When purchasing an item that will endure for generations, it is important to understand how to care for it. This is especially true for cast-iron cookware. Understanding how to care for and maintain your cast-iron skillet properly will ensure that it will be used for many generations. So, how often to season cast iron skillets?
Re-season your skillet two to three times a year to maintain a nice nonstick surface. Using your cast-iron skillet properly often eliminates the need to season it frequently. If a cast-iron skillet has been damaged by chemicals or abrasion, it may need to be re-seasoned more regularly. We’ve got you covered whether you’ve just purchased your first cast-iron skillet or want to know how often to season cast iron.
Do You Need To Season a New Cast Iron Skillet?
Cast-iron skillets that have not been seasoned have a harsh feel and a matte look. Foods cooked in this sort of skillet tend to adhere to the pan. A seasoned skillet has undergone a procedure in which a thin layer of oil has been adhered to the pan using very high heat. This is referred to as polymerization.
The oil’s properties shift from wet and fluid to solidified solid that binds with the cast iron throughout this phase. The same property that makes cooking with unseasoned cast iron difficult permits oil particles to bind to the uneven surface. Seasoning cast iron smoothes the texture and darkens the color. Cast-iron skillets rust and cause food to stick if not seasoned. They also do not evenly disperse heat.
The good news is that most cast iron cookware makers now season it for you so you can use your skillet immediately. Consider it similar to receiving your grandmother’s skillet. Pre-loved and pre-seasoned leather.
Why Should You Re-season a Cast Iron Skillet?
The polymer coating may be damaged if your cast-iron skillet is exposed to certain chemicals or treatments over time. Aggressive chemicals used to clean your skillet might progressively erode the protective coating, resulting in rust stains.
Using coarse steel wool scourers may also cause the seasoning to deteriorate over time. This is particularly true if you soak your skillet in water to remove burnt food, use harsh detergents, or wash it in a dishwasher.
Cooking acidic foods on a pan with this sort of damage allows iron particles to leak into the dish, tainting the taste. Small black flakes or particles may also appear in your meal.
Although cast iron is durable, the surface may be damaged and gouged by cooking tools. Utensils may wear down the nonstick surface even if they do not harm the cookware.
This sort of damage would necessitate the replacement of most cookware, but not your cast-iron skillet. It merely has to be re-seasoned and a few cleaning practices changed.
Best Oil To Season My Cast Iron Skillet
Seasoning oils high in polyunsaturated lipids, such as organic, cold-pressed grapeseed oil and organic linoleic sunflower oil, provide the best results when seasoning cast iron pan cookware. To get that ideal seasoning, use a neutral oil with a high smoke point. Continue reading to discover the best oils for the task.
1. La Tourangelle Grapeseed Oil
La Tourangelle Grapeseed oil is one of the most common oils used by professional chefs and cast iron professionals to season cast iron. It has a high smoke point, which allows you to utilize high temperatures to rapidly heat the pan and form the link between oil and pan.
Grapeseed oil has a practically little scent or taste, making it ideal for seasoning your pan so that every item you cook starts fresh. It’s also generally regarded as a healthy oil option, and it’s reasonably priced, making it desirable for various reasons.
2. BetterBody Foods 100% Pure Avocado Oil
BetterBody Foods Avocado oil has a very high smoke point of 520 degrees Fahrenheit. This is both a positive and a con in and of itself. The concern here is that to use it to season your pan, you must first heat the pan to 520F before adding the oil. Under all conditions, handling a hot pan is risky. Putting heated oil in a hot pan raises the risk factor.
On the other hand, if you can season a pan with avocado oil, you’re unlikely to cook anything at a high enough temperature to break the connection once it’s formed. Avocado oil is highly recognized for its health advantages and neutral taste.
How To Season Cast Iron Pans
After a while, your cast iron skillet may lose its gleaming black luster, and food may begin to adhere to the surface. You can easily restore the gloss and nonstick surface with a few simple actions. This is the simplest method for seasoning cast iron pan cookware.
Preheat The Oven To 350°f
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Wash And Dry Your Pan
You’ve undoubtedly heard that you should never use soapy water on a cast-iron pan; nevertheless, a little soap is OK while preparing to re-season a cast-iron skillet. Scrub the whole pan with a little soap, hot water, and a brush to get the smoothest surface possible. Remove any little food particles from the surface using a chainmail scrubber or pan scraper.
If there are rusty places on the pan, use steel wool to remove any rust spots, leaving a clean pan. To eliminate any remaining water droplets, thoroughly dry the skillet with a paper towel or kitchen hand towel. To ensure that no surface moisture remains, set the skillet on the heat for a minute or two to dry out any remaining water.
Heat It in the Oven
Place the greased skillet on the center rack of a preheated 450°F oven for 30 minutes. If you’re worried about oil drips, lay a baking sheet or a piece of aluminum foil beneath the cast iron to collect any that may occur.
When the half-hour is finished, remove the cast iron pan from the oven using oven mitts. Rub it with oil again, as in step 2, then return it to the oven for another 30 minutes. When completed, please turn off the oven and let it cool with the door closed.
After the straightforward procedure, you should have a new pan with a polished, nonstick black surface. It has now been seasoned and is ready to cook.
How Do I Know if My Cast Iron is Seasoned?
The surface will be black and glossy. There will be no dull or dry patches, nor will there be any rust. It will not feel sticky or tacky but rather cold and smooth when you touch it.
If you’re still unsure if you’ve effectively seasoned your cast-iron pan, warm a little oil in it for a few minutes. Fry an egg to see whether your skillet is smooth and nonstick. An egg that readily pulls away from the pan indicates that your skillet has been thoroughly seasoned. If it’s still sticking, continue the oven seasoning procedure many times more. It is that simple.
How Should You Clean A Cast-Iron Skillet?
There are several approaches to care for your cast iron skillet. Many may seem difficult or too much hassle, but they do not have to be. You need to follow a few recommendations, and your cast-iron skillet will reward you with numerous excellent recipes.
- Before you begin cooking, preheat your pan with a little oil. It enables the oil to draw into the pan and partially seal it with each usage while distributing heat evenly before cooking.
- After cooking, wipe the pan with a paper towel to remove excess grease and food residue.
- Rinse it under warm running water but do not soak it. Soap should only be used when necessary.
- Remove burnt food by rubbing away obstinate adhered food using salt or bicarb, some oil, and a lint-free cloth. Bicarb will also aid in the removal of harsh odors from your pan.
- Add a splash of water to your cast-iron pan to prevent burnt-on food. In your cooker, heat it. Scrub it with a brush after that. Scourers should only be used in severe instances.
- Dry your cast-iron skillet as soon as possible.
- Apply a thin layer of oil. There should be no liquid dripping from the pan, just a smooth and uniform coating. Please return it to the burner and gradually cook it until it is completely dry.
- Consider adding layers of paper or cardboard to absorb moisture and promote ventilation if you keep your skillet in a stack.
- Make frequent use of your skillet. With greater usage, layers of seasoning accumulate, requiring less maintenance or repair.
Conclusion On How Often To Season Cast Iron
A cast iron skillet is an excellent purchase for anybody who enjoys cooking. It may be used on the cooktop, in the oven, on the grill, and even over a campfire. This kitchen cookware can last many years if properly cared for and maintained.
Cast iron skillets are recognized for being one of the most durable kinds of cookware available, but they still need maintenance from time to time. If you’ve seen food sticking or dull spots developing, the seasoning likely has to be reapplied. Alternatively, all prior seasoning was removed before re-seasoning in an oven or on a stovetop flame. These items should last a lifetime if properly cared for!