Posted 07-15-2002 at 07:26:32
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there's as many ways to do it as people who use cast iron cookware, and everybody thinks their way is the best. I'll give you my way:
If it is brand new, clean it with soap and water to get the shipping and storage protectant off of it.
Rub some crisco (some folks swear by lard) or other 'hard' shortening...not Wesson or other salad oil the first few times. It helps to smooth the shortening if you warm the pan a little. Put an even fairly light coat (not dripping). Put the pan in a cold oven, turn the heat on to about 275-350 degrees for awhile. Most folks say an hour, I like longer. Turn off the oven and let the pan cool.
After you use it, don't use soap to wash it. I usually use hot water, if absolutely necessary a nylon scrubby (rarely needed, especially after awhile) and then boil the water in the pan for a few minutes, wipe it out, dry it and then put a very light coating of shortening or oil with a paper towel. That's it. As you use it, the coatings of shortening/oil sort of build up slowly...when you've had it awhile it is better than teflon as far as non-stick.
My wife hated it at first, but now she loves the cast iron and we've picked up several different sizes cuz she likes to use it so much.