How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

January 22, 2015

Cast Iron Skillet

This past Christmas I asked for a cast-iron skillet, after years of having to pass on recipes that required one.  And guess what… it’s as awesome as I hoped it would be! You can cook, bake, sear, and saute with it – all while getting a massive arm workout (the weight of these things is no joke).  The only issue I have with it? Cleaning.

I had a friend in college that had a melt down after I used soap to scrub the skillet clean, so I’ve been scarred ever since.  Now that I am an owner of my own, I am trying to get it nice and seasoned, so that it can continue to work its way up my “favorite list.”

Apparently skillets are one of those things you want to buy at garage sales… the older and “more seasoned” (code to me for “grimy”) the better… but I opted for a new one that I could season myself and grow old together with.

For all of you new skillet owners, or those about to become one – here is Martha’s trick to seasoning your skillet (this also works for reseasoning old skillets):

  1. Cover the bottom of your pan with a thick layer of kosher salt.
  2. Add a half inch of oil or so and place over high heat.
  3. Once the oil starts to smoke, pour the salt and oil into a heatproof bowl to cool (then discard).
  4. Wipe out pan with a ball of paper towels, until smooth (ie no salt residue).

You’re good to go! Now some tips for cleaning your beloved pan:

  • Don’t use soap or a dishwasher
  • Scrub with a stiff brush (but not steel wool) and hot water
  • Wipe dry with a paper towel (or you can warm over low heat) – using your beloved dish towels is certain to ruin them
  • I use kosher salt to rub into any pesky food that’s hard to remove

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