How to season a cast-iron skillet on the stove?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to season a cast iron skillet on the stove?”, and how to remove major rust from your cast iron skillet?

How to season a cast iron skillet on the stove?

  1. Place the skillet on the stovetop and heat it on medium-high heat. 
  1. Wipe it with a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel or rag. Use tongs If the skillet feels too hot.
  1. Keep the skillet on the stovetop until It starts to feel dry. Then repeat the process with the paper towel.
  1. After about 3 repetitions, the skillet will start to look smooth, shiny, and dark instead of greasy or sticky. 
  1. At this point, remove the skillet from heat and let it cool. Give it a final rub with the oil-soaked paper towel and store it.

How to season a cast iron pan in the oven?

  1. Heat the oven to 500℉.
  1. Wipe clean your cast iron skillet with a vegetable oil paper towel. Alternatively, coat the skillet with some oil and rub a paper towel to remove the excess grease.
  1. Place the skillet on the oven rack in an upended position and bake for about an hour. The coating of oil should not be too heavy that oil starts to drip from it during baking. However, to be on the safe side, set a baking sheet or tray below the rack to catch any drips.
  1. Wipe the skillet with a final rub of oil and store it.

Should you clean cast iron?

Cast iron requires maintenance. Properly maintained cast iron pans will last a lifetime. Cast iron pans are susceptible to rusting when exposed to air and water frequently. This is the reason why seasoning is important.

Washing and cleaning the skillet with strong detergents, harsh scouring actions, over-scrubbing, or frequently cooking acidic foods in a cast-iron skillet will rip the skillet off of its seasoning. 

Therefore, wipe clean the cast iron skillet after every use. 

Make sure no leftover food morsels are present. Then rub the skillet with a light layer of oil. This will keep the skillet from rusting over time and will provide a lustrous look to it.

What materials do you need to clean cast iron?

You can use any cooking fat to clean your cast iron skillet. If you want to be more specific, go with the one having the highest content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. 

So, instead of butter, olive oil, and coconut oil, opt for grapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, corn oil, sunflower seed oil, and soybean oil with a fatty acid percentage of 75%, 68%, 68%, 59%, 59%, and 58%, respectively.

For cleaning, always use a gentle brush with nylon or Tampico bristles. Non-abrasive scrubs or sponges can also be used.

How to properly clean a cast iron pan?

  1. Clean the pan before it’s too late which means clean it before it cools down.
  1. Using a brush, paper towel, rag, or sponge, wipe clean any stuck-on bits of food.
  1. Rinse the skillet thoroughly with hot water.
  1. Use a paper towel or rag or wipe dry the skillet. Alternatively, put the skillet on the stovetop and heat o a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes or until the skillet is completely dry.
  1. When the pan is completely dry, lightly coat it with some oil using a paper towel or rag.
  1. The coating should be rubbed so that It is even throughout the pan and the pan doe not looks greasy.
  1. Store your seasoned cast iron pan in a dry place.

Other FAQs about Stoves which you may be interested in.

How to clean behind a stove?

How to remove major rust from your cast iron pan?

This method is only applicable If the pan is extensively damaged with big patches of rust, stains, stuck-on food residues, and dull patches. 

To strip this seasoning, you will need an Easy-Off Oven Cleaner. Ensure safety by wearing gloves and doing this exercise outdoors.


Cover a large piece of concrete with a heavy-duty trash bag such that It can be easily pulled up to wrap the skillet.


Place the skillet in an upended position on the plastic-covered concrete. Spray it with the Easy-Off Oven Cleaner protecting your skin. Flip it and do the same with the other side.

Let sit

Pull up the plastic and leave your skillet in the trash bag for 24 hours.


Clean your pan wearing gloves and rubbing it in soapy water using steel wool.


Soak your skillet in a solution of white vinegar and water for ½ -1 hour (1:1).

Rinse and dry 

Rinse the soaked skillet in warm water. Dry using paper towels. Then immediately rub with a light coat of oil.


Bake the skillet at 500℉ for 1 hour. Season again when the pan has cooled down.


In his article, we answered the question “How to season a cast iron skillet on the stove?”, and how to remove major rust from your cast iron skillet?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.