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Can You Use Olive Oil to Season a Cast Iron Skillet: What You Need To Know!

June 16, 2020 4 min read

Can You Use Olive Oil to Season a Cast Iron Skillet: What You Need To Know!

Seasoning skillets is an essential skill that any cast iron chef needs to learn how to master. When oils are heated, they react with the surface of a cast-iron pan, leaving behind a protective layer that we call seasoning.

Seasoning helps to protect a pan from rusting, while also providing a non-stick surface for cooking. Different oils have different qualities, however, and while some are great for seasoning, others aren't quite so good.

We're often asked if seasoning cast iron with olive oil is a good idea, so in today's article, we'll take a detailed look!

What is seasoning?

Seasoning is basically a coating. When you pour a very thin layer of oil into a cast iron pan and heat it up, the oil will bond to the metal. This process is called polymerization. The fat is essentially turning into a kind of plastic. When you repeat this process, and add layer upon layer, the black coating that forms on the metal is known as seasoning. It protects the metal while cooking. It's also nonstick which makes it great for cooking.

Why do you need to season cast iron?

Seasoning allows your pan to release food easily. It prevents rusting and it keeps your pan in tip-top condition. This allows for a longer life and more cooking time in the kitchen. It aids in the cleaning process and also prevents staining.

Cast iron is also not smooth, so food can get lost in its crevices. Seasoning it will stop this from happening.

When it comes to the question, "can you use olive oil to season cast iron" the answer is yes.

Can olive oil be used to season my cast iron pan?

Can you season cast iron with olive oil? Yes. Olive oil can be a popular choice when it comes to seasoning cast iron cookware, and that's because it's one of the most well-known and widely available oils on the market. While it's great for salad dressings, olive oil isn't actually so great for seasoning cast iron, and that's down to the fact that it has a low smoke point.

But what is the best oil for seasoning cast iron? The best oils for seasoning have a high smoke point. This means that they only start to smoke (or to burn) at higher temperatures. Olive oil, for instance, has a smoke point of 350°F, while canola oil has a higher smoke point of 400°F. But what is the best oil to season a cast iron skillet? Take a look at this article to find out more about the best oils for seasoning, including vegetable oil.

If you're using olive oil for seasoning, the seasoning can actually start to degrade when you're cooking with it in the pan (which defeats the object of having a protective, seasoned layer!). This stops the seasoning from lasting as long as other oils, while also adding a smokier flavor to your cooking.

How to clean and season cast iron skillet with olive oil

Seasoning cast iron is a skill that any chef should learn. It helps to improve the longevity of your cast iron cookware by preventing rust and creating a protective layer for cooking. Most importantly, though, the pan becomes non-stick when it's seasoned.

You need to regularly season your pan to keep it in good working order. If food starts to stick to the surface, or if you notice any rust, then it's time to give the pan a good clean, followed by a good re-seasoning. Learn how to season cast iron and do it regularly.

  1. First of all, wash or scrub off any burnt food, rust, or remnants of the old layer of seasoning under hot water.
  2. Next, rub a thin layer of your chosen oil over the surface of your cast iron skillet.
  3. Preheat your oven to the given temperature (the exact temperature depends on the smoke point of the oil, but it's usually between 300 and 400 °F), then bake your pan face down on the top shelf for at least one hour.
  4. Repeat this 3-4 times and then let it cool.

So, yes, you can use olive oil to season cast iron, but that there are many other oils that work well, if not even better! Try a few out for your cast iron pan seasoning and find what works best for you!

Conclusion

Can I use olive oil to season my cast iron pan? The answer is a resounding YES. If you're thinking of using something else, like vegetable oil, make sure you do your research. Olive oil has a high smoke point and when done properly you can keep your pan in good shape for years and years.

Keeping your cast iron seasoned will stop rusting and staining and it will let you cook your food to perfection. In this case, olive oil is definitely one of your best friends. Why not bookmark this article, so the next time you need to season your cast iron with olive oil, you've got all the instructions right here?


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