Q: I have two new doughnut pans. Do I need to season them before I use them and, if so, how?

— Shannon Patke, Columbus, Ohio

A: It depends on what material the pans are made of. If the pans are cast iron, you may need to season them first, although most cast iron today is pre-seasoned at the factory, making the step unnecessary.

For aluminum, stainless steel and other materials, I think a simple greasing or coating with nonstick spray is all you need to get those pans ready for your first batch of doughnuts.

Should you need it, here are instructions for seasoning cast iron. These instructions are for new cast iron pans, not older ones needing to be re-seasoned.

Wash cast iron pans with water and, if you desire, soap. Rinse well and dry well. Then use a paper towel to rub a small amount of cooking oil (about a teaspoon) into the pan.

Rub oil into the pan after each use. This will keep the pans well-seasoned for virtually nonstick baking and should prevent any rust.

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