One of the most diverse conversations that most chefs have is about seasoning a cast iron. Everyone has their own set of tips and tricks that they use to prepare the cast iron for their recipes and none seem to agree on one. It is hard enough to identify the best way to cast iron cookware let alone, the best oil to do so. But we have intensive research to write comprehensive details on how to about the best oil for cast iron. If you are short on time and need a quick solution then we have recommended La Tourangelle Grapeseed Oil as the best recommendation.
Before we get into the details, firstly you need to understand the basic idea behind seasoning. How it works and why is it important? Knowing about it all will help you figure out the best oil. So let us understand the whole concept of seasoning and see which oil would be best suited for it.
The Concept Of Seasoning
A cast iron is much like a simple piece of iron molded into a cookware shape without seasoning. Iron alone, it is very reactive thus cooking straight on to it would burn your food and the pan itself as well which would leave you with a rusted pan.
To protect the iron pan from getting rusted, it is important to season it properly with the help of cooking oils. Here the term seasoning does not mean adding salt and taste to your food. Instead, seasoning is the term used to describe the layering process of cast iron.
Oils with fats like consistency such as grapeseed oil and flaxseed oil are used to form layers on top of the iron base to create a clear coating to protect it from burning. The seasoning process is actually what gives it the non-stick properties.
How Oil Bonds With Iron – The Chemical Reactions
Everything around us takes place due to chemical reactions. Whether it is rainfall or that sound of your beef steaks getting prepared on a cast iron pan. Cast iron pans are seasoned with the help of chemical reactions as well.
In this case, when hot oil is heated on an iron pan, a chemical reaction takes place between the iron particles of the pan and the molecules of oil. In scientific terms, the reaction is known as polymerization. During the process, the oil molecules react with iron and form a new compound that has a plastic-like consistency that develops a layer on the iron base.
The seasoning process is carried out multiple times. When enough layers of oil have been seasoned on the cast iron pan, overall coating takes the form of a black skin-like layer that protects the metal from rusting when heated at high temperatures. Not only does seasoning keep your cast iron protected but also provides non-stick properties to it which allows you to prepare sticky food on the pan with ease.
How to Season Your New Cast Iron Pan?
After finding out about the chemical reaction, you might be thinking that seasoning a cast iron pan is something only professionals can do. But that is not true. You can season your very own cast iron pan at home as well.
Most cast iron pans that you buy from the market are pre-seasoned. The reasons being that the manufacturers pre-season the pan, to, make it safe and secure for shipping and packaging. But at the same time, they also make it ‘out of the box’ ready for the end-user.
But in case, you have an old pan which is rusting out a bit and you wish to season it properly then in such as case, you will only need a few things and it would be done on its own. To season your pan at home, you will need the following items;
- An Oven (Any other heat source may also work)
- Seasoning oil (You can use grapeseed oil or flaxseed oil)
- Paper towels to pat the base dry.
To carry out the process, simply add seasoning oil to your pan. Use a paper towel or your hand to add oil to the pan’s surface. Make sure it is evenly spread out and no part is left unattended. Once done, place the pan in the oven for around an hour and heat it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the pan is properly heated and the layer of oil has been set on the top of the cast iron, simply use paper towels to wash away the excess oil on the pan which is left behind. Repeat the process to form a thick layer that will not only protect the pan but will also add flavor to your food.
Make sure to leave a window open or a door open, in case you put it on the flame or any other heat source. You don’t want the smoke to gather up in your kitchen. Make sure that it leaves as it can be a bit dangerous for breathing as there are chemical reactions taking place. Other than that, you should have no trouble seasoning your cast iron at home using our recommended seasoning oil.
Best Oil For Cast Iron
Everyone has a different point of view on the best way to season the cast iron. But one thing that most chefs agree on is the grapeseed oil. Even though regular cooking oil or flaxseed oil can be used for seasoning, but many people tend to prefer grapeseed oil overall. The reason being its ability to adhere well with the surface and last for a longer period of time.
La Tourangelle – The French Oil Production House
The famous La Tourangelle Grapeseed Oil is simply the best oil for cast iron seasoning. Out of a few French heritage oil mills, La Tourangelle is the one that has made a name for itself in the industry because of its famous Grapeseed Oil which does wonder when used for seasoning.
La Tourangelle is a family-owned business that has been making a name for itself in the market for the past 150 years. Their experience, taste and traditional methods used in the production of the oils are unmatchable. The family believes in French traditions and aims to keep the spirit of natural and traditional foods alive.
The Famous La Tourangelle Grapeseed Oil
The La Tourangelle Grapeseed Oil comes with several benefits and uses. The oil is extracted directly from fresh dried grape seeds which are also naturally grown. The seeds are crushed with due care to get the most out of them. The end product is the green pastel colored oil which is rich in antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats.
What makes it the best oil for cast iron?
The feature of La Tourangelle Grapeseed Oil that makes it the best oil for seasoning a newly bought cast iron is its high smoke point. Unsaturated fats found in rich quantity in the grapeseed oil have a high breaking point which makes the oil-coated layer resistant to high temperature. The higher the smoke point, the more protected your cast iron would be.
But that is not all that the grapeseed oil does. The other major reason which makes it highly likable by many chefs is its neutral flavor which can easily be mixed with other oils to give your food a unique natural flavor that isn’t found artificially.
Why Should You Get It?
La Tourangelle Grapeseed Oil is extracted from the natural grapeseeds that give the oil its fresh, natural and artisanal premium flavor which can also be tasted in your food. The oil easily blends with the other seasoning and dressing ingredients to give your food a unique taste. Plus with the right seasoning, you can make your pan last for years to come. Not only that, but you can also use it for your skin as it comes with antioxidants that help with aging symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
People often have a few basic questions about cast ion seasoning or why it is necessary. The article above clearly explains everything but if you still have any queries then make sure to read down below to get answers to your questions.
How is grapeseed oil extracted?
Grapeseed oil is extracted directly from grape seeds. The oil production houses plant their grape vineyards and use them as a source for the grapeseeds. Once grapeseeds are extracted from the grapes, they are then carefully crushed to convert them into liquid-like green consistency.
Can it be used for other reasons?
The thing about grapeseed oil is that it is perfect for cast iron. But that is not all. Along with that the oil also works great for your skin and hair. With its antioxidant properties, it helps you fight some diseases and keep your skin protected as well. Lastly, it adds flavor to your simply unmatchable food.
Can you season your old pan?
Yes, people who say that it is impossible to season your cast iron pan at home are just simply lazy. It is very easy to season your pan at home. Simply prepare a layer of oil and place it inside the pan. Once done, heat it at high temperature in the oven to get it settled at the base of the cast iron pan.
It is true, that every chef has his own set of skills up his skills to season his cast iron pan and the food but none of them are ready to agree on the best seasoning or the procedure for it. The main thing about seasoning is, choosing the right oil and that is where the La Tourangelle Grapeseed Oil comes in and makes everything smooth, neutral and amazing – all at the same time which makes it the best oil for cast iron.