Removing the Crud
Potato & Course Salt trick put in about 1/2 cup of Course Salt take a fair size potato cut in half and scrub away. Make sure to take a rag and wipe away everything after
Another good method is a self-cleaning oven, but there are some risks. There have been reports of the crud catching on fire inside the oven, which is locked during the cleaning cycle so you can’t open it and put out the fire. There is also a risk of warping the pan at self-cleaning temperatures, which are 900-950°F. Most of the time, neither of these bad things happen and it works great, but I don’t have a self-cleaning oven.
The Recipe for Perfect Cast Iron Seasoning
The basic idea is this: Smear good chunk of bacon fat onto a cast iron pan, and then bake it above the lard is almost at a smoke point. This will initiate the release of free radicals and polymerization. The more drying the fat, the harder the polymer.
Go to your local food store or organic grocery and buy some bacon cook it then save the grease in a jar. Set the jar of bacon grease aside to come down to a safe cool temperature zone. So now when you want to season your cast iron you grab your collection of bacon grease.
Heat the pan in a 200°F oven to be sure it’s bone dry and to open the pores of the iron a little. Rub the bacon all over the pan until it is fully covered you dont want it to be driping
Turn the oven to a baking temperature of 500°F (or as high as your oven goes ) and let the pan preheat with the oven. When it reaches temperature, set the timer for an hour. After an hour, turn off the oven but do not open the oven door. Let it cool off with the pan inside for two hours, at which point it’s cool enough to handle.
The pan will come out of the oven a little darker, but matte in texture – not the semi-gloss you’re aiming for. It needs more coats. In fact, it needs at least six coats. So again rub on the bacon fat, wipe it off, put it in the cold oven, let it preheat, bake for an hour, and let it cool in the oven for two hours. At that point it starts to develop a bit of a sheen and the pan is ready for use.
If you try this, you will be tempted to use a thicker coat of oil to speed up the process. Don’t do it. It just gets you an uneven surface – or worse, baked on drips. Been there, done that. You can’t speed up the process. If you try, you’ll mess up the pan and have to start over.
If the pan comes out of the oven sticky, the cause is one of three things:
- You put the oil on too thick.
- Your oven temperature was too low.
- Your baking time was too short.