Cast-iron skillets are old fashioned cookware that are built to last a lifetime. These skillets heat evenly and consistently, and can be used in the oven, on the stove or over an open fire. Traditional cast-iron skillets do not come with a nonstick surface, so before you cook with your skillet you will need to season it. By seasoning your skillet, you are baking in multiple coats of oil and creating a smooth, protective coating that is resistant to rust, and ideally non-stick. With proper seasoning and maintenance, your cast-iron skillet will last a very long time.
Things You'll Need
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This low temperature opens the pores, allowing the cast-iron to adequately absorb more oil.
Wash the new cast-iron skillet with hot water and mild detergent. This will remove any factory anti-rust coatings. Immediately dry the skillet with a towel.
Line a shallow baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place 1/4 cup of bacon grease or lard into the skillet. Use a folded paper towel to rub the oil
into the inner bottom and sides of the skillet. Liberally coat the interior and the handle.
Turn the skillet upside-down and place it on the foil-lined baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 3 hours.
Turn the oven off and let the skillet cool in the oven. Once cool to the touch, remove the skillet and wipe it down with a paper towel. Wait one hour, then wipe the skillet down again.
Repeat this process two to three more times to create a strong, seasoned bond and protective coating.
Dry immediately after washing to prevent rusting.
Every time you cook in your cast-iron skillet, you are reinforcing the nonstick coating by heating oil or meat grease in the skillet. The more you cook, the smoother the surface becomes.
References and ResourcesSouthern Plate: How To Season a Cast Iron Skilley
What's Cooking America: The Irreplaceable Cast Iron Pans
ResourcesReal Simple: Cleaning and Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet
Joy the Baker: Learn To Love Your Cast Iron Skillet