How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet - Sarcastic Cooking

For about two years…well, ever since I started this site…I have been yearning for a cast iron skillet. Yes, I clearly could have just gone out and bought one, so just call me lazy. But after dropping hints to my mother-in-law (read: straight up telling her I wanted one), I finally got one for Christmas this year. And, wow are they heavy!

I was so eager to get cooking in it. There were so many cast iron related recipes I had to pass up over the years because I didn’t have the right equipment.

Hold up. Let me go back in time and tell you that I once did have a cast iron Dutch oven. I was so eager to use it for slow braising in the oven that I figured I didn’t have to season it. Wouldn’t the cooking do the seasoning? Well, if you are a cast iron novice like I was, let me tell you. Without seasoning the cast iron ahead of time, I was left with a lot of crap dried and sealed to the Dutch oven.

Then to top it off, (close your ears all you expert cast iron using Southerners) I decided to scrub the crap out of it with steel wool and then put it away for later use. Sure enough next time I went to use it, rust. Rust everywhere.

So, this time I decided I am not going to repeat my mistakes of the past. I have dreams of crackling bacon in the skillet to fulfill! I mean, don’t we all?

To season a cast iron skillet, rinse the fresh out of the box/packaging skillet under running water. You can use a small amount of soap if you want. Since the skillet isn’t seasoned yet, it won’t ruin it. Then, wipe the skillet dry with a dish cloth or paper towel.

How to season a cast iron skillet

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place a large rimmed baking sheet on the second shelf in the oven. The pan is to catch any oil/grease drippings.

While the oven preheats, rub canola oil or shortening all over the pan. Top, bottom, handle, everywhere. You want just enough oil/shortening to make a thin layer. Place the skillet upside down in the oven and bake for an hour. Carefully remove the skillet and let it cool.

It is that easy! Now go on and live your champagne wishes and bacon dreams!


And while you are at it, check out any of these must try cast iron recipes.

Bev Cooks - Skillet Pizza

Check out that puffy crust on this skillet pizza from Bev Cooks.

Girl vs Dough - Skillet Brown Butter Apple Crisp

I wish I could start every morning with this skillet muffin bread from Girl Versus Dough.

How Sweet It Is - Skillet Lasagna

I am not going to lie, this skillet lasagna from How Sweet It Is has been on the top of my list of recipes to try.

Joy the Baker - Roasted Red Pepper Feta Basil Skillet Scones

These savory scones from Joy the Baker are going to be lunch soon.

Pioneer Woman - Skillet Queso Fundido

And lastly, queso fundido from The Pioneer Woman. You cannot go wrong with a cheesy dip. Ever!

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  • julia
    February 11, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I got a cast iron skillet recently and love it..I need to do more recipes in it but haven’t had the time. You have inspired me! 🙂

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
    February 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I want ALL THE SKILLET FOODS right now. Especially that queso and lasagna. (PS thanks for sharing my recipe, love!)

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    February 10, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    I love my cast iron skillet! Great tutorial on seasoning.

  • Susan
    February 10, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I need to do this with the two mini ones I just got. I haven’t really cooked in them yet. Just threw food in it for photos. 🙂 That factory seasoning has got nothing on the real deal.

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    February 10, 2014 at 9:41 am

    YaYYY! Love this post! I have 2 cast iron skillets and they ARE sooooo heavy! lol

  • Candy Charters
    February 10, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Hey, didn’t you make that fantastic Spanish Ham & Egg Quesadilla in your new skillet? I made it in mine! (And absolutely wonderful, as I believe I indicated in my last post…)

    • Stefanie
      February 10, 2014 at 10:01 am

      I did! I was very eager to share that recipe. I’m so glad you liked it!