Before you fire up that Gas Stove, BBQ, or Fire Pit and let’s make sure your cast iron skillet is ready and up to the task. There can be some variation to this method, but what is widely accepted is to season your Cast Iron in the oven before your first use. Here is how:
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
- Rinse the cast iron with hot water soapy water. This will be one of the only times you will want to wash your cast iron skillet with soap. You can use a soft sponge or brush during the cleaning process, but stay away from anything too abrasive like a metal or steel wool sponges.
- Once you are satisfied with the wash, thoroughly dry the cast iron skillet using a dry cloth or paper towel.
- Next, it is time to apply the oil. I like to use vegetable oil for seasoning, but other common oils you can use are melted shortening, or canola oil.
- Apply 2 tablespoons or so of oil and apply to the entire skillet: inside, outside, bottom, as well as the handle.
- Then place the cast iron skillet upside down in the oven for 1 hour. After an hour, turn off the oven and allow the cast iron to cool inside the oven.
That’s it! Now there should be a protective layer on your cast iron skillet to prevent your food from sticking when you cook for the first time, as well as emparting some additional flavor.
Wait…How should you clean your cast iron after each cook? Great question! What I like to do is season after every cook by doing the following…
- Once you are done cooking and while the pan is still hot, get coarse salt and apply liberally to the pan. Then take a paper towel or cloth and rub over the skillet. This will help remove any food residue stuck to the pan
- Then, rinse the cast iron skillet in hot water. DO NOT apply soap.
- Dry the cast iron skillet and apply a thin layer of vegetable oil.
- Let the cast iron skillet cool and then store for future use.