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For generations, cast iron pans have been a flexible stalwart in cooking and are one of the most adaptable kitchen items on the market. As a result, the cast iron skillet is ideal for preparing a variety of delectable foods.

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Whether you buy a pre-seasoned or unseasoned cast iron skillet, it is quite simple to season it yourself.

This is a brief guide to distinguishing between seasoned and unseasoned cast iron pans. It will hopefully assist you in deciding which one to use while cooking.

Firstly, what makes cast iron cookware so great?

Cast iron cookware is an excellent culinary tool because of its heavy-duty composition, which makes it almost unbreakable. It has high heat retention and uniformly distributes heat.

Cast iron pans may be used on practically any cooking surface, including electric, induction, and gas hobs. They are even suitable for outdoor cooking!

Cooking meals with a high acidity content, such as vinegar, tomato-based recipes, or lemon, can take some nutritional iron from the cookware. The pan truly improves the nutritional worth of your meal!

Because you’re passively adding iron to your meal, this is ideal for those who have low iron levels or are anemic.

It’s fantastic for frying, braising, broiling, sautéing, and even baking! As a result, cast iron cookware is a popular option in both home and commercial kitchens.

What is cast iron seasoning?

Seasoning your cast iron skillet is a necessary step in ensuring that it is nonstick. Cooking in an unseasoned cast iron pan causes the food to stick to the surface.

The oil needs to be applied to the pan and then baked onto the skillets surface, at a temperature above the oils smoking point.

This permits the oil to polymerize and bind to the pan’s surface. This then forms a barrier on the pan’s surface similar to that of plastic (but is, of course, simply the oil).

While cast iron is basically unbreakable, it is prone to corrosion and dampness. The kind of oil you use is critical. Click the link to our page for more information on the finest oil to use for cast iron seasoning!

How do you season a cast iron skillet?

You may season your cast iron skillet in two ways.

Season your cast iron skillet in the oven. If you don’t want to do this, you may always prepare foods that need a lot of oil in the pan on a regular basis.

If you pick meals high in fat, such as bacon, you will unknowingly season your skillet! Depending on the meal you season with, this will also add flavor to your cooking.

Otherwise, there are a few simple measures to take if you wish to properly season your cast iron.

Steps on how you season your cast iron skillet

Preheat your oven

Preheat your oven to a high temperature of 375-450 degrees Fahrenheit if you want to properly bake the oil onto your cast iron pan.


If you’ve been warned not to put soap on a cast iron pan, you’re probably correct. Because the soap will break down the seasoning, it is permissible to use soap in this circumstance because you want to clean it well before seasoning it.You just need a minimal quantity, and you want to make sure you get rid of any minute food particles.Scrub the surface well with a steel wool pad to remove any minute bits of rust. This will also aid in the smoothing out of the surface of your cast iron skillet.


For the following step, make sure your skillet is fully dry. You should use paper towels since the skillet may discolor your tea towel.You might also place your pan on the burner at a low heat to ensure that any water droplets have evaporated.

Rub some oil on your skillet

Now, cover the surface of the skillet with your preferred cooking oil. For this stage, I would use flaxseed or grapeseed oil.Smear a thin coating of oil on the surface of your skillet using a paper towel or lint-free cloth. The inside and outside of the pan may be covered, but not the underside.

Heat your skillet in the oven

Place your prepared cast iron skillet in the oven. You may want to lay some aluminum foil below the skillet to keep the oil from leaking. I’d place the skillet on the middle rack, upside down.Allow your skillet to bake for around 30 minutes. Turn off your oven and let it to cool inside to enable the seasoning to form and attach to the cast iron.

Repeat as necessary

When seasoning a newly seasoned skillet for the first time, add a couple layers of your preferred oil. This will then produce a thick enough coating to be effective.If you are repeating, instead of turning off the oven after the first step, put on some strong oven gloves (I don’t want you to burn your hands!) and take your cast iron from the oven.Return your skillet to the oven for another 30 minutes after applying another coating of oil to the surface.If this is your first time seasoning this skillet, continue until it develops a smooth black patina coating, which is the natural nonstick surface.

That’s all there is to it after this first covering has been created! You will no longer need to maintain this if you use your cast iron in the proper manner.

What do I do if foodstuff starts sticking again?

If your food begins to adhere to the surface again, just repeat the preceding procedures. Reapply some oil the next time you cook, and the polymerization will occur throughout the cooking process. Then you’ll be ready to go!

Seasoned vs unseasoned cast iron skillets

Pre-seasoned cast iron skillets are ideal for those who do not want to season their cast iron skillet but do not want to leave it unseasoned.

There is no difference between seasoning your own cast iron skillet and using a pre-seasoned cast iron pan. However, the oils utilized and the thickness of the oil layers may vary.

The oil coating on pre-seasoned cast iron is often significantly thinner. Just be aware that you may need to cook with extra oil at first, which will add to the flavor.

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Can you use a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet immediately?

You certainly can! Pre-seasoned cast iron skillets are intended to be used right away. Washing new cookware before using it is a good rule of thumb to follow.It will never presume a box or plastic is sterile and will always give it a quick wash for peace of mind! You never know where the supplies have gone!While the cast iron skillet will be ready to use, you may discover that the coating applied by the manufacturer is simply a mild seasoning.

How can I tell if cast iron is seasoned?

On the internal surface of the pan, you will see a black lustrous patina. This is the seasoning that develops as a result of cooking in and seasoning your cast iron pan. It is a nonstick natural surface.

What is the best oil to use for seasoning?

When seasoning a cast iron pan, use oils with a high smoke point since the cookware needs a high temperature to heat up.Grapeseed or flaxseed oil are the best oils I would suggest since they both have a high smoking point.If you use a lower smoking point oil, such as butter, you will produce a lot of smoke every time you use it, so believe me when I say you’ll want to use one of these oils!

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Seasoning Cast Iron – Easier Than You Might Think!

While pre-seasoned cast iron skillets are convenient since they eliminate the need to season, it is difficult to determine how deep that coating is.

If you have the ability to season your skillet, I usually suggest doing it at least once. This will extend the life of your skillet, and if you do it the first time you use it, you won’t have to do it again for a long time!

Pre-seasoned skillets, on the other hand, are fantastic if you don’t have the time to season your own and are perfect for getting acclimated to using a cast iron skillet for the first time!

Learn more about cast iron:

  • What Utensils to Use With Cast Iron
  • Can You Put Butter In A Cast Iron Skillet
  • Dutch Oven vs Roasting Pan


Should I get a seasoned or unseasoned cast iron skillet?

Unseasoned cast iron may cause sticking, corrosion, and a variety of other problems (some of which are listed above). Fortunately for cast-iron newcomers, most skillets offered nowadays come pre-seasoned. Take your store-bought seasoning a step further by adding your own before calling it excellent.

Do I need to do anything to a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet?

Most cast iron skillets now come pre-seasoned, which means they’re ready to use as soon as you take them out of the box. The seasoning, however, erodes with time, and you’ll need to reapply it by coating the skillet with a thin layer of neutral oil and heating it until the oil adheres to the metal.

Is pre-seasoned cast iron good or bad?

Pans that have been pre-seasoned at the factory are not well-seasoned; they are just seasoned enough to avoid rust. To get the proper seasoning, keep adding thin layers of fat over time, since trying to apply one thick coating all at once would result in a greasy pan with large chunks chunking off.

What does cast iron look like without seasoning?

Unseasoned cast iron is silver-gray, but seasoned cast iron is black or brown all throughout. A well-seasoned pan will have an even hue throughout, with no darker flecks or blotches.

Is seasoning cast iron necessary?

This treatment is required for cast iron and carbon steel skillets and pans. Seasoning or curing a pan changes a thin coating of carbonized oil or fat into a more water-resistant layer that keeps meals from sticking while frying, roasting, or baking.

What is the benefit of a seasoned cast iron?

A coating of carbonized grease coats the cast iron seasoning.

It imparts a traditional black patina to your kitchenware. Seasoning creates a natural, easy-release cooking surface and prevents corrosion of your pan. A well-seasoned cast iron pan can survive for generations with a little additional care.

Can I use my cast-iron skillet right away?

Lodge cast iron arrives already seasoned and ready to use. Simply clean it, hand dry it, and begin cooking.

What is the best oil to season a cast-iron skillet?

All cooking oils and fats may be used to season cast iron, but Lodge recommends vegetable oil, melted shortening, or canola oil, like our Seasoning Spray, due to availability, cost, efficacy, and having a high smoke point.

Can you use a new cast iron pan right away?

Some new cast iron pans are “pre-seasoned,” which means they already have a coating of oil on them and may be used straight away. I instantly cook with pre-seasoned pans with items like bacon or deep fried them, both of which will release additional fat to assist build a nonstick surface.

Should I wash pre seasoned cast iron?


HAND-WASH ONLY: To retain the seasoning, we suggest hand-washing and drying the Cast Iron. If you dry and oil your Cast Iron soon after cleaning, you may use mild soapy water. Seasoning may be removed using metal scouring pads.

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