Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cast Iron Cookware Seasoning

Lodge Cast Iron Company says in its new cookware instructions that comes with the cookware, to season it by coating all surfaces of the cookware (and a lid if it has one) with a thin coat of vegetable oil then bake it at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Then turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven.

This never seems to get the cookware black for me, just sort of hardens the oil film.

I was watching the History Channel tonight and they had a special about the Lodge factory. During this tour they review how they season the cookware at the factory. There they spray coat the cookware with vegetable oil and bake it at 420 degrees for 20 minutes.

What happens is the oil is burned leaving a layer of carbon in the pores of the cast iron thus the carbon creates the non-stick surface and the typical seasoned blackness.

Now this makes more sense to me as 350 degrees is not hot enough to burn the oil, most oil have a smoke point of around 375 degrees. So it would take 420 degrees to actually burn the oil and create the carbon needed to produce the non-stick surface.

I will try this soon!

Update:

Today I reseasoned my Lodge Cast Iron pot using the higher temperature of
420 degrees for 20 minutes and I had a seasoned pot as black as coal!

So for all you people who own cast iron use the 420 degree method for a non-stick coal black pot.

I'm sending an e-mail to Lodge asking them why they say 350 in their instuctions and not 420. I'll let you know their response when it arrives.

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