How to season a cast iron pan

  • Author: The Kitchen Whisperer

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  • Cast iron pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Canola oil or lard (something with a high smoking point)


To Season

  1. Place a large piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of your oven. This is important and it’ll catch the drips.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450F with a rack in the middle.
  3. Rub the inside and outside of the pan with a light coating of oil. You want the entire pan coated in oil.
  4. Place the cast iron pan, upside down, in the oven on the rack.
  5. Bake for 1 -1/2 hours. Note: Seasoning cast iron pans does generate smoke similar to cooking in a dirty oven.
  6. Once done, turn off the oven, and let the pan cool to room temperature in the oven.
  7. If it’s a brand new pan, do this a few times before use. Repeating this process several times is recommended as it will help create a stronger “seasoning” bond.
  8. Once cooled, wipe the pan again with a VERY light coating of oil and store with a paper towel between the pans.

To remove rust stains

  1. If you need to remove rust: use a mixture of salt and oil and scrub that hard into the rust, then rinse thoroughly in hot water. Use steel wool if necessary.
  2. Next, scour the pan completely under hot water. Do this for several minutes or until the water runs clean. if you use soap or an SOS pan you MUST make sure there is no residue left otherwise your foods will taste like soap!
  3. Next season the pan with the instructions above doing this seasoning step (coating, baking and cooling) at least 2 times.

To clean

  1. I try to avoid soap at all costs. For me I use about a 1/2 cup of kosher salt into the still-warm skillet. Use a folded kitchen towel to scour.
  2. Discard the salt and rinse the skillet with hot water.
  3. Dry immediately with a kitchen towel, or heat skillet over a medium-low flame to evaporate the moisture.
  4. Very lightly coat the entire pan with oil, wipe clean and store away.


What it means to season:
The oil fills the cavities and becomes entrenched in them, as well as rounding off the peaks. By seasoning a new pan, the cooking surface develops a nonstick quality because the formerly jagged and pitted surface becomes smooth. Also, because the pores are permeated with oil, water cannot seep in and create rust that would give food an off-flavor. Your ironware will be slightly discolored at this stage, but a couple of frying jobs will help complete the cure, and turn the iron into the rich, black color that is the sign of a well-seasoned, well-used skillet or pot.

I love these pans!

10″ Cast Iron Pan
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