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Cookware

Seasoning Cast Iron in May 2011

cowboyardee | May 19, 201108:42 AM     74

I usually look for previous posts on a topic and then only make a new thread if there aren't any answering my question. But in this case, i have the opposite problem - there are too many posts on this topic, and it's impossible to sort them out. Here goes:

Basically, I finally caved and bought a lodge cast iron skillet - my much loved and unlikely-to-be-poisonous nonstick pans are starting to get a few scratches, and I'd like to save them for truly delicate foods. I have some other CI cookware, but nothing I've been too concerned with seasoning before.

At this point, I've smeared some bacon grease in it and gave it a little while in a 450 deg oven (not long - maybe 30 minutes). I've cooked bacon and steaks in it. I did not remove the crappy initial 'seasoning.'

My default 'guide' for seasoning CI is this post by Threegigs.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4768...

So, my questions:
1) Does that post represent the most recent and effective advice in terms of CI seasoning? Have there been any wildly successful alternative methods discussed recently that I've missed? (see question 3)

2) Should I remove the tiny amount of seasoning I already have before going all out?

----2a) What's the best method for doing so? My oven has no self-clean cycle. Max temp 500. So do I put it under the broiler (mine is fairly strong)? To sand or not to sand? Is a brillo pad useful? Might a smoother surface help?

3) Did anyone have any success with the Cooks Illustrated flaxseed oil method? I heard about the seasoning flaking off, but wasn't sure if anyone had luck at lower temperatures or different pretreatments.

4) Are there any problems with bacon grease? Is salt an issue? Or the fact that I just have a bowl of it slowly turning browning at room temperature on top of the microwave? Should I use lard instead?

Thanks, and sorry for adding yet another CI thread.

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