Everything you need to know about using a cast iron skillet

Cast iron can elevate your cooking to a 

whole new level.

This guide will teach you how to:

use season,  clean & maintain

your cast iron.

How to season cast iron

1. Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Make sure your skillet is clean and dry.

2. Apply Oil: Using a paper towel, coat the entire surface of the skillet, including the inside, outside, and handle, with a thin layer of coconut oil. 

3. Bake It: Place the oiled skillet upside down in the oven, directly on the oven rack. This prevents any excess oil from pooling. Bake it for one hour.

4. Cool Down: Turn off the oven and leave the skillet inside to cool down gradually. 

Tips for using cast iron

Heat Gradually: Cast iron retains heat exceptionally well, so it’s important to heat it gradually. Always preheat before adding food.

Use the Right Utensils: Opt for utensils made of wood, silicone, or nylon when cooking in your cast iron skillet. Metal utensils and even plastic can scrape off the seasoning.

Oil, oil, oil: Adding a thin layer of oil like coconut oil or butter to the pan can enhance the flavor of your dishes and further sticking.

Avoid Acidic Foods: Acidic ingredients like tomato sauce can strip away the seasoning. 

Sear and Roast: Cast iron skillets are perfect for searing meats and then transferring them to the oven to finish cooking. 

Cast iron is great for:

Fry to Perfection: Achieve crispy fried chicken, french fries, or tempura by deep frying in your cast iron skillet. 

Bake with Ease: You can use your cast iron skillet to bake everything from cornbread and skillet cookies to quiches and deep-dish pizza. 

Cleaning cast iron

Scrape Off Residue: Using a sponge or stiff brush, remove any food residue from the bottom of the pan. 

Avoid Soap: Some people will use mild dish soap when cleaning their cast iron, but I choose to avoid it entirely. 

Dry It Completely: After washing, use a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to dry the skillet thoroughly. Water left on the surface can cause rust.

Re-Season, If Needed: If you notice your skillet’s seasoning starting to fade, you can re-season it.

Maintaining Cast Iron

Regular Use: Use your skillet regularly to keep the seasoning in good shape. The more you use it, the better it becomes.

Re-Season as Necessary: Over time, the seasoning can wear off. If your skillet starts to stick or rust, it’s time to re-season it.

Rust Removal: If you notice rust, scrub it away with steel wool or a scrubbing pad. Then, re-season the skillet to prevent future rusting.

Avoid the Dishwasher: Never put your cast iron skillet in the dishwasher. The harsh detergents and high heat can damage the seasoning

What size of cast iron do I need?

The best size for a cast iron skillet depends on your cooking needs and the size of your household. Here are some common sizes:

Sizes of Cast Iron Pans

8" | 10-12" | 15"

For most households, 10-12" is a great starter size. Lodge is a great brand that makes reliable cast iron pans. 

Next up

The benefits of raw milk, and why you should drink it every day