How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet?

Seasoning your cast iron skillet is essential because it helps it last longer, makes it easier to cook with, and prevents it from rusting. A well-seasoned skillet also helps distribute and hold heat better, making cooking much more manageable. This article will show you the essential steps for seasoning your cast iron skillet and how to keep it in good shape.

What is Cast Iron Seasoning?

Cast iron seasoning is the process of coating the surface of a cast iron pan with a thin layer of oil and then heating it to a high temperature. This process creates a durable, non-stick layer through polymerization, where the oil bonds to the metal surface and hardens. Seasoning protects the cast iron from rust, improves its cooking performance, and enhances the flavor of food over time.

Seasoning cast iron skillet is important because it creates a natural, non-stick surface that improves with use, making cooking and cleaning easier. It also protects the pan from rust and enhances its durability by creating a protective layer. Properly seasoned cast iron enhances the flavor of your food and ensures even cooking by improving heat retention and distribution.

4 Steps to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

Step 1: Wash and Dry the Cookware

Before seasoning, it's vital to thoroughly clean the cast iron skillet to remove any factory coatings, dirt, or residue. Use warm water and a small amount of mild dish soap. Scrub the surface with a brush or a sponge. Avoid harsh detergents or steel wool, as they can damage the skillet.

Importance of Drying the Cookware: Drying is critical because any residual moisture can cause the skillet to rust. After washing, dry the skillet immediately with a clean towel. Place it on a stove over low heat for a few minutes to ensure it's scorched. This will evaporate any remaining water.

Step 2. Oil the Cookware with the thin film of oil

Oiling is the step where you create the base layer of seasoning. When heated, the oil polymerises onto the iron surface, forming a protective layer.

Oils to Use:

● Flaxseed Oil: Highly recommended for its ability to form a hard, durable layer.

● Vegetable Oil: A common choice of oil due to its availability and effective results.

● Olive Oil: It is suitable for a quick seasoning touch-up, though it has a lower smoke point than other oils.

To skip this part of seasoning the cookware, get the right product from Stahl Kitchen. Their blacksmith hybrid series do not require seasoning & can be used without any worry.


● Pour a small amount of oil into the skillet.

● Take a paper towel and carefully spread the oil across the entire surface, covering the bottom and handle.

● Wipe off excess oil until the skillet appears dry. The key is to leave a thin, even layer to prevent the oil from becoming sticky.

Step 3. Bake or Heat the Cookware

Baking or heating the skillet is crucial for polymerisation, where the oil bonds with the iron surface to form a durable layer.

Temperature and Process:

● Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). Or you can heat your skillet on the stovetop at medium heat.

● Place the oiled skillet upside down on the middle rack of the oven to prevent oil from pooling. Place a sheet of aluminium foil on the lower rack to catch any drips.

● Bake for one hour. After one hour, turn off the oven and let the skillet cool to room temperature inside the oven.

● For Heating, you just need to gradually heat the cookware to form a strong bond between the oil and the surface. You can stop the heating when the oil begins to smoke.

● When the oil begins to smoke, it is an indication of a protective layer formed by the oil that enhances the cookware's stick-resistance properties.

Step 4. Repeat the Steps

Repeating the oiling and baking or heating process multiple times builds a stronger seasoning layer.

Process in Brief:

● Once the skillet is cool, repeat the oiling process as described above.

● Bake again at 450°F (230°C) for another hour. Or you can also gradually heat on a gas stove at a medium flame.

● Allow it to cool down. Repeating this process 2-3 times will create a robust, nonstick surface.

Re-Seasoning Your Cast Iron Pan After Cooking

To ensure your cast iron pan is ready for its next use, it's important to re-season it after each cooking session. This simple process involves lightly coating the pan with oil. Here's how to do it:

1. Rub 1-2 teaspoons of any cooking oil thoroughly over the entire surface of the pan.

2. Store the pan in a dry place.

Check out a beginner's guide to cast iron cookware to help you.

Maintenance After Seasoning Cast Iron

Maintaining cast iron cookware in optimal condition and preventing rusting is essential.

· Gentle Cleaning Methods

After each use, clean the skillet with warm water and a brush or sponge. Avoid using soap regularly, as it can strip the seasoning. To loosen stubborn food residues, boil a small amount of water in the skillet before cleaning.

· Towel Drying and Air Drying

Dry the skillet properly after washing to prevent rust. Now, take a clean towel to wipe it dry, then place it on the stove over low heat for a few minutes. This ensures that all moisture evaporates, leaving the skillet completely dry.

· Oil Maintenance

After drying regularly, evenly apply a thin oil layer to your skillet. This helps maintain the seasoning and prevents the surface from drying or becoming sticky. Apply the oil, wipe off the excess, and store the skillet dryly.

The Blacksmith Hybrid Cast Iron Frying Pan offers a more convenient solution. Thanks to its rust-proof enamel treatment, this pan reduces the need for frequent re-seasoning and simplifies cleaning, allowing you to cook with less oil and worry less about food sticking or burning.

Also, read about Benefits of cast iron cookware guide.


Remember to wash, dry, and oil your cast iron skillet before baking in the oven at 450°F. Repeat the oiling and baking process a few times for optimal performance. You can also check out our selection of top-quality cast iron skillets, such as the Blackmith Plus and Blacksmith Hybrid series which requires very less maintenance.


Q1. What is the best oil to season a cast iron skillet with?

Refined oils with high smoke points, such as grapeseed or sunflower oil work well to polymerise and create that nonstick patina due to their high polyunsaturated fat content.

Q2. How many coats of seasoning on new cast iron?

Around 3-5 thin, even layers create a durable seasoning that improves with use, they suggest. Maintenance costs now and then don't hurt.

Q3. What temperature do I season cast iron?

350°- 400°F or 177 - 204°C for at least an hour allows the oil to fully polymerise without burning. Monitoring helps it brown but not smoke.

Q4. Can I cook immediately after seasoning cast iron?

It's best to wait 24 hours for the oil to fully cure before cooking acidic foods. After that, seasonings will continue to strengthen with routine cooking.

Q5. Why is it called seasoning cast iron?

Like flavour layers developing during a recipe, cast iron seasoning is oil that slowly polymerises into a natural nonstick finish over time and use.

Q6. How long to wait between seasoning cast iron?

An hour in the hot oven ensures one layer fully polymerises before wiping and applying another. Cool thoroughly before reapplying.

Q7. Do you wash cast iron between seasoning?

Wiping thoroughly and fully drying in the heated oven prepares the pan for the next oil application.

Q8. How do you know if cast iron is seasoned?

An evenly glossy, nonstick black patina can sear, brown, and release foods and is easily cleaned up with a brush or cloth.

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