So guess what? Traditionally cast iron cookware was/is seasoned with animal fats. In fact, vegetable oil and shortening does something kind of weird to cast iron, leaving a weird film and actually not really seasoning the pan like you need.
But there is a vegan-friendly alternative to seasoning a cast iron pan.
It’s this wonderful lovely thing called coconut oil.
Why is coconut oil better than vegetable oil? Well, it’s all about the temperature tolerance, baby. Coconut oil is much more stable at higher temperatures (which is what your cast iron cookware will most likely be reaching) and it seasons the pan with a similar coating that animal fats would.
So let’s get started.
Yes, I made another video. I like to think I’m getting better at it, but then I watch what I come up with and laugh my butt off. So, I say ‘perfectly seasoned pan’ a bajillion times and also love the word ‘basically’ far too much, as evidenced by this episode of ‘Megan talks to herself while looking at a camera’.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
First wash your brand new cast iron pan with soap and water. Who knows what kind of rats were sleeping in it at the factory, after all. This will hopefully be the very first and very last time you touch this pan with soap.
Lather up the pan sides and bottom generously with the coconut oil.
And you don’t actually rinse. Instead, bake the pan at 250°F for 2 hours.
Remove the pan from the oven and drain off the oil to reuse later. (You’ll be doing this whole process again!)
Let the pan cool.
Repeat this process of lathering up the pan after every time you use it for the first, say, four uses. Then you’ll want to keep the maintenance part of the seasoning up by re-seasoning every once in a while, or after you’ve had to give it a good ol’ salt-scrubbing. (See below.)
How do you maintain this awesome seasoning once you’ve got it?
Avoid washing with soap. The soap is naturally designed to cut through grease, and that just isn’t ideal for what you’ve just been working to achieve … a well greased up seasoned pan.
Yes, you’ll need to clean it after you cook with it. If you don’t have any baked on hard bits you can just use water and wipe out the pan with a damp cloth. Let the pan air dry.
There are times you’ll have more stubborn messes to clean out of your pan. You know what the trick is? Use salt and a gentle scrub brush to break those bits free. Then do the water-damp cloth trick.
So, now what do you cook in your cast iron pan? Well, stay tuned friends … you’ll see.