A few weeks ago I wanted a simple buttermilk cake and a way to use up some strawberries. I remembered seeing this on Joy the Baker. I needed to have it.
That meant I also needed a cast iron skillet.
They’re actually super affordable, but I’ve just never made the leap to buy one. Until that day of needing the pan because I needed the cake. MTV True Life: I needed that cake.
I went out and bought a Lodge Logic, brought it home, and although it said it was pre-seasoned I decided to go against that and season it myself because I thought that was the badass thing to do.
Technically I think it was the right thing to do, but instead of going to the Lodge Pro website that has a catchy video I went to another website that I should have been able to use and had an epic fail on my hands.
Their instructions were so nice: oil it up, foil the bottom of your oven, pan upside down, bake for 45 min at 325. Seemed simple enough, but I usually appreciate instructions to have some sort of warning. The warning for these should have been in large capitals, maybe some bold: DO NOT OVER OIL YOUR CAST IRON SKILLET BECAUSE THAT BUSINESS WILL GET STICKY AND IT’S A PAIN IN THE ASS TO CLEAN THAT MESS UP.
Consider that my capital bold warning to you.
The other issue the instructions had was that 325 was definitely not hot enough and 45 min wasn’t long enough. Lose, Lose. There’s no real way to check the finish until it’s completely cooled so I had no idea what was going on until I pulled the world’s heaviest fly trap out of my oven.
When this happens, steel wool is the only option. Do not use your gentle no scratch sponge because the stickiness grabs hold of all the blue fibers and doesn’t let them go. I had a 30 min anger confusion explosion and threw it in a cupboard for a good couple weeks and waited until I didn’t want to throw it out the window and I had a free afternoon.
Shit happens (incompetent roommates, terrible instructions, satan breaking into your house and putting it in the dishwasher) and I knew people had to re-season or restore their skillets. I told myself it’s not the end of the world, recollected thoughts, and went at it again, this time following the Lodge Pro website:
Step One: If needed, clean off the old business (rust or sticky oil), use some steel wool (dollar tree) and scrub with soap (only time it’s okay) and hot water.
If you don’t have rust or sticky oil and you have to re-season after your pan’s had a love affair with the dishwasher then just use a stiff brush or the scouring side of a sponge instead of the steel wool.
Step Two: Dry well and apply a very small amount of oil. Enough to lightly coat and say you did. I’m talking 1 TEASPOON of oil for a 10″ skillet. Once again, to drill it in your head: DO NOT OVER OIL YOUR CAST IRON SKILLET BECAUSE THAT BUSINESS WILL GET STICKY AND IT’S A PAIN IN THE ASS TO CLEAN THAT MESS UP. Use a paper towel or your hand to help spread it over the pan evenly coating everything, including nooks and crannies.
Step Three: Before preheating the oven, lay down some aluminum foil on the bottom rack to catch any possible drippage. Don’t be like me and preheat the oven first and then attempt to lay out foil on a hot rack.
Step Four: Bake that business. 400 degrees, 1 hour. The Lodge Pro website says 350 but I didn’t want to relive that dark place and went extra safe with 400, it worked perfect.
Step Five: Do nothing, let your pan cool completely in the oven. I opened the oven door and locked up the dog for about an hour and it was cool when I went to check on it.
I pulled it out of the oven and realized I had successfully accomplished something that’s very simple and had a reaction comparable to this:
Very, very comparable.
For cleaning instructions the lodge pro you tube channel has a couple really sexy videos on caring for your cast iron that are definitely worth checking out.
Now I’ve got to go make a cake.