My journey started in April of 2019, and no doubt by mistake. One night I was shopping at Walmart and as I was browsing through the cooking department, I happened upon a 12” inch Lodge Cast-iron Skillet. At that moment I took a picture of the Skillet and posted it to Facebook with the caption. “How do you season one of these.”
That post garnered over a hundred and six comments. After the first 10 comments, that was it, I was buying this Skillet. I took the Skillet home and made eggs that same night. However, the comments would go on for days after I bought the Skillet.
My journey had begun. I had about 15 people giving me advice on seasoning techniques. What were the best oils to use for seasoning, the highest temperatures for proper polymerization, and the best cleaning process. Needless to say, everyone had a different technique, techniques passed down through generations.
So, here is what I found and what worked for me. After the first night of cooking on my Skillet, it was time to try seasoning it. Many of those same comments on my post echoed the same sentiment, “you shouldn’t rely on the factory seasoning, you should season your Skillet yourself.”
The second night I tried seasoning my new Skillet with Flaxseed cooking oil, advice on techniques I took from my Facebook friends comments. However, the smell was awful. The Flaxseed left my house smelling like raw fish the day after. Here is how I seasoned that night. I wiped the entire surface of the Skillet with a thin layer of Flaxseed oil to a shine, then baked in the oven at 350° for an hour.
My second attempt was with Avocado oil using the previous process, this seasoning recipe I picked up from a YouTube video. The smell wasn’t too bad, but I wasn’t getting the polymerization I needed as the Flaxseed gave me. My third attempt was Olive oil. This time it would be at 400° for 2 hours. The Olive oil gave me a nice brown shine and no raw fish smell, I would go on to use that for weeks.
After many meals, YouTube videos and Facebook post about cast-iron prep, I wanted to try the Olive oil on two Skillet covers/lids I had just bought. This time I had a different reaction, the covers kept sucking up the oil, so I posted that to Facebook. One of the answers I received was the metal is porous and it will soak up the oil until the pores were filled, which seemed to make sense.
This would bring me right back to Flaxseed oil. After the Olive oil kept soaking into the covers I decided to switch to flaxseed oil, this time instead of using the oven, I would use the stovetop to heat the covers, as the covers heat up, I wiped them down with the flaxseed oil. At first, the oil started soaking into the covers, then the oil became very thick and hard, it started polymerizing right there on the stovetop. I was sold on Flaxseed.
My final conclusion. After 3 months of cooking and seasoning, it’s official, Flaxseed oil is the best for seasoning, it smells like hell during the process. However, it yields the best results. Additionally, it works faster, thicker and gets blacker than the other oils. Because of the smell, I’ll only season with Flaxseed oil when the seasoning starts to wear off, but I’ll cook with Olive oil or Vegetable oil.
Since I bought my first 12’’ Skillet I’ve added one 10’’ Skillet, two Skillet lids, one Griddle, one Dutch Oven and cleaning supplies from Cabela’s. My long journey into the delicious Castiron recipes continues.