Have you just bought a new cast iron skillet and are trying to find the best oil to season a cast iron skillet?
Many types of oils are available in the market, but which is perfect?
How to efficiently perform seasoning?
Grapeseed oil is the best oil to season a cast iron skillet.
Because it has the highest smoke point among all other oils, which makes it best for seasoning.
It has a neutral taste and is rich in nutrients that bring many health benefits.
What Is Seasoning?
Seasoning commonly means using spices, herbs, and salts to flavor the food, but sorry, this has nothing to do with seasoning pans.
Then what is the seasoning of skillets?
New frying pans or skillets are allowed to cook oil in them.
Eventually forming a black carbonized layer in the pan, giving them a look and benefits of the used skillet.
This black layer automatically builds up with time, but due to its benefits, people prefer to build it artificially using suitable oil.
Seasoning is done by heating a skillet with oil at a high temperature for a long time until a carbon layer forms.
Related Readings: Best Skillets For Steaks – Learn More
What are the benefits of seasoning?
There are many benefits of seasoning skillets:
- The carbonized black layer protects your skillet from rusting.
- It’s a nonstick layer that is especially amazing for frying eggs without letting them stick to your skillet.
- It gives a fine and classic look to your pan.
- Frying and cooking get easy due to it.
- Due to this nonstick layer, cleaning the skillet becomes easy.
What Does Season Cast Iron Mean?
Seasoned cast iron is the iron with a black carbon layer formed by its use over time.
This carbon layer is protective and non-sticky.
You can season your new cast iron by carefully heating the relevant oil in your pan.
What Is The Best Oil To Season Cast Skillet?
Common oils used for cooking and frying are not equally effective for seasoning cast iron skillets.
Here is a list of the best oil to season cast skillet and the reasons why they are best:
- Grapeseed oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Avocado oil
- Vegetable oil or Canola oil
- Extra virgin oil
- Olive oil
- Lard or tallow oil
- Coconut oil
- Peanut oil
- Butter or Ghee
Table by: chefjar.com
Now let’s discuss them in detail:
Grapeseed oil is the best oil to season a cast iron skillet.
It is mostly used for seasoning because of its amazing seasoning abilities.
It has the highest smoke temperature among all other oils, i.e., 215 degrees Celsius.
That’s why it is highly recommended.
It has a neutral taste which means it will not affect the flavors of foods in the future if cooked in this seasoned pan.
This oil quickly makes a layer in the pan without leaving any characteristic smell.
It brings many health benefits, too, as it is rich in Vitamin E and fatty acids.
La Tourangelle Grapeseed Oil is the most popular and best brand for grapeseed oil.
Flaxseed oil also makes a really strong bond to your skillet and is full of health benefits.
It also gets dry quickly and is used by many people for seasoning.
It forms a smooth, strong, and fine covering.
But it is not much recommended because of its much lower smoke temperature of 107 degrees Celsius, characteristic odor, and high-priced budget.
Seasoning skillets using this oil takes a lot of time.
To season your pan properly, you should repeat the process 6 times at intervals of 1 hour.
Barlean’s Fresh Organic Flax Oil has gained awards for selling the best and pure flaxseed oil.
Avocado oil is amazing for seasoning a cast iron skillet because it has an extremely high smoke temperature of 271 degrees Celsius.
This is the highest smoke point among all other oils.
That’s why it is a bit harmful to the seasoning process.
But due to such high smoke temperature of this oil, your pan can bear extremely high temperatures during cooking.
The Health benefits of this oil are commendable as it is full of essential oils beneficial for :
- The heart
- A rich source of Vitamin E
- A neutral flavor
It is a relatively expensive oil, but we highly recommend using it.
BetterBody Foods 100% Pure Avocado Oil and Nutiva Organic Avocado Oil are trusted best brands for avocado oil.
Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil
These oils are natural, readily available, and very inexpensive.
That’s why these are most commonly used for seasoning.
People like to use them because they are on a budget and have a high smoke temperature of 218 to 232 degrees Celsius.
With many health benefits, vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean, and sunflower oil are used widely for seasoning and cooking purposes.
La Tourangelle and happy belly vegetable oil are the best vegetable or canola oil brands.
Extra Virgin Oil
Extra virgin oil is readily available at a low cost and is used by many people for seasoning their skillets.
It is rich in nutrients and brings many health benefits.
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Fatty acids
It has an average smoke temperature of 190 degrees Celsius.
That’s why you need to repeat the process 2 to 3 times with intervals of 1 hour.
Pompeian robust extra virgin oil is the best brand worldwide for extra virgin oil.
Olive is generally the favorite oil of many people due to its wide use for amazing health benefits.
That’s why people who like olive oil prefer to get their skillet seasoned with the same oil.
You can get this oil anywhere, but professionals do not prefer it due to low smoke points.
Being the healthiest oil, its fans always keep it as their priority.
If you cook in olive oil, you should use this health-rich oil for seasoning.
Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the best olive oil brand.
Lard or tallow oil
Lard or tallow oil is a traditional oil for seasoning.
It is recommended for people who use their pans regularly.
If your pan is not used regularly, the fat starts to spoil, leaving a strange bad smell in your kitchen.
So, it is not recommended for vegetarians people and people who don’t use their pans regularly because these oils have animal fats.
Lard or tallow oil takes much longer for seasoning due to its extremely low smoke point of 187 degrees Celsius,
So you shall require 8 to 9 sessions with 1-hour intervals for seasoning.
Tenderflake Pure Bakers Lard is the best brand to get lard or tallow oil.
Many people prefer coconut oil for seasoning because of its remarkable health benefits.
Being the healthiest oil, it is widely used by people not only in seasoning but also for cooking.
It leaves a characteristic coconut aroma in other foods if cooked in a coconut oil seasoned pan.
So, if you are a fan of coconut and like its aroma, then definitely go for coconut oil.
It has the lowest smoke temperature among all other oils, i.e., 176 degrees Celsius, so it will take a lot of time to season with 8 to 9 sessions.
Use it for seasoning only if you want to use only coconut oil for cooking and frying in the future because you won’t be able to use your pan at high temperatures.
Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil is the best brand to get coconut oil.
Peanut oil has a moderate price and mid-level results in seasoning your skillet.
People who like its aroma always use peanut oil for seasoning.
But Keep in mind that if you are cooking for people allergic to peanuts, avoid using peanut oil for seasoning as it can leave a bit of aroma in food.
Due to moderate smoke temperature, it wouldn’t take a much longer time for the process.
La Tourangelle’s Peanut Oil is a highly recommended brand for peanut oil.
Butter or Ghee
Butter or ghee is most commonly used for cooking in almost all homes.
So many people ask, can it be used for seasoning as well?
We don’t recommend using butter or ghee for seasoning because of their low smoke point of 148 degrees Celsius.
You can get other oils for seasoning and can use butter or ghee for cooking.
If you are still not comfortable with other oils and want to use these,
Then get the butter of high smoke points as butter or ghee are also present at different smoke points in the market.
Original Grass-Fed Ghee by 4th & heart is a recommended brand to get butter or ghee.
How Often To Season A New Pan?
You should normally need to season your pan after every 6 months or when you observe that food has started sticking with your pan.
As long as the food smoothly slides over your pan, the layer is still intact, and you don’t need to re-season it.
How To Season Your Cast Iron Skillet – Step By Step
Here we are going to guide you about the seasoning process step by step with all precautionary measures:
- Wash your pan properly and allow it to get dried completely.
- Heat your pan to evaporate the remaining water droplets. (not evaporating water droplets for the seasoning process will result in rusting of your pan)
- Heat the oven to the recommended temperature or lower than the smoke point. If you use a stove, keep the oil heating until smoke starts rising.
- Turn off the stove or oven and let the oil cool.
- Repeat the heating process after 1-hour intervals several times; many layers get formed on your pan.
- Observe if the black layer is formed correctly.
- Now cool down the pan.
- Wash and dry your pan, and here is your seasoned pan, ready to cook.
- To avoid the smell and smoke, it is recommended to perform this process outside your home.
- Handle your pan with great care, don’t try to touch your pan with anything while heating. Place it in the right position at the start so you wouldn’t need to move it during the process.
- Don’t heat the oil above the smoke point if you are allergic to smoke or have any lung problems.
How much oil do you use to season a cast-iron skillet?
A dab or 1/8th teaspoon of seasoning oil is used to season a cast-iron skillet.
The best way to achieve reliably nonstick seasoning is to cook with your skillet as often as possible.
Every time you heat oil or fat, you begin to add a thin, durable patch of seasoning to your pan.
These thin layers expand and interlock, building on each other like coats of paint and creating a resilient, ultra-slick cooking surface with time.
What NOT to Use for Cast Iron Seasoning?
You can use any oil with proper instructions, but you should avoid using coconut oil for this process because of its lowest smoke point.
What Are The Best Animal Fats To Season Cast Iron?
Lard, ghee, and bacon grease are the best animal fats to season cast iron.
But these are not recommended for seasoning due to low smoke points and their poor ability to stick to your pan.
They do not form a strong layer easily and get spoiled along with a bad smell if your pan is not used for a while.
Can You Season Cast Iron With Butter?
Yes, you can season your cast iron with butter, but it is not recommended.
Butter has extremely low smoke points.
It will take much longer and multiple sessions to season your pan, and you will not be able to cook food at high temperatures in the future.
Do I Need To Re-Season My Cast Iron?
If you feel that your food has started sticking to your pan, you need to re-season your cast iron.
If your pan’s layer remains intact, there is no need to reason.
How to season cast iron without an oven?
You can season cast iron without an oven by using a stove.
Using a stove will unevenly distribute heat throughout the pan and result in improper seasoning.
Follow these steps to perform seasoning while using a stove properly.
- Wash your pan with salt and water. (make sure it is free from dust and water to avoid rusting)
- Let your pan dry completely.
- Now put the oil in the pan until its bottom layer gets fully immersed in oil. (2 to 3 cups of oil is recommended)
- Turn ON your stove at low heat and let it for 10 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium level and let it be until the smoke starts to rise.
- Turn off the stove when you see smoke and let it cool.
- Repeat the same process of heating several times.
- Observe the bottom layer of your pan to be completely black and shiny.
- Wash it with normal soap and let it dry completely.
- Now your nonstick pan is ready to cook food.
What temperature to season cast iron?
The temperature at which you should season cast iron depends on the oil you use for seasoning.
This temperature should always be a little below its smoke point if you are allergic to smoke.
But you can even raise this temperature from the smoke point if you perform this process in the open air.
Related Reading: Roasting Pan vs. Dutch Pan – Click Here To Learn More.
Which oil has the highest smoking point?
Avocado oil has the highest smoking point of 271 degrees celsius or 520 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is the reason that it is highly recommended for seasoning.
You can cook all types of foods at any temperature without the risk of damaging their seasoned layer.
Is Crisco good for seasoning cast iron?
If you perform the process properly according to instructions, Crisco can also give good seasoning results.
If you can’t afford the other best seasoning oils, then Crisco being cheaper, can be a good choice for you.
Should I oil my cast iron after every use?
You can oil your cast iron after every use as it is a good choice for the pan layer to remain intact, but it is not necessary to do it every time after use.
What temp should I season cast iron?
The temperature at which you should season a cast iron skillet depends on the oil’s smoke point.
You need to know the oil’s smoke point and then set the oven temperature accordingly.
Here is a list of oils and the temperature at which they should be seasoned:
Table by: campsfireandcastrion.com
If you’re allergic to smoke or have lung problems, never heat oil above the smoke point.
Keep the temperature low.
Otherwise, your kitchen and home will get immersed in smoke.
How do I know if my cast iron skillet is seasoned?
Observe your pan in good light.
If the smooth black layer with a little gloss appears in the pan, then congratulations, your pan has been seasoned perfectly.
Now let it cool for a few hours, wash it, and your seasoned pan is ready to use.
If you observe an irregular black surface with patches, then seasoning is not done yet, add some more oil and let it heat for a while again.
Do you need to season cast iron?
You need to season cast iron to protect your skillet from rusting.
Without seasoning your skillet, food particles get stuck to it while cooking, doing cooking and cleaning much more difficult and irritating.
You can get already seasoned skillets from the market.
They are a bit expensive but make you free from this tiring seasoning process.
How to clean cast iron grill
You can clean the cast iron grill at home easily. Follow these steps to clean a cast iron grill:
- Clean off the residues from the grill.
- Heat it in the oven or stove at a high temperature until the layer over it becomes smooth.
- Place it carefully on the floor and start scratching with a big knife or a hard thing like it.
- After it gets cool, rinse it with water and a dishwasher.
This is the simplest method of cleaning a cast iron grill, but if you want an alternate method, use Kosher salt and water to rinse it properly.
You can even immerse it in vinegar overnight before cleaning it.
Use only the vinegar method if the pan is rusty.
How to season a rusty cast iron dutch oven?
Here are the steps to season rusty cast iron dutch oven:
- Place aluminum foil in a baking dish and put it on the bottom rack of your oven to prevent oil from dropping inside your oven.
- Preheat your oven to about 400 degrees Celsius.
- Took a hard brush and a soap and rinsed the dutch oven thoroughly.
- Dry it completely using a clean towel or cloth.
- Pick up another clean cloth or paper towel and apply oil to the whole oven and its lid, preferably vegetable oil. Don’t leave any corner of your oven.
- Cover the dutch oven with its lid and put it in the upper rack of the oven upside down.
- Keep baking for almost 1 hour until you start seeing smoke rising.
- Turn off the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the heating and cooling process until a deep black, shiny, smooth layer appears inside the pan.
- Now your dutch oven is seasoned and ready to use.
Why is my cast iron sticky after seasoning?
If your cast iron is sticky, then you have probably done the process wrong or made a mistake.
Maybe you haven’t seasoned it at least 3 to 4 times.
It is important to repeat the seasoning process to ensure the formation of multiple layers in your skillet.
Another reason for this stickiness is using too much oil for cooking.
When you use too much oil, your food isn’t adequately cooked and gets stuck to your pan.
Using acidic foods can also destroy the layer, and your food gets stuck to your pan.
What is the best oil for searing steak?
Using oil for searing steak depends on personal choice.
Try to choose the oil with a high smoke point because cooking meat requires a lot of heat.
Many professionals recommend that avocado oil, Sunflower oil, and Canola oil are the best oils for searing steak.
What is the healthiest high-heat oil?
Olive oil, avocado oil, and safflower oil are the healthiest high-heat oils.
These oils come with a lot of health benefits.
Many people use them daily and for cooking due to their nutritional value.
What is the healthiest oil to cook with high heat?
Avocado, canola, and olive oil are the healthiest oils to cook with high heat.
People widely use these oils due to the ease of cooking and health benefits.
These oils have a lot of antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids that not only provide quality to cooking but also provide quality to your health.
What’s the healthiest oil for frying?
Olive oil and Coconut oil are the healthiest oils for frying.
They not only fry your food quickly but also are good for your health.
What oil do you use for cast iron steak?
Olive oil, Canola oil, and Avocado oil are best for cast iron steak.
Having much higher smoke points allows these oils to deeply and thoroughly cook your steak.
These oils are not only popular for their health benefits but also for their taste.
Which oils are carcinogenic when heated?
All oils, if repeatedly used and heated up, get toxic and carcinogenic.
Heating oils above their smoke point releases a toxic smell, and some toxic chemicals start forming in these oils.
The oils having low smoke points should not be used for high heating purposes.
Most flaxseed oil and other unrefined oils release toxic chemicals when heated up above their smoke point.
Their bonds start to rearrange at a microscopic level, resulting in some harmful chemicals like carcinogens.
Do you put oil in a cast iron skillet when cooking steak?
You should put oil in a cast iron skillet when cooking steak.
Preheat the cast iron before adding the oil and steak to it.
Then put some oil to fill the bottom of the pan.
When the oil gets completely heated up, slowly add steaks into it.
Now gently move the steaks to cook them properly from all sides.
What not to use in the seasoned pan?
Here are the tips for using seasoned pan properly:
- You should not use acidic foods such as vinegar, acidic products, lemon juice, etc.
- In the early days after seasoning, don’t fry eggs or other soft things in your pan, fry only hard things.
- Avoid using harsh detergents to wash your pan as it will damage the layer of your pan.
- Use a light soap for washing.
- Always dry your pan completely after washing; try to add some oil to your pan after drying.
Related Reading: Reasons Why Pan Wrap In The Oven- Click Here To Read More.
Which oil you use depends on your taste and preference.
But seasoning a cast iron skillet with a higher smoke point is highly recommended, and the best oil for seasoning is Grapeseed oil.