How to Season a Cast-Iron Skillet With Olive Oil

By Kathryn Hatter

When you cook with cast iron, you partake in a culinary tradition that's been around for centuries. In some households, the skillet is older than the cook; now that's durability! Sturdy as it is, cast iron must be maintained to avoid rust and ensure cooking success. If you're using a cast-iron skillet for the first time, be sure to coat it with oil, preferably olive oil. This seasoning process prevents rust and creates a natural nonstick surface. Properly cared for, a cast iron pan can be used to fry meats, broil veggies, sear seafood and even bake delicious cakes.

cast iron pan on dark background
credit: YelenaYemchuk/iStock/GettyImages
How to Season a Cast-Iron Skillet With Olive Oil

Step 1

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any oil that may drip during the seasoning process. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Saturate one or two paper towels with olive oil and place them in the skillet.

Step 3

Rub the saturated paper towels over the entire interior of the skillet, coating the surface generously with a thick layer of olive oil.

Step 4

Place the skillet in the oven upside down on the upper rack and leave it to bake for one hour.

Step 5

With an oven mitt, remove the cast-iron skillet after the hour elapses. Let the skillet cool.