How to Season Your Skillet

by Tammy Lord 09/01/2019

If you cook in a cast iron skillet or use other cast iron cookware, you’ll know that periodically, they need what is called “seasoning.” But just what does that mean? The way that cast iron works, oil baked into the service prevents the iron from forming rust and keeps food from sticking too much. As long as the pan is adequately protected, the seasoned finish improves with age, giving you that much sought-after easy-release veneer.

What you need

  • The manufacturers of newer pans sell special soybean-based oils that are highly refined to use on their cookware.
  • If you’ve inherited grandma’s cookware, however, she probably used cooking oil or even lard to keep her pan seasoned. If you cook in the pan all the time, lard (pork fat) or tallow (beef fat) still are excellent seasoning choices. But, when you use it only occasionally, both lard and tallow can become rancid and ruin the flavor of your food. Additionally, you may use melted shortening or vegetable oil.
  • A cleaning kit (sold at better homeware stores) or a soft, lint-free cloth.

How to

With a clean, dry skillet, cover the pan inside and out with a thin layer of oil (or lard/tallow). Be sure to get the bottom and the handle as well. For best results, rub the oil on with a lint-free cloth.

Heat your oven to 350°F. Place the pan upside down on the top rack of the oven and place a sheet of aluminum foil or an aluminum cookie sheet on the bottom shelf to gather any oil drips. Let your pan season in the oven for one hour. Let your pan cool completely before using.

Troubleshooting

If your pan feels sticky, excess oil may have built up on the surface, or the oil has not fully converted to seasoning. Turn your oven on to 400°F and place the pan upside down on the upper rack. Allow it to bake for an hour. After your pan has cooled, test the surface again. If it is still somewhat gummy or sticky, repeat the process at 400°F for an additional hour.

If dark residue appears on your cleaning cloth, your pan may be reacting to high heat or an acidic food such as tomato sauce. Just wipe it out as much as possible and continue to use your pan regularly. The darkened areas should resolve.

If your pan has rust, perhaps from improper storage, or because you picked it up at a garage sale, gently remove the rust with very fine steel wool or a scratch-free scrubber. Then, wash the cookware in hot, soapy water to remove all the metal filings and loosened rust. Let your pan dry so that you can see if all the rust is removed. Once is it completely clear of rust, follow the seasoning instructions above.

As your property professional if there are cooking classes in your area to become a pro at using your cast iron skillet.

About the Author
Author

Tammy Lord

 

HI. MY NAME IS TAMMY LORD. HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
Buying or selling a home can be the most emotional financial decision of our lives. I have over 24 years of experience as a Realtor in Michigan. I have closed thousands of homes in my career and can assist you with Residential, New Construction, Waterfront, Vacant Land and Commercial properties in Genesee, Oakland, Lapeer, Livingston and Shiawassee Counties as well as any other areas in Michigan. Although I am very proud of every home I have ever helped someone buy or sell, I am most proud of the number of clients that have asked me to assist them time and time again. I have clients that I have helped buy and sell homes 2, 3 and even 4 times. I have had parents recommend me to their children to help buy their first home. Couples refer me to neighbors. Others have recommended me over the internet and in reviews. I have been honored to help families with their loved ones estates. A referral is the highest compliment that I could receive and I am grateful for each and every one of them. Throughout the years of various challenges that can arise when buying or selling a home, my philosophy has been very simple and unwavering. Honesty, patience, and availability.

Buying or selling a home with an experienced Realtor is an important partnership, and that means we need to be in it together. I am committed to that partnership 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. I'm always just a phone call away.

"The lighthouse served several purposes for ships over the ages. The first was to warn of dangerous waters…another was to let weary sailors know they were safe and that they were HOME."

I hope I can be your beacon. Give me a call at 810-397-3803 so we can discuss your needs. www.tammylordsellshomes.com