Caring for your cast iron cookware properly is important. Find out what to do before and after you season a new cast iron skillet with this helpful guide!
Cast iron cookware is one of the kitchen investments you can make. They're versatile, last forever and take up less space than other cookware.
In order to get the best possible seasoning on your cast iron skillet, it's important that you season it properly.
The seasoning process is a necessary step in caring for your cast iron skillet. Without it, you'll have a hard time getting the pan to brown or roast food properly.
A well-seasoned pan will last for generations!
How To Season Your New Cast Iron Skillet
Step 1: Wash and Dry Your Cast Iron Skillet
Cleaning your cast iron skillet is always the first thing you want to do. It may look ready to go right when you take it out of the box or unwrap it, but you never know what has crossed its path to get to its destination.
To clean your cast iron skillet, you will want to scrub it with warm soapy water. Typically, you want to avoid using soap on cast iron, however, if you are looking to start seasoning it or want to reseason a skillet, soap is a safe way to do so.
After you have scrubbed it clean, hand dry it thoroughly. After drying your pan, if you find that it still has some moisture on it, you can place it over the flame on your stovetop. Leave it over the fire for a few minutes to get rid of any water or moisture that was left behind from the cleaning.
Step 2: Apply Oil to the Cast Iron Pan
Now that the pan is clean and dry, it is time to oil it. Oil the cast iron pan both inside and out. You can even oil the handle; it will not hurt it.
Oiling the pan is probably the trickiest part because you don’t want to use too much oil. If you use more oil than you need, there is a possibility that it can become sticky and not leave you with a good coating.
What kind of oil can you use to season? Vegetable, canola, and corn oil are the oils that are recommended when it comes to seasoning your skillet.
As you are applying the oil, you will want to buff it thoroughly until the pan is no longer greasy. That extra grease can be a nuisance when you start cooking with it because it can leave you with greasy crumbles in your food.
Step 3: Heat Your Skillet in the Oven
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place your cast iron skillet in the oven upside down. It is a good idea to place a cookie sheet on the rack below it to help catch any drippings of oil that may be left.
Once it is in the oven, heat the cast iron skillet for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
As you are heating your skillet, you may notice that it gets a little smokey. This is normal so you will want to make sure that your kitchen is well ventilated. As it sits in the oven, it will help turn that oil into its very first coating.
Step 5: Repeat Steps 2 and 3
Once you have taken the steps above, it is important that you give it at least a few more coatings. You can season it again after you’ve taken it out of the oven. Just be sure to let it cool down so that you don’t burn yourself! Just buff it again with the oil and place it back into the oven for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Since you want multiple coatings on a cast iron skillet to protect it, many like to repeat steps 2 and 3 at least three or four times. This will provide it with a sturdy coating.
Now that you have it officially seasoned, each time you use the cast iron skillet, it will continue to season itself each time you cook with it. Many think that seasoning your new cast iron skillet is hard. As you can see, it is a pretty simple process to do!