How to Season Cast Iron Skillets

Learn these tips and ideas for how to season cast iron skillets. Cast iron skillets have long been favored with home cooks but one of the biggest reasons that people stop using cast-iron skillets is because they fail to properly season the skillet.

Failing to properly care for and season a cast iron skillet, makes them nearly impossible to cook in. With a few tips on proper care, you can cook just about anything!

Seasoning cast-iron is essential to the care of a cast-iron skillet. The purpose of seasoning is to protect it from rusting and to help in the aid of proper cooking.

How to Season Cast Iron Skillets

Seasoning versus Pre-Seasoned

When you buy a brand new cast-iron skillet it will more than likely have a very nice sheen to it. A lot of cast-iron skillets now come pre-seasoned which ensures great cooking results from the start.

Cast-iron skillets can also be picked up from second hand stores, garage sales or flea-markets. A lot of times those cast-iron skillets will need to be seasoned.

How to Properly Season a New Cast Iron Skillet

Seasoning a cast-iron skillet involves rubbing the skillet down with a high smoke point oil like coconut oil, and then baking it at a very high temperature.

With most new cast-iron skillets, you generally can skip this since the cast-iron has already been seasoned for you. If you have an unseasoned cast-iron skillet here are the steps that you will need to follow.

Step 1: Wash the Skillet

1. Wash the cast-iron skillet with hot, soapy water.

Step 2: Rinse the Skillet

2. Rinse the skillet and dry thoroughly.

Step 3: Remove the Rust from the Cast Iron

3. If the skillet has rust on it, then you will need to remove the rust. I have had success rubbing salt over the rust spots to remove them. After removing the rust spots, wash the skillet again with hot, soapy water and then rinse, and dry very well.

Step 4: Oil the Cast Iron Skillet

4. Once you have removed any signs of rust and have a clean skillet, you will need to rub a light layer of oil over the entire skillet. Again, I use coconut oil because it has a high smoking point. Rub the oil over the entire pan until it has a light sheen to it.

5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place your skillet upside down on the middle rack. Allow the pan to cook for 2.5 hours. Then, turn the oven off and allow the skillet to cool while in the oven.

6. Remove cast-iron skillet from the oven, and wipe it down. You know have a ready to use seasoned skillet

How to Properly Care for Cast Iron Skillets

1. Never wash seasoned cast iron skillets with soapy water. The soap breaks down the protective seasoning and you will have to re-season the skillet again.

2. If you have a hard to remove spot on the skillet, make a scrubbing paste of water and salt to remove it. Use a brush to scrub the skillet until the spot is removed. I like the Lodge Skillet Brush or the Stainless Steel Cast Iron Cleaner.

3. Never leave the cast-iron skillet in submerged water.

4. Always wash the skillet in hot water and then immediately rinse and dry. To ensure that all moisture is removed from the skillet, I place mine on a warm burner just briefly to completely dry.

5. Allow the skillet to cool, then take a tablespoon of coconut oil and rub it all over the skillet until it has the nice sheen again.

Cooking With Cast Iron

1. When your pan is brand new avoid using acidic foods like tomatoes, vinegar and lemon juice. The acidic food will break down the seasoning of your pan. If you choose to cook with acidic foods then you will need to season your skillet again.

2. Use your cast-iron skillet and use it a lot. You can cook such a wide variety of foods and you will find that the more you use it, the better it gets. Nothing will stick to the surface and you can go from frying eggs in the morning to making cast-iron skillet brownies, cornbread or crispy sweet potatoes for dinner and dessert.

How to Store Cast-Iron Skillets | Cast Iron Storage Idea

There is several step to knowing how to properly season and care for cast iron skillets but there are several steps in storing cast iron.

1. The skillets need good circulation so that they stay free of moisture. This helps to ensure that the skillet stays free of rust and that it will be clean when you are ready to use it again.

2. If the cast-iron skillet has a lid, then you will need to store them apart. Again, this ensures that they stay free of moisture.

3. You can store cast iron skillets on your stove, and in the stove but always remember to remove them before you do any cooking or baking in the oven. I recently hung mine in the pantry with gorgeous hand forged hooks and nails from Axe and Anvil. Not only is this beautiful but it is very functioning. I can easily grab the pan that I need and get busy cooking!

Thanks so much for stopping. I hope that these tips will help you to know how to properly season and care for your cast iron skillets.

Thank you for sharing!

9 thoughts on “How to Season Cast Iron Skillets”

  1. Thank you so much for this post! My mom just gave me my grandmother’s cast iron chicken fryer and a dutch oven.. I have several others from her as well and just recently decided that I would like to start using these more often.. biggest problem is storing them. I love you blog.

    Sommer Mullins

  2. I just ordered 2 hooks and 4 nails. I’m excited. My cast iron sits in piles-I’ve never known how to hang the heavy things. Thanks for this post! Joanna in Ca.

  3. Like the information on the cast iron. Please, I was wondering where to purchase the hooks and nails that you used to hang the cast iron? It all looks so nice, and where did you get the glass containers.

    • Make sure your using a lot of butter to keep them from sticking. Once your pan is well seasoned, you will still want to add some butter or other choice of oil. Don’t cook on real high temperature.

  4. I recently purchased a metal chain scrubber for cast iron skillets! It is absolutely life saving when cleaning a pan after cooking!

  5. I’ve found that if you start your butter on a medium heat to melt, and spread it around really well, including up the sides a bit, your scrambled eggs won’t stick. Once the butter is melted you can turn the heat up a bit. Most people tend to start their cast iron pans out on a heat that’s too high. The cast iron retains the heat, so it’s better to start with lower heat and move up to a higher heat (and not scorch your food!) as it’s easier to raise the heat than to lower it once you have your food in the skillet 😉

  6. If you think cast-iron skillets are difficult to clean, think again. Three simple steps — rinse, dry, and oil — are easily outweighed by cast iron’s many attributes.


Leave a Comment