How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet in a Fire

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet in a FireCast iron skillets are a classic of old-fashioned country cooking. They combine tradition with durability, and are a natural for rustic cabins and tailgate campers alike. However, being made out of iron, they are prone to rusting. "Seasoning" is the process of putting a layer of protective oil over the iron skillet, which will keep the rust off. It will also make the iron surface of the skillet a little less sticky for cooked food.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Steel wool (rust removal only)
  • Dishwasing detergent (optional - some steel wool comes with soap in the pad)
  • Dry dishrag or paper towels (rust removal only)
  • Vegetable oil or Crisco
Step 1
Turn your oven on to a setting of 300° F.
Step 2
Inspect the skillet for signs of rust. If there are any, these need to be removed first. Get out the steel wool and scrub the rust off in warm water. Then dry the skillet with a dish towel or paper towels.
Step 3
Coat the entire surface of the skillet in a layer of vegetable oil. A handier alternative is to use Crisco, which is solid at room temperature and easier to work with.
Step 4
Place the skillet on the center rack of the oven and bake it for two hours.
Step 5
Switch the oven off, crack open the oven door to vent it (open it a little, not all the way), and leave the skillet to cool off slowly there.

Tips & Warnings

Never leave your cast iron skillets sitting in the bottom of the kitchen sink soaking in water all day. That is guaranteed to start the skillet rusting.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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