Cast Iron Cooking: Seasoning

I was finally able to unpack a few more kitchen boxes from storage today and found our brand new set of Lodge brand cast iron cookware! We came across an amazing deal a few months ago and just couldn’t pass it up.  A round griddle, small and large skillet and a dutch oven, all for only $65! Amazing. Alas, it is still on sale but not THAT good of a sale. Check it out.

Lodge preseasons all of their cast iron before shipping but it was highly recommended by others to season again before using. I took their advice, and if you have never done so before, here is a step by step on how to season cast iron cookware.

1. Preheat your oven yo 400 degrees.  Unpack your beautiful pieces and marvel at their appearance. Then rinse them in hot water and towel dry.


2. Choose your oil, Lodge recommends vegetable oil, but you can you ANY oil you wish.  Many people have recently used coconut oil and highly recommend it.


3. Rub a smooth, even, coating of oil on the pans.


4. Lay tin foil on the bottom rack of your oven to catch any oil drips.  Place your oiled pans upside down on the middle rack.


5. Heat for 45 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the pans cool completely in the oven, DO NOT remove them until the pans and the oven are completely cool.  Your iron might crack if this is not done properly.


6. Now you can use your pan! You may have to season multiple times if you are finding your food is still sticking.

Have you used cast iron before? Have a successful seasoning method?

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From Scratch: Sweet and Tart Cranberry Pie

We have been so wrapped up in the Homestead Renovation, that I have completely neglected to post any recipes lately.

This a cranberry walnut pie that came across my newsfeed on FaceBook, I changed it up a bit and it was a huge hit with everyone!

Here is the original recipe.  I totally forgot to add the walnuts, oops!  But honestly, I think I like it without them.  I also did not have just raspberries, so I added frozen mixed berries.  I am not a fan of pastry pie crust, so this oatmeal cookie type crust, that doubles as the crumb topping, is EXACTLY what I was looking for as a crust alternative.

Give it a try! I am sure even your picky eaters will enjoy it.

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Are you a crust fan? What is your crust preference?

Summertime Strawberry Crisp (with Dairy Free option)

Strawberry season is finally here in the Northeast and we have been taking full advantage!  We are lucky enough to have multiple pick your own berry farms within driving distance and have so far visited 2.  Our bounty of berries, all 23 pound worth, have made their way into pineapple freezer jam, classic strawberry freezer jam, strawberry sorbet, frozen berries for smoothies, strawberry puree and my favorite of all a sweet summertime strawberry crisp!

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Here is the recipe for the Crisp:

Summertime Strawberry Crisp (with Dairy Free option)

Wash, hull and chop strawberries if they are large, about 5-6 cups worth.
Toss with 1/2 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Mix 2-3 T of cornstarch with 2-3 T of lemon juice, stir that into the berries.
Pour into greased 8 by 8 pan.
Mix equal parts, brown sugar, oats and flour in a gallon ziplock bag (about 1 cup each)
Add 1/4 cup of honey and 1/4 cup of butter or solid coconut oil and knead in bag until crumbly.
Pour evenly over berries in pan.
Bake at 350F for 30-45 min. Enjoy!

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Do you prefer crisp or cobbler? or maybe neither?