How to Season Cast Iron

If your cast iron skillet has seen better days, don’t stash it in the back of your cabinet. At one time it may have been the workhorse of your kitchen, but now it’s coated with a layer of rust and white gunk. It’s time to season your skillet, and we’re not talking about salt and pepper! Seasoning creates a non-stick surface due to the unique bonding of oil molecules when heated. So all it really takes is a coating of oil and a hot oven to get your cast iron skillet back in working order. A brand new Good Cook Cast Iron skillet comes pre-seasoned, but both old and new pans can benefit from an added layer of seasoning.

Follow our easy guide to revive this kitchen favorite and get back to making the recipes you love. Here’s how to season your cast iron skillet:

How to Season Cast Iron

  1. Scrub your skillet well in hot water using a stiff brush or scrub sponge. If it’s really dirty, a squirt or two of dish soap can be used. After proper seasoning and regular maintenance, soap is not necessary for cleaning cast iron. Your best bets for scrubbing stubborn rust or gunk: a piece of steel wool, a rust eraser (yes, there is such a thing), a plastic scrubber, coarse salt or baking soda.
  2. Dry it completely with a clean, absorbent cloth.
  3. Using a clean cloth or paper towel, apply a thin layer of vegetable shortening to the entire skillet, inside and out. You can also use flaxseed oil, lard, or bacon grease.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a layer of aluminum foil on the lowest rack to catch drips. Place the oiled skillet upside down on the middle rack and bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and let the skillet cool in the oven.

After seasoning, start off cooking foods with a high fat content (bacon or fried chicken are good choices) to aid the seasoning process and solidify the non-stick surface.

Everyday Care

Don’t let excess food sit in your skillet. Rinse the skillet with hot water, using a sponge or stiff plastic brush to remove stuck-on food. For stubborn bits of stuck-on food, pour a cup of coarse kosher salt or baking soda into a still warm skillet, scrub, then rinse. Make sure to completely dry the skillet before storing it away. Regular maintenance should include heating the skillet on the stove, rubbing it down with vegetable shortening, and heating it again for 5 to 10 minutes, then allowing it to cool. Wipe it down and take care to store it without a lid. Preferably, season the skillet after every use.


Let’s not forget:

  • Never run your cast iron skillet through the dishwasher.
  • Even the handle gets hot, so use a pot holder or handle protector to prevent burned hands.
  • A well-seasoned skillet will not need to be washed with soap. Simply scrub food residue off, then wipe clean. No submerging in soapy water required.


Get the Tools

Bake like a pro. Need to stock your kitchen with essentials like the Good Cook Cast 8″ Cast Iron Skillet, Good Cook 11″ Cast Iron Skillet or Good Cook Cast Iron Grill Pan? You can find these tools and more in our Amazon Store. Click here now to shop and ship directly to your front door.

Put Your Cast Iron to Work

Want some tasty ideas for your cast iron pan? Don’t miss these amazing eats:

Fajita Skillet Chicken - Easy weeknight dinner made in a cast iron skillet

Posted in Ideas, Products by Goodcook staff |