How to Reseason a Cast Iron Skillet
Welcome to our guide on How to Reseason a Cast Iron Skillet. These bad boys have been in kitchens for ages, known for their toughness and even cooking. In this piece, we’re diving into what it means to season or re-season a cast iron skillet, the science behind it, and the steps to keep your skillet in tip-top shape.
Also Visit to Ours: 100+ Kitchen Basic Items
We have a quick & Categorized list of Top 10 Cast Iron Cookware
Premium Picks ($190-$380)
- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 5.5 Qt
- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Saucepan
- Staub Heritage All-Day Pan with Glass Lid
Regular Picks ($95-$165)
- Field Company Field Cast Iron Skillet #8
- Chasseur Cast Iron Au Gratin Dish
- The Great Jones Dutchess
- Staub Pure Grill Pan
Budget Picks ($19-$52)
What Does Seasoning or Re-Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet Mean?
When you grab a new cast iron skillet, it usually looks kind of gray and has a rough texture. These imperfections can make food stick to it like glue, making your cooking adventures a pain. Seasoning is like giving your skillet a makeover with cooking oil or fat. It changes its color to a deep gray or black, plus makes it non-stick. The goal is to layer on tiny bits of oil over time, creating a slick surface that food won’t cling to.
A well-seasoned skillet is like a superhero of non-stick, and the science behind it is pretty fascinating.
The Science of Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet
The key ingredient in the seasoning process is oil. You can pick your fave, but some oils work better because they don’t smoke as much. Oils like grapeseed, avocado, and canola are top choices.
The magic happens when the oil heats up and starts to smoke. At this point, something called polymerization kicks in. In simple terms, it’s when oil molecules join hands and make a coating on the skillet’s surface. This coating turns your skillet into a smooth, non-stick cooking champ.
Grapeseed, avocado, and canola oil are the popular picks due to their low smoke points. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try vegetable oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, or peanut oil. Just check their smoke points and how they work for seasoning cast iron.
If your skillet came pre-seasoned, check the instructions. But for our lesson, let’s assume you’re working with a fresh or worn-out skillet.
How to Season or Reseason Your Cast Iron Skillet
Mainly there are 3 Steps involved in How to Reseason a Cast Iron Skillet:
The Setup Clean & Dry: Start with a clean and bone-dry skillet. Wipe it with a dry paper towel. If you’re dealing with a rusty relic, check out our “Cast Iron Skillet Cleaning” guide.
Oil It Up: Grab a clean paper towel or a spray with cooking oil. Give your cast-iron friend a nice, thin coat of oil. Cover every inch, inside, outside, and all the nooks and crannies. Wipe off any extra oil.
Preheat Oven & Bake: Pop that skillet in the oven and heat it to at least 400°F. If you’re using canola oil with a 400°F smoke point, aim for 425-450°F. This high heat seals the deal.
Wait it Out: Let your skillet bake in the oven for 30 minutes to an hour. You’ll see some smoke as the oil does its thing. When the smoke calms down, the polymerization is done. Use just a smidge of oil (about a teaspoon) to avoid too much smoke.
3. Last Steps
What’s Next Repeat If You Want: You can go for another round, adding more oil and baking it again. This boosts your skillet’s seasoning. It’s handy for reviving an old, rusty skillet, but it’s not a must. You be the judge.
Cool It Slow: When you’re done, turn off the oven, but let the well-seasoned skillet chill in there. This slow cool-down locks in the seasoning layers you’ve baked in.
Our Top 10 Cast Iron Cookware Picks
We have A Categorized Top 10 List of Cast Iron Cookware, including Skillets, Dutch Ovens, Pans and More with Highly Durable, Most Rated & Reviewed, & Top selling in their Particular Category in this How to Reseason a Cast Iron Skillet Article:
1. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 5.5 Qt
For a kitchen investment, this Le Creuset Dutch Oven is a winner. Home cooks and pros both love it for its versatility. It goes from stovetop to oven to the table. It’s a 5.5-quart beast, perfect for feeding 4-6 folks, and it comes in a rainbow of colors.
- The 5.5-quart size is just right for 4-6 servings.
- A wide range of color choices available.
- The plastic knob is not very heat-resistant in the oven.
2. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Saucepan
When it’s time to simmer sauces, the Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Saucepan is your wingman. It comes in two sizes and various colors. It has high, curved sides for easy stirring and a solid handle.
- Ideal for simmering and keeping moisture in your dishes.
- Features high, gently curved sides for easy stirring and a strong, comfortable handle.
- It can be quite heavy to lift.
3. Staub Heritage All-Day Pan with Glass Lid
Staub’s Heritage All-Day Pan is your kitchen’s multitasker. It can replace a skillet, sauté pan, roaster, gratin dish, casserole, and baker. This 3.5-quart champ handles a wide range of recipes, from casseroles to braising. The glass lid keeps things juicy and lets you watch the magic.
- Acts as a skillet, sauté pan, roaster, gratin, casserole, and baker all in one.
- Perfect for simple, one-pot meals.
- The glass lid keeps the moisture in and allows you to check your food.
- It might take up some space in small kitchens.
1. Field Company Field Cast Iron Skillet #8
Field Company’s Field Cast Iron Skillet #8 takes inspiration from old-school cast iron but adds some modern flair. It’s one of the lightest cast iron skillets around and comes pre-seasoned with grapeseed oil. The 10 1/4″ size is perfect for searing steaks and whipping up breakfast classics.
- Inspired by vintage cast iron cookware, but designed for today’s needs.
- One of the lightest options available.
- Comes pre-seasoned and is environmentally friendly.
- Only available in the United States.
- Lacks a pour spout.
2. Chasseur Cast Iron Au Gratin Dish
Bakers and roasters, the Chasseur Au Gratin Dish is your new best friend. With a 12.5-quart capacity, it’s perfect for casseroles, dinner rolls, and more. The double layer of enamel cast iron spreads heat evenly, and the glossy inside cleans up like a breeze.
- It offers a generous 12.5-quart capacity.
- Can be used in the dishwasher and freezer.
- Limited color choices available.
The Great Jones Dutchess is a modern take on the classic Dutch Oven. It’s got style and space for family-sized dinners. The oval shape gives you room for browning and searing, and the gray inside lets you watch your cooking. It’s even dishwasher-friendly.
- The gray interior makes it easy to see when butter is browning and is simple to clean.
- The oval shape provides ample space for browning and searing.
- Features a beautiful design with a matte enamel finish and is dishwasher-safe.
- Handle may break during shipping.
- Only available in the United States.
- Comes in one size only.
4. Staub Pure Grill Pan
For the grill masters, the Staub Pure Grill Pan is a top choice. It leaves perfect grill marks and holds onto heat like a champ. It’s not just for meats; you can grill veggies and make paninis too. Handles on both sides make it easy to flip.
- No need for seasoning due to its enameled surface.
- Safe to use in the oven at temperatures up to 500 degrees.
- High grilling ridges create grill marks and allow fat to drain.
- Oil may splatter during cooking.
- Not the most enjoyable to clean.
1. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, 12″
Lodge is a big name in pre-seasoned cast iron. Their 12″ skillet is a top pick for newbies and pros. It comes with a silicone handle holder for safety and ease. It’s got spouts on both sides and is pre-seasoned with all-natural veggie oil.
- Includes a silicone handle holder (safe up to 500°F).
- Pour spouts on both sides for easy pouring.
- Comes pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil.
- Can be heavy to handle.
- Surface texture is somewhat rough.
- Handle is on the shorter side.
2. Lodge Pro-Logic Wok with Loop Handles
A wok is a must for stir-fry, deep-frying, and braising. Lodge’s cast iron wok does the job right. It’s easy to handle with large loops and a flat base that keeps the mess in check. It doesn’t come with a lid, but it’s a handy addition to your kitchen.
- Large handles and a flat base make it easier to handle.
- Its round and deep shape minimizes splatter while cooking.
- Doesn’t come with a lid.
- It can be heavy.
3. Cuisinart Cast Iron Grill Press
For perfect grill marks and faster cooking, the Cuisinart Cast Iron Grill Press is a game-changer. It’s great for burgers, steaks, and paninis. The wood handle is comfy and cool to touch while cooking.
- The wooden handle is comfortable to hold and doesn’t get hot.
- Ideal for faster and healthier grilling.
- Can press two burgers at the same time.
- It might be too big for use in pans; best for an open grill.
- Requires seasoning before use.
Final Words on Seasoning Cast Iron Skillets
After a good seasoning/reseasoning, your cast iron skillet will be your kitchen sidekick for life. The more you use it, the better it gets. Thin layers of oil build up, making it even more non-stick. Even if you only use it now and then, it’ll keep its slick surface.
With a well-seasoned skillet, you’re set to tackle recipes like Skillet Choriqueso, Backyard Skillet Beer Brats, and Grilled Steak Potato Wedges. So get cooking and enjoy your awesome cast iron cookware!
Q: Do new cast iron skillets need seasoning?
A: While many come pre-seasoned, it’s a smart move to season them for top-notch non-stick performance.
Q: How often should I re-season my skillet?
A: When food starts sticking or the seasoning looks tired, it’s time for a refresh. The frequency depends on how much you use it.
Q: Can I use any oil for seasoning?
A: You’ve got options, but go for oils with low smoke points like grapeseed, avocado, or canola for the best results.
Q: What’s the best oven temp for seasoning?
A: Heat it up to at least 400°F, but 425-450°F is better if you’re using an oil with a 400°F smoke point.
Q: Are cast iron cookware safe to use?
A: As long as they’re seasoned and cared for right, they’re safe. Seasoning keeps rust at bay and food from sticking.