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How To Season Cast Iron Without Oven

How To Season Cast Iron Without an Oven: Solved (2022)

Last Updated on November 2, 2022 by Shari Mason

A cast iron pan is one of the most convenient cookware in the kitchen whether you’re an experienced cook or not. 

Although these cookwares are long-lasting, many people avoid using them for maintenance.

This article listed the effective methods for taking care of your cast irons without an oven. If you want to know how to season cast iron without an oven, read on.

Top 2 Methods to Season Cast Iron Without An Oven

1. Stove Top Method

cast iron on a stove top with oil

The stovetop method to season a cast iron pan without an oven is easier than you think. Get a paper towel and wipe out the food or dirt particles from the pan.

Set your stove to medium-high heat and place your skillet. Then add a little shortening to the pan. Warm it up until the oil dries for about 10 minutes, and remove the pan.

Repeat this process until the skillet looks glossy, smooth, and dark.

2. Grill Method

Seasoning cast iron pans on the grill are convenient because you don’t need to fill the kitchen with the smoke of burning oils.

First, coat your pre-seasoned pan with shortening and preheat it upside-down at 375° F for at least an hour.

Let the pan cook on the grill until the shortening has dried out and developed a smooth finish on the cooking surface.

6 Steps On Seasoning It 

1. Clean & Dry Cast Iron

washing  and cleaning cast iron

Cleaning your cast iron pan from food residue and dirt particles is the first step in seasoning it.

This is to ensure that there’s no harmful debris or toxic particles left in the pan before starting to season it.

Use soap and water to clean your cast iron pan, then pat it dry with a cloth or paper towel. Let it dry for a couple of minutes to ensure that the cooking surface is completely dried.

2. Add a Layer of Oil

The next step is to add oil to the pan’s surface. Coat your cast iron pan inside and out with thick frying oil if you use the stovetop method. 

The recommended oils are those high in unsaturated fat, like lard, canola, or corn oil.

Adding a very light coating of shortening to the cast iron pans will smoothen the surface and give it a glossy non-stick texture.

3. Place It On the Stove or Grill

cast iron on a stove top

After coating your cast iron pan with oil, place it on the stove and set it on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

If you’re using a grill, put the pan upside down to let the heat from the grill penetrate the surface.

The grill shouldn’t have flame as it might ruin the surface. Better use coals and heat the grill to 375° F before placing your pan.

4. Move It Around Until It Smokes

Move your seasoned cast iron skillet around while heating on the stove or grill until the oil reaches the smoke point and starts to burn and dry out. 

Moving the pan will help the heat distribute evenly on the surface and provide an equally smooth and glossy texture all over your pan.

This technique is not necessary for the oven method.

5. Cool Down & Wipe It Up

wiping cast iron

The oil will polymerize during the seasoning process and form the first layer of plastic coverings on the pan’s surface. [1] 

After about 10 minutes, remove it from the stove or grill and let the pan cool.

Do not splash cold water or put the pan under the running water, as it may damage the pan. If the pan has cool down, wipe the excess oil from the surface.

6. Repeat Three to Four Times

Repeat the process three to four times to achieve a solid foundation for seasoning a cast iron pan or skillet.

It is also recommended to do the seasoning of your skillet at least once a month if you’re not using cast iron pans frequently to maintain the quality.

Caring For Your Cast Iron

Keep It Dry

Make sure that the surfaces of cast irons are completely dry, as moisture increases the risk of rusting. 

Water is an enabler of the fast oxidation of iron, and even tap water could cause rust. Salt and water is also good conductor. So better wash and dry your pan properly. [2] 

Re-season

Prevention is better than cure. To prevent rust spots, season your new cast iron pan frequently. The more you use your cast iron cookware, the better.

Seasoned cast irons are advisable at least once a month to make them stronger and more durable.

Clean After Use

cleaning cast iron pan

It is not recommended to leave cooked acidic foods and other cooked meals on cast iron cookware for an extended period as it will make cleaning harder. 

Proteins and starch could harden into the surface of cast irons. It is best to clean them while they are still soft.

Proper Storage

Since cast irons are heavier than other pans, storing them in the cupboard is best. 

However, you can use dry paper towels to prevent them from getting scratched if you stack them with other cooking wares. 

Make sure that the cupboard is completely dry and with good airflow, as remaining moisture on the surface may cause damage in the long run. 

FAQs

How long should you season cast iron without an oven?

Heating cast irons on your stove and rubbing oil on the non-stick surface will only take at least ten minutes. Seasoning cast irons without an oven do not take up much of your time.

What happens if you don’t season a cast iron?

If you don’t season cast iron skillets, they will be prone to corrosion and rusting. Seasoning must be done to make the most of its natural non-stick surface for cooking. 

However, cast irons could still be fine if you don’t season them as long as you cook food with fat frequently. But bear in mind that maintenance is still important.

Which oil is best to season cast iron?

The best oil for cast iron seasoning is cooking oil blends rich in unsaturated fat like vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, or avocado oil. 

Using coconut oil or butter is not recommended, though. Since these two have high saturated fats, they can get in the polymerization process, resulting in the pan not being properly seasoned.

Let’s Sum It Up 

Generally, it is important to season your cast iron regularly by using it daily in frying your favorite meals. Re-seasoning monthly is also good for your non-stick pre-seasoned cookware.

It is to decrease the corrosion of the protective coating on your pan due to washing with soap and hot water.

Hot oils could add season to your iron pans and help them become more durable. You can take proper care of your cast iron pan without an oven by following the easy methods listed above.

References:

  1. https://escholarship.org/content/
  2. https://scienceline.ucsb.edu/
Shari Mason

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