Amazing Cast Iron Seasoning

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!

Amazing Cast Iron Seasoning | This method for cast iron seasoning creates a hard, non-stick surface. That's why I call it amazing! If you look at the science behind the seasoning of cast iron, you'll find that using cold-pressed, unrefined, organic flaxseed oil, with its low smoke point, is the best for achieving a hard, slick, lasting finish on cast iron. So I followed the seasoning recommendation for using flax seed oil with my always-sticking cast iron pans, and I’m thrilled with the results! Here is how I did it . . . [by Jami] |

Wardee: My good and local friend Jami is guest posting today, sharing about the amazing new technique she found for seasoning cast iron. I use this method for all my cast iron now and it is fantastic! And, I demonstrate it in the March 2012 thank you video and I share three cooking tips in this free YouTube video.

This method for cast iron seasoning creates a hard, non-stick surface. That’s why I call it amazing!

The following information is based on the article, The Chemistry of Cast Iron Seasoning, posted on Sheryl’s Blog. In her blog she writes:

“The seasoning on cast iron is formed by fat polymerization, fat polymerization is maximized with a drying oil, and flaxseed oil is the only drying oil that’s edible.”

Amazing Cast Iron Seasoning | This method for cast iron seasoning creates a hard, non-stick surface. That's why I call it amazing! If you look at the science behind the seasoning of cast iron, you'll find that using cold-pressed, unrefined, organic flaxseed oil, with its low smoke point, is the best for achieving a hard, slick, lasting finish on cast iron. So I followed the seasoning recommendation for using flax seed oil with my always-sticking cast iron pans, and I’m thrilled with the results! Here is how I did it . . . [by Jami] |

She goes into all the science behind seasoning of cast iron, but the gist of this is – that the use of cold-pressed, unrefined, organic flaxseed oil, with its low smoke point, is the best for achieving a hard, slick, lasting finish on cast iron. So that’s what we are going to use…..

“It’s possible to use a suboptimal oil for seasoning, like Crisco or bacon drippings, and still end up with a usable pan. Many (most) people do this. But the seasoning will be relatively soft, not as nonstick, and will tend to wear off. If you want the hardest, slickest seasoning possible, use the right oil: flaxseed oil.”

I followed the seasoning recommendation for using flax seed oil with my always-sticking cast iron pans, and I’m thrilled with the results! Here is how I did it . . .

The Science

When cooking, we don’t want the oils we use to get to the point of smoking, because then they release free radicals which are carcinogenic. This is called the smoke point. I will add a chart of various oil’s smoke points at the end of this article.

With seasoning, hitting the smoke point and going beyond that is exactly what we want. We want the oil to become so heated that a chemical reaction occurs (polymerization), which changes the oil into a sealant of sorts. So the science of seasoning with oil is the opposite of the science of cooking with oil.  We want our flax seed oil to be in the open pours of our cast iron pans when it changes into a sealant.


  • Steel kitchen pad, used for scrubbing pans
  • Good, thick oven mitts
  • Paper towels, or Cotton cloth
  • High grade, organic flax seed oil* – should be refrigerated and fresh; check the expiration date.

PLEASE NOTE:  You should never use the flax seed oil for your cooking when using heat because it smokes at very low temperatures, releasing free radicals which can get into your food. However, this oil is very good for you when consumed unheated like in salad dressings and such.

Cleaning Old Cast Iron

It was suggested that if your pan is very badly coated with stuck on gunk you can use oven cleaner to ‘strip it’ and start fresh from bare iron. This reminds me of the old advise of throwing a really bad pan into a very hot fire and burn the stuff off. Of course oven cleaner is composed of harsh chemicals so use this tip at your own discretion and with great caution. I went a different route that worked just as well for me.

What I Did: Cleaning Old Pans For Re-Seasoning

I set my “everything sticks” cast iron pan on a burner and heated it (FYI – I have a glass stove top). I heated the pan, old oil, bits of burnt food and all for a couple of minutes on a medium temperature . . . Then I took my steel kitchen pad and began to scrub all that old gunk off the inside of the pan with the heat still on. I scrubbed the inside walls also, but not as vigorous as they were not as bad. I watched as everything started loosening and coming off.

Next, I put my warm pan on it’s side, under hot water to rinse it all that stuff off.  Using a stiff kitchen brush to scrub as the hot water ran over my pan. I put the pan back on the burner, turned off the heat and wiped it dry and clean with paper towels, leaving it there to completely dry and then cool. Success! I was left with a dry-grey looking pan with no seasoning on the inside. If you have food stuck on the handle, bottom or outside of your pan you’ll need to clean and re-season those areas as well.

If you have a pan you just purchased new – heat on your stove, add some oil and continue with my process outlined above for cleaning off that factory pre-seasoning.  The factory seasoning is soft and will not last long.  Also sometimes what the manufacture uses to finish the pans can be questionable.  This is especially true if you buy foreign made, pre-seasoned cast iron pans – so it’s the a very good to just start fresh from the bare iron.

The Best Process For Re-Seasoning Cast Iron

Seems like everything having to do with cast iron starts with heating; this is no exception.

Step 1: Pre-heat your pan to 200°F in your oven to open its pores and remove all moisture for about 10 -15 minutes, or when the pan looks dry and your sure it’s warmed up.

Step 2: Get your flax seed oil from the fridge and shake it really well to mix the contents. Then remove the pan from the oven using a good oven mitt and sit it on your stove-top. Squirt about a quarter size drop of oil (for large skillet) in the pan and using your hand, or utensil rub this into the pan all over.  Be sure to get every crack, and be generous.  As you do this the pan will be cooling off so using your fingers lightly will become more doable.  The pan will have a very shiny appearance at this point.

Step 3: Now wipe all that oil off with paper towels or a non-fuzzy cotton cloth. YES, all of it! It will look dull and no longer shiny, like all the flax oil is gone, but it isn’t. A very thin layer remains, and that’s exactly what you want. You are going to bake (polymerize) this oil into the pores of the pan, thereby sealing them.

Step 4: Now turn up your oven to its highest temp – mine went to 450°F (anywhere between 400 – 500 is good). Place your wiped-off pan upside down into the oven. You shouldn’t need any foil to catch drippings, because there had better not be enough oil left to drip! When your oven comes up to temp set a timer for one hour. At the end of an hour, turn off the oven but do not open the oven door. Let the pan cool inside the oven, about 1 hour, or until it’s cooled enough to handle. The pan will come out of the oven a little darker, but matte in appearance – not the semi-gloss you’re aiming for. It needs more coats. In fact, it needs at least six coats.

Step 5: Repeat Steps 1 through 4 five more times.

Note: During your first seasoning session, the pan will smoke a lot, so be ready to open windows or use fans as needed. Soon the smoking will be finished and the rest of the time the polymerizing will have no smell/smoke. The first smoking is not just the flax seed oil but also some of the old stuff on the bottom of the pan that didn’t get removed completely. Every session beyond the first will not smoke as bad.

Care And Cleaning Of Newly Seasoned Cast Iron

Most of the time I only have to wipe out my pans with paper towels. Other times I use either a wet-method or my dry-method for cleaning depending on how stuck-on the mess is.

NOTE:  For best results with keeping your cast iron clear always clean your pans while they are warm, just after using!

When sticky sauces and such have been cooked I will run hot water over the pan and scrub it with a non-stick pad or brush at the same time. Then I place the pan back on the still warm burner and wipe dry with a paper towel.  I look for a semi-shiny finish with no dull spots.

At times you may see some dull areas on the bottom of your pan.  This is a very small amount of cooked on food/oil.  You remove this by scrubbing your pan while it’s warm on the burner with a steal kitchen scrub pad and some oil – either the left over oil from whatever you were just cooking or a bit of new oil.  Scrub until your steal pad slides smooth on the surface and you no longer see or feel any raised areas.  Wipe out completely with paper towels and allow to cool.  Now look at your pan – the finish should look semi-gloss again, no dull spots, and it should appear smooth.  At least as smooth as cast iron can be.

You can see the nice semi-gloss finish this process puts on a pan from this picture above.

I have to add that the entire experience was very straight forward and easy.I’m no longer tense over re-seasoning cast iron. I hope you will give this a try and have the same great results I’ve had.

Smoke Points Of Various Oils

FatQualitySmoke Point
Almond oil420°F216°C
Avocado oil520°F271°C
Canola oilExpeller Press464°F240°C
Canola oilHigh Oleic475°F246°C
Canola oilRefined470°F240°C
Coconut oilUnrefined350°F177°C
Coconut oilRefined450°F232°C
Corn oilUnrefined320°F160°C
Corn oilRefined450°F232°C
Cottonseed oil420°F216°C
Flax seed oilUnrefined225°F107°C
Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter)485°F252°C
Grapeseed oil420°F216°C
Hazelnut oil430°F221°C
Hemp oil330°F165°C
Macadamia oil413°F210°C
Olive oilExtra virgin375°F191°C
Olive oilVirgin420°F216°C
Olive oilPomace460°F238°C
Olive oilExtra light468°F242°C
Olive oil, high quality (low acidity)Extra virgin405°F207°C
Palm oilDifractionated455°F235°C
Peanut oilUnrefined320°F160°C
Peanut oilRefined450°F232°C
Rice bran oil490°F254°C
Safflower oilUnrefined225°F107°C
Safflower oilSemirefined320°F160°C
Safflower oilRefined510°F266°C
Sesame oilUnrefined350°F177°C
Sesame oilSemirefined450°F232°C
Soybean oilUnrefined320°F160°C
Soybean oilSemirefined350°F177°C
Soybean oilRefined450°F232°C
Sunflower oilUnrefined225°F107°C
Sunflower oilSemirefined450°F232°C
Sunflower oil, high oleicUnrefined320°F160°C
Sunflower oilRefined450°F232°C
Tea seed oil485°F252°C
Vegetable shortening360°F182°C
Walnut oilUnrefined320°F160°C
Walnut oilSemirefined400°F204°C

Give it a try and let us know how you like this method!

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. Christie says

    Thank you! I had been wondering why my cast iron wasn’t maintaining its good seasoning. I was using butter, bacon grease, olive oil, and seemed to have to reseason every couple of weeks, and still had times that cooking anything liquidy (even just adding water to reheat something) would totally go through the seasoning. I’ll be buying some flax seed oil!

  2. Robin says

    Thanks for posting this! I have a cast iron pan I bought a few years ago that I finally gave up on (I think I even ran it thru the oven’s self-clean cycle), but I haven’t seemed to master the art of properly caring for my pans, so it’s been kind of waiting around, staring at me…:0)

    I’m excited to try the flax seed oil-it would be awesome to be able to use my pan again!

    I do have a cast iron grill grate that I love (and actually bought pretty recently), but it ALREADY sticks quite a bit, especially the grill side, so I’m a little frustrated about the fact that it hasn’t seemed to “last” so long, so probably I’ll be trying this method with that one as well. Thanks!!

  3. Laura Fortin says

    I’ve had a pan that needs re-seasoning for a while and I’ve totally been avoiding it! This info is just what I needed–I actually feel inspired to do it now : ) I’ll even post some pics of the process so everyone can see the “during” part. Thank you!

  4. Amy says

    Great tutorial, thanks! I have a few pans I’d like to re-season; including a flat grill. Since it takes 6(!) cycles, could these pans be done at the same time, or would it be too hard to adjust the temperature/timing to accommodate this?


    • Jami says

      “could these pans be done at the same time, or would it be too hard to adjust the temperature/timing to accommodate this?”

      Sure they can, not a problem. The process is actually very flexible, so no worries if a pan gets hotting or stays in the oven longer.

  5. Kelli says

    Thank you so much Jami for sharing this! While it does sound labor-intensive and time consuming, if the end result is a truely non-stick pan, it will be worth it. I can’t imagine not putting a layer of oil in it every time I use my pan to try and re-season it.

    I can’t seem to make scrambled eggs without them sticking. Does this work for even scrambled eggs? Also, how do you know when flax oil has gone bad? I have some in my fridge, and I didn’t know you were supposed to shake it, and it looks a little brown and I don’t know if that is normal or if I should throw it away. It was pale yellow when I first started to use it.

    I’ll let you know when I try this how it goes, I will be so happy if it works!

    • Jami says

      “I can’t seem to make scrambled eggs without them sticking. Does this work for even scrambled eggs?”

      How to cook using cast iron is a whole other article, there are tips for success and methods for cleaning that are not covered here.

      That being said, yes it does work (in it’s way) for scrambled eggs.
      Cooking: It helps if you add water to your whipped eggs, thinning the sticky yolk (do not use milk). And if you don’t over cook the eggs. Adding ‘extra’ fats, especially veggie fats, will not help with the cooking or cleaning. Thinking one needs more lubrication is a common mistake.

      Cleaning: Some egg will stick, mostly on the sides and grove of a pan where you cannot scrape completely while cooking. After removing the eggs, take your metal scrub pad (no soap or water) and knock the bits of egg loose from the pan; then wipe them off into the trash with a paper towel – done!

      “Also, how do you know when flax oil has gone bad?”

      Smell it, it will smell bad, strong or fishy. Normally fax oil has a mild smell to it. As for color, this can very for many other reasons so it is not a sound indicator of rancidity.

  6. Christina says

    Per the chart on smoke points, I’m wondering if you think the safflower or sunflower oils would work as well. Their smoke points are the same. Has anyone tried either of these oils?

    • Jami says

      “Per the chart on smoke points, I’m wondering if you think the safflower or sunflower oils would work as well. Their smoke points are the same. Has anyone tried either of these oils?”

      All these oils are in the low range for smoke point – 225 F – the Unrefined is the key to their low smoke points – the smoke points are much higher for refined oils.
      : Canola Oil, Unrefined
      : Flaxseed Oil, Unrefined
      : Safflower Oil, Unrefined
      : Sunflower Oil, Unrefined

      I have not tested any out except flax seed oil, and I am not an expert on cooking oils.
      I do know that vegetable oils stick or bond in a way that animal fat/oils do not. This is important for seasoning :) And we all know about the reason for wanting a low-smoke point now – to change the oil into a sealant of sorts. So I would have no problem giving one of these unrefined, organic, low smoke point oils a try.

      Unrefined oil: Unrefined oils are usually cold-pressed, which means the oils are mechanically extracted by a machine which applies pressure and not heat. This leaves the high flavor and nutrient content in the oils, making them a healthier choice. You may have seen “Cold Pressed Coconut Oil” at the store. This means it is an unrefined oil.

      Refined Oil: Refined oils are extracted using heat and a solvent, which are then bleached and deodorized. This processing also changes the smoke point.

      I hope this helps ~

  7. Christina says

    By the way… this is an outstanding article! Like others, I have been frustrated that despite my best efforts, the seasoning on my pans does not ‘stick’. I can’t wait to try this method!!

  8. says

    Christina – If you click over to Sheryl’s blog you’ll see an additional discussion of why flax seed oil is better than the others with similar smoke points. Here are two key sentences.

    Ironically, it’s for exactly these reasons that the best oil for seasoning cast iron is an oil high in omega-3 fatty acids – in particular, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Free radicals are actually what enable the polymerization. Drying oils, which produce the hardest polymers, are characterized by high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially the omega-3 fatty acid ALA.

  9. says

    What great information!!! I have 3 cast iron pieces that I use often, but would use a great deal more if they were coated as yours is. I am inspired. I’m going to start with my 2 burner skillet tomorrow. Thank you for a GREAT and very practical post!!!!


  10. Lanise says

    Thanks for really great instructions. I have a couple of skillets I need to do. I’ve been putting coconut oil on them, but I guess that’s not right. I have a really dumb question though. I know we’re not supposed to cook with flax oil, so why is it OK to put it on these pans and then cook with them? Sorry if it’s really obvious. Thanks.

    • Liz says

      I am wondering this also. Do the negative properties of rancid/heated flax oil go away after the pan is seasoned, thus not contaminating food every time the pan is used? IOW, once the oil seals the pan, are there any residual negative effects? It seems odd that you can safely use a pan that has been seasoned with something we shouldn’t consume after it’s been heated.

      • Jami says

        Hi Liz –

        In the article above you can read:

        “With seasoning, hitting the smoke point and going beyond that is exactly what we want. We want the oil to become so heated that a chemical reaction occurs (polymerization), which changes the oil into a sealant of sorts. So the science of seasoning with oil is the opposite of the science of cooking with oil. We want our flax seed oil to be in the open pours of our cast iron pans when it changes into a sealant.”

        I hope this helps answer your question….

  11. Roxanne says

    Thanks for the information. My husband is always telling me to season my pans. I have quite of few cast iron pans from my grandmother, well, I will be pulling those out real soon.

  12. Mary says

    I almost missed this post. Caught in on the Week In Review. What great information. Thanks Jami and Wardee. I have 6 cast iron pieces I am going to treat with this process. (Including an aebleskiver pan I bought at Goodwill a few months ago! Wardee – we are definitely kindred second-hand shoppers!) I also bought an American Harvest 8 tray dehydrator for $5 yesterday at a yard sale!!!!! (I have a dehydrator an Aunt gave me that’s shaped like a microwave and the size of Rhode Island – it’s going to a new home).

  13. Laura says

    A naturopath of mine strictly warned me to NEVER heat flax seed oil because it could be harmful to consume. Here is some information that might be helpful.

    Found from

    Spectrum Naturals also produces cold pressed organic flax oil, the most potent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids of all oils. Flax oil is best suited for salads, dressings, dips, spreads or already cooked meals. Heating flax oil with temperatures above 210ºF will cause molecular changes in the oil making it harmful for the body. Flax oil is very unstable and should be kept refrigerated.

    Typically, unrefined oils may be used for low to medium heat cooking as they can only withstand temperatures of 250 to 350ºF, depending on the specific type of oil and manufacturer.

    Rapuzel makes organic oils using true cold pressed methods. Here are the smoke points and suggested uses for some of their oils as suggested on their web site.

    Rapunzel Organic Cold Pressed Oils (Unrefined) Smoke Points Pressing Temperature Suggested Cooking Methods & Temperatures
    °F (°C) °F (°C)
    Olive Oil 280 -138 95 -35 Cold salads, dressings, garnishes & light sauté
    Sunflower Oil 450 -232 95 -35 Cold, sauté, low-medium heat
    Canola Oil 440 -227 95 -35 Cold, ideal for sauté, low-medium heat
    Sesame Oil 350 -176 95 -35 Cold, sauté, low-medium heat
    Soy Oil 443 -228 104 -40 Low, medium and light frying
    Safflower Oil 318 -159 104 -40 Best cold, or light sauté

    Just thought I would give a second view. I am not sure if the flax seed oil that has been cured onto the pan would be harmful or not.

  14. Linda says

    Thanks for this info. I have not tried flax seed oil on my cast iron, but will do it this way now. When I have a piece of cast iron that is really gunky, I put it in my oven when I turn on the self cleaning. Really cleans the pans nicely.

  15. Christie says

    O.k. I’ve been meaning to buy a cast-iron pan, but haven’t thought I would be able to make it non-stick w/the seasoning. I am ready to give it a try. What should I buy for a basic (large) skillet? Are all created equal? Any good sources? I need this later in your e-course so I need to get it ordered… :)

    • says

      Christie – I like my 8″ skillets. They fit perfectly on the large burner of my electric stove. Sometimes they are a bit small though – a 10″ would be really nice, but overly large on my stove. When buying, look for unseasoned, if there is such a thing. You what, I’m going to ask Dani her opinion – she’s been commenting here lately. She is setting up a cast iron online shop and she also knows a ton about this, so I’d like to get her opinion on brands and such.

      • Carol says

        I noticed you use your iron skillet on a glass top stove I was told I could not use mine on my glass top.. Do you have a special glass top? I would love to use my iron skillet all the time.
        Thank you

  16. says

    Lanise – I had the same question. And I’m not totally settled, but I think it is because no matter what fat you use, it needs to get beyond the smoke point and chemically change into a seasoning. So it is not “smoked.” The same thing that makes flax seed oil so good (high amounts of ALA) is what used to be so good in lard 100 years ago when pigs were raised better. See Cheryl’s article for more details on this.

    Laura – I know this is hard to believe. I’m not sure I 100% believe it myself. But I’m coming around because this technique doesn’t ask us to “smoke” an oil – it asks for such high heat that it changes into a polymer – and this would happen with whatever oil we use. The flax seed oil makes it not gummy, though.

  17. Dani says


    I spoke with my IT guru (yes, that is Dear Hubby) regarding our website, and he is still adding items and prettying up the site, but it is working. Regarding the best “brand” for cast iron, in our research, we have found that many times, you will get what you pay for–we had some really cheap, made-in-China fajita pans that we ended up never using because, brand new, the surface was so pitted that no amoung of seasoning would have helped. So, whether you buy from us, or from anywhere else, we do suggest buying a name-brand as opposed to some special in a catalog.

    On that note, hubby has made an effort to list as many brands as possible on our site, since he wants to be the one place that people can go for whatever brand they’re searching. You’ll see all different brands on the site, including some enameled cast iron, which is considerably more expensive, and a moot subject for this blog post! However, none of what we have listed is the poor-quality stuff that you get at the Dollar Store.

    Without further ado, the website is simply and we welcome any feedback, as the site is still under construction. Our recommendation based on what we have listed on the site (again, whether you buy from us or from somewhere else): buy what you like and can afford. I have one piece of enamel (a stockpot), and everything else I cook with is strictly cast-iron. One thing to keep in mind if you haven’t cooked much with cast iron is that the skillets will likely be much heavier than the pans you cook with now; my wrists are in an intensive training regimen to be able to hold the pan while I scrape sauces onto entrees!

    Thanks goes out to Jami and Wardee for this great post on seasoning cast iron!

  18. Brenda LaMont says

    I recently bought a pre-seasoned 14″ cast iron Skillet by Paula Dean from Ross for 29$ and I LOVE the size. I use it on the grill also at 5-600 degrees and it cooks meats beautifully rare and warm. It was pretty well pre-seasoned;
    I must remember to wipe them out instead of washing them or rinsing them and they will keep on doing thier thing!

  19. Connie Fletcher says

    Thanks Jami and Wardee for these great tips on seasoning/re-seasoning cast iron skillets. I bought quite a few a number of years ago, and due to their stick-ablilty, I don’t use them much. When the weather warms up (snow on the ground today!!!!) I will be re-seasoning them! I have heard that Spring is, in fact , coming, and after last week (60 degrees and sunny), I thought that rumor might be true, but we’re back to making snowmen today! Oh well…….

  20. says

    I want to update everyone on my pans.

    I completely re-seasoned two so far. It is a long process because I don’t have that much time. I would love to have a self-clean cycle on the oven, but I don’t. So between elbow grease and oven cleaner, my pans are mostly still in process.

    But, I have finished an 8″ skillet and an ableskiver pan.

    I have been using the skillet almost exclusively for everything the last two weeks – frying eggs, warming up rice, hash browns, pan fried salmon, and more… The seasoning is amazing! So amazing. Nothing sticks like it used to. Foods get crispy and come right up with a spatula. It cleans easily and the finish is smooth, not gummy or cruddy. I scrape, rinse, and dry. Hardly any care at all.

    I applied the seasoning to the 8″ skillet about 9 times. I could tell after 6 that it needed more because there were two parts that were slower to be seasoned. So I kept applying coats until those were seasoned well.

    I have not hardly had a smoking problem at all, either. The kitchen smells, but nothing smokes.

    Still to go: 2 waffle irons, another 8″ skillet (really a toughy!), and a cornbread pan.

    Thank you SO MUCH, Jami! What you shared is revolutionary. :-)

  21. Jami says

    Lot’s of great questions here – now I think I should add some Q & A to the article :-)

    Ellen – Don’t wait! All this heating is more welcomed at this time of the year. I opened up my small kitchen window just for the first session and didn’t change the house temp at all. Winter, Fall and Spring = best times to re-season.

    Amy – “Since it takes 6(!) cycles, could these pans be done at the same time?”
    YES :-) Not a problem, just heat, oil and bake ’em all at the same time.

    Kelli – “While it does sound labor-intensive and time consuming, if the end result is a truely non-stick pan, it will be worth it.”
    You know it really isn’t, because you don’t have to be fussy about the time, bake it over an hour if you can’t get to it. Taking it out and applying the oil, then wiping off takes well under a minute. I ran 3 sessions the first day, and 3 the next when I got around to it – no big deal at all. Did my 3 pans at the same time – done!

    “I can’t imagine not putting a layer of oil in it every time I use my pan to try and re-season it.”
    This brings up another point I wish I had covered in the article. The difference between oils, in this case vegetable and animal oils.

    Seems vegetable oils (especially coconut) can gunk up over time and re-heatings. And this tacky residue (old oil) can actually help to remove a soft-seasoning (this is what I did wrong that broke down the seasoning in my cast iron I believe).

    This doesn’t seem to be the same issue when leaving animal lard in a cast iron, but I haven’t yet run a side by side test. I have left a very light coat of peanut oil in my pan and didn’t noticed the tacky when using it later as I did with the coconut oil, but I am very careful now. I lean hard towards leaving a ‘dry’ sealed pan when I’m done using it now days.

    Since the pan is hard-seasoned we don’t have to grease-it-up all the time like before when it was prone to sticking.

    “I can’t seem to make scrambled eggs without them sticking. Does this work for even scrambled eggs? ”
    Yes, I have made egg foo young 3 times in my pan since seasoning it. And while the egg may attach in a few places on the sides and seam it comes off easily with a pass of the spatula.

    I would not try using old flax-seed oil – just get a fresh bottle.

    If you have a pan with a good seasoning – flax oil or some other, that is becoming tacky, try just running it through the burning cycle (1 hour at high temp). This will burn off old oil film and get you back to your seasoned pan.
    If you feel your seasoning has been compromised and/or removed – then start from the cleaning step. Follow this advise even after you re-season your pan with FSO, to keep from building up a tacky later.

    Laura – The high heat, for at least an hour+, chemically changes the make up of the oil completely. It is now chemically a new substance, a hard ‘thin’ sealant, that will no longer off-gas, or break off easily.

    As for me – I would worry more about (1) other seasonings that are ‘soft’, which can come off into food more easily, and/or (2) cooking with other added oils at their smoking point or (3) even not wiping out the pan(s) after their use leaving oils to go rancid, tacky or attract dust contaminants.

    I really feel this seasoning, when done correctly, is very safe and forms a better bond with the cast iron.

    “I am ready to give it a try. What should I buy for a basic (large) skillet? Are all created equal?”
    Wardee & Dani – gave good advice on sizes, unseasoned pans and brands.

    I would add that cast iron made in china, Twain, etc. come with a very bad chemical seasoning on them. Strip these pans and start fresh!
    American made – pre-seasoned cast iron has a safer seasoning, but it is soft, and can disappear quickly depending on how well you care for your pans.

    If you are worried about chemicals then always strip and start over :-) This way you know what’s on your pans.

    My cast iron skillet is 12″, it fits my large burner nicely, and is a nice size for large and small needs.


    Wardee, maybe you allow me to edit the article and add this additional information one day :-) You also reminded me I have to dig out my cast iron waffle iron and season that sticky bugar too!


  22. rachel says

    So, when you cook eggs what kind of oil do you use? I used to make omelets but I have not been able to make one in the cast iron pan because of the sticking issue.

  23. Jami says

    Have you tried to re-seasoned your pan? How about a good cleaning in the oven?

    Fixing your sticky issue would be the best way to go, but if you can’t just now then maybe you can find an organic peanut oil – this oil is very slippery. It might help your sticking food.

  24. says

    No need for oven cleaner – throw the iron in the oven next time you run the self-cleaning cycle, if you have one.

    I’d want the opinion of someone who was both a chemist & naturally-minded (understands the issues with overheated polyunsaturated fats) before doing this.

    Our pans are beautifully nonstick, including the pan we use daily for eggs – they literally slide around the pan! We season it the traditional way with lard from pastured pigs (glad to see in the comments section that that is what this flaxseed oil method is trying to replicate!) – about an hour in the oven, just once. Then the first month we use it, we heat it for just 10 seconds after cooking, put a bit of lard or unrefined coconut oil in it, turn heat off and wipe oil in with a paper towel. After that, we just cook with normal amounts of fats and of course, never use soap, steel wool, etc., and it rarely takes more than 10 seconds to clean it after cooking.

    • Ginger says

      thanks for your reply on lard — I have some fat from a pastured pig that I am planning on rendering. Also wondering if that would work instead of the flax oil. Since I have very old pans that are ‘machine finished’ from my Grandma, I am very hesitant on putting any steel wool on these pans — steel is harder than iron is it not? These pans have a glass like finish, but still have a problem with foods sticking. Also have heard not to use anything with tomatoes. ??

  25. Brent Bolton says

    Hey Jami…..great info. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this explained better in the 30 years I’ve been cooking in cast iron. Thank you. I was wondering where you got all of your data on smoke points? Not that I doubt anything, but when I pass info along, I like to be able to verify the reference. I’m teaching a class at Lehmans Hardware on dutch oven cooking over Memorial Day weekend and would love to share this at the class. Thanks again !!

  26. Jami says

    Hi Brent,

    There were several charts of the smoking points on the Internet,
    however I didn’t want to take anyone’s so I used the one off of
    wikipedia (which is public domain :-) I assumed it came from a
    science book somewhere, but I’m sure they quoted their source.

    I’m glad you found the article informative. I’m going to be updating
    it to add details on cleaning the pans after use, because it works out
    a bit different for these pan than what I think cast iron users are used
    to…… I should have my update done by this weekend.



  27. Melinda Ward says

    I must have done something wrong. I followed the directions exactly and did it 6 times. I cooked an egg in the pan this morning and it stuck just like it always did. What did I do wrong? The pan is definitely shiny but not non-stick. Also, I had a problem with rubbing the oil into the pan with my fingers as the pan was very hot after just coming out of the 200 degree oven. I used a paper towel to help rub it in because the pan was just too hot for my fingertips. Maybe that’s what I did wrong?

    • says

      Melinda – Did you use any oil/fat when you cooked the egg? These pans have a non-stick like finish in terms of coming clean, but I’ve found that I still need to cook with fat and also keep the heat low. They work beautifully. I hope that will help you. I’m sure Jami will have more to add, too. :)

    • says

      Another question for Melinda, if she did all the seasoning right (and it was enough!): Did you heat up the pan before you added the eggs? I never have problems with eggs sticking in my pan (and I haven’t done the FSO method yet, but I have everything stacked up, ready to scrub) as long as I heat it up first. It took me a while to learn that trick, though! Try it.

  28. Jami says

    Hey Melinda,

    The pans are hot, sometimes waiting just a minute will make the difference. I’m not sure if using a paper towel would do anything, but it may not lay down enough oil in the beginning, so this next time only use them to remove the oil.

    Here’s what I suggest – put your pan in the hot oven at high temp for 30 min. just to take off anything not sealed as of yet. Then let it cool down in the oven as I direct, but take it out while it is still real hot (200F) and use a wooden spoon or anything non-absorbent to help spread the oil this time. Don’t worry about the time it takes you as the oil needs to sit on the pan just a bit before you wipe it off with your PT. Then continue with the directions, wiping off the oil and heating your pan at high temp for one hour and cooling in the oven for one hour more.

    For cooking eggs use oil, but just before you put in your eggs lay down some course salt and put the eggs on it. This too helps the eggs once cooked to slide on the pan. And consider using a nice organic peanut oil just for frying your eggs – this oil is very slick and can help when cooking certain foods.

    Eggs can be hard, especially scrambled eggs – however try my suggestions, I’m sure you will see better results. Don’t give up . . . .

    Please let me know how it turns out.
    You can email me at jami dot cw at

  29. Melinda Ward says

    Thank you Wardee and Jami. I do cook my eggs in coconut oil and sometimes a small mixture of butter and coconut oil. I learned from the Food Network channel a long time ago that eggs are best cooked “low and slow” and that is how I always cook my eggs.

    I will try Jami’s suggestions and let you know how it comes out. You don’t have to worry about me ever giving up! I am determined to eat and cook healthier and it is always a trial and error for me :-) so I am used to that now. I will let you know when I get it right 😉

  30. Claudine says

    I was so excited to try the seasoning of the cast iron and I just tried it yesterday and followed the instructions exactly. Today, I made a skillet meal in my cast iron skillet and after washing the skillet, the pan looks on the bottom like all of the seasoning came off. I don’t know why it did that. I followed the instructions completely. I baked the pans at 450 degrees and I got brand new organic refrigerated flax seed oil and it still did this. Does anyone know why it did that?

  31. Claudine says

    I thought it would be good to tell you what kind of flax seed oil I used. I used Barlean’s highest lignan content 100 % organic, pure & filtered, and cold pressed fresh daily(America’s best selling omega-3). I also did the process 6 times, just like it said a minimum of 6 times. I am very disappointed. It took a lot of time. Please help me figure out what went wrong. Thank you….

    • says

      Claudine, I think that high-lignan flax seed oil contains more fiber particles than regular flax seed oil — did you notice that the oil was quite cloudy? If that’s the case, they may have interfered with your seasoning! I would try it again, straining out as many of the particles as you can so they don’t stick to the pan when you’re rubbing in the oil.

  32. Jami says

    Claudine – I’m so sorry to hear your having a hard time with your pan.

    When I read your experience I wonder about a few of the following things –
    First, how your pan looked before you started, was all old seasoning really gone?
    After each session how did your pan look? Did you see the finish changing?
    And was it really really warm when you applied the oil before wiping? (open pores)
    How did it do as far as the smoking during each session?
    And did you let your cooking oil cool down before you started cleaning your pan after your first use? Cooled cooking oil can be gunky and be bad for a slick finish.

  33. Claudine says

    It appeared to me that all the old seasoning was gone. I used a wire brush to clean it and there wasn’t any caked on things. It actually looked very good before I started. I did see the finish changing after each session, especially after the 2nd session. It started to get darker. The pan was really, really warm when I applied the oil before wiping. I even used a wooden spatula to move the oil around and up the sides of the skillet, since it was too hot to use my hands (just like I read in an earlier post). I really didn’t have any smoking during each session. I was surprised because I didn’t notice any. I used olive oil for cooking in my pan for the 1st use and made a GNOWFGLINS skillet dish and it didn’t still have oil in it when I went to clean it. Did I do anything wrong? Thank you for your help.

  34. Jami says

    No, Claudine you didn’t do anything wrong.

    Try something for me and report your results – warm your pan on the stove, add a drop of oil and use a non-melting scrubber to oil-scrub the inside of the pan real good. Now when you are sure the surface is clean and smooth wipe it out with PT until the now dirty oil is gone.

    If your finish is still there, and I think it is, you will see it again now :-)

    Sometimes things we cook will leave a residue, this dulls the finish and looks like you’ve lost it altogether, but it’s just the residue covering your finish. Cleaning with the warm oil takes it off leaving your seasoned pan ready for it’s next job.

    One other thing I’ve learned as I use my pans is that animal fat (lard) is much better at not getting tacky or leaving a sticky film than the veggie/seed oils. So when cooking eggs now I use butter/beef lard or butter/coconut oil and not straight coconut oil. This seems to help with the ‘sticky’ a lot.

    Let me know how your pan turns out Claudine.


  35. says

    I know it’s been a while since this posted, but I just wanted to let you know how fabulously it worked on my cast iron pan! I think it only took maybe 4 coats before the pan wouldn’t even take more. I am just now adding another couple coats months later and attempting to salvage a cornstick pan with the same method. I think the multiple fine layers make such a difference; my pan is so shiny it looks like you could skate on it! Beautiful color.

  36. Jami says

    Great to hear about your experience :-) thanks for posting.

    I am finding better and better results myself when using animal fat (rendered beef lard, or real butter) in my pans that have the new hard seasoning on them. If I do use a vegetable oil I cut it with the animal lard half and half – this is really helping with the gunk heated vegetable oil can cause in some instances.

    Even after my daughter has not followed procedure and really stuck things to the pan, I can warm it, use oil and scrub it clean. Then the next time I use it I only use animal fat and everything comes right great.

    If anyone is still having sticky problems after re-seasoning with the flax-seed oil I recommend experimenting with the oils you use when cooking. This can make a big difference in your pan performance.

    All the best HB with your newly seasoned pan!


  37. christa says

    I just watched the sourdough e-course where Erin made sourdough crepes. I was amazed that her crepes didn’t stick at all to her cast iron skillet!! Just wondering if we could find out how she seasons her pans? I would love to make crepes in my skillet!

    • says

      Christa — I use the seasoning in this post, and my crepes don’t stick at all. Just like Erin’s. I’m not sure what she uses — but I’ll ask her to let you know!

  38. Patty says

    How shiny do these pans get? I want to do it right and not quit too soon but I have done 7 layers of flax at this point. My pans seem evenly semi-shiny. They look like they looked when I bought them (well the preseasoned ones.) I’m esp concerned about my muffin pans. They look shinier in the crease than the flat of the bottom but that also doesn’t appear to change from one layer to the next. I made muffins with the factory finish on them and they stuck horribly so I don’t want to do that again.

  39. Maureen says


    thank you so much for you expertise on this subject. I have a question. I need to go gluten free and need to get rid of anything that has remnants of gluten on it. I don’t want to part with my iron skillet if I don’t have to. Celiac posts claim that the skillet has “pores” that hold the gluten particles, thus making the pan almost impossible to de-gluten – although one method is a self clean oven cycle which supposedly might be able to burn out the gluten particles and allow for a re-season. My husband was going to use his electric drill with a steel head attachment and just try to remove everything to it’s bare state but I am not sure if that is enough. After studying these skillets as you have, do you think this would take care of my concerns? Of course, then re-seasoning it?

    Thank you!


  40. Jami says

    Nice to hear from you Maureen,

    I think either the (1) oven cleaning cycle, or (2) oven temp of 500F for 1 hour, or (3) your husbands sand it off plan will work just fine. I bet a few hours soak in ACV apple cider vinegar would do the trick too.

    Of course in each case you’ll have to re-season, in options #3 & #4 you’ll want to clean off sanding bits or rust before re-seasoning.

    There may be microscopic bits of gluten in the pans pours, but they cannot reproduce – so use over time will also eliminate them as a factor. The other methods listed above are just faster options.

    Also as Wardee and I have found – once we started soaking and fermenting, our gluten intolerant family members can now tolerate occasional gluten exposure. For my very reactive son I give him a big glass of kefir to drink when having things like birthday cake at friends parties – works like a charm now that we soak/ferment regularly his body can better regulate its self.

    I hope this helps answer your question.

    All the best,


  41. Maureen says

    Thank you Jami,

    I appreciate your reply. Sounds like good advice and I’m excited to keep my skillets! :)

    My doctor is watching my antibodies against the gluten so that will be a good marker once I go gluten free as to how I am doing with gluten in the future. For now, I will avoid it and then once I get a test result without antibodies, I will be able to try some traditionally prepared wheat/grain and see if there is an antibody response. It should be a very good test IF I can see the day I have no antibodies in my tests!

    Loved the post and thanks again!


  42. Gordon says

    I used this technique on a wok that I used. I’m on the 3rd coat right now and so far it looks very good. A nice even black coating is covering everything. I burned off the old coating using my ovens low setting cleaning cycle.

  43. says

    Re: cooking eggs

    I find that “low and slow” does not work at all for cooking eggs in cast iron and butter is the BEST fat, then lard/bacon drippings. When I cook eggs (in my one good pan, the others have yet to be re-seasoned : / ) I heat the pan until it is hot enough that when I apply some butter it sizzles (NOT smokes) initially, then settles. When I drop my eggs into the pan they also make a sizzling/frying sound. If you add enough butter the eggs seem to float around and you have to be careful that they do not fly off your flipper, they are so slippery!!

    Re: smoking point

    I read Sheryl’s blog on the subject and doesn’t she say NOT to smoke the oil?? She says that there should be no need to open the windows and that by first heating the (bacon fat) below smoking point she is then able to heat it above that temp without causing smoking as it has apparently been changed by the initial heating. She also started with avocado oil (6 times), so I am a bit confused now.

  44. Jami says

    My eggs can slip off my spatula too :-) one does have to be careful – lol

    Regarding Sheryl’s blog: I believe you are confusing her initial tests/experiments, cooking verses seasoning, her smoke point remarks and my experiences detailed here. It probably would be best to post specific questions about things shes says, on her blog.

    I mentioned opening windows (when first seasoning an old pan) because there will be ‘other stuff’ that will burn off at that high temp. This is my experience. I haven’t had to re-season any of my flaxseed-seasoned pans, but I imagine the smoking will be very minor the second time around.

    I hope this helps clear things up a bit. Let me know if you have any other questions about my method posted here….

  45. Meggan says

    :( just finished re-seasoning my cast iron with this method 2 weeks ago. Awesome! But then…my mom came to visit and while I was at work today, she made grilled cheese and…yes, washed my newly seasoned pan with soap and water :…( So now what…do I need to completely re-season through the whole process again, or just heat and rub? Or maybe only a few rounds instead of 6? What do you think it needs?

  46. Jami says

    I’d say just heat on the stove top, add some animal fat – lard, butter, whatever and rub it in good with a paper towel.

    Then see how it works . . . .

    I would think the polymerized oil in the pores would still be good, but if not (Mom could have a mean scrubbing arm) one re-season should get it back.

    Keep us updating on how it turns out.

    All the best

  47. Jane says

    Hi Jami – this is brilliant – thanks for posting!

    Just a question – do you oil the pan again after washing in water? Normally this is the standard advice for maintenance of cast iron pans. Or is the seasoning so tough it doesn’t need oiling after washing?

    I’m in Australia and cast iron isn’t big here – except for Le Creuset etc. I bought a few Lodge cast iron pans through ebay, and am just loving them. However I have found that the seasoning is quite soft, and I have redone it in the oven with coconut oil, and also with lard. So I’m very keen to strip them back and re-do with flax oil.

    I’m also really jealous of all you in the US who can find antique cast iron in thrift shops. They are very rare here, and the shipping cost is a killer.

    Thanks heaps

  48. Jami says

    Hi Jane,

    Yes that’s what I do – I place my CI pans back on the warm stove top after washing with water and then add a bit of fat and rub it all over. Remember a good seasoning is not like a coating substance (i.e. non stick ware) it’s a sealing, and so you will still need added oils/fats most of the time when cooking. This fat addition after washing is that sit on top fat that helps your foods turn out just right.

    I’m sorry to hear about your lack of cast iron situation. Seems like a big company that ships goods in anyway needs to be convinced to carry cast iron down under. Maybe a little research, and organizing a group of people who want cast iron would open this market up. 😉 I don’t suppose tourist and their carry on luggage is an option – lol

    All the best!

  49. Jenna says

    Hi Jami,

    Great information!

    I have cleaned my pans in a lye bath, followed these instructions, using a micro fibre cloth to get the thinnest possible coat. I set my oven to 500 degrees (the highest it goes). What I am worried about it is – even though it does stink quite strongly – there is no visible smoke. I am assuming that raising the temperature past the smoke point means I’m fine regardless of seeing smoke, but I’m concerned that because I’m not seeing any smoke, the fininsh may not be polymerizing. Perhaps my pans are very clean and the very thin coating of oil prevent the smoke? I just want to make sure my pans are safe to cook in after. I have one pan that has been through the cycle 4 times – I have two more times to go to see if I achieve the proper results. Can you put my mind at ease? I am using organic unrefined flax oil.

    Thanks, Jenna

  50. Jami says

    Great question.

    Like you say it could be that your pans are very clean and the oil is so thin that you not seeing smoke. If your concerned don’t use the micro fiber cloth on the last two coats :-) just to make sure the pores are completely covered.

    Let us know how they turn out.

  51. Jenna says

    Thanks Jami, I will,

    Thanks for your suggestion. I did actually leave a thicker coat on one pan with a paper towel that splotched up the finish – but alas, no smoke again! Its in the lye bath for a do-over. I think I will just follow your advice to ensure complete coverage but still thin enough, and I’m going to get an oven thermometer to ensure my oven is indeed at the temperatue the dial says. If the temperature is past the smoke point – I suppose it must be working. I have even tried two different brands of flax oil, on two different pans in one run through. As requested I will let you know how it all turns out. Did you see much smoke when you did your pans?

  52. Jami says

    I wouldn’t lye bath it again, I don’t think there is anything you really need to strip.

    Some people’s do blotch a bit, however with time and use the finish will smooth out.

    A good high temp bake is the best thing. Why don’t you heat it on your stove top and scrub it with a metal scour pad (not SOS, just plain copper or steal pad) plus a bit of butter or other animal fat, just to smooth things out. Then wipe it down real good, and rub a drop of flax oil in and bake as usual.

    Blotching isn’t a problem per say, it just looks strange for a while. I’m more concerned about the lye bath. Where your at right now is much better than where most people started from so just move forward from here – no worries!

  53. Alicia Syme says

    Hi Jami,

    I was wondering if you cook scrambled eggs in your cast iron? I tried them in my newly seasoned with flax oil pan. I put in about 1/4 c. of butter and 10 scrambled eggs. Unfortunately I think I need to cook other fattier foods in it first as they eggs stuck all over the skillet and when I cleaned it all out, it even removed in small, black flakes all of my seasoning. I re-seasoned and had the same result, a complete removal of the entire finish. Do I just need to be patient and cook other things in it first or is scrambled eggs just going to be difficult thing to cook. I thank you in advance for your time here on this post. Your information is valuable. Thanks for sharing.

    Alicia Syme

  54. Jami says

    Hum…. your flax-seed seasoning shouldn’t be sitting on your pan surface, so there should be no chunks to break off ever. I would consider what your seeing to be either ‘extra’ seasoning sitting on top, which you don’t need, or other baked on materials (fats, oils and/or foods). Don’t worry about it, let it flake. In fact scrub it off yourself.

    I wish I would have known the trouble you were having, I would not have recommended re-seasoning. These flakes need to go.

    I scrape my pan when turning over eggs, or removing eggs or when scrambling – so when I’m done I really only have a few bits of egg in the pan seem, more on the sides where I cannot scrape easily while cooking. I allow these bits of egg to cool and dry out. Then I take a metal pad and buff them all off, and wipe the pan out. I make sure every bit I can see and those I cannot are scraped off. Then sometimes I rub the pan with a bit of lard or butter to keep it ready for the next use, but not always.

    It is important to use only good metal tools in your cast iron – no plastic or wood. Cast iron needs ‘polished’ by scrapping over time. This smooths out any surface imperfects and helps prevent sticking in its own way.
    Constant greasing via cooking to fill in pores – Constant scrapping with utensils to smooth down imperfections = cast iron pan perfection.

    Some people buy used pans or inherit them and they have a slight bumping surface, which happens over time and use when scrapping hasn’t been done. The best tool is a chefs spatula like those used in restaurants – long, flat with non-bunted edges – perfect for scrapping.

    As for the seasoning – that is to fill the pores of the iron and polymerize forming a pore seal, and not to sit on top of the pan.

    Some things to try:
    Try using more fat during this break-in period. Experiment with the heating of the pan – let it get heat up first, then add your oil and eggs.

    My pan has definitely gotten better with cooking eggs over time :-) so hang in there, your right about the new pan, new seasoning needing broke-in.



    • says

      Hi Jami,

      Thanks so much for this great post! I reseasoned three brand new cast iron pans (after removing the factory finish) using your method. All three looked just like the photo with a slightly glossy look to them. We made fried eggs and it worked just fine with only a few little bits that I scraped out, then I wiped the pan with a paper towel.
      The problems started when I first tried to scramble eggs. I added plenty of bacon grease and let the pan and oil heat, then added the eggs. It was like baked-on glue. I’ve tried it several times since and it’s absolutely miserable. :-( I’m using several tablespoons of butter or lard for just 3 eggs and it’s like I’m putting the eggs in a dry pan. There’s a thick coating of egg no matter how hard I scrape. Once I dish up the cooked eggs, I spend so much time scraping, scrubbing, rinsing with hot water and starting over again that the eggs are cold by the time I’m done.
      I was under the impression that I had to clean the pan immediately, but I see in the comment above that you let stuck on scrambled eggs cool and dry out first… I’m afraid to try that, but I guess I will have to. I’m just not sure what else to do and I’m afraid to try to cook anything besides fried eggs. Any advice would be very much appreciated.


      • Jami says

        Hi Jill :-)

        I’m wondering – are you adding water to your beaten egg mix? This may have nothing to do with your issues, but I always add water and whip the eggs together, because it makes lighter scrambled eggs. I’m curious how you make yours….
        I’ve never made scrambled eggs without water added so I do not know if this makes a difference or not.

        Wardeh and I may make an update to this lesson showing how different foods turn out and how to ‘clean’ the pans afterwards. So stay tuned….

        One thing I will say is that foods with a lot of starch like potatoes will stick. Foods with sugar and some spices will stick too. However, even these sticky foods can be cleaned off and the pan ready to use again without re-seasoning. Pre-boiling the potatoes, draining and then frying helps a lot. I try and leave the sugar and spices (BBQ sauce) off until after cooking, however I just cook the potatoes, garlic and onions anyway. It’s a bit more work to clean, but less work than pre-boiling *grin*

        With my scrambled eggs, the egg is not ‘stuck on’ like glue as in your case. This is why I wait and flake the cooled egg off. This may not help our situation. Give it a try and post back if it helps or not.

        It’s been a while so maybe your black spots have stopped – let me know how your pans are working now.

        All the Best ~

  55. Jonathan says

    Sorry if this has already been discussed – I didn’t see it above. I have two pans with factory pre-seasoning which as noted haven’t held up well with use as the seasoning isn’t durable. I scrubbed them both well and am seasoning them with flax oil as I write this. My question is about the pre-seasoning I couldn’t get off the pans. I scrubbed well and the inside bottoms were partly grey and bare, but there was black pre-seasoning left on other parts of the pan that just wouldn’t come off. I’m now seasoning over the whole pan but am wondering if people think I really need to go fully bare on these pans or whether it’s ok to season with flax over what’s left of the original seasoning. Any experiences along these lines? Thanks.

    • Dani says

      I had a cast iron pan that was pre-seasoned, and it just wasn’t smooth even after removing the seasoning and seasoning it this way. I had my dad take a grinder to it. Voila, silky smooth and ready for a new round of seasoning. My mom says she has him grind hers down every couple of years. I suppose some fine sand paper (the kind for metal work) and a whole lot of elbow grease might accomplish the same thing.

  56. Jami says

    Hi Jonathan,

    Sounds like you’ve done your best to remove that factory seasoning, and that’s all anyone can do. Time and wear will slowly remove the rest.

    Some (perfectionists:-) sand blast, use metal buffers and even chemicals, but I would just do as you have done. It is going to take time to ‘break in’ new pans regardless of where you start.

    I would only flax the bare gray areas, as I don’t believe the flax will seal over the other seasoning. Let the other seasoning wear off with use and cleaning. Then when it looks like these areas need sealing because the old stuff has chipped or worn off you can clean and flax the whole pan.


  57. Alfredo Jahn says

    One thing that surprised me when using faxseed oil is that the color of the pan turned a bit yellow. I have repeated the process several times and it looks like the pan is getting darker. I actually stripped my Lodge skillet using oven cleaner over night. It pretty much got it down to the bare metal. One tiny spot was left. Now I can see that little spot because the seasoning is a lighter color. I’m guessing that will disappear eventually as the pan darkens in color.

  58. Meggan says

    I re-seasoned my cast iron pan using your method above about 6 months ago and it has been great, but I recently noticed that the bottom of the pan is starting to look more gray than black. After the seasoning, it was a pretty consistent black all over, but now only the sides and non-cooking surfaces are black, but the bottom is mottled gray/silvery. If I scrub with a stainless steel scrubbie, the black comes off and I reveal more gray. Pretty much every time I wipe the pan with a paper towel, it is dirty black–but I thought that was the seasoning.

    So my question is: do I scrub off all that black, or is it the seasoning I’m now rubbing off??

  59. Jami says

    “So my question is: do I scrub off all that black, or is it the seasoning I’m now rubbing off??”

    You can ‘scrub’ the seasoning+cast iron off – yes. These pans require minimal cleaning at all times.

    I only suggests scrubbing to remove built up, baked on food, so if there is not material, do not scrub. And if your using lard, and watching your temps on a well seasoned pan the need to scrub should be few. I mostly have to scrub my pan after my daughter uses it. She doesn’t pay attention to the pan, the heat, the oil/lard and messes it up often.

    A person can always over clean cast iron, it is a balance to keep them greased, free from burnt food/oils and seasoned. Yours sounds like you are scrubbing to much when it isn’t needed and/or when there isn’t enough lubricant to protect the iron, and maybe using to much pressure. Only scrub the stuck on material, not the metal/seasoning just below it. Think of it this way: picture that you can scratch the cast iron like wood, you can’t but picture this when you cleaning it anyway. This will help you to only clean off food particles, and not clean as deep as you have been.

    I would suggested you use the season-on-the-stove method to re-season that grey bottom, and ease up on the scrubbing. Lean on the greasy/oiling side. No cast iron was ever harmed by leaving lard in it, but to much cleaning is harmful, and will work against your best efforts. The good news is you can reverse what you’ve done, so no worries.

    Some error on the side of over cleaning others on being afraid to clean it, it’s a balance – I hope this makes sense. I know learning the finesse of cast iron can be a bit tricky at first, so if you have any more questions just ask :-)

  60. kristel says

    Hi, I have two cast iron pans that i have used for a couple years, I seasoned them with Flora Certified Organic Flax oil. I followed all of yours steps, since then, my pans seasonings have basically come off and i want to re-season them. My question is, Is is okay to use my flax oil that has been sitting in my fridge for over a year and a half? The expiry date says Sept 2011. Can i still use it? also your smoke chart says Unrefined flax seed oil 225F, so is that how high i have my oven on for? In step 4 you said between 400F-500F. so which is it and for how long?
    thanks kristel

    • Jami says

      Hi Kristel,

      Do not use the smoke chart for oven seasoning temp or time. It is to let you know at what point oils will start to smoke. Use the temps and times in the article above :-) for seasoning your pans.

      Regarding your oil – If it smells rancid or ‘off’ toss it. However, we all know things can survive their expiration dates. Take a look and see if your oil has become cloudy, discolored or smells – if not then I would use it. Only you can tell if your oil is still okay, so go with your instinct after you examine it.

      Update: I’ve been playing with stove-top pan seasoning. The main idea being the touch up of already seasoned pans. And I have to say I like my results so far. You may want to consider this instead of a full re-seasoning.

      -Start with a clean (no stuck on food) but not stripped (grey in color) pan. This assumes the pan has already been seasoned by you, but you feel it could use a touch up. Before you ask – I would not recommend doing this to a store seasoned pan.

      – Heat it on your stove top on med-high temp. Before it gets to warm, add a bit of fat/oil (rendered fat or flax seed oil) and wipe it all over the inside with a paper towel. Get a new paper towel and wipe as much off as you can. Then turn the heat up to high and allow the fat/oil left behind to smoke off. When the smoking stops turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the stove. After it is cooled a little wipe it off again and put it away.

      Remember to add fat/oil the next time you use this pan as this type of non-stick requires fat/oil when cooking most things.

      Let me know if you have any questions…

  61. says

    I just got out a really old cast iron waffle griddle I have. I thought I had gotten rid of it because I couldn’t find it. I was looking in the back of a lower cabinet and was pleasantly surprised to find it. It is sticky and gross on the outside and the inside is dirty. With all those little holes, do you have any idea on the best way to clean it and season it?

    • Jami says

      I would bake it in the hottest oven setting until it stops smoking, at least an hour. Leave it in the oven until it is no longer to hot to manage. Then using soap, hot water and a metal scrubber clean it all real good. Now your ready to re-season – just use the instructions in the article above.

  62. says

    I have three cast iron pans. Can i leave oil in my pan after cooking. What i do is if i fry anything i leave the oil in the pan untill i get ready to use it again. Then when im ready pour it out , wash it in soapy water and pour oil in the pan and take a paper towel and rub it down, but i have never rub the bottom of it. Should i have??

    • Jami says

      (I have three cast iron pans. Can i leave oil in my pan after cooking?)

      I only do this when my left over oil is clean, no food or dark bits, as these will help the next thing you cook to stick. But yes, if it is clean leave it.

      (What i do is if i fry anything i leave the oil in the pan untill i get ready to use it again. Then when im ready pour it out , wash it in soapy water and pour oil in the pan and take a paper towel and rub it down, but i have never rub the bottom of it. Should i have??)

      If this is working in a non-stick way for you then great. However, it sounds to me like your building things up a bit and then employing soap to cut the gunk. For my pans to work their best I have to keep the build up from happening in the first place.

      I use a few different methods of cleaning depending on what situation I have.
      All of my ‘ways’ are typed out in posts above, but I’ve added one more…. when the food bits left over are not stuck or burnt on the pan I will just use cold water and rinse. Sometimes returning the pan to the stove to then use my scrubber and heat to see and get anything stuck on. This cold water leaves much of my fat coating behind, but moves out all that loose crumble. So I’d say not only do I not use soap, but now I don’t use hot water either. And I absolutely never leave old plant based oils behind or any food residue. Also, if you use a deep layer of fat many times this protects your pan and is clean enough to leave until the next time.

      I may have miss understood your question so if I did just let me know :-)

  63. Jami says

    I use the cheap copper or steal round scrub pads. I see them at all the general purpose stores in my area. With heat and a little oil they really remove the stuck on gunk.

  64. says

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post!!! I’ve been struggling with my cast iron pans for a while now. None of the directions I found in the past have been that great.

    I’m re-seasoning my favorite pan now and I love the flax oil smell it’s giving off. :) I’ll be doing all my other cast iron with this method tomorrow.

  65. Jill says

    I have had trouble with black specs on my skillets all of a sudden. I just finished re-seasoning 3 skillets yesterday. I read this post (and the links provided) very carefully, even involving my husband to make sure I was doing it all right. This is the second time I have done this from start to finish, 3rd time I have re-seasoned in attempts to get rid of the specs and I still have them! I am so frustrated:( My 3 year old was so excited for fried eggs this morning and I almost started crying when I saw the specs. Before I did it a second time I stripped those skillets so very very well. Over and over again. Thinking that maybe that is how I failed the first attempt.

    I miss my skillets!! Please help!

    • Jami says

      Jill ~ Using the pans will make things get better.

      It is true that today’s cast iron isn’t as smooth or well made as it used to be. This newer cast iron can have a bumpy surface, which can cause every aspect of using the pans to be more troublesome until the surface is worn down through time and use…. but I’m not sure if this is part of your problem. Can you provide some more details? How easy is it to remove the specks?

      • Jill says

        Black specs all over the eggs that get worse (more and more black specs) with each round. When I wipe it out with a paper towel it is just dirty looking with black specs.

        Before I re-seasoned, I had the same issue and noticed that I didn’t have the black specs in scrambled eggs. At least not that I noticed with a pretty thorough check.

        It is just weird because I used to make eggs in them daily without a problem and then once the problem started, it doesn’t seem like anything is fixing it! A friend suggested something similar to what Wardeh said. I will stay away from eggs for a bit and use the skillets for other things.

        Thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate this blog!

  66. Ralph says

    Hello Jamie, i noticed that the smoke point of flax seed oil is very low. My question is, if i heat up a pan that has been pre seasoned with flax seed oil past its smoke point, while im cooking, wouldn’t carcinogens mix into my food even though ill be using an oil with a higher smoke point. Thanks

    • Jami says

      Hello Ralph,

      This is why we season at high temps for long enough to burn off all the un-bonded oil.

      See Step 4 in the directions above and I think it you will understand the process better.


  67. Xavier Moreau says

    Hi Jami,
    I just bought a very nice griswold skillet which was in great shape with a nice black color.
    I decided to season it with the flaxseed oil method, but after the second pass the skillet came back with black dots all over. It doesn’t feel rough at the touch, the bottom of the pan feels the same but it has spots everywhere.
    Did I do something wrong? Will it go away? And how can I fix it?
    I’m so mad for messing up my nice griswold!

    • Jami says

      No worries I’m sure you didn’t mess up the Griswold, they are built to last.

      Honestly I’m not sure what little thing causes the spots for some, but it is no big deal unless those spots are raised and catch a scrubber as it runs over the surface then it’s burnt on food or spices.

      Some possibilities are to much oil left on pans when seasoning, oil uneven on the pan, or not enough temperature or time in the oven. However, it could also be something else so don’t worry about it. In time it should all even out with use.

      It sounds like you only seasoned the pan twice, I’d keep using the pan and add a couple more seasonings and/or maybe stove top seasonings.

      I know it looks strange and bothers you, I understand, but if you can ignore it for now and use your pan as much as you’d like the cure is in the using.

      I am sorry you had this experience with your pan.


      • Xavier Moreau says

        Thank you very much for the reply.
        I have a feeling I left a bit too much oil on that pass, but a least it’s still very smooth at the touch.
        Thanks for your help and all your info :-)

        • Mara E. says

          I just found this site, as I’ve been googling “black spots on my cast iron” for some time now. :-) I have been followed Sheryl’s method for seasoning my 11″ cast iron pan, and I also ended up with smooth black spots on the inside of my pan starting after the second seasoning. I decided to keep on going to see if it continued. After the 3rd & 4th seasoning, there were more and more black spots. I wonder if eventually these spots will “take over” and create an overall more uniform finish? I’ve been using refined coconut oil; after greasing up the pan I try and wipe out as much oil as possible so I don’t think too much oil is the culprit. I heat the pan in the oven at 500+ degrees F for at LEAST an hour.

          I’m going to try a few more seasonings to see what happens. I’m not too worried about it, as I figure I can always strip the pan and start over. I basically wanted to respond and say that I’ve been having the same ‘black spot’ result!

  68. Kristy says

    I just came across this article when searching for information about how to season my new cast iron skillet. When heating the skillet to a temperature that’s higher than the oil’s smoke point, doesn’t the burning oil release carcinogens into the air? I know you mentioned that you shouldn’t cook with a temperature higher than the smoke point, but I’m just curious about the kind of smoky smell going on throughout my apartment right now as my skillet is in the oven. Am I breathing in carcinogenic fumes?

    • Jami says

      The short answer is – any time you smell a strong smell you are breathing something you’d be better off not to. No smoke from burning material is good to breathe, period.
      Sometimes it’s hard to avoid it though (campfires for example).

      So do open up your windows, cross breezes are best – windows on opposite sides of a building work well to clear things out fast. Or place a fan in one window blowing out, this will pull air in from the other window.

      To Quote from the seasoning steps above:

      ” Step 5:
      Note: During your first seasoning session, the pan will smoke a lot,
      so be ready to open windows or use fans as needed. ”

      Thanks for posting your question Kristy, if you missed what I said about windows above others may have too…. and I don’t want anyone getting overwhelmed by smoke, especially those with breathing problems.

      I hope this makes it clear, everyone should avoid breathing smoke from burning materials, even organic/healthy materials.

  69. Susan says

    If the iron pan is warm and you pour cold flax seed oil from the fridge into it, won’t that crack it? Or should the oil be at room temperature?

  70. tamara says

    Thanks for this great resource!

    My question is regarding the timing of the seasoning sessions. Can I do this over a period of a week or so, as I have time, or does it need to be done in one big swoop? I need to do this, but I don’t know when the best time will be to smoke out the house with little ones at home :)

  71. Dana says

    I love your way of striping the pan! I am wondering if it is possible to use my regular oil (extra virgin olive) instead of the flaxseed? I have a child with an allergy to flax…

    • Dadson says

      Since no one else is chiming in, I will give it a go. The whole rationale with the flax seed oil is that it dries hard. Olive oil never dries at all. (Some artists put a thin coat of olive oil on their palettes to make them easier to clean.) Safflower oil and walnut oil are drying oils. You might try one of those. Be sure the oil does not contain added preservatives or anti-oxidants (including vitamins). Oils from grocery stores often contain such, I am told.

    • Jami says

      Sorry Dana, I didn’t see your post.

      Dadson’s answer is correct, and many have used oils to ‘season’ other than Flax.

  72. Jive Dadson says

    I am an oil painter, so I know a bit about drying oils. Flax seed oil (a.k.a. linseed oil) is not the only drying oil, although for most purposes it is the best. Others that are commonly used in oil paints are safflower oil, and (a distant third) walnut oil.

    I season my iron skillets with linseed oil from the art supply store. OIl that is sold for food might contain anti-oxidants to retard spoilage. Of course oxidation is exactly what we want!

    I can think of no reason to avoid using old, “expired”, oil. I am going to “super spoil” it in the oven. If it is already somewhat oxidized, how could that hurt? Indeed, for the glossiest, hardest finish to paintings, artists often use partially polymerized oils that have been boiled or left to cook in the sun for a year or two, i.e. stand oil and sun-thickened oil.


    • Jami says

      ~ Jive – this is interesting information.

      I think people are afraid of ‘spoilage’ of any kind as a general rule. In my research I read not to use rancid oil to season, but this was not backed up by any science as to why. So I find your posting very interesting indeed :)

    • Jami says

      We all know that burned foods, which can be left behind in cast iron skillets, is very unhealthy to eat.
      However, the very small bit of ‘iron’ which cast iron cookware can add to foods is supposed to be good as far as my research has shown. In fact, modern cooks not using cast iron cookware is stated as one of the explanations given for low iron in people now days. And iron supplements are controversial at best.

      Weak bones and lack of calcium was not the problem of the cast-iron generation, but it is of this modern one. Of course this is all very simplified, and there is much more to this discussion than we can go into here. But I appreciate your perspective and post, this is something good to do more research on.

  73. Noahla Norris Purdy via Facebook says

    I tried this method and it did work to a point. I seasoned the pan many times and it still didn’t seem to have that “non stick” shininess. Finally I decided to wipe most of the oil off instead of all of it. This did the trick. I seasoned it two more times with this method and it is now beautiful and shiny and non stick!!

  74. Valerie Mathes Howells via Facebook says

    There is a difference between cast iron made now and older ones which are milled twice. If yours won’t season right it isn’t you. The newer ones have rougher surfaces

    • Jami says

      Some things will stick. Things with starch like potatoes and gravy, things with sugar like BBQ sauce, etc. and scrambled eggs because of the broken sticky yokes.

      However many things will not stick. Like pancakes, biscuits and English muffins (cooked without fat), meats and veggies.

      When things do stick you simply scrape them off of the warm pan and wipe with a paper towel. I have to do more to get my glass pans clean sometimes 😀

  75. Kristin says

    I love cooking on cast iron. After inheriting some more, I was just going to sell it because it looked painted. A friend of my dad’s says, “No, I think those are the ones he had coated so he could take them camping.” It is coated SO thick including the handles, that I mistook it for paint! What type of coating is it (apparently it’s food safe) and how do I start to get it off? Thanks!

  76. Teri says

    Jami, I too read Sheryl Canter’s scientific blog on the seasoning of cast iron ( and I have seasoned all of my 3 generation old cast iron pans and kettles in this way. This method works well. I do wash my pans with hot soapy water, dry on the stove top for a few minutes and apply a thin layer of a cooking oil before hanging them back on the wall.
    To strip the old seasoning from cast iron one of Sheryl recommendations is to place it in your self-cleaning oven and running the cycle. THIS WORKS VERY WELL and is the easiest way to strip cast iron, and it uses no chemicals. On some of my pans there were places where the old seasoning remained and would not come out even when dry scrubbed with bronze wool, so I just left it there and it was just fine, (all seasoning should be so permanent!) Your pans will want to rust once they are stripped and wiped out with paper towels and micro-fiber cloth so proceed with the oiling immediately.
    (The visible presence of smoke is not required or recommended – perhaps we are over- thinking things.)

  77. says

    Oh help!

    I’ve used this method to season cast iron in the past and it works very well. Yesterday I got my first piece of enameled cast iron and was seasoning the inside. It didn’t even occur to me to keep the oil off the enamel and now my beautiful new skillet has an ugly splotched exterior!

    How can I get the baked-on flax oil off the enamel without damaging it??

  78. pan God says

    I just wanted note that this doesn’t work well with carbon steel woks. They get so hot so quick and the metal is so smooth the seasoning will just brush off when you rinse it. It’s okay to add a layer after using traditional wok methods to even out the color of the wok, but it will be a fickle and will only really be for looks on the outside. I’ve had good results with my ci though as long as I’m not using it to sear food right away (ie only bacon and eggs at a lower temp for the first 10 or so uses) it can be a really hard and slick seasoning if you know it’s limitations. I think the flax just burns off too easily if you cook stuff real hot though. Fyi I used to like to cook with refined coconut oil but my new favorite is rice bran oil.

  79. Collett Sizelove via Facebook says

    I went to view it but it looks like I have to pay 10.00 to do so? Am I understanding correctly?

  80. Pam Gordon via Facebook says

    I heat clean pan in oven (like 325 degrees….) turn oven off. Oil pan and put back in oven until cool….I do it every time I use mine & they are no stick for sure!

  81. Kristin Humphrey Benini via Facebook says

    I have a used pan that needs reseasoning so I’ll be trying this method. I’ve always got someone telling me I can’t use cast iron on my glass top stove. Nice to see I’m not the only one who does!

  82. Nicole Syracuse Harris via Facebook says

    I have recently read some things online that suggest that cooking in cast-iron can give you too much iron. Anyone else heard that?

  83. grammyprepper says

    Wow, this is the most comprehensive guide to seasoning cast iron I have ever seen. I got a combo olive/grapeseed oil and it’s not worked as well as bacon grease. but I also need to look at the fact it’s gonna take 4-5 times to get it seasoned right. Great post!

  84. Mary Danielsen via Facebook says

    So do I understand that the oven is heated to 400 and cooled down 6 times? Kind of hard on the electric bill–

  85. Kristin Humphrey Benini via Facebook says

    I did two skillets this week. One was particularly nasty after a failed attempt to reseason it with lard. My husband stripped it to bare metal. Both pans came out great.

  86. says

    I finished my seasoning yesterday. I followed the instructions to a “t”. My CI skillet looks BEAUTIFUL!…so beautiful, I almost don’t want to use it. :) Thank you for the amazing post.

  87. Anon says

    Excellent write-up. It should be noted, though, that flaxseed oil smoke is some really nasty stuff. I mean, all smoke is bad to inhale, but inhaling flaxseed oil smoke has been directly linked to increased lung cancer, enlarged spleen–as well more immediate physical unpleasantries like headache and cough. Proper ventilation is a must.

  88. says

    This is the best tutorial on seasoning cast iron pans that I’ve seen yet! I’m going to buy myself some flaxseed oil and re-season my workhorse pans this week!

  89. Bess says

    Thanks soooo much for this excellent article! I actually just seasoned mine this morning… But I did not read this ti later. I will try again. I have a question: what exactly do you use to scrape off food that sticks to the pan? Thanks again!

  90. Diane says

    Oh my goodness I want to thank you so very much! I am ashamed to say how long I have had my iron skillets. I love the idea of using them but hated to because they always stuck and were hard to clean. I would season them like everyone told me but it still would stick, they said it would get better with use but it never did. I didn’t know I needed to season it more than once! I have started seasoning like you have said, but I’m trying it with lard. It looks way so much better than it ever has! If it still does stick I will start over and use the flax but I had already bought the lard to try so using that first. What would you suggest cooking in it for the first time after seasoning? Again THANK YOU!!!!

  91. Penny says

    I am excited to give this a try. My pans have sat for almost three years with me not knowing what to do with them. In what I read, there was a mention of seasoning the outside and handle. But I am not sure if you are supposed to do that or not. It wasn’t clear to me in the post. Do you season the inside of the pan, the inside sides, and the outside, bottom and handles?
    Thank you.

    • Jami says

      Hi Penny ~

      It depends, are you stripping your entire pan inside and out – then yes season it all.

      But if the outside is okay, or has some seasoning on it already, then no you don’t need to.

      Just let the needs of the pan guide you ~


  92. Mike Welch says

    I used this technique on two fry pans, my griddle, dutch oven and the grill grate from a Weber Genisis. I can now fry eggs and the fry pans are slicker than teflon.


  93. Cheryl Benkert says

    I have a cast iron skillet with a rubber(ish) coated handle. How do you season something like that in the oven?

    • Jami says

      I don’t believe you can. But that would be a good question for the manufacture.
      I bet they’ll tell you it’s per-seasoned and will last the life of the pan.
      Maybe someone will know how to get it off your handle.

  94. says

    I’m confused. I believe you say to use flax oil to season the pan. But then later you say not to cook with it because the smoking temperature is toxic to food (my paraphrase/misunderstanding). How can both of these be right? Am I missing something? Thank you.

    • Jami says

      Hi Marytoo,

      It can be confusing I know. In the instructions in my article I explain that the high-temp long-time smokes off the flax-seed oil and changes it chemically into a polymer coating. All smoking should be long finished before the seasoning is over. This is also why you only want a thin coat of the oil, you even wipe it off before starting. This leaves nothing sitting on top to chip off into your food as a carcinogen. We are using the oil to create a finish on the iron, not to grease up the pan in any way. Flax see oil should never be use as a cooking oil with heating.

      It will make more since I think if you go back a re-read the article now.

      Let me know if you still have questions.


  95. Peter says

    I suggest using an outdoor BBQ Grill to season cast iron items. Gas is preferable to charcoal for temperature regulation. The smoke and smell won’t cause issues like they might indoors. Check to make sure the cast iron items fit in the BBQ before you heat things up (may need to remove upper racks), and use an oven thermometer to check the temperature.

  96. Terral says

    “flaxseed oil is the only drying oil that’s edible.” What about things like walnut and hemp oil? They are both listed as drying oils and they are edible. They do have higher smoke points but I don’t see why this wouldn’t work with one of those oils.

    We actually use hemp oil to seal our butcher block counter tops. It is great!

  97. Anna Havanka says

    Great directions! Thank you! I wanted to mention, that after my husbands insistence that I not smoke up the house with the flax oil smoke I put my cast iron in my BBQ, which ended up being around 550 degrees. I left it 2 hours and my cast iron came out clean. All the junk I couldn’t get off by cleaning it prior to doing this came right off in the BBQ. It did really great on the new kitchenaid cast iron dutch ovens I had as well. I thought maybe you could add this to your tips on cleaning your iron :)

  98. Amy says

    Am I supposed to be seasoning the entire pan, like the outside, bottom, handle, etc.? I have always seasoned the inside, but the bottom appears rusty. Should I have been seasoning the entire thing?

    • Jami says

      Hi Amy,

      When I re-seasoned a Lodge pan I had bought new from a store I only cleaned and re-seasoned the inside and top edge. When I re-seasoned old pans I bought from ebay I did the entire pan as they were light grey and had uneven surfaces from old gunk.

      So the answer to your question is – what state is the cast iron starting from . . . ?
      I do not eat cooked items from the bottom or outside of my pans, so I’m not so concerned about ‘factory seasoning’ remaining in these areas. Should I have a pan with rust on the outside/bottom I would clean all the rust areas real good and re-season all areas that currently do not have the proper protection seasoning gives.

      I hope this helps you decide how much to season for your cast iron cookware.

  99. Wendy says

    Would the seasoning part also work with stone ware? I have recently bought some second hand, and would like to get it seasoned sooner rather than waiting several years for it to happen naturally like our pizza stone has done.

  100. Rusty H says

    Hi..! I’m about to season my cast iron skillet. I have a bottle of Trader Joe’s Organic Flax Oil with Lignans. The ingredients are: cold pressed unrefined organic flaxseed oil, organic milled flaxseed, organic rosemary extract, mixed tocopherols (non-hexane extracted natural vitamin E) to maintain freshness. That was a mouthful..!! Anyway, will this work? Do I need just plain flaxseed oil? Any suggestions? Thank you.

  101. Ginger says

    Where do you find a steel pad that has no soap? Also, I want to try this; I have original Wagner pans from my Grandma — they are in pretty good shape; one is so old that it is no longer completely flat — must have gotten too hot?

  102. Mimi says

    I have numerous cast iron pans. Doing this your way would cost me a mint in propane (my cooking fuel). I have 3 pans that I use regularly, and only 1 really needs reseasoned. I’m thinking of having the worst ones sand blasted, then reseason. I’d like to set up an outdoor oven heated with wood. That would prove far more economical for me, If I can get such oven up to that temperature for an hour. I have lots of paradise trees I’ve cut down that I could burn. (too bad I don’t have the root ball we dug out a couple years ago…that thing burned for a week!) All for future project. Thanks for the post tho.

    • Jami says

      Oh boy it sure would…..

      How about using a friends oven :-) you bring the snacks.
      Or using a open fire pit – I don’t have experience with this, but I’ve heard that’s how it was done in the olden days.

      Do post back if you try it with wood, that would be great to hear about.

      All the best!

  103. pugetsound mike says

    To clean the gunk off of old cast iron, I ran them through the cleaning cycle of my oven. Had to bring in the shop
    vac to clean up the mess. Then I followed the directions for seasoning cast iron. Works like a charm. Fries much better than no stick pans. This method even works for cast iron grill grates. Had to wait for my wife to leave for the weekend, because it does stink up the house.

  104. Molly says

    I tried to re-season my two cast iron skillets that are about 100 years old. (They have been passed down to me.) I used Crisco. After reading this blog, I am pretty sure that may have been a mistake. Now they are sticky. How do I undo what I have done? They were in pretty good condition.

    • Jami says

      Hi Molly ~

      I would start with the easiest method of warm soapy water and a stiff scrubber, like a metal scrub pad. Allow the pan to soak a little and then start scrubbing and checking the results. You may need to repeat the washing a few times until you feel the old finish has been completely removed . And don’t forget the sides and bottom 😀

      You can tell if you’ve removed the old seasoning by the color when the pan is dried – light grey color and dullness (a dry rough look) of the pan.

      Usually it’s only a factory seasoning that requires the strongest methods to remove. So see how a little bit of soaking and scrubbing works for your pan.

      Let me know if you have questions . . . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.