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Video:Season Cast Iron Cookware

with Lea Elleseff

Cast iron cookware is a must-have in any kitchen. But before you start cooking, learn how to properly season those pots and pans.See Transcript

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Transcript:Season Cast Iron Cookware

Hi, this is Lea Elleseff for About.com Home. Today I'm going to show you how to season cast iron pots and pans.

Benefits of Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware

This is a necessary step to take if you just bought new cast iron cookery, and it's a great way to restore well-used cast iron.

This process will seal the metal, deter rust, and prevent food from sticking to the surface.

Supplies Needed to Season Cast Iron

Here's what we'll need:
  • a wire brush
  • fine-grain sand paper
  • aluminum foil
  • vegetable shortening or lard
  • a rag
  • a cast iron pot or pan

Remove Debris From the Cast Iron

First, I'll use my brush to remove any stuck-on food or gunk. Next, I'll attack any rust with the sand paper. Obviously you don't have to do this with new cookware.

Now, if you find that you have very recalcitrant gunk inside your pot, consider using a lye solution or oven cleaner to loosen it before scraping. Otherwise, we're ready to move on.

Coat the Pot With Vegetable Shortening

Now, let's rinse the pot and dry it. After pre-heating the oven to 300 degrees, I'm going to use my rag to coat all the surfaces of the pot with vegetable shortening.

Make sure to coat it inside and out.

Place the Pot in the Oven

Now I'm ready to place the pot and lid upside down in the oven. But before I close the door, I'm going to place this foil on the bottom rack to catch any drippings.

Bake the Cast Iron Pot

Bake the pot for an hour, and let it cool before taking it out. Your pot should have a dark, non-stick layer of burnt carbon on it.

In some cases, your pot may need additional seasonings before it's ready to go.

Thank you for joining me. To learn more about how to care for your cast iron, visit us on the Web at homegarden.about.com.
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