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Every time you heat cooking oil or fat in your Field Skillet or Dutch oven, you make your pan’s natural non-stick cooking surface stronger and more resilient. Whether you’re a first-time cast iron cook or an experienced collector, it’s best to break in a new skillet with a few seasoning-friendly dishes. Think of these dishes as a starting point for a lifetime of cast iron cooking.

How Simple Dishes Help Build Cast Iron Seasoning

First things first: preheat your skillet. Heating your pan for a few minutes over a low to medium burner will help make sure food doesn’t stick to the cooking surface. In your pan’s early life, it’s also a good idea to use a little extra cooking oil or fat, especially if you’re planning to cook proteins.

Seared, sautéed and roasted vegetables are great place to start; veggies won’t stick to your cooking surface like fatty proteins, and are easy to spread out over the entire cooking surface, helping build seasoning evenly. Let’s dig in:

Start with Vegetables

Any seared, sautéed, or pan-roasted vegetable recipe is a great place to start breaking in your skillet. Vegetables won’t stick to your cooking surface like fatty proteins, and are easy to spread out over the entire cooking surface, helping to build even seasoning.

Caramelized Onions will help you get a feel for your new skillet: you quickly understand how it retains and distributes heat, while the onions and oil give your pan an easy warmup for many meals to come. Plus, a batch of caramelized onions can be used in so many recipes, from soups and braises to toppings for burgers, pizzas, and tarts.

Like caramelized onions, Pan-Seared Mushrooms are an easy, versatile recipe that can be used in countless applications around the kitchen.

Latkes are an excellent dish for seasoning your skillet, as they’re cooked in lots of oil and are delicious any time of year. In the summer months, you can swap out potatoes for zucchini or summer squash to make a batch of crispy /blogs/journal/cast-iron-zucchini-fritters. And for you Field Griddle owners, try making a batch of Loaded Hash Browns.

Get Baked

Skillet-baked breads and pastries are also excellent at building seasoning, as many call for a good amount of cooking fat. Our classic cornbread recipes will fill up your Field Skillet, providing an even coating of butter for the cooking surface and walls of the pan. (And it’s extremely satisfying to see cornbread slide right out of a well-oiled skillet!)

Likewise, our super-simple Focaccia bakes in a pool of olive oil and can be enhanced with numerous toppings, including herbs, spices, cherry tomatoes, olives, and cheese. Use your leftovers for making killer sandwiches.

If you have a Field Dutch Oven, baking sourdough bread is an excellent way to season your skillet, as your pot will preheat in the oven for about an hour before you bake. This is a great time to apply a coat or two of Field Seasoning Oil. If you’re a sourdough rookie, start with our No-Knead Sourdough Bread; once you’ve baked a few loaves and are maintaining your own starter, try our Simple Sourdough Bread.

Pound, Smash, Fry

After a few rounds of seasoning-friendly recipes, you’re ready to cook some protein in your Field cookware. We recommend starting with shallow- or deep-fried food, including Chicken Schnitzel, which is cooked in a generous amount of seasoning-friendly oil and can be made in any Field Skillet. Or, you can fill a Field Dutch oven with oil and fry up a batch of Salt-and-Pepper Wings or Apple Cider Funnel Cakes.

If you’re craving a burger, add a little extra oil and sear some Smashburgers, diner-style Onion Sliders, or your favorite Plant-Based Burger.

No matter what you choose to make first (and second, and so on) in your Field cookware, the best strategy for building and maintaining great seasoning is to JUST KEEP COOKING.

Questions about your new Field Skillet, Dutch oven, or griddle? Check out our FAQs, or send us an email at help@fieldcompany.com.

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