Cast iron skillet is a staple in my kitchen, and I believe, it is in yours too. It is one of the best tools to keep on hand whether you are a home cook or an experienced chef. Cast iron skillets are amazingly versatile and durable to cook a variety of meals. Roast vegetables or meat, make grilled cheese sandwiches, cook potatoes, or bake bread and pies; a cast iron skillet can do it all. But it only performs as well as its seasoning.

To acquire a perfectly seasoned cast iron skillet, you need to familiarize yourself with proper cleaning and caring tips and learn how to season a cast iron skillet at home. How to season it? We have a detailed guide below:

Also Read: How to Clean and Care for Cast Iron Cookware

What is cast iron skillet seasoning?

Some of you may know what seasoning is, while some may have just heard of it. Seasoning is a hard, protective layer on the cast iron pan, created by coating the pan with oil and heating it. This is a thin, plastic-like layer that forms upon heat exposure and protects the pan from rusting.

This curing process provides your cast iron skillet with a non-stick layer that helps keep its luster and makes it extra durable. Moreover, it will prevent foods from sticking when frying, baking, or roasting. Seasoning becomes stronger with every use, thus protecting and nurturing it is the best way to take care of your cast iron while transforming it into a family heirloom.

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet on Stovetop

Step 1: After cleaning and drying your cast iron skillet, coat the pan with a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil.

Step 2: Dab the pan with a paper towel or rag to remove access oil to prevent oil pooling.

Step 3: Preheat the skillet on low heat, gradually increasing the temperature, and allowing the skillet to dry out on the stovetop.

Step 4: Repeat the process at least three times or until the pan has a smooth, dark finish, which is not sticky or patchy.

Step 5: Once the skillet is cool, rub a final, minimal oil coat and stash in a dry place.

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet in Oven?

Step 1: Many of us, including me, find it easier to season a cast iron skillet in the oven. You can do this by heating the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Then apply a thin layer of vegetable oil on your pan surface. Dab away excess oil using a paper towel or a rag.

Step 3: Place the pan upside down on the oven rack and bake for an hour. By putting it upside down, you ensure that there are no oil pools baked in the pan.

Step 4: Remember to place foil on the lower rack to catch oil drips or else you will have sticky oil bits in your oven, making cleaning harder.

Step 5: After one hour, let the pan cool and apply a second layer of oil before storing it in a dry place.

You can invest in a nice cast iron cleaning and seasoning kit to keep your skillet at its prime. Let us know what your tips and tricks are to keep your skillet healthy and perfectly cured.

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Listening to her grandmother weaving nighttime tales to penning down her own thoughts, Priya developed a penchant for stories and their origin early in her childhood. After her master's in literature, she started writing copiously on diverse topics including architecture, interior design trends, and home improvement while learning the ropes of copyediting. For the past couple of years, she has been crafting DIYs for Homecrux. Reading novels, painting, and baking are her favorites on her long list of hobbies. She also loves to eat, travel, meet new people, learn about different cultures, and listen to stories.

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