A: Seasoning a cast iron pan helps seal the surface, which enhances non-stick qualities and protects against rust. Cast iron pots and pans vary, so definitely take your time choosing the one with the smoothest surface, as this also minimizes the potential for rust and helps ensure even seasoning.
The seasoning process basically involves coating your cast iron cookware with grease and popping it in the oven. This "melts" the grease into the pores of the cast iron, providing a smoother, non-stick coating on the surface.
1. Preheat the oven to 300° F.
To maintain the cure on your pan, you should wash the seasoned pan quickly with mild soapy water after each use, as too much scrubbing or hot water can diminish the effects. Re-season the pan following the same process when you notice rust, or if food starts sticking to it.
Additionally, it is good to note that properly seasoned pans turn darker with age, and a well-seasoned cast iron piece can certainly last multiple generations.
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