I have used cast iron cookware for many years. My Dutch oven is a Lodge preseasoned and I have never had to reseason it. I clean it only with hot water and dry immediately, lightly grease it, and leave on stove with pilot lit. I question seasoning the outside of my skillets. I have never seasoned the outside and I have never seasoned them in the oven. They have not required seasoning since initial seasoning and I only greased the skillets, turned the burner on low, and once they started smoking, turned off the burner and let set until cool, greased again, and put them away. What is the reason for seasoning the outside of the cast iron? I have never done it to any of my skillets and I don't know if the Lodge Dutch oven had been seasoned on the outside since I purchased it preseasoned. I do not have any problem cooking with my cast iron. I grew up with cooking on cast iron but I was never the one to season it, since I was a child. The skillet was used for everything, even baking desserts in the oven, and a bit of salt cleaned off any residue, and very hot water, greased it, and put it away (that was all I was taught) so I never messed with seasoning a new cast iron skillet on the outside.
If i were to reseason a skillet I might do one or 2 coats of seasoning on the outside, but no more. It's essentially to stop it from rusting, if you don't have any rusting on the outside then don't bother seasoning the outside. I would imagine the entire thing comes seasoned from the factory.
As mentioned the reason is rust prevention. And if you have preseasoned cast iron then the outside was seasoned and you likely wont need to reseason that for a long long time unless you do something to remove the seasoning.
The outside tends to need reseaoning a lot less than the cook surface since it is not getting heavy use with food and utensils. So in general it tends to last well.
"Where will you drive your own picket stake? Where will you choose to make your stand? Give me a threshold, a specific point at which you will finally stop running, at which you will finally fight back." (Derrick Jensen)
The more you use cast iron, the more the seasoning builds up on the outside. I never give it any thought, but fat spatters and drips over on the outside of a skillet or dutch oven, and that eventually hardens and builds up.
The seasoning on the inside of my pots and pans tends to wear off or not build up in the first place due to use. I'll stew stuff inside my various dutch ovens, and I think that that wears the seasoning off. If you only fried stuff, it might build up more heavily, but wet stuff (particularly acidic stuff like tomatoes) seems to take the thick seasoning off.
So once you've seasoned the outside of your cast iron cookware, it tends to self-season as you use it. With every drip and spatter, you eventually get a nice black coat on the outside.
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf
M. A. Carey
posted 4 years ago
The skillets that I seasoned (on the inside) are the ones that I meant I have never seasoned on the outside. I have never had rust on any of them, including the preseasoned Dutch oven. I was just wondering about it since directions always shows to grease inside and out and put into oven upside down on a cookie sheet. As I said, I have never seasoned in an oven, just stove top. I used my Dutch oven about once per month, but the skillets get used if not daily then at least every other day.
Thanks to all who replied.
Also, any good information on cooking on a wood burning stove? We will be using our US Stove this winter and I want to cook on it. However, the stove has the cooking disks, but they are not removable. And the stove was sent with a wool pad to put above air baffle, but below the cook surface. I am afraid that the stove top will not get hot enough to cook on with this wool pad between baffle and cook top. My plans are to leave it off. We have carbon monoxide alarms, so I really don't think it is needed. I want to use my cast iron skillets to cook on the wood stove. This is something I have never done and will be new for me. Years ago I did cook a pot of beans in a stew pot, I think it was aluminum, on a wood stove and they cooked on a small wood stove that didn't have the cooking disks and they cooked up just fine, although with beans it is slow going and it took probably 3 or 4 hours (from soaked dry beans). I will post this part of it in cooking, but with a different title to see if any advice on that.