How to Reseason Cast Iron

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Inside this post: Step by step instructions so you can learn how to resesaon cast iron!  There is a better way to do it and I’ll show you how.

cast iron skillets

There is just something about cooking in Cast Iron…

It’s like an old friend that wraps you in her arms and pats you on the back and gives you that secret-knowing smile…

cast iron dutch oven

But if you use her time and again without ever giving anything back, she’ll grow tired and weary and worn…

bad shape

You have to treat her right.  You have to share.  You have to invest some time and tender-loving care…

really bad shape

Let’s see how easy it is!  (See below this “how to” section for detailed images and instructions.)

How to Reseason Cast Iron

How to Reseason Cast Iron

Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours

You can save your dirty cast iron by using these instructions to Reseason your skillets!


  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Crisco
  • Paper Towels


  • Oven


  1. Wash your cast iron thoroughly.
  2. Take a paper towel and grease the inside and outside of your pan or skillet.
  3. Bake in a 250 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Allow to cool and wipe excess grease off.

How to Reseason Cast Iron

Wash thoroughly. If you have some rust, do your best to get it off.

wash thoroughly

Now pat it dry.

Gently, now…

dry thoroughly

She needs some moisturizing.

Next, moisturize your skillet.

Salt-free Vegetable Shortening is her salve of choice.

grab some unsalted veg shortening

{Butter flavoring optional}

grab a glob

Wrap you hand in a paper towel and grab a big, fat ole glob and grease her up and down and sideways.

slather with crisco

I mean… allllllllll over this baby… inside and out!

slather all over

Next, Bake the cast iron skillet.

Place the skillet in a 250 degrees oven for an hour and a half.

Give her time to cool down…

remove from oven

She’s hot and you don’t want to make her mad.

allow to cool

Then give her a good massage…

all better

Removing the excess greasy-grease.

wipe off

Buff her up and make her shine.

reseasoned dutch oven

And if she starts to dry out again, just give her a light coat of Crisco before you put her to rest.

That will help keep the rusties away.

IF you remember to do it…I tend need reminding.

Another tip?  Don’t wash with Soap on a daily basis.  Simply rinse and wipe out and grease a bit.

Do you have a comfortable, old friend in your Cast Iron? Let me know down in the comments below!



Read More:

How to Gently Clean Cast Iron Pots and Pans

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  1. Thank you for posting! I have a small cast iron skillet that we inherited from my mother in law and I never knew anything about seasoning it! I need to do that….I have just put a small coating of oil on it after washing it, but I will give this a try. You have a very nice cast iron pot!!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! It really does help to re-season it from time to time… I LOVE my cast iron!

  2. Thanks for sharing, I really need to do this to my iron skillet. I have been a very neglectful friend to her 😉

    1. I’ve used oil before, and it does OK, but there is something about the thick vegetable shortening that does a better job.

      Just try it and see! It absolutely won’t hurt.

  3. My daughter just got married and she received her first cast iron as a wedding present. She asked me the other day “how to season it”… Your blog post is the perfect answer for her! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. LOVE my cast iron fry pan. It was my gran’s and when it got to me-in pretty rough shape. I used an old chef’s trick of heating it up with 1/2 inch of salt and after a few seconds you rub off anything awful and then finish with an oil polish.

  5. My mom used to do this ( only on the inside) with crisco on the top of the stove after a couple washings. She called it “curing” the iron. I always used to stove top method, because for some reason ony the insides of any pans I had started to get that rough look. I will try this though if I get one that looks rough on the outside. thank you for more advice

  6. Cast iron needs less seasoning if you don’t wash it with water. Try scrubbing the used pan with salt and wiping it clean (with an added dab of oil if necessary) instead of adding it to the regular dish pile.

  7. in your directions you say to leave the pan in the oven for 1:30. is that 1 hour 30 minutes??

    1. My Grandmother’s version calls for 10 hours in a 225 degree oven, overnight works well… always use shorting and not oil. Use Kosher salt to clean with a rag. You can wash it in water if you season it for the longer period of time.

        1. Wow, shortening… my spelling is famously awful. I’ve even gone 12 hours for the seasoning.

  8. I almost never use water or soap with my cast iron. I scrape off all the visible schmutz I can, then turn it back on about medium high, pour in a tablespoon or so of oil and wipe it all around the pan. Once it starts to smoke, I wipe off all the excess, turn it off and let it slowly cool on the burner. (If I can’t get all the cooking remnants off, I throw in some salt with the oil and use it as a mild abrasive with oil instead of water as the liquid.)

    My girlfriend can’t understand why I don’t mind cleaning it by hand each time I use it (which is almost every night) but I find the ritual soothing and a connection to generations of home cooks.

  9. My cast iron pan has lots of rust. Do I need to treat it to remove the rust before I season it?

    1. I’m not sure what you mean by “treat,” but you should be able to just scrape it off depending on how bad it is. I used a Brillo, but if there’s too much for that, you can use sandpaper. And going forward, always make sure it’s bone dry before putting it up after cleaning it.

      The beauty part here is, you can sometimes find old, rusty, apparently ugly, cast iron at thrift stores or garage sales for a song. And with just a little elbow grease, make them beautiful again.

      1. You never want to take sandpaper to cast iron. If it’s rusty slice a potato and dip it in baking soda and rub that on there until the rust is gone. May have to slice and repeat a few times. If it’s heavily rusted then you should make a quick and easy electrolysis tub to remove the rust. The idea is to remove the rust and not damage the iron and brillo pads/sandpaper will mar the surface of the iron.

        1. Oh, I would never sandpaper cast iron! But I’m might have to try that potato tip! Sounds interesting!

  10. The question was asked earlier, but just to clarify, 1:30 = 1 hour & 30 mins, right?

  11. I’ve used coconut oil as a great seasoner! It works as well as (even better for me!) that Crisco (which I don’t have in my house). I used to use lard, when I was much younger, but finding lard these days is so hard. Rhyme not intended. I don’t use coconut oil in the liquid state, I use it in the shortening stage, so I can’t really do it in the summer (except we’re getting a new air conditioner TODAY — it’s on my kitchen table! hooray!) but I DO have it on my household chores list, every six months, to season my babies even if I haven’t used them. We have a LOT of cast iron (and a ceramic cooktop, which we are NOT supposed to use cast iron on, but I’m not buying new pans!) and it sees a lot of use, so I do season it with a slight wipe of coconut oil before I put it away. I HANG mine, so there is no getting put away with even the slightest piece of wet on it (cannot, for any reason, make my husband understand NO WATER sigh). He’s even SOAKED it at times, and now I have two pieces with signs on them: DO NOT USE UNTIL RE-SEASONED. LOL Love this blog!

    1. I love coconut oil! I’ll have to try using on my cast iron.

      My husband doesn’t understand the no water thing, either! Lol!

      Thanks so much for your sweet comment! I so needed your encouragement today!

  12. This was just the “refresher” I needed to love my well worn cast iron pan! This made me smile as I read it!
    Loved the way you wrote this up ! Can’t wait to checkout the rest of your site!

    1. Thanks so much, LaToya! I so love my cast iron!

      Much love to you!

  13. My skillet is very old and has a heavy build up on the outside .Do you have any advise on how I can clean it.

    1. Some people put them in the oven during the clean cycle. I just put them in my fire pit in the yard when I have a fire.Burns everything off and looks brand new. Then you have to preseason.

  14. My. sister bought me 3 cast iron skillets and one griddle for my birthday this year. She found them at Salvation Army for $3 each. All but one was the LaForg brand. One was rusted and I’ve seasoned it several times but with oil. I will do the Crisco. I’m sure it will make a world of difference. I also like your idea for the gentle scrapper. Think I will make them for my Sisters for Christmas. Love your blog.

    1. Yes! soak the cast iron in apple cider vinegar – let soak for hours (it will create bubbles over time reflecting the chemincal reaction). Keep changing out the vinegar every few hours or when there are no more bubbles until it is clean & rust-free. this method works for all rusty/cast iron metal things. good luck!

  15. You might like Sheryl Canter’s cast iron seasoning post…it is amazing! It’s really time consuming but so worth it!

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