How to Clean and Season a Cast-Iron Pan

By Julia Millay Walsh

So you’re the proud owner of a cast-iron pan. You’ve heard great things about these versatile, must-have kitchen tools that last a lifetime and bring flavor and depth to whatever you’re cooking.

There are two important things to know about your versatile new skillet. One: Traditional cast-iron pans don’t have a nonstick surface to begin with. To get one, you need to season it—essentially coat it with oil. Two: Cast-iron skillets cannot go in the dishwasher. To clean them, essentially what you have to do is rinse them with hot water and scrub away any burned-on food with a mild abrasive like a bristle brush or coarse salt. Watch the video above to learn how to clean and season your cast-iron pan, and read further instructions below.

1. Heat pan on stove on high for 5 minutes.
2. Pour ¼ cup table salt into pan.
3. Scrub with a stack of paper towels.
4. Remove salt and set aside.
5. Pour 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in pan.
6. Coat inside and outside of pan with oil.
7. Invert pan and place on baking sheet.
8. Bake for 1 hour at 325° F.
9. Let pan cool in oven.
10. Voilà!

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