Your cast iron skillet won’t come with that signature sheet that you’ve undoubtedly seen on well-loved and used cast iron. You have to season your skillet for it to get that quality. Here’s how to do that in seven easy steps.
Buy a cast iron skillet. A good skillet is not cheap, but they can last forever so your family can use it for generations over a glowing campfire.
Occasionally you can find a used one at a garage sale or online, but then you risk taking on someone else’s issues and therefore have to do a restoration. Restoration can be problematic. As such, go new.
While you’re buying your skillet, you should also buy a good book to read. You’ll need it later.
Thoroughly wash and dry your new skillet with warm, soapy water.
Do not season your cast iron skillet in your RV. This process will suck up a lot of LP and then you’ll be left with an awesome seasoned cast iron skillet and no gas to cook anything in it.
To season the skillet at home, you need to set your oven temperature to 450F. Take your cast iron skillet and rub it well—inside and out and, yes, the handle too—with oil. The oil type doesn’t matter. Some swear allegiance to canola or lard or even a more exotic oil like flaxseed, but using expensive extra virgin olive oil to season a skillet seems like a bit much.
Once the oven is at 450F and your skillet has been well-oiled, place it upside down in the oven on the middle rack, shut the oven door, set the oven timer for a half hour. Start reading your book.
After that half hour is up, take your skillet out (protect your hands), re-rub it with oil and put it back on the oven for another half hour. Continue reading your book.
Repeat the previous step two or three more times. It’s a new skillet, so you’ll want to season it thoroughly. Keep reading your book; you have time.
Don’t burn yourself! Take the skillet out of the oven using a good oven mitt or a pair of thick work gloves. Put it on the stove (if it’s gas) or on a cooling rack and let it breathe until it can be easily moved without the use of gloves.
Not really a step for seasoning, but a suggestion to help you keep it seasoned longer. When you use it, you only need to use hot water and a scouring pad to clean it out. Don’t use soap.
Soap will break down the seasoning, literally stripping it off. If that happens you will need to season it more often. For the most part, providing you are cooking foodstuffs that have oil in them, such as a good steak, your skillet should remain seasoned for quite some time.
Do you have any questions, concerns or thoughts? If so, leave a comment below.