Unlock the Secrets to Perfectly Seasoned Vintage Cast Iron Cookware!

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When it comes to cooking with vintage cast iron cookware, patience is truly a virtue. With its rustic charm and unmatched durability, this classic kitchen staple has been used for generations - providing a sense of nostalgia that brings us back to simpler times. In order to get the best flavour from your vintage cast iron pan or bakestone, seasoning it correctly is key! Read on for some simple tips on how to season your treasured piece of cookware like a expert.

Cast Iron cookware is an iconic symbol of home-cooked meals and family gatherings around the dinner table. This timeless material retains heat extremely well which makes it ideal for all types of cooking techniques; however, in order to maximise flavour and reap the full benefits of Cast Iron’s potential, proper seasoning is essential. Seasoning not only helps protect against corrosion but also provides scratch resistance while locking in moisture so food won't stick during cooking. Whether you're new to cooking with cast iron or just want to freshen up your current collection, these simple steps will help make sure you get delicious results every time, with minimal effort and basic ingredients found right in your kitchen. 

How To Restore Rusty Cast Iron Bakestones And Cookware

It's a daunting task to restore and season vintage cast iron cookware, but with some elbow grease and the right tools you can get it done in no time.When it comes to restoring rusty and damaged cast iron pans, all you need are some basic supplies that might already be lying around your house such as steel wool or sandpaper. Start off by scrubbing away any rust spots on the surface of the cookware until it is clean and smooth. If the item is heavily rusted, using a wire brush attachment on your drill may save time. Once this is done, rinse off any remaining debris then dry the pan thoroughly with a paper towel or lint-free cloth. Next, apply oil or fat liberally over the entire surface of the pan. This will not only help build up a patina on antique cookware but also protect against future damage from oxidation. If necessary, repeat these steps several times until your vintage piece has been restored back to its original condition.

What is Seasoning?

Did you know that well-seasoned cast iron cookware can last for centuries? Understanding the seasoning process is key to making sure your cookware lasts as long as possible. Here are four essential components of understanding seasoning: 1) What it is, 2) How it works, 3) Why it’s important and 4) How to season your own vintage cast iron cookware. Understanding seasoning begins with defining what it actually is. Well it’s a layer of oil which bonds to the surface of the metal after being heated in order to create a nonstick finish. This coating has been used since ancient times, and today remains an integral part of cooking with any form of cast iron cookware. The way this bonding occurs is simple yet effective when melted fat or oil is applied onto the hot metal surface, its molecules then bind together creating a protective barrier between the food and pan itself. The result is something we all strive for - healthy meals cooked without worry about sticking! And not only does this make clean-up easier, but also helps prevent rust from forming on our beloved pans over time. Finally, why is understanding seasoning so important? Well, not only will you be able to enjoy delicious meals effortlessly but having correctly seasoned cookware allows us all to connect family recipes and stories from years past.

Removing Old Seasoning

For optimal results, it's important to remove any existing seasoning that may have built up over time.If you’re not sure what the old seasoning looks like or how to go about removing it, don't worry.  To get started, lean your bakestone against a flat surface and use steel wool or a scouring pad to scrape off the rust and old seasoning. You can also use an oven cleaner spray if there are stubborn spots of residue. Don't forget to rinse away all the chemicals afterwards with warm soapy water.Once your bakestone is clean and dry, you'll be ready for the next step: adding fresh seasoning. 

What Is The Best Oil To Season Cast Iron With?

Surprisingly, the best oil to season cast iron with isn't actually oil at all. It's animal fat such as lard! That's right,  fat is what you'll want when maintaining a cast iron pan. Despite its 'unhealthy' reputation, lard has been used for centuries as an effective way of seasoning bakestones and cookware. In fact, it may even be more beneficial than other oils since its high smoking point reduces oxidation on surfaces and prevents rusting or pitting.
But don't worry about sacrificing taste - lard won’t affect the flavour of your food either positively or negatively like some oils can. Plus, it adds that crispiness to foods that many people love – think French fries! So if you're looking for an easy and dependable way to season vintage cast iron cookware without compromising on taste or quality, then lard is definitely worth considering.
If you do not wish to use animal products then rapeseed oil works well due to its high smoke point. Coconut or palm oil is to be avoided.

What Is The Process For Seasoning A Bakestone?

Bringing life to a cast iron pan is an art that has been passed down through the generations. From its steel-like finish to its nonstick capabilities, a well-seasoned cast iron pan can be your best friend in the kitchen. But how do you get there?
Seasoning your cast iron pan is a simple process that requires some preparation and follow up maintenance. Start by scrubbing it with warm water and soap or using salt and oil if desired. Then, coat the entire surface of the pan evenly with vegetable oil before placing it into the oven at a high temperature for one hour - (if you are doing this in the summer you can also do this on an outdoor grill) this will help lock in all those delicious flavours! After taking out from the oven, let it cool for about twenty minutes before wiping away any excess oil with paper towels. Your vintage cast iron cookware is now ready for use – cooking your favourite dishes just got even better!
It's important to remember that seasoning can take time, so don’t expect perfection on your first try. Follow-up maintenance such as lightly coating the inside of the pan after each use and making sure to not soak it overnight are essential steps when caring for seasoned pans. With proper care, seasoning your vintage cast iron cookware will become second nature – allowing you to enjoy delicious meals while keeping family traditions alive.


The process of seasoning cast iron cookware can be a bit daunting at first, but with the right information and guidance anyone can do it. Now go and make Welshcakes!

Why not visit our Vintage Cookware Collection while you are here?

1 comment

  • Wes

    Don’t forget that under no circumstances, you should wash your cast iron pan in dishwashing soap or any other detergent! This is exactly what must be avoided. Every time you use a chemical that dissolves fat, you remove that protective layer and go back to point zero. You should only wipe it with a paper towel, or (in case there are some food particles stuck to the surface) use hot water and a brush to clean it, then heat-dry it on a stove, and finally, after it cools down, apply a thin layer of oil before storing it. Never ever use dishwashing liquid for cleaning!

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