Seasoning a pan
HL's food editor, Raphaella Frame, offers the following answer to this common query: "Seasoning a pan means to give it a rust-proof, non-stick coating. This is achieved by building up layers of oil on the pan, but it does not affect the taste of the food. Non-stick and stainless steel pans don’t need seasoning, but it’s a good idea to season a cast iron pan. Preheat your oven to its highest setting. Rub the cooking surface of the pan with a thin layer of sunflower or vegetable oil (or any other flavourless oil), and wipe off any excess with paper towel. Place the pan in the oven for about half an hour, then switch off the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. It’s a good idea to repeat this process another two or three times, though it’s not completely essential. After use, hand wash your pan and place it on the stove over high heat to dry. Rub a little more oil into the pan for storage. This will help keep your pan in good nick for ages and it will also be easier to cook with."