Jan 26

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet



Submitted by: Veronica Gantley

I don’t think there is anything better than a delicious steak grilled to perfection. The only problem is who wants to stand out in this cold over a grill to make it. Perhaps you live in an apartment where you can’t grill. All you will need is a cast iron skillet. In order to ensure your steak and other foods are cooked to perfection you must season your cast iron skillet.

Seasoning is making your cast iron non-stick like all the new miracle cookware. You can buy and maintain a non-stick skillet with nothing more than vegetable shortening. The best thing is that it will never wear out. The cast iron skillet can be used to cook on the stove top, the oven or the grill. A good iron skillet can be passed down as an heirloom if taken care of properly.

Make sure your new skillet has been washed in hot water and mild detergent. This will remove the factory anti-rust coating. For re-seasoning an existing skillet, just make sure to wipe the entire surface with hot water and a clean wash cloth or paper towel.

  • Dry the skillet by heating on the cook top then let it rest and cool.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees.
  • Use about a 1/4 of a cup of vegetable shortening and coat the whole skillet except the bottom. You can use your hands or a paper towel. A paper towel is easier and a lot less messy.
  • Once you have the skillet coated, place it in the oven (at 200 degrees) and set a timer for 3 hours. This low temp will open the cast iron pores up and allow the shortening to penetrate as it liquefies.
  • After the time is up, cut off the oven and let the skillet cool.
  • Once it is cool enough to touch, wipe it down with another paper towel to remove most of the shortening and leave a thin coat on the surfaces.

Now you are ready to use the skillet. For the first couple of uses, cook something greasy like bacon or sausage. This will help to heat cycle and re-coat the interior surface which will make the non-stick coating better. Now that your skillet is ready, let’s get cooking.

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