Learning how to season a cast-iron skillet doesn’t have to be hard. A cast-iron skillet is full of benefits, the most important of which involves its non-stick abilities. Unlike other types of pans that use potentially harmful chemicals to make sure that food doesn’t stick, cast-iron skillets have a natural ability to keep food from taking hold. But the thing about these skillets is that they may not retain this ability for long if you don’t take care of them.
Fortunately, learning how to season a cast-iron skillet is an easy task and it doesn’t take long either. Keep reading to learn more about cast-iron skillet seasoning.
How to Season a Cast-Iron Skillet
The first step of seasoning begins with washing your skillet. While you’re not supposed to wash your skillet all that often, you should wash it once in a while so it doesn’t start to rust or otherwise break down. When you wash your skillet, you will want to use hot water and plenty of soap.
Make sure you use something firm like a rag or brush to scrub the skillet. This will help remove any grease and oil remaining on the pan. Once you’re done washing the pan, be sure to dry it completely.
If you don’t dry your iron skillet, there is a good chance that it will start to rust. Of course, the last thing you want in your cooking is flakes of rust. Next, be sure to cover the pan in oil or shortening. This layer of oil will keep the pan protected and will ensure that any food you cook on it won’t stick.
Make sure that the layer of oil is thin and then place the pan upside-down in your oven preheated to 375 degrees. To make sure that no oil drips from the pan down to the bottom of your oven, you can put some foil on the rack beneath the pan. After about one hour of baking the pan, turn the oven off and keep the pan inside.
Once the pan cools down completely, it will be seasoned. You will notice that the surface of the pan has its usual sheen again and food will have no chance of sticking to it anymore. Keep in mind that there is such a thing as seasoning your pan too often.
If you wash and bake your pan too often, you will actually end up damaging your cast-iron pan. Instead, you should aim to season your skillet two or three times a year. This frequency will ensure that your cast-iron skillet will last for many years to come.