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How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

Everyone loves cooking on Cast Iron, the even heat, the non stick surface, the…. Oh wait! Has your non stick surface gone KaPute? Time to learn the steps for How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet!

Seasoning your Cast Iron will keep it beautiful and slick and better than any nonstick surface you have ever owned. It’s simple to season a cast iron skillet, just follow the steps below for  How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet.

This is a photo of a reseasoned cast iron skilled for how to season a cast iron skillet

Reseasoned Cast Iron Pan ready for use!

DO YOU HAVE TO SEASON CAST IRON?

Your first question might be, “But wait, do you REALLY HAVE to season cast iron”? That answer depends on the following:  Is the surface beginning to stick? If so, no problem, just season the skillet. Most cast iron required occasional seasoning. It isn’t difficult to do.

When you think about it, your nonstick skillets begin to lose their nonstick ability too when they become scratched. I don’t care how hard you try to keep them from scratching, it is likely to happen. The difference? Nonstick will not go back on those other pans! Beautiful cast iron is fixable, you can reseason it!

WHAT IS SEASONING ON CAST IRON?

The “seasoning” refers to the pans ability to remain non stick. A well seasoned pan is one that doesn’t stick. If you purchased your cast iron brand new, it probably came from the factory preseasoned. Did you buy used? No problem, simply follow the directions below for How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet.

WHAT MAKES THE SEASONING COME OFF OF A CAST IRON PAN?

There are several things that will make the seasoning weaken (and, trust me, there is disagreement in the world about what those things are – but this is what I’ve found to be true). Treating your cast iron harshly will make you have to know How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet even sooner!

  1. Washing with harsh cleansers.
  2. Cooking tomato based sauces or other acid foods in the pan.
  3. Scrubbing the pans with an abrasive pad after use.

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR CAST IRON

  • WASHING  – Most sources say to NOT wash your cast iron, to rinse and wipe out well. That might be so, but I have never been able to do that. I always feel that they need a little soap and elbow grease. So, I use a mild soap and a soft dish cloth – that usually works fine. If something DOES stick, I use a brillo pad and scrub as lightly as possible to remove the substance.
  • COOKING – You can cook whatever you like in your cast iron, but understand that acid dishes (like tomatoes and their juices) may weaken the seasoning in your pan. (No problem, just reseason).
  • STORING – After cleaning your pan, allow to air dry completely and then store in a dry location. I keep mine hanging on peg board in my kitchen to keep air circulating.
  • RESEASONING – When your pan begins to lose its luster, begins to stick or shows any visible rust colored haze, it is time to reseason. Just follow the directions in How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet.

CAN I USE ANOTHER OIL ON MY CAST IRON?

You may not have shortening in your kitchen. It is ok to use whatever oil you have. Coconut oil is fine. Vegetable oil is fine. I simply find that shortening has worked the best for me.

WHAT TOOLS DO I NEED TO SEASON A CAST IRON SKILLET?

You only need:

  • The Cast Iron in need of seasoning
  • An oven
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Food safe oil (shortening, vegetable oil, coconut oil, etc.)
  • A paper towel to wipe the oil on with (optional)

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU OWN A GOOD CAST IRON PAN?

If you search the internets, you will find that everyone has an opinion about the best cast iron. You will hear much of the following:

  • Old cast iron is best
  • New cast iron is too thin
  • Certain brands are best
  • Only the most expensive brand will work

All of that is hogwash. Here is my experience, some old cast iron isn’t worth a flip. There is old cast iron that is GREAT! You can find new cast iron that is wonderful too! The secret is that you want a nice heavy pan that will distribute the heat evenly. That is it!

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SPEND AN ARM AND LEG TO HAVE GREAT CAST IRON! 

I recently WON $250 worth of Lodge Cast Iron (all new) and it is every bit as good as my old cast iron and compared to other world class cookware, it isn’t expensive at all. Here is an affiliate link to Amazon so you can go look around – just click the photo – you’ll see that it is affordable. I promise, it is good quality!

RECIPES FOR YOUR CAST IRON!

Here are some excellent recipes that will work GREAT in your newly seasoned cast iron…

10X canned biscuits

Southern Fried Potatoes and Onions

Marinated Pork Chops

Garlic Bacon Bok Choy

11 Healthy Cast Iron Skillet Recipes

How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths

 

PHOTO TUTORIAL OF HOW TO SEASON A CAST IRON SKILLET

The skillet in this photo badly needs to be reseasoned. It has a rusty haze. Do you see that it is no longer shiny on the bottom surface? That is because I made spaghetti sauce in this pan. No problem, it gives me a pan to show you, right?

A photo of a rusty skillet for how to season a cast iron skillet

This pan needs to be reaseasoned!

Cover the BOTTOM rack in your oven with aluminum foil (this saves your stove from a mess later). This aluminum foil will catch any drips. How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

The bottom rack for the oven covered in foil for how to season a cast iron skillet

Cover the bottom rack with aluminum foil

Wipe on a thin layer of shortening. A VERY THIN layer. Don’t cake it on. While you do this, preheat your oven to 350.

A photo of a skillet with shortening wiped on with a paper towel for how to season a cast iron skillet

Apply oil in a thin coat

Turn the pan upside down and place in the oven and bake as directed below. This allows any excess oil to drip out of the pan and keeps it from collecting in the pan.

A photo of the pan in the oven for how to season a cast iron skillet

Turn the pan upside down in the oven

Final product for How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

This is a photo of a reseasoned cast iron skilled for how to season a cast iron skillet

Reseasoned Cast Iron Pan ready for use!

INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO SEASON A CAST IRON SKILLET

  1. Clean the skillet well by using a pot scrubber or wire brush. Then wash in hot soapy water. Dry well.
  2. Cover the bottom rack in your oven with aluminum foil.
  3. Preheat oven to 350
  4. Using shortening (or any other oil of your choice – vegetable oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil – absolutely your choice –   I use shortening because it’s what I have found works best in my kitchen). Wipe the oil on in a thin but visible coat using a paper towel.
  5. Put the skillet in the oven upside down on the rack just above the one you have covered with aluminum foil (drips fall on the aluminum foil).
  6. Keep skillet in the oven at 350 for an hour.
  7. Turn the oven off and allow the skillet to cool completely in the oven.
  8. When cool, remove and wash lightly with hot water. Dry completely. Your skillet is seasoned and ready to use!

YA’LL, HELP ME OUT, OK?

Please leave me a5 star🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟commentbelow in the comment section, all right? I would LOVE to know if you made this recipe or even if you are planning to! Of course, head on over to Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram and tag me with some photos of your creation!

I can’t wait!

Ya’ll know I love your comments!!

Yield: 1 skillet

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

This is a photo of a reseasoned cast iron skilled for how to season a cast iron skillet

These instructions inform the reader how to season a cast iron skillet

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $2.00

Materials

  • Cast iron skillet
  • soap and water
  • vegetable shortening
  • paper towel
  • aluminum foil

Tools

  • wire brush (possibly)
  • oven

Instructions

  1. Remove any obvious rust from the cast iron skillet with a wire brush. Wash well in hot soapy water.
  2. Allow the skillet to completely air dry.
  3. Using a paper towel apply a thin coat of vegetable oil.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350.
  5. Place a piece of aluminum foil that is bigger than the skillet beneath the skillet.
  6. place the skillet upside down in the oven and heat at 350 for an hour. Turn the oven off.
  7. Allow the skillet to come back to room temp inside the oven.
  8. Remove the skillet and the aluminum foil from the oven and and use the skillet as needed.

Notes

Reaseason the skillet any time the finish starts to wear.

You will find you may need to reseason if you cook something acidic in the pan (like tomato sauce)

Clean your pan using very mild soap and water or simply wipe with a paper towel and reuse.

***THIS POST HAS BEEN REWRITTEN TO BETTER ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS!***

A VERSE TO SHARE

At 6:30 am today, the caller ID announced my youngest daughter’s name. I answered the phone and I heard sniffling. I suddenly felt that sinking panicky flush of nerves. If you are a parent, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Before you start to panic too, I want you to know, everything is ok. Just a hard morning for a young adult with some life lessons before her.

After a short discussion, we figured out a plan for her to make it through the day. She didn’t really need me or my input, she just wanted the comfort of her mom’s voice. Sometimes just knowing someone is there who cares is enough.

Later today, when her classes finish she will come by here. We will discuss some steps for moving through fledgling adulthood so that these things don’t continue to happen.

As a mom, it can be very hard to avoid rescuing and allow life to teach its lessons.

This has made me wonder about our heavenly father and what He feels when we, his children, make a mess of our lives and want to be rescued.

THE MESS

I know I have made a mess of my life many times and have prayed, “Dear Lord, please get me out of this. If you will help me THIS ONE TIME, I promise to NEVER do (fill in the blank) again”.

Sometimes, God has allowed life to teach its lesson and He didn’t immediately bail me out or run to my rescue. In fact, many times he has allowed me to just continue laying in the bed that I made!

I have atheist friends who say, “If your God loved you, wouldn’t he help you out?”

The short answer, “No, not really”. Bailing me out of my self made misery isn’t God’s job, actually. I have many many blessings and what I choose to do with them is up to me. Most of the time, my problems are the result of me failing to use my gifts in a way that blesses me and those around me.

Not to mention, when I fail to remember the “unforgiving minute”.

A PRAYER

I have several things that I TOO want to go to God in prayer over that sound much like my daughter ringing me up at 6:30 am. What I really want is the comfort of knowing that God is there, I am His child, He will listen and help and He has likely already blessed me with the tools to fix my own situation.

That doesn’t mean that I will like the solution. It can be painful to be a fledgling adult. Sometimes it is even painful to be an adult adult. That is what prayer is for.

Psalm 17

A PRAYER OF DAVID

 

Hear me, Lord, my plea is just;
    listen to my cry.
Hear my prayer—
    it does not rise from deceitful lips.
Let my vindication come from you;
    may your eyes see what is right.

Though you probe my heart,
    though you examine me at night and test me,
you will find that I have planned no evil;
    my mouth has not transgressed.
Though people tried to bribe me,
    I have kept myself from the ways of the violent
    through what your lips have commanded.
My steps have held to your paths;
    my feet have not stumbled.

I CALL ON YOU…

 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
    turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Show me the wonders of your great love,
    you who save by your right hand
    those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings
from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
    from my mortal enemies who surround me.

They close up their callous hearts,
    and their mouths speak with arrogance.
They have tracked me down, they now surround me,
    with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
They are like a lion hungry for prey,
    like a fierce lion crouching in cover.

RISE UP…

Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down;
    with your sword rescue me from the wicked.
By your hand save me from such people, Lord,
    from those of this world whose reward is in this life.
May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies;
    may their children gorge themselves on it,
    and may there be leftovers for their little ones.

As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;
    when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

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Potdry O'boil

Sunday 10th of May 2020

Great information for someone like me. I cannot boil water without burning it!

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 10th of May 2020

You can do it! I believe in you!

Ro Hughes

Sunday 1st of December 2019

I seasoned my skillet today and when completely cooled. I rinsed it in hot water. The inside of the skillet is tacky. Did I use too much oil?

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 3rd of December 2019

Hi Ro, You probably got the oil a little too thick or didn't allow it to stay in the oven long enough for the amount of oil you have applied. It will work fine, just go ahead and use it a time or two OR clean very well, coat with thin coat of oil and reseason per the instructions above.

Ann

Saturday 9th of February 2019

I have an old cast iron (probably 20 years old!) that badly needs reseasoning. Oh yes, first, thorough cleaning as it’s rusty. I found your instructions easy so I’m going to use it to bring back my cast iron skillet back to life. I’ll take a Before and After pictures. Thank you in advance.

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 9th of February 2019

Oh Ann! You made my Saturday! I can’t wait to see how it turns out. :)

Bernie ~ A Gouda Life

Sunday 16th of December 2018

Such great information as always Wendi! Thanks so much. Just moved this to the top of my To Do List.

Nancy

Wednesday 19th of September 2018

Do you season the outside and bottom of the skillet?

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 19th of September 2018

Hi Nancy, that completely depends on your skillet. If it is rusty or corroded at all then yes. Go ahead. If it looks a little caked up or doesn’t seem to need anything then no n

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