Ralph Anderson; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty
Your trusty cast-iron skillet will eventually lose its sheen and, as a result, its super nonstick powers. Bringing back its luster and protecting it from rusting is as easy as a scrub, oil, and bake. Here's how to season your cast-iron skillet.
How To Season Your Cast-iron Skillet in Five Steps
- Scrub skillet well in hot soapy water.
- Dry thoroughly.
- Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the skillet.
- Place it upside down on a middle oven rack at 375°. (Place foil on a lower rack to catch drips.)
- Bake 1 hour; let cool in the oven.
How to Care for Cast Iron
- To rid of rust stains, rub this handy rust eraser (pictured) on the stain, and then reseason pan. Find it at hardware stores, bike shops, or wood-working shops.
- To clean, use a stiff brush or plastic scrubber under running water while the cast iron is still warm but cool enough to handle with ease. Kosher salt is also a good scrubbing agent for baked-on stains. The most important tip is to never use soap!
- Before cooking, apply vegetable oil to the cooking surface, and preheat the pan on low heat, increasing the temperature slowly.
- Never marinate in cast iron. Acidic mixtures will damage the seasoning. Reseason if food particles start to stick, rust appears, or you experience a metallic taste.