How to Season Your Cast Iron Skillet

Find step-by-step instructions for how to season a cast iron skillet and how to clean a cast iron skillet.

skilletTatiana Volgutova/shutterstock

Keeping tools in top shape keeps ’em at the ready. Cast-iron skillets conduct heat so food cooks uniformly. With use, you may notice food sticking—it’s time to reseason the pan.

Learn how to clean your cast iron skillet with coarse salt here.

How to Reseaon a Cast Iron Skillet

Seasoning is the process of adhering oil to the surface to create a nonstick coating. New pans are factory-seasoned, but here’s how to reseason an older pan:

  • Line the lower oven rack with aluminum foil and preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Scrub the pan with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush to remove any rust.
  • Towel-dry and apply a thin coat of vegetable oil to the entire pan—outside and handle included.
  • Place on top oven rack, upside down; bake for 1 hour.
  • Turn off the oven and leave the pan inside to cool. Now you’re ready to cook.

For daily cleaning, rinse with hot water, using a stiff nylon brush to remove residue. Avoid dish soap; it removes seasoning. And don’t submerge a hot pan in cold water; it can crack. Towel-dry and apply a light coat of oil while the pan is warm. Did you know it’s best to use a cast iron skillet to grill your steaks? Find out why here.

Plus: 25 Handy Hints for the Home Cook

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