Technique: Seasoning a Brand New Cast Iron Skillet

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With plans this weekend to make Big Pancake, and knowing our good friend Serene didn't have the proper equipment in her new kitchen, I bought a new 12" cast iron skillet from Broadway Panhandler and hauled it out to the country, and seasoned it myself. Although the pan has years of its own seasoning ahead of it until it reaches that perfect deep black finish, like a spring job in new running shoes, Big Pancake never tasted so good.

Here's the step-by-step guide:

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1. Pre-heat oven to 325°
2. Wash skillet with warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly.
3. Apply a thin coat of vegetable oil, or vegetable shortening with a paper towel on all surfaces, inside and out.
4. Place in oven on center rack, upside down. Place a baking sheet or a sheet of foil on the rack beneath to catch drippings.
5. Bake for an hour, then turn off heat, open door, and allow to cool inside oven before removing.
6. Skillet is now ready to use.

To wash, scrub with hot water and a brush without detergent. Never use sharp or metal utensils on it while cooking and never place in the dishwasher. If it finds its way into the dishwasher, don't fret - just repeat seasoning process.

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.