Maintaining Cast Iron Seasoning

Cast iron is one of my favorite kitchen tools. I’ve learned quite a bit about utilizing this type of metal in cooking as it truly is a new skill to learn as you go.

Many mistakes have been made along my cast iron journey, so I’ve shared them all here: Cast Iron Mistakes to Avoid, as well as Cast Iron Cooking Tips, and The Dos & Don’ts of Cleaning Cast Iron. Hopefully my mistakes can help you gain success as you cook with these old fashioned pans!

Cast iron should go through one seasoning, but that doesn’t mean that more layers shouldn’t continue to be added throughout the years too. Here we’ll discuss the best methods I’ve learned for maintaining the seasoning on cast iron skillets and pans. These tips will aid in your pans remaining non-stick. I’ve also shared more info on how to season cast iron, mistakes to avoid, cooking tips, and the health benefits of this metal.

How to Season Cast Iron

In order to know how to maintain the seasoning on cast iron, one must first implement the initial seasoning! All it takes is oil, a cast iron pan, and an oven.

You can read all the details about this seasoning process in my How to Season Cast Iron blog post!

Why We Use Cast Iron in Our Kitchen

  • Many other ‘non-stick’ pans are covered in a coating full of a carcinogenic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid that will leech into the food during use and fill the air with toxic fumes. That’s not what I want! This health concern is what drew me towards cast iron because it is chemical free.
  • I also heard a lot of testimonies raving about how much better food cooks on cast iron than other pans. I won’t pretend to understand all the science behind this point, but, after months of use, I must say it is true! Something about this cooking surface makes potatoes crispier, eggs more tasteful, meat juicier, and so on.

Maintaining the Seasoning on Cast Iron

  • The best way to maintain the layer of seasoning on a cast iron skillet is cooking with it often. Every time you heat oil or fat on the skillet for an extended amount of time, you add another thin layer of seasoning. Each layer strengthens the seasoning!
  • Keep the heat at low or medium. This will gently allow those layers of seasoning to form during the early life of your pan. Cast iron can take higher heat once it is broken in.
  • Avoid soap when possible. Scrubbing your pan with soap can eat away at the seasoning, so try using water and a rag before reaching for the suds. That being said, I will use soap on my skillet occasionally. Just avoid using it with each wash.
  • Give it a little coating of oil after each use. Here’s what this looks like: I cook with my pan, wipe any food residue out while the pan is still warm, dry it on a warm burner (if needed), and apply a thin layer of coconut oil all over the skillet. This application of oil will unsure that the pan gets an additional layer of seasoning after each use.

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