All new (not old cast iron cookware) cast iron pans and skillets have a protective coating on them, which must be removed.

Is this information correct? What is the point in buying a seasoned cast iron cokware if we have to remove the seasoning then?

  • I would trust a statement such as that from the manufacturer, primarily. The Lodge website only refers to the preseasoning process, there is no mention of a protective coating that must be removed. The statement from whatscookingamerica.net is unsupported. Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 15:51
  • @KristinaLopez I live in India. No tag anywhere here. Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 15:55

2 Answers 2


This coating is not the same thing as a seasoning.

Iron rusts when exposed to air. For cooking purposes, you season it, and it prevents rusting. Some manufacturers sell their iron cookware pre-seasoned, but others use other types of coating to prevent rust. This other coating can consist of wax or petroleum products such as parafin. Its only purpose is to seal the pan air-tight for the time it spends in warehouses and stores. It would melt during cooking and mix with your food. Therefore, you can't use it instead of seasoning.

But you can't season a pan "on top" of the wax coating. The real seasoning would stick to the wax, and when the wax melts, the seasoning will come off. Therefore, you have to remove the wax coating before making a normal seasoning from polymerized oil.

If you bought a pan which was seasoned instead of wax-coated, you can start using it without any removing and re-seasoning.

  • 1
    what is the way to know if it is real coating or wax? Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 15:25
  • 1
    @AnishaKaul real seasoning is a dark reddish brown, almost black. The other coatings can't be described in one sentence, as there are different options, but the most common ones are transparent, so the pan has a dull grey color and feels like a candle to the touch. Generally, if the manufacturer has not written "preseasoned" on the packaging, I would assume that it is not seasoned and that whatever coating is in place has to be removed.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 16:54
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    @rumtscho, your last comment sums it up very nicely - maybe you can add that to your answer. :-) Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 17:18
  • okay, so today I scrubbed the wok with steel wool, and later on when it dried I rubbed my finger on it and found some blackish powder sticking to my fingers. Does that indicate anything? Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 17:28
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    @spiceyokooko The humidity in ambient air is enough for iron and some types of steel to rust. (The reason stainless steel is called stainless is that it doesn't rust, unlike e.g. blue steel). So yes, manufacturers do coat the newly-cast pans in wax, because the pans would sell on their way from the plant to the customer. Second, seasoning has many reasons, and one of them is exactly that an unseasoned pan will rust after some time sitting undisturbed in a kitchen cabinet. The non-stick surface is a nice side effect of seasoning, making it a second reason, but not the only one.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 17:26

I got this set few days ago, and it has protective coating, so I suppose answer is yes

  • 1
    It may be the case for some pans, but it isn't the case for all pans. The key is to understand what you've purchased and whether or not it has any required first-use instructions.
    – STW
    Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 14:16

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