How To Season A Cast Iron Skillet On The Stove

How To Season A Cast Iron Skillet On The Stove

How To Season A Cast Iron Skillet On The Stove

Cast iron skillets are a must-have in any kitchen. Not only is cast iron cookware great for cooking, but cast iron can also be used for baking and serving.

One of the best things about cast iron pans is that they can be seasoned to create a non-stick cooking surface.

Seasoning cast iron cookware is easy and can be done in the oven and on the stovetop.

This blog post explains how to easy it is to do on the stovetop and not in an oven.

Preparation: What You’ll Need To Get Started.

Before you begin the seasoning process of your cast iron pan or skillet on the stovetop, you’ll need to gather a few supplies.

You will need the following items:

  • The oil of your choice. (Below are a few of our favorites and suggestions).

  • A paper towel or lint-free cloth. Coffee filters can also be used.

  • A stovetop. A gas stove works the best, but you can season a cast iron pan on a glass top or electric stove too.

Seasoning Cast Iron On Stove Top

Follow these six simple steps to season cast iron cookware on the stovetop.

Step One: Clean Your Skillet

The first step in the seasoning process for your cast iron cookware is cleaning it well. Be sure to remove any food particles before applying oil to the pan’s surface.

Contrary to some in the cast iron community, you can clean the cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush.

Another alternative to clean cast iron is to use coarse kosher salt and a small amount of olive oil.

You could use fine steel wool like an SOS pad if it is filthy. Chain mail scrubbers work great too.

Anytime you wash cast iron, scrub the entire pan and all surfaces, including the interior, exterior, and handles.

Once your skillet is clean, rinse it and dry it with a clean cloth or lint-free paper towels.

Step Two: Heat The Stove Top

Place your skillet on the burner at medium heat for about 5 minutes. To test if it is hot enough, pinch the edge of the cast iron pan or place your thumb on the handle.

This will help to remove any lingering moisture from the skillet and ensure the cast iron is completely dry.

If it is warm to the touch, it is hot enough to move to the next step.

Step Three: Add The Seasoning Oil

Place the skillet on the stovetop as if you were going to cook something.

To season cast iron on the stovetop, your stove needs to be set between medium and medium-high heat.

You do not need a high temperature or excessive heat to achieve excellent seasoning.

Once the skillet is hot, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the surface.

Use a paper towel or lint-free cloth to spread and evenly coat the entire surface of the skillet, including all areas, such as the handle and sides.

We recommend using an oil with a high smoke point to season cast iron, such as Crisco, avocado oil, lard, bacon grease, or grapeseed oil.

How long do you season a cast iron skillet on the stove?

Generally speaking, cast iron is usually baked in an oven for about an hour to season it.

One of the best parts of seasoning on the stovetop is that you can finish the job in less than one hour.

We recommend seasoning your cast iron skillet on the stovetop for about 10-15 minutes.

Usually, after about 10-15 minutes of heating the oil into the cast iron, that is enough to have a nice thin layer of seasoning to protect your skillet from moisture or rust.

As the skillet heats up, the oil layer will absorb into the skillet and turn a grayish color. This will look like an unseasoned pan.

Not to worry, though, because all it means is there is a dry spot in the pan’s seasoning. This is common when you season cast iron on the stovetop.

Wipe more oil into the skillet to create an additional thin layer of seasoning.

Step Four: Flip The Skillet And Season The Bottom


After you have coated the skillet with oil, place it upside down on the burner and heat it for a few minutes.

Once it is heated, apply oil all over the bottom and place it back onto the burner.

Watch for graying spots; if gray areas are noticeable, re-season by wiping another thin layer of oil and continue heating for a few more minutes.

When your cast iron no longer has any grayish spots, you have successfully seasoned the cast iron.

Step Five: Turn Off The Stove Top

At this point, turn off the stove and let the pan cool completely.

Step Six: Wipe Out Any Excess Oil

After you have completely seasoned your skillet and before storing it away, use a paper towel or lint-free cloth to wipe out any excess oil one more time.

(Pro-Tip). An old t-shirt works well for this too!

New Cast Iron Cookware Comes Pre-Seasoned From The Factory

All new Lodge cast iron comes pre-seasoned from the manufacturer, which means it has a thin layer of oil baked into the new pan at the factory to prevent rust from forming.

However, it is always best to season your cast iron skillet at least once or twice before using it.

Properly seasoning lodge cast iron pans will cook better and is much easier to clean.

Wash your cast iron skillet with hot water and mild dish soap, like Dawn, then dry it off thoroughly.

Coat the cast iron pan with Crisco or the cooking oil you prefer, and rub oil into all the nooks and crannies, including the handles.

How To Make Your Cast Iron Pan Non-Stick

A seasoned cast iron pan creates a natural non-stick cooking surface and prevents rust from forming. It also adds flavor to your food!

Seasoning cast iron is easy and only takes a few minutes on the stovetop.

Best oils to season cast iron skillets

You can use any cooking oil to season your skillet. Vegetable oil is commonly used, but our favorites include Crisco, Avocado Oil, Lard, bacon fat, Grapeseed Oil, and coconut oil.

If vegetable oil is all you have, that will work too.


Crisco is a type of vegetable shortening that can be used to season your cast iron skillet. Seasoning with Crisco is inexpensive and easy to find in most grocery stores.

We highly recommend Crisco because of its affordability, availability, and effectiveness we get when using this product…every time we season cast iron cookware!

Avocado Oil

Avocado Oil is another excellent option to season cast iron because it can withstand higher temperatures without smoking.

Because of the higher smoke point of 520°F makes it an excellent choice and is used by many.


Lard is a type of fat that is rendered from pork. It can be used to season your cast iron and adds a delicious flavor to food.

Lard is rendered from pork fat and has a smoke point of 370°F.

Bacon Grease

  • Bacon grease is one of my favorites and has a smoke point of 400°F.

  • Bacon grease is nothing but flavored lard that a smoke-curing process has seasoned.

  • It can be used to season your skillet and adds a delicious flavor to food.

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is a cooking oil derived from the grapes’ seeds.

It has a high smoke point and is perfect for seasoning cast iron cookware.

Grapeseed oil has a light flavor and a smoke point of 420°F, making it another excellent option for seasoning your cast iron skillet.

Flaxseed Oil Is Not Recommended

Flaxseed oil is not recommended because it has a very low smoke point and tends to crack, causing the protective coating to chip and flake off.

Not to mention it is expensive, making it a poor choice to season cast iron.

Maintaining Cast Iron Cookware

Here are a few things to remember when seasoning your cast iron pot or skillet on the stovetop.

First, be sure to use an oil with a high smoke point.

Second, heat the skillet for about 10-15 minutes to help the oil penetrate the cast iron’s pores to create a non-stick surface.

Lastly, wipe out any excess oil with a paper towel or lint-free cloth once you have seasoned your skillet.

Congratulations! Now your cast iron skillet is seasoned and ready to use!

Happy cooking, my friends!

Scroll to Top