Cooking with cast iron is the healthiest option to avoid toxins leaching into our food, and it’s so simple when its seasoned well – here’s how to season yours to be totally non-stick
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Cast iron. It’s timeless, durable, cheap, non-toxic, and can be so simple to cook with when seasoned properly, because it’s non-stick!
One of the questions I get most when I share insta stories showing something I’m cooking and how it doesn’t stick is: How do you season your cast iron to get to that point?! So alas, I will share my seasoning technique. It’s an all day endeavor, but there’s very little actual work or attention to be paid. You’ll see why in the instructions.
I’m aware there are many people out there saying to do it this way or that – I’m not declaring myself the ultimate authority on cast iron cooking, simply sharing what I have found to work the best for me in my kitchen.
I’ll dive right into the topic at hand, and after that I’ll share some of my favorite cast iron pieces and other cast iron care notes.
How to Season Cast Iron to be Non-Stick
- Preheat the oven to 450F
- Scrub the cast iron down with a Lodge scrub brush or a chainmail cleaner like this so there’s no rust, buildup, or residue present. Then rinse it with water and towel dry. If it’s a new piece, this step won’t be necessary, but I’d still recommend rinsing it with hot water and drying before moving on.
- Lightly coat the inside of the skillet with a small amount (1t – 1T) of lard, tallow, or a light oil like avocado oil. You don’t want it to be dripping with oil, lightly is the key.
- Place the skillet in the preheated oven upside down for one hour.
- Remove the skillet after an hour, let it cool for 15 minutes.
- Then repeat steps 3-5 at least four times that same day. Yes, this means the process will take you 5-6 hours. BUT friends, your cast iron will be well seasoned like Ma Ingalls and that’s worth it right?!
How often to season
With this method, you shouldn’t need to re-season your cast iron at all if you follow the cooking instructions each time and don’t scorch anything. If you do scorch something and have residue stuck to the bottom, just use your cast iron cleaner to scrub it clean and re-season using the steps above, but maybe only once or twice instead of 4 times.
Now that you’ve seasoned your cookware, you’ll need to pre-heat it properly before cooking. Don’t forget to do this part each time you cook with your cast iron. Here’s how:
Cooking with Cast Iron
- Preheat cast iron on low-medium heat until its hot, but not smoking.
- Add a bit of oil or butter to coat the surface
- Once oil/butter is melted and distributed evenly over the cooking surface, you’re ready to go!
- Stir frequently when cooking at high temps to avoid scorching food.
Now that you’re ready to season and cook – I’ll share some of my favorite pieces.
My Favorite Cast Iron Cookware
Set of 3 skillets: 8″, 10″, and 12″. These are everyday skillets that you can use for sautéing, making sauces, pancakes, crepes, frying bacon, making pies, basically all the things. An affordable homestead kitchen staple, these sit on my kitchen counter all the time and are used almost every day.
I hope you love cooking with these classic pieces as much as I do!