How & Why To Season Your Cast Iron Skillets

by Lynnette

cooking oils, cookware, How-Tos

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I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but I have to admit that I’ve been considering investing in a new set of cast iron cookware.

It just seems so indestructible.


And the best part: whatever I bought today would likely be with me until I died.


Well, the fact of the matter is, cast iron skillets require a fair amount of extra attention that some of your other cookware might not.

And this part scares me a bit.

I surely don’t want to have to baby it all my life. I mean, after all… it’s just a pan!

So here’s what I’ve learned about the proper “seasoning” for cast iron cookware.


How To Season Cast Iron


Aside from the fact that cast iron can rust if handled or stored improperly, things like vinegar, wine, and tomatoes can affect the flavor of a dish cooked in a cast iron pot or skillet — not to mention the fact that certain ingredients like these can even discolor the pan!

That is, unless you season your cast iron pans first to seal the pores of the iron to prevent rust and any possible food reactions.

Here’s how:

1. Clean the pan well.
2. Dry the pan completely.
3. Coat the inside of the pan thoroughly with lard or bacon grease. (Not liquid oil.)
4. Bake the pan at 350* for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
5. Cool the pan, then repeat the oiling and baking process a second time.
6. Cool the pan, then wipe away any residual oil with paper towels.

Repeating this process several times is recommended as it will help create a stronger “seasoning” bond. Also, when you put the pan into service, it is recommended to use it initially for foods high in fat, such as bacon or foods cooked with fat, because the grease from these foods will help strengthen the seasoning. Source


Some Things To Remember About Cast Iron

  • You should never wash cast iron in the dishwasher.
  • Don’t leave a cast iron pan to sit & soak. It should be cleaned immediately.
  • Always dry cast iron thoroughly and rub on a little oil before storing it after each use.
  • Remember, any time cast iron is exposed to acidic foods, it can begin to corrode. Or, if it is handled or stored improperly, cast iron may begin to rust. (For example, if stored with the lid on, while still damp.)
  • To restore a cast iron pot to its original luster, simply scrub the rust away with steel wool and re-season it as mentioned above.


My Favorite Resources For Cast Iron Tips


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How and why to season your cast iron skillet