Cast iron skillets are a staple in many kitchens. The pans are durable and work well for frying, baking and stewing. To keep the skillets in good shape, you should season them regularly and avoid washing them with harsh soap. Also avoid soaking them as they will lose their protective oil coating and eventually rust. Cared for properly, cast iron skillets provide a superior cooking surface that distributes heat well.

Things You'll Need

Sand the pan with steel wool to remove any rust inside, outside, and on the handle.

Wash with a gentle dish soap but avoid soaking the skillet.

Dry the pan completely.

Use a paper towel or cloth to wipe vegetable oil all over the pan. Use a light amount, so that there is no dripping or pooling of oil.

Place the pan upside down in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake it for an hour. Aluminum foil or a baking tray can be used to catch any drips of oil.

Leave the pan in the oven and allow it to cool.

Repeat steps 4 through 6 up to four or five times for a thorough seasoning.


  • Use a light vegetable oil, lard or vegetable shortening to season the pan. Do not use olive oil, which has a low smoke point.

  • After seasoning, clean the pan after each use with a wet cloth and dry it thoroughly.

  • If food sticks, scrub it with salt.