can place it over the flame on your stovetop. Leave it over the fire for a few minutes to get rid of any water or moisture that was left behind from the cleaning. You do not want any moisture left on your pan before moving on to the next step.
Step 2 Apply Oil to the Cast Iron Pan:
Now that the pan is clean and dry, it is time to oil it. Oil the cast iron pan both on the inside and the outside of the pan. If your pan has a handle or handles you can oil that will not hurt anything.
Oiling the pan is probably the trickiest part because you don’t want to use too much oil. If you use more oil than you need, there is a possibility that it can become sticky and not leave you with a good coating. I always pour in my oil and use a paper towel or an older washcloth to rub the oil in. You do not want to leave too much oil as it can make greasy crumbles into your food.
What kind of oil can you use to season?
These three oils are the best, cost-wise I prefer Vegetable Oil. You can use olive oil to cook with but not to season the pan with. I personally use Vegetable Oil for a cost-effective point.
Step 3: Heat Your Cast Iron In the Oven
Start out by preheating your oven to 450 degrees. Place one oven rack in the middle of the oven and another rack underneath it. Take a cookie sheet and place it on the lower oven rack. This cookie sheet will catch any oil drippings off the pan. (much better then a smokey oven)
Place your cast iron on the upper oven rack upside down. If it is a skillet or dutch oven be sure that there is clearance space above it from the top of that oven.
Once your oven is to temp allow the cast iron to bake for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Now since you put oil on the cast iron in the oven at a high temperature it can make your kitchen a bit smokey. Don’t worry this is normal. Open a window and make sure your hood fan is running.
It will help turn that oil into its first coating as it sits in the oven.
After the time is up on the oven, turn off the oven and open the door. This will allow it to cool off for the next step.
Step 4: Re Oil And Bake Your Cast Iron Again:
Be sure to allow the cast iron to cool all the way before removing the cast iron from the oven so as not to burn yourself.
Once you have oiled and baked your cast iron initially repeat this process three more times.
Repeating the oil and baking process will allow for a sturdy coating and multiple coatings on the pan.
After this initial seasoning, you will not have to repeat the process often. If you feel you need to reseason your cast iron wash through with soap to remove any previous coatings.
Now that you have it officially seasoned, each time you use the cast iron skillet, it will continue to season itself each time you cook with it.
Cast Iron Recipes To Try Out
I use my cast iron dutch oven in my smoker often. Check out all my dutch oven smoker recipes!
Leftover Smoked Pulled Pork Chili– Leftover smoked pork shoulder roast in chili is a great way to use leftover meat.
Dutch Oven Smoked Turkey Chili-Use leftover holiday turkey to make a comforting white chili in the smoker.
Spicy Smoked Brisket Chili Dutch Oven-Leftover smoked brisket is even more tender when smoked into a spicy chili!
White Chicken Chili– Shredded leftover smoked chicken breast makes for amazing comfort food, leftover cornish game hen meat works as well in this recipe.
Smoked Baked Beans– Make loaded baked beans in a dutch oven, the slow cooking and smoke adds amazing flavor.
Smoked Chicken Noodle Soup– Classic comfort food smoked in a dutch oven.
Brisket Baked Beans– Leftover smoked brisket in loaded baked beans is amazing, the chunks of fat add flavor to the beans.
Smoked Shredded Pork Baked Beans-Leftover smoked pulled pork added into loaded baked beans and then smoked is full of flavor and the perfect side dish.
Smoked Hearty Beef Stew-Use beef stew meat to cook low and slow in your smoker, the meat turns out amazing and takes on the smoke flavor.