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Here is some helpful cast iron cookware advice: Cast iron is the original “nonstick” cookware, but you have to treat it first. This is called “seasoning”. Wash your new cast iron pan in hot, soapy water. Rinse utensil and dry completely. Discoloration on towel is normal. Next, apply a thin, even coating of melted shortening (not butter) inside and outside the utensil with a soft cloth or paper towel. If your cast iron pan has a lid, make sure you season it as well.. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place utensil on top shelf of oven, upside down. Place aluminum foil on a baking sheet and put on bottom shelf of oven to catch any drippings. Bake your cast iron cookware in oven for one hour, then turn oven off and let utensil remain in the oven until cool. To clean utensil after use, use boiling water and a plastic scrub bun or brush. Do not use soap, unless you are going to repeat the seasoning process.