Today I’m re-seasoning our cast-iron skillet. It’s a Wagner Ware #8 and we use it all the time for vegetables, eggs, and burgers. The surface has lost a lot of its non-stickableness* and I mean to re-nonstickabilify* it in the oven.
People used to do this with lard. I’m going with Crisco. The first step is to scour the skillet with hot soapy water, which you only ever do to a skillet if you’re planning to re-season. (If you scour it all the time, you’ll de-nonstickify* the surface.) Once the skillet is clean and dry, you rub it down with plenty of Crisco, place it on a cookie sheet, and put it into a 250-degree oven for a couple of hours.
If the skillet is really worn out, you may need to repeat the process. I’m going to do it three times in a row to ensure absolute un-stickabilitableness*.
As I understand it, the heat opens the metal’s pores, allowing the oil to seep in, where it’ll be trapped once the skillet cools and the pores close back up. That creates a long-term seasoned surface.
For regular upkeep, the skillet should be gently cleaned after every use. Then you rub it down with olive or canola oil, place the skillet back onto the hot stove for a minute or two, and let it cool with that extra layer of protective oil so it’s good as new the next time you use it.
* Actual words, as of now.