Basics

Care and Re-seasoning of your Cast Iron Skillet

Like many people, I have a Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. I love cooking in it and how it heats up so much more even then my other pots. I pulled it out this morning to discover that somehow it had gotten wet while in the closet and had started to rust. Which means before I use it again, I need to clean it and season it. Seasoning a cast iron pot is simply putting a thin layer of oil all over the skillet.

If you buy a new Lodge Skillet it will come pre-seasoned. So you won’t have to worry about seasoning before cooking with it. If you find a rusted cast iron skillet at a yard sale or flea market this is exactly what you need to do to save and use it.

Removing Rust and Re-Seasoning Cast Iron

Your cast iron is covered in rust, don't throw it out! Clean it and apply new seasoning!
Prep Time20 mins
Active Time1 hr
Cool Down12 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cast Iron
Yield: 1 Skillet

Equipment

  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Steal Wool with Soap

Materials

  • Vegetable Oil
  • Steal Wool

Instructions

  • Wash your skillet with HOT and soapy water, using steel wool if needed to remove stubborn rust. Sometimes you can just use a sponge with the scrubber side, but if rust is stubborn, steel wool is the way to go.
  • Dry the skillet completely. Put the skillet on the stove and turn the heat on high. You will see the water burn off.
  • Pour 1-2 tablespoons oil in the skillet and coat all sides of the pan using a paper towel to move the oil around. Make sure to coat the handle and backside of the skillet.
  • Turn your oven to self-clean (or as hot as it can go)
  • Place skillet upside down in the oven. You can put a pan to catch any dripping oil.
  • Bake skillet for 1 hour before turning off the oven and leaving it in there to return to room temperature.

Notes

I use this steel wool when I need to remove rust from cast iron. I prefer it over dish soap and a scrubbing sponge. 

This is the process that I use when I find a cheap rusted skillet at a yard sale or have to take care of my own skillet. Most often, I use vegetable oil to season my skillet but you can use any cooking oil to do this. You want to use a neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point.

After using your skillet it is important to clean and season the skillet with a little bit of soap and water, using a scraper to release any stuck-on food. After cleaning the skillet, lightly coat with a small amount of oil (maybe a teaspoon), rub off excess oil with a paper towel. Just make sure you dry it completely before putting it away (and don’t put something damp on top of it…)

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