How to Season Cast Iron with Coconut Oil


It all begins with the purchase of a cast-iron pan—the undisputed best cookware around. If you don’t have one in your possession already, you might want to go purchase one—unless your neighbor doesn’t mind you sneaking in and randomly seasoning one of his most useful pieces of cookware.

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Now that you have your pan, let’s hope that it is clean. Seasoning a dirty pan would be futile, so make sure to wipe clean (with a damp, warm rag) any excess food buildup that may have been calling your cast-iron skillet home.

Next, remember to set up a well-placed drip-catching area spanning the entirety of the bottom of the oven that you are going to use. Aluminum foil, baking fans, and multi-use drip bowls are all acceptable for this task. Not too much coconut oil will be used, so this is merely a precaution to limit smoke buildup which might occur as the pan drips down.

At this point, you will need to use a soft rag to apply a coat of coconut oil to your cast-iron pan. This coat of oil can be applied as lightly or as heavily as you’d like (as long as it is spread evenly) all around the inside and outside of the pan. Make sure to pay special attention to areas that may seem more damaged than others.

After that, place your cast-iron pan upside down in the oven. You can place your pan on the top rack or the middle—depending on the heat that you are going to use for this cleaning. At 325 degrees, the middle rack is recommended, while the top rack is necessary if you are looking to speed up the process and increase the heat to 350 degrees.

Leave your coconut-oil coated pan in the oven for approximately 85-95 minutes. Lit might require less time for hotter, more efficient ovens, and more time for those ovens lacking heat. This 85-95 minute period—as well as any additional time added—will allow ample time for the coconut oil to restore the pan’s seasoning and bring it back to life.

After you have left the oven, cooking away, for the aforementioned 85-95 minutes turn off the oven completely—without opening the oven door. Allow the cast-iron to cool, gradually, within the confines of the decreasing heat. When the oven’s temperature has leveled considerably, open the door, remove your re-seasoned cookware, and inspect your work. Not all seasoning sessions stick the first time, so re-application of coconut oil might be necessary to guarantee complete satisfaction.

If such re-seasoning sessions are needed, repeat the steps above until you have your cast-iron cookware in its ideal condition for culinary use. It is important that you understand the capabilities of your own cast-iron cookware as you undergo this progress, as this understanding will be undeniably valuable as you teach this seasoning technique to all of your food-crazy friends that will soon be interested in copycatting your cookware choices.

Conditioning wooden cutting boards is much easier. Once they are clean and dry, use a teaspoon of coconut oil and rub it into the wood—thoroughly. Leave the cutting board to sit for 4-12 hours. Wipe off all excess oil after those 4-12 hour have passed. Once your cutting board allows the oil to glaze the board—rather than soaking it in—you will know that your conditioning was successful.

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