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Seasoning cast iron is an age-old technique for preventing corrosion.

Rusting corrodes the pan and is unappealing in your cuisine.

Cast iron is highly prone to rust, and even drying it after cleaning is insufficient. Any moisture in the atmosphere endangers your cast iron cookware.

Is Lard Safe to Use for Cast Iron Seasoning?

Lard is an excellent choice for seasoning cast iron cookware. It has a higher smoking point than butter or olive oil, at 190 degrees Celsius (374 degrees Fahrenheit).

To be honest, when it comes to seasoning alternatives for cast iron, Lard falls somewhere in the center.

Vegetable oil, flaxseed oil, or peanut butter oil are typically the best choices. These oils have a greater smoking point than lard and will season your cast iron pan more effectively.

If you don’t have any of these oils (or if you have lard that you want to use up), it can be used to season cast iron pans.

How to Season a Cast Iron Pan with Lard

This is a complete six-step instruction for seasoning your cast iron pan with lard:

  1. Soap should be used to clean your pan.

A seasoned cast iron pan should not come into contact with soap. Nevertheless, before you season your pan, it must be well cleaned. While seasoning the pan, there should be no dirt, rust spots, or grease on it.

You will need soap to clean your cast iron pan to the appropriate quality. If you do not thoroughly clean the pan, the production of the carbonized patina will be hampered.

Using a stiff brush, clean your pan with warm, soapy water. Be care to completely cleanse it afterward.

  1. Clean the Pan

Because of how fat reacts with water, you must dry the newly scrubbed pan.

The two chemicals are incompatible. If they collide on the pan, the seasoning process will be hampered.

To dry your pan, use a paper towel or another lint-free cloth. Lint will accumulate between the pan and the oil, interfering with the operation.

You might also dry out the newly cleaned pan on the stove. This step may be done as an additional precaution, or it can be replaced with paper towels.

  1. Use the Lard

For this step, once again use a paper towel or lint-free cloth.

It would be ideal to soften the fat if it is a bit stiff. Scoop out a tiny piece and reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop.

You might also use liquid vegetable oil instead.

Apply a thin coating of lard to the pan using a paper towel or cloth. When you bake the pan, the thick layers leak and dirty the oven.

Thicker layers offer no advantage in the seasoning process.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the bottom rack with aluminum foil.

For around 10 minutes, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare a piece of metal to cover the bottom rack of your oven while it warms.

Place the sheet of metal on the bottom rack after the preheating is complete.

Keep in mind that the smoking point of lard is 374 degrees Fahrenheit. This indicates that if the oven temperature rises over this level, the lard may begin to burn. Therefore keep it low so that the lard does not burn.

  1. Preheat the Pan

Put the greased pan on the middle rack of the oven.

Make sure the pan is upside down to prevent the oil from pooling inside. This position allows extra oil to flow from the pan.

Let the greased baking pan to bake for one hour. This allows the patina to develop and cling to the iron.

  1. In the oven, cool the pan.

After one hour, remove the pan from the oven but keep it inside to cool. Let it to cool for about 30 minutes.

Chilling the pan in the oven allows the patina to bond to the iron and gives the pan additional time to cure.

This is also a safe method since cast iron maintains a lot of heat. It will stay dangerously hot for a long time.

There would also be no place to store anything so hot that it would burn the surfaces.

Seasoning: The Science of It

When oil goes through this process on the pan’s surface, it is said to be carbonized. The polymerization technique is used to season cast iron cookware. When it comes to lard

Seasoning, then, is the process of polymerizing carbonized oil in your cast iron pan.

Since the surface of cast iron is very porous, food adheres to it more. Seasoning fills these pores with oil, which subsequently adheres to the iron.

Since cast iron is porous, there is more surface area for the oil to adhere to. Seasoning is easier on this metal than on any other.

The heat retention of cast irons is another factor that need seasoning. Cast iron retains heat for a long period after being subjected to heat radiation.

Since heat travels throughout the pan, this heat retention provides an excellent cooking experience. Yet, this also means that controlling the heat is simple.

When the pan becomes too hot, the food burns and adheres to it. Its stickiness makes salvaging food more difficult. Seasoning your cast iron pan will allow you to better manage the heat.

The thicker the patina becomes when you cook in a seasoned cast iron pan. As a result, seasoning your pan enhances its longevity with each usage.

Isn’t it amazing? So, how do we keep our cast iron pans seasoned?

How to Care for Your Cast Iron Pan’s Seasoning

As previously said, a seasoned cast iron skillet has several advantages; but, how can the seasoning be maintained?

Since the procedure consumes a lot of energy, re-seasoning would be costly and wasteful.

Fortunately, you don’t have to keep repeating the process; simply keep the seasoning up.

The simplest method is to continue cooking in it.

This is what we meant when we claimed upkeep would be easy. The most essential method of maintenance is to cook as much as possible in your pan with oil.

Every time you cook with oil, you add another layer of spice. When cooking resembles the seasoning process, this reinforcement occurs.

This reinforcement is minor in comparison to the original seasoning, and it is also inconsistent. Nonetheless, more cooking will gradually compensate for these flaws.

Other advantages of seasoning are enhanced as well. The more you use your seasoned pan, the simpler it will be to clean and the less food will adhere to it.

If your diet does not need you to use your pan at least twice a week, consider replacing it with a microwave. This will also test your ability to season leftovers.

You may add spices since the only cooking that matters is cooking with oil. This rise in fried food intake may also motivate you to explore with healthier oils.

Never use soap to clean a seasoned cast iron skillet.

The science of soap is largely concerned with the removal of oil molecules. Dishwashing soaps are made specifically to remove soap off dishes.

Putting soap on your seasoned cast iron pan can release the oil molecules that have been entangled in the porous nature of the cast iron. The chemical bond will not be reversed, but the patina will be weakened.

Repeated deterioration of the patina will ultimately impair its function. More food will adhere to the pan, and rust may occur as a result.

To clean a seasoned cast iron pan, use a stiff-bristled brush and cold, flowing water.

It is ideal to do this while the pan is still hot, but this produces dangerous vapor.

The next best thing is to let it cool somewhat before cleaning it while it is still heated. A good rule of thumb is to wait 5-7 minutes before adding water to the pan.

That is still too hot if it evaporates immediately. That is too cool if it does not sizzle at all. It’s ready when it sizzles quietly.

Food should not be marinated in a seasoned pan.

Vinegar and citrus fruit juice are among the components used in marinating. All of them are very acidic compounds that degrade and destroy the patina.

Merely one session of marination will ruin the patina’s integrity, and cooking will not assist. After any marination, you may need to re-season your pan.

It would also be beneficial to avoid using too many acidic ingredients when cooking in your pan. You might also experiment with using the acidic items as table garnishes.

You may also be interested in:

  • How Do You Prevent Food From Sticking to Cast Iron Pans?
  • What Shouldn’t You Cook in a Cast Iron Pan?
  • Deglazing a Cast Iron Pan
  • How Can I Remove the Smell of Fish From a Cast Iron Pan? 6 Simple Methods!
  • Why Is a Seasoned Cast Iron Pan Sticky? 5 Common Causes
  • 10 Items You Can Cook Easy in a Cast Iron Pan
  • How Do You Season Cast Iron Without Using an Oven?


Can I use lard to season my cast iron?

Lard was traditionally used to season cast iron, and although this is still OK, we do not suggest it unless you use your cookware often. Lard and other animal-based fats can go rancid if stored for an extended period of time. The use of flaxseed oil to season cast iron cookware is becoming more popular.

What temperature do you season lard?

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Since lard has a smoke point of about 375o, it is critical to maintain the oven temperature below this. A little smoke is good; in fact, it indicates that the seasoning is effective.

How to season cast iron in oven with lard?

1 hour at 500°F with Lard (animal fat). (Actually, 1 hour and 15 minutes seems to be the optimal time). If you are vegan or vegetarian, the only time you should season a cast iron skillet using a vegetable-based oil (solidified oil, shortening is preferable).

Is Crisco the best to season cast iron?

Any cooking fat will do, although some are more appropriate than others. There’s no need to squander extra-virgin olive oil or other costly oils for your cast-iron seasoning, for example. We use Crisco shortening since it is cheap and simple to use.

What oils should not be used to season cast iron?

Unsaturated fat concentration is higher.

Unsaturated fats have a chemical constitution that is more conducive to polymerization, which is required to generate the right cast iron seasoning. Thus avoid oils with a greater percentage of saturated fats, such as coconut and palm oil.

What oil should not be used to season cast iron?

Use olive oil or butter to season your cast-iron pan; they’re great for cooking, but not for seasoning.

Why is lard no longer used?

Scientists piled on in the 1950s, claiming that saturated fats in lard caused heart disease. Restaurants and food producers began to avoid fat.

Is Crisco a lard?

Lard is just rendered and clarified hog fat. Further information may be found here. Crisco®, a brand name that belongs to the Smucker’s family of companies, is a vegetable shortening.

Can you overcook lard?

If you overheat the fat, it will brown and have a smoky, porky taste. It is still safe to use, however it is not recommended for pie crusts or pastries.

Does cooking with lard add flavor?

It has no flavor of pork.

Rendered pig leaf lard is not, and does not taste like, bacon fat. Instead of imparting a salty, smokey taste to your sweet baked products, this fat provides a lot of flaky, moist sweetness with little to no extra flavor.