How to Re-Season a Cast Iron Skillet

Categories: Chow Bella

cast iron seasoned.jpg
Laura Gill
I'm very happy to report that once you've scrubbed the heck out of your cast iron skillet, seasoning is pretty much a breeze. I didn't know this, of course, until a kind commenter left directions on "Seasoning Your Cast Iron Pan" on the above-mentioned post. Thank you!

See Also:
Use Salt to Clean and Restore Your Cast Iron Skillet
Cook Your Hash Browns in a Waffle Iron?

Re-seasoning your skillet after a thorough cleaning is absolutely critical. The "seasoning" is the coating, or layer that makes the skillet non-stick. The cast iron skillet is essentially useless when it's not properly seasoned. Luckily, you don't need any fancy equipment or cleaners. All you need is your skillet, an oven, and some oil or grease.

Now, there's a lot of debate about what kind of oil to use. And people seem pretty stuck on their choices. From what I gathered, the most traditional folks use bacon fat or lard. I didn't have any of this stuff on hand, though. Other people use canola oil or vegetable oil and there is debate within these, too. One site I read said never use vegetable oil, but there are plenty of people, including the author in the tutorial above who claim to use it with no trouble. Because I cook most often with coconut oil, I opted for that and hoped for the best.

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Mich Hernandez
Mich Hernandez

Thank you for this! I use a vegetable oil, because I am a part-time vegetarian. LOL.

ExpertShot topcommenter

There's no reason to go through the whole oven at 425 bit!  After a cleaning,  just heat the pan up, throw some oil in it on the stove top and turn off the pan.  After it's cooled down just a bit (not smoking anymore), rub a paper towel around to grab up any extra oil.   I do this after cleaning and the pan is just like teflon. 

One tip that doesn't have much to do with seasoning: always empty the pan directly after cooking and rinse it out while brushing off any excess food, then put water in it and put it on the stove to boil. As soon as the boiling is done, just empty the pan and put it back on the stove top to cool.  This will keep the pan seasoned, clean and useful.   If you let the pan cool with food particles on it, there is a possibility of buildup (the reason you "cleaned the pan thoroughly in the first place).  Doing this boiling water procedure will avoid having to wash the pan with soap and thus losing your patina.

If you think there might be a smell left on your pan from cooking smelly food (sorry fishies), just rub the freshly cut surface of a ginger root around the pan. 

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