Curing Cast-Iron Cookware

The method I use, which is partially from several pieces of cookware and partially my modification, is as follows:

  1. Scrub it very, very clean. I won't use steel wool, but hard plastic scrub pads.
  2. Rinse it very well and dry with a lint free towel.
  3. Liberally coat the inside with cooking oil. Use something with fairly high heat tolerance like peanut oil.
  4. Bake it for a good hour or so at about 350.
  5. When it cools, clean out the excess oil with another lint free towel.
  6. I usually give it a second, very light coat and bake it for 10 more minutes.
  7. Use the item. Be careful to not use it for something that will remove the seasoning like a deep dish pizza. (And be wary of intense heat items like blackened fish.)
  8. Clean it well w/ as little soap as possible and gentle cleaning.
  9. Apply the oil and bake again for 30 min or so.
  10. After this second going over, I end up with a cast iron skillet (or whatnot) that is virtually impregnable. If it isn't, I will give it another short curing session. I also rub it with oil every so often and then wipe it out to help.

My lowest use item, my griddle, has a surface after 3 years that is better than any of my T-Fal pots. My new skillets (4 months) which get daily use are nearly as good.