How to Season and Care for a Cast Iron Skillet

Shared by Kitchen Crew @JustaPinch

The Just A Pinch Test Kitchen shows how to season and care for a cast iron skillet.

Lisa Price - Jan 4, 2020
No soap. Just was with hot water and a cloth. Dry it out. Use oil swirl it around put on stove top and heat to hot. Pour out excess oil. Then bake in oven on 350 for about an hour. Do this like every 5 uses. On regular uses just was pan out to clean the rub oil on it. It's ready for another meal to be cooked.
Ann Stone - over a year ago
I have just found this wonderful site and it has answered a question about seasoning my iron skillet!!! Mine was passed down to me from my mother. I was raised on food prepared in iron skillets and beans cooked in an iron kettle!!! I do recall that at times mom would have dad to place these in an outside fire to “clean” it! Has anyone else ever heard of this? Thank you for the valuable information and my skillet is nearly 60years young!!!!!
Debbie Conway - over a year ago
Terrible advice!!!
You NEVER use cooking oil or vegetable shortening to season cast iron cookware!
Bacon grease or lard is the proper animal fat to season cast iron. Rub either fat into the bottom and sides of the pan with your fingers, then place it in a 300 degree oven for fifteen minutes. Remove the pan from the oven & wipe out excess grease. Return the pan to the oven, upside down, and bake for at least two hours. Repeating this process several times will create a stronger seasoning bond.
After use, DO NOT USE SOAP or a scouring pad to clean the pan; doing so will break down the seasoning. While still warm, wipe it out with a cloth or paper towel under hot running water. Place it in a warm oven to dry before storing so that rust cannot gain a toehold.
Michael Iannone - over a year ago
I found an iron skillet at a yard sale this summer. It has rust on the cooking surface. I am hoping to find how to remove the rust and then season the skillet. Thank you.
John Chester - over a year ago
DON'T do what I did & try to grind down the 'kinda rough' surface in a new Lodge 12" pan!!!
It's taken me YEARS to develop new seasoning, but please learn from my mistakes.
Regularly cooking anything in it will help it a lot, but cooking bacon works best!
I tried veg. oil & shortening with less than desired results, but when I tried heating bacon grease in it, after washing, I got MUCH better results! I think ANIMAL FAT is the key (hence the other references to LARD).
Norman Champagne - over a year ago
Ok, here's my two cents. I got a cast iron skillet from my mom who got it from her mom. The skillet is at a minimum 40 years old. If a cast iron skillet is seasoned correctly you'll never have to use soap on it. In fact, you should never use soap unless it's a brand new skillet. I clean/season my skillet the same way my grandma did. Rinse/scrub with hot water only (no soap). I dry the skillet and put it on the stove top. Pour some oil in the skillet just enough to coat the bottom and turn the burner on high. You can swirl the oil around to make sure the bottom and sides are covered with oil. Once the oil starts to smoke, turn off the burner. Allow the skillet to cool and then wipe out the excess oil. I've been using the same skillet for 30+ years and never had anything stick to it. It's super easy to clean. It's great for frying fish or chicken, baking bread, and cooking casseroles. It'll last forever if taken care of.
carol jansing - over a year ago
I got my first iron skillet from grndmaw on my wedding day 58 yr. so we'll seasoned in the oven still going strong. Carol Jansing
Marty Wagner - over a year ago
Why do you have to put the skillet upside down?
Alice Winkler-Paetzel - over a year ago
my skillets have a hard gnarly crust on the outside. How do I rid them of that?
Ira Cohen - over a year ago
I agree You definitely missed the heating part. I used lard to season it placed it in the oven upside down and placed the oven in cleaning mode. This put a hard glaze that has lasted several years.
Roxann Clark - over a year ago
just got a skillet, I remember them from my grandmother, don't remember how she seasoned them so I will do the video. thanks JAP.
Laura Peace - over a year ago
That's ridiculous. To season it properly you must alternate oiling and heating in oven several times. In the old days the iron skillet never got a break, it basically stayed in use 24-7 so it was seasoned in the process.
Janet Bauman - over a year ago
You left out the step of placing it upside down in the oven for an hour at 300F.
Connie Villari - over a year ago
Question: D
on't you have to place skillet into oven to bake a bit to season it
Just remembering what I always seen my Grandmother do when seasoning her skillets.
Sandie Stevens - over a year ago
This sweet potato pudding looks delicious, It will be on my Thanksgiving table. We love sweet potatoes. Thank you Just A Pinch!!

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