How to Season and Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

Learn the right way to season and clean time-honored skillet to keep skillet from rusting.


| March 2018


Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Care for Antiques, Collectibles, and Other Treasures (Practical Guide Series)(University of North Texas Press, 2012), by Georgia Kemp Caraway, encourages readers to take care of their antiques and collectibles. Georgia Kemp Caraway shares ways to clean antiques that will not damage the surfaces. She also shares helpful tips about where and how to find and acquire antiques and collectibles. This excerpt can be found in “Cast Iron.”

Cast Iron

Cast iron is an alloy of iron containing so much carbon that it is brittle and so cannot be wrought but must be shaped by casting.

Cast iron retains heat well, making it a popular choice for cooks, but it can be difficult to keep clean and sanitary.

Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware

To season a new cast iron skillet or griddle (or one that has been scoured), rub lightly with vegetable shortening. Coat both the exterior and the interior. Heat the utensil in a 250-degree oven for two hours. Vegetable oil is not recommended. It tends to leave a sticky coating.



The first few times you use cast iron utensils, cook foods high in fat, such as fried chicken or bacon, to build up the seasoning.

Wash cast iron after it has cooled with a little dishwashing liquid. According to the experts, detergents will not remove the seasoning. Do not soak the cookware.







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