All About Seasoning
What is Seasoning?
Seasoning is a layer of hardened (polymerized) fat or oil that covers the surface of your cast iron. It provides natural "non-stick" properties while also protecting your cookware from rust. The seasoning helps create an unparalleled sear on your food, and can add subtle flavour depending on what you cook and how long these layers are built up.
Reactivity to Food
Different foods have different effects on your cast iron's seasoning.
Cooking fat or oil-rich foods will add layers to your seasoning. This is the easiest way to maintain and build your seasoning.
Cooking acidic foods, such as apple or Spaghetti sauce, can wear down thinly coated seasonings. We recommend waiting 6-10 cooks to cook high acidic foods or until you build up your seasoning.
Quick Seasoning Instructions
1. Preheat - On the stovetop, allow your cast iron to heat for about 5 minutes. (low heat is recommended)
2. Add Oil - Use a small amount. Spread over your cast iron's entire cooking surface.
3. Let it Harden (Polymerize) - Let your cast iron heat for about 10 minutes. The oil is forming a hardened (polymerized) layer that will be added to you seasoning
Full Seasoning Instructions
1. Preheat - you will want to know the smoke point of whichever oil you use. You will need to bake your cast iron slightly higher to ensure the oil fully polymerizes. We find 450f works for most oils.
2. Clean Your Cast Iron - Wash then dry your cast iron comletely.
3. Add Oil - spread a thin layer of oil over the entire surface of your cast iron. This includes the handle and underside. We recommend using paper towel or a lint-free cloth.
4. Let it Bake - place your cast iron upside down in the oven for 1 hour. Placing it like this allows any excess oil to not pool up on the surface of your cast iron.
5. Let it Cool - turn off your oven and let your cast iron cool before removing it.
Repeat these steps to build an even more durable coating. We recommend seasoning at least 2 layers.
Oils vs. Fats
Essentially any cooking oil or fat can be used to season cast iron. Each come with their own benefits and drawbacks.
Animal fats, such as bacon grease or lard, have been a seasoning staple for quite some time. These add subtle flavour profiles to your seasoning. It is worth noting that animal fats can go rancid if not used for long periods of time.
We recommend using flavour neutral cooking oils with high smoke points. Some of our favourites are canola, vegetable, grapeseed, and flax.