Since I got my cookware from Lodge, I followed their instructions, except when it came to the type of oil to use. Lodge says to use vegetable oil or spray but I wanted to use an animal fat because it doesn't create a sticky surface like vegetable oil will. I used my own homemade schmaltz which I keep in the fridge for browning meats. Lard works great too.
If you've never seasoned cast iron before, prepare for the smoke that will roll out of your oven at the start of the process. Open your windows and get your exhaust fans set on high. It's gonna stink!
There are as many opinions about how to season and care for cast iron as there are pans (some people use mild soap to clean, others don't). The important thing is to experiment and then develop a system that works for you and stick to it. Don't let someone else pursuade you into changing your method. Also, don't ever let anyone else clean your pans for you!
Here are Lodge's instructions for seasoning their pre-seasoned cast iron cookware:
"While maintaining the seasoning should keep your Cast Iron in good condition, at some point you may need to repeat the seasoning process. If food sticks to the surface, or you notice a dull, gray color, repeat the seasoning process:"
- Wash the cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. (It is okay to use soap this time because you are preparing to re-season the cookware).
- Rinse and dry completely.
- Apply a thin, even coating of MELTED solid vegetable shortening (or cooking oil of your choice) to the cookware (inside and out).
- Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any dripping.
- Set oven temperature to 350 – 400 degrees F.
- Place cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven.
- Bake the cookware for at least one hour. After the hour, turn the oven off and let the cookware cool in the oven.
- Store the cookware uncovered, in a dry place when cooled.