Can you cook with olive oil in a cast-iron skillet?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Can you cook with olive oil in a cast-iron skillet” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can cook with olive oil in a cast-iron skillet. Moreover, we will have a brief discussion about how to use olive oil to season a cast-iron skillet as well as what smoking is.

Seasoning skillets is an important technique for every cast iron chef to learn. When oils are heated, they react with the cast-iron pan’s surface, leaving a protective layer known as seasoning. Seasoning a pan prevents it from rusting while also providing a non-stick cooking surface.

So if you are in search of an answer to whether you can cook with olive oil in a cast-iron skillet, then you need not worry as we are going to answer all your questions.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you cook with olive oil in a cast-iron skillet?

Yes, you can cook with olive oil in a cast-iron skillet because olive oil is one of the most well-known and commonly available oils on the market, it might be a popular choice for flavoring cast iron cookware. Olive oil is fantastic for salad dressings, but it’s not so great for seasoning cast iron due to its low smoke point. Seasoning oils with a high smoke point are the best. 

This implies that they only start to smoke (or burn) when the temperature rises above a certain point. Olive oil, for example, has a smoke point of 350 degrees Fahrenheit, while canola oil has a smoke point of 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

When cooking in cast iron, a little oil should be added to the pan before adding the food. This prevents the food from sticking and allows for the development of spice layers. As long as the cooking temperature is below the oil’s smoke point, you can use whatever oil you like. 

Olive, vegetable, sunflower, and grapeseed oils are all excellent multifunctional cooking oils that may be used for everything from sautéing to baking.

How to use olive oil to season a cast-iron skillet

Cast iron seasoning is a skill that every cook should master. It prevents rust and creates a protective layer for cooking, extending the life of your cast iron equipment. Most significantly, when the pan is seasoned, it becomes non-stick.

To keep your pan in good operating order, season it regularly. If food begins to adhere to the pan’s surface or rust appears, it’s necessary to clean the pan thoroughly before re-seasoning it.

First, remove any burnt food, rust, or residues of the old layer of seasoning by washing or scrubbing them away with hot water. Next, apply a thin layer of your selected oil to the cast iron skillet’s surface.

Preheat your oven to the specified temperature (the precise temperature depends on the oil’s smoke point, but it’s normally between 300 and 400 °F), then bake the pan for at least one hour on the top shelf. Rep 3–4 times more, then set aside to cool.

What is the smoking point?

A smoking point is defined as the point at which an oil begins to generate smoke, signaling the release of fatty acids.

The oil or fat begins to dissolve into fatty acids as the temperature rises. The time and intensity of the heat that each cooking oil is subjected to determine its smoke point.

Because seasoning necessitates high temperatures, oils with greater smoke points are recommended. The food-grade oil will be put over a cast-iron pan and roasted to a temperature above its smoking point.

This is what causes free radicals to be released, resulting in a thicker coating on the pan’s surface. The key to making a good seasoning oil is to employ “drying oils” with a better capability for forming a stronger connection with iron.

Best oil for cast-iron cooking

There are a variety of oils to choose from, including classics like vegetable and olive oil, as well as avocado, sunflower, and even vegetable shortening. Each of them has characteristics that enhance cast iron cooking, although some of them outperform others.

  • Avocado Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Refined Olive Oil

Avocado oil

Avocado oil has the highest smoke point, meaning it can tolerate the most heat while retaining all of the nutrients our bodies need from oil. This allows you to use whichever cuisine and temperature your recipe requires.

Canola oil

Canola oil has a high smoke point of 425 degrees and, like refined olive oil, can be used in a variety of ways. It has a neutral flavor profile.

Refined olive oil

The most lively and healthful olive oil is refined or light olive oil. At 465 degrees, it has a substantially higher smoke point than extra-virgin olive oil, which has a smoke point of 375 degrees. 

This oil can also be used for everything from sautéing to roasting to baking. It has a neutral flavor profile and is simple to clean up.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you cook with olive oil in a cast-iron skillet” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can cook with olive oil in a cast-iron skillet. Moreover, we also have a brief discussion about how to use olive oil to season a cast-iron skillet as well as what smoking is. 

Citations

https://worldofpans.com/cast-iron-pan-season-olive-oil/
https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-use-a-cast-iron-skillet-for-the-first-time/

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.