How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet: Everything you Need to Know
Most of the cast iron skillet comes with seasoning from the manufacturer. Yet, you may find one either without seasoning or one that needs more of it.
You may also need seasoning after years of using a cast-iron skillet. And that’s the time when you need to season your cast iron skillet by yourself.
You may ask ‘how do I season a brand new cast iron skillet?’ Well, it can be done by following some simple steps in your oven. In this post, we are going to tell you how to season a cast-iron skillet.
We are also going to share some useful tips that will help you care and maintain your cast iron skillet. Let’s dive right away.
Step by Step Seasoning A Cast Iron Skillet
Well, to season your cast iron skillet you do not need to be a rocket scientist. The things you need to have are:
- A cast-iron skillet
- An oven
- Soapy water
- Melted shortening or vegetable oil
We need nothing more to season. Simple, right?
Here are the steps you need to follow to season your cast iron skillet:
- Take some soapy water first. Now, scrub your cast-iron skillet on the water very well. Make sure to clean away all the dust and rust.
- After you are done cleaning with the soapy water, wipe the skillet with a clean rag. and dry it thoroughly.
- Now, take some melted shortening or vegetable oil to lay it over the skillet. Use a brush to spread and create a thin layer of oil.
- Choose the middle oven rack to place it at 375 degrees turning the skillet upside down. Do not forget to put a foil on the lower rack. It will help to catch drips.
- Let it stay for 1-hour baking.
- Let the skillet get cold in the oven.
And Congratulations! You have successfully seasoned your cast iron skillet.
Why Should You Season Your Cast Iron Skillet?
You may ask why seasoning is important for cast iron skillet. First of all, seasoning makes your cast iron skillet non-stick. You can cook foods without the anxiety of getting that stuck with the pan.
Secondly, the luster and the shiny nature of the core of your skillet may deteriorate by the passage of time. To bring the luster back, seasoning is the best solution. And finally, if you season your cast iron skillet, you can expect a longer service duration out of it as seasoning helps to prevent rust.
So, before starting to use for the first time or after an interval of a few months, you should season your cast iron skillet in the oven.
How to Clean, Care and Maintain Cast Iron Skillet
After doing your cast iron skillet season and using it for months, you may also get interested in cast iron skillet care tips. Here we are going to entertain your interest by putting the best practices to follow with a view to cleaning and maintaining your cast iron skillet.
- If you have got rust and rust stains in your cast iron skillet, we recommend you to buy a rust eraser. You should get them in your nearest hardware stores and bike shops. Try to use the eraser when you see any rust or rust stain. After it is done, reseason your skillet.
- When it comes to regular cleaning, we recommend a plastic scrubber or a stiff brush. But beware of the hotness of the skillet. Handle carefully. Do not go for cleaning when it is too hot to touch. You can clean it when it is warm and easy to handle.
- To clear baked-on stains, Kosher salt can be used. By the way, try to avoid soap in all means as it may destroy the seasoning.
- When you start cooking, you can apply vegetable oil to the skillet. Allow it time to get hot slowly.
- If you do not want to get the seasoning destroyed, avoid marinating and cooking acidic foods in a cast-iron skillet.
- If you experience that your food is sticking with the pan, having a metallic taste and the pan is showing rust, you should consider reseasoning it.
- Avoid boiling hot water in the cast iron skillet. If you do so, your skillet will be affected badly by rust.
- When you finish cooking with a cast-iron skillet, be careful about handling it. Give it time to cool down. It takes time to get hot and the similarly needs time to get cool. Always use a thick towel or mitt to handle the skillet when it is hot.
- If you do not want to get all your towels full of smudges, be smart enough to pick one specific towel each time you dry your cast iron skillet.
- Be aware that cooking with a cast iron skillet increases the absorption of iron in the food. So, do not overcook any food in the skillet if you want to have healthy foods.
- If you do not need more stuff to cook for your family, a cast iron skillet of 10 to 12 inches will let you do what you want. Do not go for an extra-large skillet if not necessary.
- To keep your cast iron skillet healthy, you have to clean the skillet after using it every time. You can lightly oil it after each cleaning for having the season intact for years.
So, by now you know how to season a cast-iron skillet in the oven very well. If you want to retain the season, follow our cast iron skillet care tips. We hope that you can now season your cast iron skillet by yourself, be it brand new or old.
No, you can skip seasoning it again if you are happy with the seasoning it got from the manufacturer. However, by the passage of time, the pre-seasoning may go away, and that’s the time you may need to season it again by yourself.
You can go for any vegetable oil. But it is best if you can manage refined grapeseed oil.
If your soap is eco-friendly and mild, you can use that.
Cast Iron is an amazing cooking tool that many people don’t know how to properly take care of. It’s important not only for your health but also the life expectancy and flavor-ability of this versatile cookware. You have three choices in what oil you should be using when seasoning a Cast Iron pan as there are no hard and fast rules: vegetable, shortening or canola oil like Lodge’s Seasoning Spray!
You might not have to season a cast iron pan after every use if you take care of it. Proper cleaning and oiling should be done before storing the skillet away for too long so that rust doesn’t form on its surface, which could lead to damage in time.
You may be wondering if olive oil can season cast iron skillets. In a word, yes! Olive Oil provides an additional layer that prevents food from sticking while providing flavor at the same time making this duo well worth trying out.