While many people think of Teflon-coated pans as the original non-stick cooking pan, cast iron pans have been popular kitchen staples for decades and proper seasoning gives them a perfect non-stick surface. The seasoning process, also known as curing, fills an iron pan’s tiny pores and cavities with grease to form a smooth, non-stick surface that resists rust and cleans up easily. Cast iron cookware also heats deeply and evenly and can last a lifetime with proper care.
Many new cast iron griddles and pans come with a protective wax coating which must be removed before use. Simply scrub the griddle with a soapy scouring pad and hot water until the coating is gone.
Rub the inside surface of the iron griddle with a thin coat of vegetable oil, shortening or lard.
With a baking sheet or aluminum foil under the pan to catch any drips, place the griddle upside-down in the oven and heat for one hour at 300 to 500 degrees.
Let the griddle cool, then repeat the heating and cooling process three or more times.
Every time you cook with oil or fat, your griddle will be reseasoned.
After cooking with your seasoned griddle, simply scrape away food bits with a wooden spoon and wipe the surface with a paper towel with a bit of oil on it. For tougher cooking messes, you can clean an iron griddle with a soft cloth and a small amount of mild soap but you’ll need to re-season the surface afterward, since soap will remove some of the oil coating. Iron cookware should be completely dry before being put away. A warm oven can help dry any lingering moisture.
Avoid putting large amounts of cold liquid on a hot iron griddle or submerging the hot griddle in water as this can cause cracks. Never clean iron cookware in the dishwasher.