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How to Cure an Iron Skillet

Liza Blau

Cast-iron is durable cookware that can last a lifetime if cared for properly. You can use a cast-iron skillet in the oven or on the stove top to saute, sear and bake. A cast-iron skillet needs to be cured, also known as seasoned, however, before its first use. Curing is a process that bakes on a thin coat of oil to create a non-stick cooking surface that also protects the iron from rusting.

A cast-iron skillet must be cured to protect its surface.
  1. Rub 2 tbsp. of shortening or vegetable oil evenly inside the cast-iron skillet using a dry paper towel.. Cover the skillet's entire surface, including its sides. Only a thin coating is needed.

  2. Place the cast-iron skillet upside down in a 250 F oven.

  3. Put a sheet of tin foil or aluminum foil on the shelf underneath the skillet. It will catch drips during the curing process.

  4. Increase the oven temperature when the skillet surface is tacky. Touch the skillet's inner surface with a spoon after the skillet has been in the 250 F oven for 15 minutes to check whether or not the surface is slightly sticky. When the surface is tacky, turn the oven setting to 500 F. Allow it to cure for 1 hour.

  5. Turn off the oven when the skillet develops an even black sheen over its entire inner surface.

  6. Cool the skillet to room temperature in the oven.