The Easiest Way to Season Your Cast Iron Skillet, According to Reddit Users

updated Jan 31, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

So, you’ve got a new cast iron skillet. Amazing! Cast iron skillets are great — they’re super durable and virtually nonstick, they can go from stovetop to oven, and they heat up incredibly evenly, imparting a perfect sear that other pans just can’t match.

For all these positives, though, there’s one area of potential stress when it comes to using your skillet. You’ve probably heard that, to keep your skillet in good shape, it’s important to season it regularly. And thats true! But all “seasoning” really entails is just baking oil onto the cast iron surface. This seasoning does two things: It makes your food less likely to stick to the pan and it keeps the pan from rusting over time. If you stay on top of seasoning, your pan will last for years, or even decades.

Even if you’ve inherited a well-seasoned skillet from a relative or purchased a pre-seasoned pan, you will still have to keep up with this task. Meaning, your cast iron skillet won’t season itself. Or will it? Rather than stressing out about this chore, a thread of Reddit users want you to take a deep breath and — wait for it — literally just use your skillet regularly.

Credit: Lauren Volo

Here’s the gist of their argument: Seasoning happens from cooking food in the cast iron. Every single time you cook, say, eggs or bacon or biscuits, in your cast iron skillet, you’re doing the work it takes to season it, adding layers of baked-on fat and oil that will build up over time on your skillet for a natural finish. Of course, you’ll still need to clean it (and oil it slightly), but that part’s incredibly easy.

So rather than stressing about staying on top of seasoning, switch up your focus and JUST USE THE PAN. We love anything that tells us to stress less. What about you?

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