How to make a cast iron pan non-stick

Cast-iron skillets are a versatile and long-lasting addition to any kitchen.

Cast-iron frying pans must be seasoned to produce a nonstick finish.Cast-iron frying pans must be seasoned to produce a nonstick finish.
Unlike modern nonstick skillets that are ready to go right out of the box, cast-iron skillets have to be seasoned properly to achieve a nonstick finish. Seasoning a cast iron skillet properly takes time and patience, but if well cared for, the pan can last a lifetime.

Clean your cast-iron pan, using steel wool if necessary to remove any rust or stuck-on debris. (This is the only time you should use such a method to clean your skillet. After seasoning, use only hot water and a dish cloth.) Dry your skillet using a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Insert your skillet. Bake the empty skillet for 1 hour.

Remove the skillet from the oven with a pot holder. Be very careful, because the skillet is very hot. Sit the skillet on top of the stove or on a trivet on the counter top.

Place 2 to 3 tbsp. of solid vegetable shortening in the pan. It will begin to melt right away. Using a basting brush, cover the entire inside of the pan with the shortening. Make sure that you get all the way up the sides and around a pour spout if your pan has one.

Pour the excess shortening from the pan into a bowl. You can save this shortening for the next time you need to season your pan.

Lay a sheet of aluminum foil, slightly larger than the size of your skillet, on the rack in your oven.

Turn your skillet upside and lay it on top of the foil. The foil will keep any extra shortening from dripping into the bottom of your oven and making a mess.

Bake your skillet for 4 hours at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the skillet carefully, using a pot holder. It is now seasoned and ready to use. You can repeat this seasoning process whenever your pan starts to stick.

Things You Will Need

  • Solid vegetable shortening
  • Basting brush
  • Aluminum foil


  • Always wash your skillet as soon after using as possible. Never leave it to soak in the sink. If it begins to stick, pour some water in the pan and set it on a hot burner. As the water begins to simmer, it will loosen the stuck-on food. Always dry your cast-iron skillet thoroughly after washing it.