Learning how to season a cast iron skillet is not that difficult. These are some of the best cooking devices ever created. Superior to most cookware in its durability, most cast iron skillets can last for a lifetime if taken care of properly. Season a cast iron skillet correctly, use it one time, and you will never go back to conventional cookware. If you were lucky, you were handed down grandma's old cast iron skillet. If you were not, then I suppose that you have gone out and purchase you a cast iron skillet of your own. This is also why you are reading this post. Just remember that after you learn how to season a cast iron skillet, you will need to repeat this process over the years to maintain the cooking surface and to season it to its full potential. The more that you repeat these steps, the better the skillet will perform.
Things You Will Need
First, you will need to pick out a size and brand of skillet. A season cast iron skillet can range from a 6 1/2 , 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, and 17 inch. There are several brands that sell them. A few that come to mind are Lodge, Emerilware, Universal, Camp Chef, and Heuck. The come pre-seasoned out of the box, but you will still want to season them yourself. I haven't purchased one yet that didn't need to be seasoned again.
Next, you will need something to season them with. This basically comes down to preference. You will need some type of cooking oil. You can use shortening, lard, or bacon grease. Personally, I prefer lard or bacon grease. Why, because that is the way they use to do it, and they always got it right.
How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. You want it hot. Remove the skillet from the packaging and clean it thoroughly in soapy water. This will be the first and last time it will get wet again. Pat it completely dry. Now you will need to take your shortening, lard, or bacon grease and coat the inside of the skillet. Rub the oil into the pores of the skillet. If there is any excess oil, wipe it out, but leave a generous amount on the surface of the skillet. Take the seasoned skillet and turn it upside-down before placing it on the top rack of the oven. Put a cookie sheet underneath it to catch any drippings that may spill out. Let it season in the oven for at least one hour. If smoke comes from the oven do not be alarmed because this is part of the normal seasoning process. After one hour, you can turn the oven off and let it cool. Use a paper towel and wipe out the surface and it is ready for use. I would recommend that you repeat this process for once a month until the skillet is to your likening. After that, repeat the process once a year or as needed.
Now that you know how to season a cast iron skillet you will enjoy years of cooking with the best possible skillet you can find. You might be surprised to find that many chefs prefer cast iron skillet cooking over many other types of methods. A good seasoned cast iron skillet will last over a lifetime and can be handed down for generations. If you have any questions or comments please drop me a line in the box below.
Tips & Warnings
1. Do not immerse your skillet in dishwater. After cooking with the skillet, you should let it cool naturally.
2. Dry it out with a clean cloth or a paper towel.
3. Do not pour cold water directly into a preheated skilled. It may cause it to crack.
4. Repeat this process as needed and once a year to mainstain your cast iron skillet.