What Is Seasoning And How To Season Cast Iron

Seasoning is the process of treating the surface of a cooking pan with natural cold pressed oil in order to produce a corrosion-resistant and stick resistant coating.

Food sticks easily to a new bare metal pan; it must either be oiled before use, or seasoned. The coating known as seasoning is initially created by a process of layering a very thin coat of oil on the pan. Then, the oil is decomposed on the metal’s surface with high heat for a time. The base coat will darken with use. This process is known as “seasoning”; the color of the coating is commonly known as “patina”.

Here’s a short video on how to season your Trilonium Cast Iron Cookware.

#1 – Seasoning Is Most Important

The seasoning prevents the pan from rusting and makes it nonstick. You definitely don’t want to try using cast iron without seasoning, the porous surface makes it very sticky. Even if a pan says it’s pre-seasoned, you’ll get a better, longer lasting patina if you season it again yourself.

The process of seasoning cast iron cookware consists of coating it with oil, heating it in the oven, letting it cool, and repeating. It’s up to you how many times you repeat, but the more you do it, the better your patina will turn out. Each time, the layer of oil gets a little thicker and a little shinier.

It’s important to use a very light coat of oil. Seasoning a pan with too much oil will cause it to be sticky, and then you’ll just have to start over.

Don’t be discouraged if food sticks to your cast iron the first few times you use it. If properly taken care of, the seasoning will only get better with time. The best thing you can do for your pan’s finish is to cook with it as often as possible. Eventually, you may not even need to use oil anymore.

#2 – Need to Be Re-Seasoned

Even if you take perfect care of your cast iron, it will probably need to be re-seasoned at some point or another. When the seasoning starts to look dull (or someone accidentally runs it through the dishwasher), just wash it with warm, soapy water and a brush and repeat the seasoning process.

If your pan is rusty, you’ll need to remove the rust first. You can use steel wool, let it soak in white vinegar and water, or even scrub it with kosher salt and a potato. Once the rust is gone, you can re-season the pan.

#3 – Can’t Be Washed Like Other Dishes

You should never, ever put it in the dishwasher, and try to avoid using soap. If your pan is very well seasoned, a little bit of mild soap won’t ruin it, but it could still damage the patina.

Avoid using steel wool or other abrasive cleaners (unless you plan on re-seasoning). Cast iron should never be soaked in water, and should always be dried thoroughly before storing to prevent rusting.

#4 – Easiest to Clean While It’s Still Warm

After spending a few hours in the kitchen, it’s tempting to just leave the dishes to wash tomorrow morning, but that’s the worst thing you can do with cast iron. Once you let it sit overnight, the food dries onto the pan and is much harder to remove.

If you clean your cast iron while it’s still warm from cooking, a quick wipe with a cloth or paper towel may be all you need. For food that’s stuck or burnt on, you can boil some water in the pan to loosen it. You can also use a stiff brush if the bristles aren’t metal. Or Sprinkle some salt into the pan while it’s still warm and add a splash of water to make a paste, then scrub with a cloth or brush to remove stuck-on food.

#5 – Should Oil It After Every Use

Once you’ve washed and dried your cookware, it’s a good idea to apply a very thin layer of oil with a cloth or paper towel before you put it away. This helps to protect the metal and maintain the nonstick surface. To keep it dry and rust-free, line it with a paper towel prior to storing.