In answer to the requests, I am telling my way to season cast iron pots and pans. There may be other ways, but this is the way that I have used since I got mine 60 years ago.
If the pots and pans are used and have rust on them or food cooked to them, you need to clean them before seasoning them. This will mean taking a SOS pad or some other scrub pad and scrubbing the rust and cooked food off the pans. DO NOT try to scrape it off with a screw driver or anything sharp like my husband was about to do after buring something on the stove. I came in and caught him just in time. You MUST clean down to the surface-as I say until it shines inside and out. Get everything off of it. Remember you will be cooking and eating the food that comes out of these pots and pans-you want them completely clean.
Once you have all the rust and food off or if they are new pots and pans, wash them in hot water with a little detergent. Don't use a strong detergent. Remember that you want these pots and pans clean almost steralized. Wipe it completely dry with an old, clean kitchen towel because the pans will leave a stain. I have a set of kitchen towels that I use just for my cast iron pots and pans. After I clean and or season the pots and use the towels, I throw them in the wash. When the towels are clean, they are used strickly on the cast iron pots and pans the next time. Also note that if the pots and pans are not completely dry-they will rust again. So make sure they are completely dry. If they are still not dry after your wipe then, you can either put them on a burner and turn it on low for a few minutes or put then in the oven set at low for a few minutes. Before the seasoning they must be completely clean and dry..
Season them immediately. Don't put the pots and pans away and say you will do it another day. This could cause rusting or dirt on the pots and pans which means you would have to clean them again. It could be rust or dirt that you can't even see-so season immediately.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and put a LIGHT coating of lard (that's what I use) but you could also use shortening on the pots and pans covering them completely inside and out. Do not make it thick as I knew someone that set the pots and pans on fire in the oven because of the thick grease. Also you do not want the pots and pans greasy after you get done. Next put the pans up side down on the top shelf of the oven with a cookie sheet or baking pan underneath on the bottom shelf to catch any dripping grease. I leave them in the oven for two or three hours, but I know some people only use one hour. Then you shut the oven off and leave the pots and pans in until the oven and pans cool.
Over my years, I have heard many ways of cleaning the pots and pans after they are seasoned. I use a light soap and water to clean them and wipe them dry immediately. I don't let them sit in the dish drain. As soon as I wash and rise them I get out my kitchen towels for the cast iron pots and dry them immediately. I have heard of people never using soap and water on them just running water in them and drying them. I don't think that gets them clean and you must also consider food poisoning if the pots and pans are not clean for the next cooking. That is my view.
How often to reseason them depends on how much you use them. I don't use them every day, but I still season them at least twice a year. When I had the farm with the children I did it about every two or three months.
I have received some questions already and will try to answer as best I can. I have never put cast iron frying pan in the fireplace to clean it. Over the years people have told me lots of ways of cleaning them: using oven cleaner (just the thought of that in food upsets me), put them in camping fires, using soft drinks and more. I have never tried any of these and don't plan on it. The way I gave is the way I use-I am sure people have other ways , but I worry about some of those other ways of cleaning the cast iron pots and pans.
The picture at the top I took of my cast iron frying pan on my modern electric stove. As you can see it needs seasoning. I thought it would be nice to have some cast iron in the picture.
TOMORROW IS SNOW ICE CREAM RECIPE
MONDAY JEAN ANSWERS QUESTIONS
WEDNESDAY IS LOWELL'S RECIPE
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ARE OF AN OLD ORDER AMISH AUCTION