Cleaning and Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 0 mins

This method has worked for me for years! I had to put amounts in but just use as much salt and shortening as you need.


  1. After using your cast iron skillet, if it does not wipe clean with a paper towel or rinse clean with clear water, just put a handful of kosher salt in the pan and scrub with a damp cloth until all the bits are loosened. This is not seasoning, it's just scrubbing. If you need to reseason the pan rub it well with solid shortening and stick it in a low oven (or a cooling down oven) for a few hours and it should restore the non-stick properties. If you have spots in a pan that always stick when you cook, scrub it out with salt and a wire brush and re-season with crisco.
  2. Before you use your new pan the first time you should wash it with soapy water, rinse well, season and bake it in a low oven. This is the only time you should soap up a cast iron pan. It just gets better the more you use it. I had heard that people who use cast iron pans regularly do not suffer from anemia.


Most Helpful

This is great advice! For a new pan, after washing, I wipe it with pork fat/lard, both inside and out. Then, in a 350 degree oven, I turn it upside down and bake it for an hour or two, on the top shelf. (Put foil or a cookie sheet on the next shelf down to catch any drippings.) Turn off the oven and let the skillet cool slowly inside. The first 4 or 5 times you use it, cook something good and greasy, like bacon or chicken. This way, your cast-iron should last many generations. The salt is a great tip, Secret Agent, thanks for posting!

Scoutie March 19, 2010

I have gotten more than one pan from either garage sales or thrift stores. In the summer when we have a bon-fire I just stick the pan in for a few minutes and it comes out looking like new! I then season it as though it were new.

sandikinhadley March 14, 2011

Great idea about the salt. I use four cast iron skillets and a cast iron comal. But the way i have always seasoned them is only oiling them liberally and heating them very hot on the stove top. Then wiping them out. They are all as nonstick as any teflon. And I use them for everything thing.

Merle 1 March 20, 2010

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