From the Wall Street JournalFrom the Wall Street Journal

A Chef Seasons Cast Iron April 5, 2006; Page D1

To season a cast-iron pan in his kitchen at home, Russell Moore, a head chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., first heats the pan to squeeze residue out of the pores, and scrubs it with a clean towel and handful of salt until the surface is smooth. He then adds a few tablespoons of duck fat to a pan, puts it on medium heat and swirls the fat around to cover all the surfaces. After pouring out the fat, he puts the pan upside down on a cookie sheet and bakes it for an hour at 300-500 degrees to create a layer of seasoning. When he takes the pan out the first time there are drips, so he throws in salt, wipes it out with a rag, puts in more fat and repeats the process one more time.

From then on he finds that most things don’t stick in the pan and it just keeps getting better and easier to clean. Because he wants the oils to stay in the pores he never uses detergent or scrub pads on his cast-iron collection. Most of the time salt and clean rags do the trick.

Note the use of duck fat. I wish I had read this before re-seasoning my crêpe pan the other day—not that I had any spare duck fat in my kitchen, but I could have incorporated some of the other techniques, such as the salt and the baking upside down in the oven.


i have a tear in my eye. what a poetic paragraph…

I use a very dirty rag to clean our skillet. Leland hates it.

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