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Now, you’re certainly heading down the right path with linseed oil, with an iodine value of around 185. Fish oils like sardine are up there too. (I’m sure you’ve heard that oily fish like salmon and sardines are rich in omega-3s.) The best oil available for cheap at any grocery store is soybean oil, with an iodine value around 130.

A few thoughts from a ex-chemist. The iodine number of an oil is an indication of the number of double and triple bonds of that oil. According to my Merck Index, linseed oil has a minimum iodine number of 170. Soybean oil has a range of iodine numbers between 127 - 138. Safflower oil has an iodine number range of 140 - 150 and tung oil has a range of iodine numbers between 163 - 171.

Since you are only using the flax seed oil to season the inside of your cast iron pans and not for its health benefits, why not get a cheaper brand such as (See; )? If you don’t want to pay the postage, safflower oil from the supermarket would be almost as good. For the outside of the pan, since it won’t contact the food, I would be tempted to use cheep linseed or tung oil, me. Our tung trees are presently blooming and the nuts won’t be ripe until around Octember but, if you are willing to pay the shipping & handling fee, I can send you some and you can squeeze them for enough oil for your pans.

C.J.V. - living on what once was a tung tree plantation in sout-east Loosiana, me
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