How to Season a Cast Iron Pan

One of my favourite pans to use is our old cast iron pan. It is great for cooking everything you can imagine. Originally we bought one many years ago for camping. They are great for cooking on an open fire and are indestructible. Even after leaving it in the shed for a few seasons a quick clean up and it was just like new. Then in time we lost it when moving but I always wanted another for cooking indoors. 

You can often find cast iron pans second hand for a great price, but if you look closely, you can find then brand new at affordable prices too. I suggest staying out of the outdoor/camping section as they tend to be a bit more there. A couple years back we bought one at the grocery store.  A big cast iron pan, very heavy. I think it was $30, which is nothing if you consider it lasts forever. The thing with cast iron pans is they are not like other dishes. You can not just throw it in a sink full of water to soak or the dish washer. They need to be seasoned. When you need to clean it, you can wash but not soak, use a scrubby and dry really well to prevent rusting. If there is rust, don’t worry, you can clean it up with steel wool. 

I believe this is the secret many old cooks have. Why their food always tasted so great. This is what many chefs I have spoken to have told me as well. A good seasoned cast iron pan can make all the difference. 

I must admit, as much as I use ours, I had not seasoned it until recently. 

Do you know how to season an cast iron pan?

It is actually pretty easy to do and takes just an hour to complete. 

How To Season Cast Iron Pans and Cast Iron Skillets:
  1. You season a cast iron pan by rubbing it with thin food-grade oil. A very small coat of vegetable oil will do the trick. 
  2. Place the lightly-oiled cast iron pan, upside down, in the oven, on a sheet of aluminum foil underneath to catch any drips.
  3. Bakes for an hour at 350 degrees
  4. Remove and wipe

If your pan is new and pre-seasoned you can use without seasoning first but many people still like to do it themselves. After every use, clean and season your pan. You will taste the difference in your food if you use this kind of pan. They are available in many sizes and distribute the heat evenly when cooking. Be careful as the handle gets hot! 

cast-iron-pan-dirty

As you can see our pan was in need of a good cleaning. I gave it a quick cleaning and scraped out any excess. Then added a small bit of oil.

cast-iron-pan-oiled

After wiping the oil all over the pan, I placed in the over upside down. At 350 degrees I baked it for an hour with foil underneath.

cast-iron-pan-bake

Remove, wipe and store until you need it next. 

cast-iron-pan-seasoned

Now if you find one that needs a little TLC you know how to bring it back to life! 

Comments

  1. We LOVE our old cast iron pan. Makes so many foods taste better!
    My recent post Top 10 Board Games of 2014

  2. Thanks a lot for this! I love the way food tastes when it's cooked with a cast iron pan.
    My recent post Dollar Deals: Cheap Valentine’s Day Decor + Gifts

  3. I have never used a cast iron pan before. Now I know if I ever do use one 😛

  4. Wendy Hutton says

    my ex had a cast iron he was going to throw out cause it was rusty, told him no way give it to me I will fix it, he couldn't believe next time he seen it that it was the same old rusty pan. my mom always told us to use unsalted lard to season but oil works just as well, maybe back then they didn't buy oil, but i now retired it cause I have a glass top stove and I don't want the cast iron to scratch it

  5. I have fond memories of my grandmother making delicious things in her cast iron pan. I've always wanted one but I figured it was way too much work. Thanks for the seasoning tips. It is much easier then I thought and I am going to go finally buy myself that cast iron pan.

  6. thelesleyshow says

    I don't any cast iron but I'm thinking of buying a pan like this. Thank you for this resource.

  7. CanadianMomEh says

    Great tip. I've been on the fence about buying a nice big cast-iron pan for a while now. It's the seasoning party that I'd always shy away from. These are great tips though in case I do make the purchase.

  8. I absolutely love cast iron. It's so much better for you than cooking with pans that have all those coatings and chemicals.

  9. thriftymommagogo says

    Kim: I don't even own one yet. I really need to invest in one. I looked at a few over Christmas but didn't buy. This will be great for me to pin and reference later. Thanks!
    My recent post Ring Ring Pick up the Phone… ERRRR Don’t: Hard Life Lessons for Digital Kids

  10. I have a very very old cast iron pot that I'm scared to touch lol It just sits on top of a shelf for decoration. I would love to use it I wonder if the same thing you do to a pan can be done to a pot ? oh on a side note as a redhead I love the name of your blog 🙂
    My recent post List of Bella’s diagnoses

  11. I didn't know that it was so easy to season a cast iron pan. I've never done it with mine but I think I'll try it out. Thanks for sharing!
    My recent post How do you Make Painting Easier? #Giveaway

  12. I have one but didn't know how to do this. This is such a cool idea!

  13. kathy downey says

    Thanks for the tips,I love my old cast iron frying pan,eggs never tasted better fried in that pan

  14. Vesper1931 says

    read different ways to do this which have always seem complicated – this system is one I can do with our 2 cast iron pans – thanks for that

  15. I love cast iron everything. My frying pans and dutch ovens are my favorites. I use them every day. My Granddad said to rub the oil in with an onion when you season the pan. It gives your food more flavor.

  16. Debbie Welchert says

    I have a few cast iron skillets that need to be seasoned and now I know how. It's really easier than I thought it would be. Thanks.

  17. Thanks — this reminds me that I need to season mine again.

Speak Your Mind

*