By Kyrie Luke
Nonstick cast iron skillets can take your food from just ok, to better than restaurants. I’m going to teach you how to season a cast-iron skillet, how to clean it after each use, and how to cook with a cast-iron skillet. But first, grab my free ebook for how to cook chicken on a cast iron – 3 delicious ways here!
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- watch nonstick cast iron skillets tutorial
- Steps for creating a nonstick cast iron skillet
- best cast iron seasoning oil
- Stripping your cast iron skillet
- Seasoning a cast iron skillet for the first time
- reseasoning cast iron
- Seasoning cast iron skillets between uses
- using cast iron skillets while cooking
- Why cook using cast iron skillets
- What to cook when using cast iron skillets
- shop this post
- learn how to Make your own sauerkraut
- pin it for later – nonstick cast iron skillets
- about me
watch nonstick cast iron skillets tutorial
Steps for creating a nonstick cast iron skillet
When using a cast-iron skillet remember that they crave 2 things: heat and oil. When you use your cast iron, make sure you have the pan fully preheated and use so much oil; those two components will be a great start to making sure your cast iron skillet is nonstick.
- Clean your cast iron skillet: depending on where you purchased, it might be rusty or dirty. If so, you’ll want to strip it to get the gunk and rust off.
- Season your cast iron skillet: this is key in making sure it’s non-stick.
- Preheat your skillet prior to putting food on it.
- Use a lot of oil prior to putting food on it: use a lot more oil than you would use for a non-stick pan and make sure the oil preheats too.
- Lightly clean your skillet after uses: if it’s truly non-stick you should just have to use some hot water to get any food off. If something does stick a little bit you can use a brush like this one to softly scrub it off.
- Reseason your cast iron between uses: this is key to making sure it’s non-stick. To do this just apply a thin layer of oil after each use.
best cast iron seasoning oil
The best cast iron seasoning oil is one that has a high smoke point. I use coconut oil because I always have it on hand. You could use grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or any other high smoke-point oil you like.
You’ll soon find that when using cast iron skillets, you’re cooking at high heat often. Because of this, you’ll need a high smoke point oil to season it and reseason it. If not, you’ll have burnt oil on your skillet and that’s going to ruin it – and it’s super unhealthy to eat food cooked on burnt oil.
Stripping your cast iron skillet
The scenario in which you would strip a skillet is only if you get it used and it’s in terrible shape. If there’s rust, build-up of food, or grime – definitely strip it and start over. To do this, just get some sort of scrubber. For stripping purposes, I like to use these steel wool scrubbers. I also use soap when stripping a cast iron – this is what I use. Make sure you stripped all the rust and gunk off then season your cast iron.
Seasoning a cast iron skillet for the first time
Whether this is a brand new cast iron skillet, or just new to you – the method for seasoning is the same. This is the exact cast iron skillet I use most frequently; it came preseasoned but I still seasoned it myself in order to make it nonstick.
- Make sure it’s clean. If it’s in really bad shape you might need to strip it. Just make sure there’s no food on it that will sear to the pan during seasoning.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. This high heat is important to ensure you don’t end up with a sticky cast iron.
- Place a strip of foil on the bottom shelf of your oven to catch any oil drips from your cast iron.
- Apply your seasoning oil. The best cast iron seasoning oil is one that has a high smoke-point; I use coconut oil. Spread a thin layer over the entire surface of the pan (including the sides) using a paper towel or tea towel.
- Place your pan in the oven upside-down. The oven does not have to be fully preheated before you put the pan in.
- Let your cast iron season in the oven for about an hour. After the hour is up, turn off the oven but don’t open the oven door. Let the pan sit in there until it has cooled (about an hour).
- Repeat steps 2-6 until you get a shiny, smooth luster over the pan. The most I’ve had to do this was 4 times.
- Once this is done you’ll be ready to cook! Grab my free ebook for how to cook chicken on a cast iron 3 different ways.
reseasoning cast iron
Once your cast iron is fully seasoned in the oven, you shouldn’t have to do it again for quite some time. I only have to do it maybe once or twice a year – even less the more I use my pan.
Cast irons are one of those things that get better the more you use them; each use will reseason the pan more. Sometimes if I have a pan that is starting to stick more than usual, I’ll just start using it like crazy, and then it’s a nonstick cast iron skillet again within a couple of weeks.
Seasoning cast iron skillets between uses
After I cook on my cast iron I will do a mini-reseason every time. This is so key to making sure it stays a nonstick cast iron skillet and ensures I almost never have to do a full season.
- Rinse your cast iron after cooking on it. You shouldn’t need to use soap or do much scrubbing. If you need to get food off, just use a brush like this one to lightly scrub it off. Sometimes you could even use your spatula to scrape any food off or the other end of this brush has a scraper that works well for this.
- Put your wet cast iron on the stove over high heat to evaporate all the water. Let the water completely evaporate before turning the stove off. Never let your cast iron air dry or they will rust.
- Put a small drop of coconut oil (about a teaspoon) on your cast iron while it’s hot and let it melt.
- Use a towel to spread the coconut oil over the whole surface of the pan. I’ll also use Ove gloves like these and just turn the pan around to spread the oil.
- Wait for the pan to cool down before you store it.
using cast iron skillets while cooking
Remember the keys for how to cook using a cast iron skillet are heat and oil.
- Preheat your cast iron skillet (before putting your oil on it) on medium to medium high. Use a handle grip like this one to protect your hand from getting burnt by the hot handle.
- Put more oil than you think you need on the skillet once it’s preheated. At least a couple tablespoons depending on what you’re cooking and how much oil it absorbs.
- Let the oil heat up too before putting food on your skillet.
- Place your food on a single layer in your cast iron rather than piling the food on top of each other. The single layer will allow for a crust to form, but if the pan is overcrowded, you wont get that crust and your food will stick.
- Let whatever you’re cooking develop a nice crust prior to flipping/turning. For example, a pancake should only be flipped once – wait until it’s brown before flipping. Potatoes should have a nice crust formed before turning. Doing this will prevent the food from sticking.
- Make sure your heating element covers the entire bottom of the pan otherwise food will stick to the edges that aren’t getting heated up.
- Watch out for the oil/moisture splatters! When cooking high water content foods like potatoes or brussels sprouts, use a splatter guard like this to protect yourself from hot splatters.
- Grab my free ebook: Cast Iron Chicken – 3 Ways
Why cook using cast iron skillets
People often wonder why to cook with cast iron skillets when it seems so much simpler to just use non-stick. The reason to cook with cast iron versus nonstick is because whatever material you cook on will leach those nutrients or anti-nutrients into your food. Iron is a good nutrient that your body needs; non-stick pans have chemicals that are anti-nutrients to your body and can actually wreak havoc.
What to cook when using cast iron skillets
You can cook anything on a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. Fried eggs, scrambled eggs, pancakes, potatoes, pizza, or even cinnamon rolls! Follow the seasoning steps and cooking steps above and you can cook pretty much anything on a cast-iron skillet. Cast iron skillets are great for cooking because you can brown, braise, simmer, warm up, fry, and any other method for cooking you would need.
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- Dutch oven
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Read my blog about fermenting your own cabbage to make sauerkraut.
pin it for later – nonstick cast iron skillets
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