Cast-iron cookware is seasoned by coating it with oil or shortening and heating it in an oven. It needs to be cured or seasoned if the pan is new or if the nonstick seasoning has worn off. If the pan is new, consult the manual, as it may be preseasoned.
Cast-iron cookware is cured inside and out, including the lid. First, prepare the cookware by cleaning inside and out. Remove all food residue and rust. Allow the pan to dry. When the cookware is completely dry, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Warm the pan slightly, and apply a coat of shortening or peanut oil. Do not use liquid cooking oils.
Place the cookware right-side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes. If the cookware begins to smoke, lower the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees. This increases the cure time, but does not affect the cure.
Drain off excess grease. Place pan back into the oven upside down. Continue baking the cookware for one to three hours for a first seasoning. A re-seasoning requires 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Turn off oven, and allow the pan to cool naturally.
To maintain the seasoning, rinse or wash lightly with soapy water. Do not scrub. It is normal for cookware to require occasional reseasoning.