A well-seasoned cast iron skillet is naturally nonstick. A layer of oil bonds to the iron surface of the skillet, seasons the skillet and prevents food from sticking. Lodge Cast Iron skillets are pre-seasoned when purchased. You maintain the seasoning by proper use and cleaning. An old Lodge Cast Iron skillet may need to be reseasoned whenever it begins to lose its nonstick properties, when it has been in storage or has begun to rust.
Using and Caring for a New Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
Wash your new Lodge Cast Iron skillet with hot water and dry it thoroughly. Apply a thin layer of vegetable oil or shortening to the inside of the skillet. Avoid using soap or detergent; they can destroy the seasoned surface.
Place the skillet over low heat and increase the heat slowly. Allow the skillet to preheat before adding food. Very cold food may stick. If this happens, leave the food alone for a few minutes. As it cooks, it will release.
Clean your skillet with hot water and a stiff nylon scrubby or brush. Do not use soap or detergent. Dry the skillet thoroughly and apply a thin layer of shortening or vegetable oil over the entire surface before storing your skillet.
Reseason a Lodge Cast Iron skillet when it loses its seasoning or whenever rust develops. Wash the skillet in hot, soapy water and scrub with a stiff brush. Rinse and dry the skillet thoroughly. This is the only time soap should be used.
Coat the skillet, inside and out, with a thin layer of melted solid vegetable shortening. Vegetable oil can be used, but can sometimes leave a sticky residue.
Adjust the oven racks so that the skillet will fit on the top rack. Cover the bottom rack with aluminum foil to catch any drips.
Place the skillet upside-down on the top rack. Set the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the cast iron skillet for one hour or longer. Turn off the oven and allow the skillet to cool naturally in the oven. You can now use the skillet, coating the cooking surface with a thin layer of oil before every use.
Lodge recommends seasoning with vegetable oil. Traditionally, cast iron was seasoned with lard and many cooks prefer shortening. Solid shortening gives cast iron a less sticky surface.