What is Seasoning?
Seasoning is simply oil baked into the pores of the iron that prevents rust and provides a natural, easy-release finish that continues to improve with use. Seasoning can refer to both the initial finish of the cookware as well as the ongoing process of maintaining that finish.
About the Oil
- Lodge uses a soy-based vegetable oil to season our traditional cast iron and carbon steel cookware. There are no synthetic chemicals added at all.
- The oil is highly refined, and all proteins that cause soy-related allergies are eliminated. The oil contains no animal fat, peanut oil, or paints.
- Some cookware may have slight variations in the seasoning finish. These variations do not affect cooking performance, and typically even out with use.
- All cooking oils and fats can be used for seasoning cast iron, but based on availability, affordability, effectiveness and having a high smoke point, Lodge recommends vegetable and canola oil or vegetable shortening.
- Traditionally lard was used to season cast iron, and while that is still okay, we do not recommend it unless you frequently use your cookware. If the cookware is stored for too long, lard and other animal based fats can go rancid.
- It is very important to maintain the seasoning of your cast iron and seasoned steel cookware by applying a very thin layer of oil after each cleaning. This will help keep you cooking for decades.
Tips and Tricks
- If the seasoning on your pan is sticky, this is a sign of excess oil building up and not fully converting to seasoning. To remedy this, place the cookware in the oven, upside down on the top rack and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Allow to cool and repeat if necessary.
- Occasionally when your seasoning works a little too hard with acidic foods or really high heat, you may notice some dark residue on your towel when cleaning. This is perfectly safe and normal, and will go away with regular use and care.
- Some new Lodge cookware can have a small 'bubble' on the tip of the handle or on the assist handle, that can chip away and reveal a brownish color underneath. This is not rust. It is a result of our cookware being seasoned on a hanging conveyor, causing a small drip to form at the bottom. If the bubble makes it through our ovens, it is baked on, and the brown underneath is simply oil that has not fully carbonized. It is perfectly safe, and will disappear with regular use and care.