Oven Seasoning Method #1
(From Dutch Oven Cooking) Just a tidbit of information for those who have a need for seasoning cast iron cookware. After using it for years and following the instructions that came with my oven, Lodge brand ironware, I think Iíve gotten a more fool proof way of getting a nice even rock hard seasoning in minimum time.
I finally broke down and bought a #10 (4 quart) outdoor Dutch oven. The seasoning instructions said (basically): "wash, dry, thin coat of Crisco, bake for 1 hour at 300 degrees" Remembering my experience in the past with this generic set of instructions, I tried a new way. The old way will work, but you usually get puddling of the melted Crisco and it doesnít Ďcureí well enough and is usually sticky and not so good.
This time I washed the iron with boiling water to remove any casting oils, then baked it (plain, dry) in a 200 degree oven for a while to ensure that all water was dried out and not remaining in the pores of the metal. DO NOT heat too long as oven will rust. Once the iron had cooled barely enough to handle, that is still warm enough to thin the oil and help it to soak in, I rubbed a very thin coat of corn oil into the metal, making sure I got every exposed spot of iron on the .
I baked it at 425 degrees until the oil turned very dark, nearly black. I let it cool just enough again, then repeated the oil rub/baking process. At that point, it looked beautiful, nice dark color, rock hard finish.
Just for the heck of it though, I rubbed and baked one last time, nice dark Dutch oven with a beautiful 10-year-old looking seasoning.
Baked a couple of Cornish game hens (and carrots, potatoes, cob corn) in it this weekend using coals, and it turned out great and NOTHING stuck to the iron! Iím happy! Next time...bread! (Personal note from author. I used this method when I picked up my new Dutch oven. It worked well. Make sure that you have some OLD pot holders on hand to handle the Dutch oven. Your oven is oily and the oil will get on the holders. Your spouse may not be too happy if this happens. If it does, offer to keep the soiled pot holders and buy her new ones. It worked for me.)