We get a lot of questions about cast iron seasoning and maintenance, so we thought it would be a good idea to get a discussion going on the blog. In this post, we’ll take a look at the overall concept of seasoning and define and clarify some terminology. Specific questions about the different types of seasoning oils and the seasoning process will be addressed in later posts.
In the simplest terms, cast iron seasoning is a layer of fat or oil that is baked onto the iron to protect it and aid in its non-stick properties. The bare iron is coated with oil both inside and out, and when heated, the oil goes through a chemical change called polymerization, transforming the liquid oil into a hard shell. After polymerization, this layer of seasoning is surprisingly durable.