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How To Season & Restore A Cast Iron Skillet | Kitchen DIY

Feature | Cast iron skillet on rustic wood table | How To Season & Restore A Cast Iron Skillet | Kitchen DIY

Looking for a way to keep your cast iron skillet good as new? These quick and easy techniques will show you just that!

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In this article:

  1. Cast Iron Skillet Cleaning
  2. How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet
  3. How to Restore a Rusty Cast Iron Skillet

How to Season & Restore a Cast Iron Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet Cleaning

How do you restore and season a cast iron skillet so it behaves like a non-stick pan? These methods will keep your skillet from rusting, so it’ll stay looking brand new even after daily use.

If you’re wondering how the cooking pros do their cast iron skillet care, you’ve come to the right place. It turns out that seasoning your skillet with oil is the easiest way to keep a cast iron skillet rust-free.

Check out the easy-to-follow tutorial below to learn how to season a cast iron skillet.

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

Materials:

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  • Cast iron skillet
  • Dish soap (optional)
  • Stiff brush
  • Dry cloth or paper towels
  • Vegetable oil (or other oil of your choice)
  • Oven

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat & Wash

Wash iron skillet | How To Season & Restore A Cast Iron Skillet | Kitchen DIY

Preheat oven to 325°F. Wash the skillet with warm, soapy water and a stiff brush.

(Cast iron should not normally be washed with soap, but it’s fine here since the pan is about to be seasoned.) Rinse thoroughly with hot water.

Step 2: Add a Little Heat

Stick the pan in the oven for a minute or two to remove moisture. Thoroughly dry the skillet with a towel so that no moisture remains.

Step 3: Add Oil

Adding oil in iron skillet | How To Season & Restore A Cast Iron Skillet | Kitchen DIY

Using a cloth or paper towel, apply a thin coat of vegetable oil or melted shortening to the inside and outside of the skillet. Vegetable oil and shortening are the most commonly recommended oils used for seasoning, but you can use any oil of your choice.

Step 4: Season in the Oven

Season in the skillet | How To Season & Restore A Cast Iron Skillet | Kitchen DIY

Place the skillet upside down on the oven’s center rack. Place a sheet of aluminum foil below the rack to catch any drips. Bake for one to two hours.

Turn off the heat and allow to the skillet to cool completely before removing from oven.

Additional Notes: A seasoned skillet is smooth, shiny, and non-stick. You’ll know it’s time to re-season if food sticks to the surface or if the skillet appears dull or rusted. If your skillet is old and rusty, check out the steps below!

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How to Restore a Rusty Cast Iron Skillet

Materials:

  • Cast iron skillet
  • Raw potato, cut in half
  • 4 tbsp. salt
  • Hot water
  • Dish soap (optional)
  • Stiff brush
  • Dry cloth or paper towels

Directions:

Step 1: Cover Your Rusty Pan in Salt

We recommend using coarse salt if your pan is on the rustier side. This will help remove stubborn rust and surface stains.

Step 2: Cut a Potato in Half

Potato and salt in a cast iron skillet | How To Season & Restore A Cast Iron Skillet | Kitchen DIY

You’ll be using the potato to scrub your cast iron skillet, so make sure you have one that is big enough.

Step 3: Scrub the Skillet with the Potato

Scrub the skillet with the potato | How To Season & Restore A Cast Iron Skillet | Kitchen DIY

Use the flat side of the potato to scrub the surface of the pan. The roughness of the salt and the moisture from the potato will help remove rust more efficiently than a brush or sponge.

Step 4: Scrub with a Stiff Brush

Use hot water and a stiff brush to remove the rust. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean towel.

 

Check out the full tutorial in the video below!

Bon Appétit’s Brad Leone shows you how to clean a cast iron skillet in this video:

Don’t you just hate staring at dirty kitchenware when it’s time to cook your favorite meal? With these easy steps to follow, you’re about to give that cast iron skillet rust the brand new look it once had.

Do you have any cast iron cleaning tips of your own? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 1, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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