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How to easily season your cast iron cookware

cast iron frying pans on range cooker

If you are no stranger to knowing your way around the kitchen or just love to experiment you will adore cast iron cookware. The material heats evenly and gives a superb cooking performance no matter what you’re cooking.

You may be surprised to find out that pre-seasoning is very well known to households all over North America. This is a similar process that is used in China to protect carbon steel cookware such as woks.

You can use the Netherton Foundry cast iron cookware as soon as you have received it. However, for the best results, we recommend that you give all cast black and spun iron pots, pans, and dishes an extra seasoned coating before their first use.

Here is how you can easily season your cast iron cookware:

1. What to use on cast iron:

We recommend and supply flax oil sold by Netherton Foundry which is sourced from Flax Farm in West Sussex. This is where the flax is grown, harvested, processed, and bottled. We have found it provides a superior, very hard finish. It is non-greasy, has a lovely patina and when properly cared for. As well as being corrosion-resistant.    

cast iron reseasoning flax oil bottle

2. How to apply seasoning to your cookware:

Seasoning frying pans:

When applying the flax oil to frying pans with wooden handles or pans that are too big to fit in the oven you can season them over the hob using a 100% cotton rag, this is important as it will be getting extremely hot, so do not use anything with synthetics in it. Then get your bottle of flax oil (this should last you years). Add a small amount of flax oil onto your rag and rub it into the surface of the pan, creating an extremely thin layer.

Next put the pan over the hob to heat. As with all empty pans remember to heat it up slowly to start with. Once the pan has slowly warmed turn the heat up to full until the pan reaches a smoking hot temperature. You should see the pan start to smoke, this is normal and you should keep heating the pan until the smoke has completely disappeared. This will usually take two or three minutes and your first layer of seasoning is done.

You can give the pan another layer, however, you should be careful as the pan is now much hotter than before. Add more flax oil to the cotton rag and wipe it into the surface of the pan again. Depending on the state of the pan you can do this two or three times ensuring your pan will perform as good as new. 

Seasoning larger items and pots:

When re-seasoning larger items such as casserole pots you should remove any wooden handles and scrub the pot in some hot water with a dash of washing up liquid. Rinse thoroughly in hot water ensuring all residue is removed. Thoroughly dry the pot for the best finish. Then using a cotton cloth, wipe an extremely thin layer of flax oil over the pot. The thinner the layer the blacker and more hard your pot will be after. Next give the pot a wipe over with kitchen towel until it feels almost dry to the touch.

Put the pot into the oven at about 250 degrees for 40 minutes. If your kitchen is filling with smoke this means you have used too much flax oil. There should only be a slight smell of oil in the air. After 40 minutes are up let the pot cool down and you should be left with a nice smooth black finish.

3. How often should my cast iron cookware be reseasoned?

The answer to this question depends on how you use your pans. You can re-season your cast iron pots and pans whenever you feel that it needs a refresh or it’s looking a bit tired. Normally this process is needed twice a year. However, you might need to be done more often if regularly cooking citrus fruits or less when mainly cooking fatty foods.

netherton foundry spun black iron casserole hot pot

4. Aftercare and other tips for looking after cast iron:

After using your cast iron cookware you can simply wash in hot water ensuring that you do not use soap or detergent. Make sure that you immediately dry your cast iron cookware in the hob or in the oven on low heat. If you use a towel it may leave sooty marks from the initial seasoning, this is normal. You will also see small specks of black on the pan surface when new, these are traces of cotton fiber that has been baked on during the seasoning process as Netherton Foundry uses washed cotton to apply the flax oil by hand, this is normal. 

The more you use the cast, black, or spun iron cookware, the better the seasoned coating will become, providing you follow instructions and take care of them.

netherton foundry multiple pans

5. A few handy tips:

  • If you are cooking meat or fish ensure you oil the food and not the pan.

  • Be patient allowing the food to cook before trying to turn it over.

  • Don’t fry food straight from the fridge, allow it to come up to room temperature before cooking ensuring you don’t shock the temperature of the pan.

Use a pan size appropriate for the food you are cooking. Don’t try to cook too much or too little in one pan. Why not browse our Netherton Foundry range?