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I am a neophyte cook (and a guy). I bought some cast iron cookware in the hope of taking it camping. It seems that it must be seasoned before use. I looked on-line and followed the directions. Not knowing if the seasoning was just for the cooking surface or the entire item, (I figured it's all iron, right) I coated the entire griddle and Dutch oven in vegetable oil and baked at 350° for an hour. Now both items are sticky. What did I do wrong and how do I fix it?

marked as duplicate by Ward, Catija, Mien, Stephie, rumtscho Mar 19 '16 at 14:56

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It's possible that you put a too-thick layer of oil on (e.g., if you dumped oil on it instead of wiping it on with a paper towel or similar). Or that you used a oil that doesn't work well; soy works and it's cheap.

But more likely, it just hasn't cured fully—and the fix is simple, bake it longer and/or hotter. The exact time/temperature needed depends on the oil you use. And how much smoking you're willing to tolerate. [Hotter is quicker, but smokes more, up until you get too hot and just burn the seasoning off like an oven cleaning cycle.]

Note typically you put on more than one layer of seasoning.

PS: If it came coated in wax, etc. to prevent rust during shipping, I hope you removed that first. Bare iron is metallic gray.

  • If he's in the US, there's a good chance that it was from Lodge ... and all new Lodge cookware comes pre-seasoned, so he might not have the wax problem. – Joe Mar 18 '16 at 0:38
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A good starting cure usually takes multiple bakes. That sticky coating in the beginning is normal. The additional cures/uses will smooth that out. I recommended light coats, repeated several times. And, over the years, the best way I've found to truly cure cast iron is to cook with it (like fried spuds, slightly fried corn tortillas, etc -- things that have good success of not sticking and ruining the starting cure) as many times consequtively as possible. Obviously, these methods can't really be done in a hurry. But cast iron curing is a Marathon, not a sprint. My best pan is going on 20 years. And finally, try not to overheat the newly cured cast iron, as this will burn away what little cure you have.

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