Learn how to season a cast iron skillet.
I spent years watching my grandma and mom use cast iron skillets in the kitchen. Once I was grown and married, I realized just how incredible these things are. Most everything just cooks and tastes better coming from cast iron. There is some getting used to caring for your cast iron skillets, though.
I wish I had some of my grandma’s or moms old skillets. The ones we use are the Lodge cast iron skillets (<– sold on Amazon!). We LOVE them! I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Ree (the Pioneer Woman) use them too!
Seasoning your cast iron skillet is a must. Seasoning preserves the cast iron, keeps it from rusting and just makes cooking in them so much easier. To season your skillets, just follow these instructions…
How to season a cast iron skillet:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
You’ll be putting your skillets in here in a few minutes, so make sure your oven is preheated and ready to go.
Make sure your skillet is clean and free of any dust or built on food/grime.
If food has already built up on it, go ahead and clean with a nice sprinkling of kosher salt and warm water, using a stiff brush to scrub. Note: Never clean cast iron with soap! Soap strips any seasoning off. Make sure to rinse and dry the skillet really, really well.
Apply a layer of lard or shortening (like Crisco) to the inside and outside of skillet.
Just use a clean paper towel or your fingers. Rub a thin coat of lard all around the in and outside of your skillet. If you don’t have lard or Crisco handy, you can also use vegetable oil. Just know that lard or Crisco are usually better choices. I’ve found vegetable oil can make the skillets/handles a little sticky.
Place skillets in the preheated oven for 1-2 hours.
Place your cast iron skillets on the middle rack in the oven, upside down. Make sure to put a larger cookie sheet or alum. foil on the bottom rack to catch any lard/shortening drips. After one hour, check to see what your pan looks like. If it still looks wet, allow to go for another 30 minutes to an hour.
Other cast iron skillet maintenance tips:
Clean immediately after cooking, using method mentioned above. Don’t let dirty skillets sit overnight.
Thoroughly dry skillets after washing. Then wipe with light layer of oil or shortening before putting away.
Don’t let your cast iron skillets sit in water submerged for long periods of time, or overnight.
Never use dishsoap in your cast iron skillets. It will strip the seasoning away.
Use a paste of baking soda/water to clean stuck on grime. Baking soda is great at removing odors from your pans!
Do you have any cast iron skillet tips? If so, we’d love to hear them!