You do not need to season cast iron after every use, in-fact cast iron seasons itself whilst cooking, the only exception to this rule is if you have a brand new cast iron skillet, then you need to season it, and you can do so using our fantastic cast iron seasoning guide.
Should I season a a brand new cast iron pan?
If you have a brand new cast iron pan, then it will likely come pre-seasoned, and you might be wondering if it needs seasoning, the answer is yes, yes it does.
Any pan regardless of what it says on the packaging requires seasoning, why? Because those preseasons are no good, they don’t use the right oil, they don’t put the time into it, it’s simply a quick solution for beginners.
Seasoning a a brand new cast iron pan is exactly the same process as a used skillet, however there is one difference, you won’t need to strip the pre-seasoning off, because your seasoning will add onto it.
What temperature to season cast iron?
You most likely saw above that I chose 245°F to season cast iron, but why? Well the smoking point of flax seed oil is 225°F, so I my method is to go 20 degrees above the smoking point to account for any inaccuracies the oven may have.
As long as the temperature of the oven is beyond the smoking point temperature of the oil, that temperature is fine for seasoning.
For example vegetable oil has a smoking point of 450°F, so if I was using vegetable oil, I would preheat my oven to 470°F for seasoning the cast iron.
In conclusion, the temperature required to season cast iron depends on the cooking oil you use, and if you are not sure what temperature your cooking oil smokes at, you can check our cooking oil information calculator.
How many times should I season a cast iron pan?
It’s important to know how many times you should season a cast iron pan, because if you don’t season it enough times, then again, you are going to end up with too little seasoning which will affect the overall performance as time goes on, food will start sticking, and rust will start forming. As mentioned above, the sweet spot is 6 times, it’s not too much, and it’s not too little.