Season a cast iron skillet by thoroughly washing and drying it, applying a layer of oil, and baking it in an oven. The seasoning improves each time the skillet is used.
- Scrub the skillet
Using warm water and mild soap, scrub the skillet to remove any rust, food particles or leftover debris from the manufacturing and shipping process. A stiff brush may be required to scrub away rust or baked on food. It is acceptable to use soap on cast iron at this time because the seasoning has not yet been applied.
- Dry the skillet
After the skillet is clean and has been rinsed, dry it thoroughly. All droplets of water must be removed or the seasoning will not adhere. Rust may also form if water is left in contact with the cast iron.
- Apply oil
Pour a small amount of solid vegetable oil that has been melted or liquid vegetable oil into the skillet. Rub the oil onto the inside and outside of the skillet. Apply enough to coat the skillet without making it sticky.
- Prepare oven and bake the skillet
Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the lowest rack of the oven to catch any oil drips. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the oiled cast iron skillet upside down on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for one hour. Turn the oven off and allow the seasoned skillet to cool in the oven.