The seasoning on cast iron is formed by fat polymerization, fat polymerization is maximized with a drying oil, and flaxseed oil is the only drying oil that’s edible. From that I deduced that flaxseed oil would be the ideal oil for seasoning cast iron.
Here’s the short version of this post explaining the process:
- Clean the pan (read Sheryl’s advice on several options.)
- Heat the pan in a 200°F oven to be sure it’s bone dry.
- Pour a little flaxseed oil on a paper towel and thinly coat the pan.
- Rub the oil off with paper towels or a cotton cloth until it looks like there is nothing left on the surface. The pan should look dry.
- Put the oiled pan in a cold oven, set at 500°F . When it reaches temperature bake the pan for an hour.
- Turn off the oven let the pan cool inside the oven for two hours.
- Repeat the process several times.
Flaxseed oil is, apparently, pretty expensive and tends to go rancid quickly. Nature’s Way Flax Oil – 24 Ounce is reasonably priced ($0.25/oz) on Amazon and should be enough to season a lot of cast iron.