Seasoning Cast Iron
There are a couple of reasons for seasoning cast iron. When you add a new piece of cookware it is best to get it seasoned. If you are reconditioning an old piece seasoning cast iron can be a good thing. We have been looking for an old cast iron waffle maker made out of quality cast iron. These were made 60 to 100 years ago and have become the prized collector item.
Since they are a collector item I have not found one that I wanted for under $75. There is a reason that we have not had waffles until now. I found some cast iron waffle maker that are brand new for a reasonable price. Knowing they were from China I knew quality may be an issue. I have noticed two quality control issues so far, but we will see how they do before passing judgement.
In order to put them to use they will require seasoning. The first thing that needs to happen is to remove the wax coating. You can put it in the sink with hot water but I find that makes for a lot of hard work. What I like to do is use a propane burner or an actual fire. This gives me an excuse to build a fire.
Once the fire is burning you can just put the cast iron in to remove the coating of paraffin wax applied at the factory to prevent rusting. You want to make sure that all of the wax is removed for two reasons. Seasoning cast iron will work out a lot better on bare metal. I also would not trust what kind of paraffin wax they use in the manufacturing facility.
Once you have removed the unknown wax from the metal the next step is to wash and dry the cast iron so you have a clean bare metal in order for the seasoning. I always make sure to put it in the oven on low heat so it will not rust.
Once you have the cast iron dry it is time to apply the seasoning. We typically apply Crisco to our cast iron, but there are many different options out there. No matter what you choose make sure you do not apply it to thick as you want a base coat and not a drip mark. This was a little harder on the waffle iron due to it’s nature. Once you have it applied to the cast iron it is time for the oven.
You can put it in a preheated oven at 350° for at least one hour. I sometimes will make several light coats of oil and repeat the process. It also depends on what type of cooking you are going to be doing. Since this is intended for waffles I believe it will take at least 2 coats before it is ready.
Once you have it ready it should last you a lifetime of cooking. Seasoning cast iron is an essential step and with these three simple steps you will be enjoying a lifetime of cooking with the original non-stick cooking equipment.