How to Season Cast Iron Cookware

Whether you've got a new cast iron skillet or you're restoring an old one, read on to learn how to season cast iron cookware so it lasts for generations!Cast iron cookware is seeing a comeback. While it’s one of the oldest types of cookware still in use today, cast iron fell out of fashion in the mid 20th century when other types of cookware such as aluminum, stainless steel and Teflon-coated non-stick pans gained popularity.

While these newer types of materials were marketed as being better than cast iron due to their lightweight and (in some cases) non-stick nature, it’s come to light in recent years that many of the newer, coated non-stick pans emit harmful chemicals into the air and into our food when heated.

Not to mention, some of the newer aluminum cookware just isn’t very durable, and can end up warped and corroded in no time.

Stainless steel is more durable, however it doesn’t distribute heat as evenly and is prone to having food stick and burn to the bottom.

Cast iron, on the other hand, is incredibly durable, distributes heat evenly and stays hot, and it’s naturally non-stick without needing any sort of harmful coating.

Sure, it’s heavy, but that’s because it’s built to last! In fact, when properly cared for, cast iron can last a lifetime and even longer. Many people use cast iron cookware that they’ve inherited from their parents and grandparents, and even rusted cast iron can be restored in most cases.

You can read about the many benefits of cooking with cast iron right here. In this post we’re going over the step-by-step process for how to season cast iron cookware so that it cooks more efficiently and lasts for generations!


What does it mean to “season” cast iron?

Simply put, seasoning cast iron means you’re creating a carbonized layer of oil on your cast iron cookware which helps to preserve it and keep it from rusting, along with giving it a natural non-stick coating.

Seasoning may sound complicated, but it’s actually really easy.

All you need to do to season cast iron is spread a thin layer of oil or fat on the surface and bake it. This process (called polymerization) creates a molecular bond between the cast iron and the oil/fat source and forms a protective barrier that will help prevent rust and corrosion.

It’s always a good idea to season a new cast iron pan –and even to re-season an older pan that hasn’t been used in a while– before you cook anything in it. But technically you’re also seasoning the pan every time you cook with fats and oils.

I was recently sent a set of Uno Casa cast iron skillets (affiliate link) to test and review, and even though they do technically come pre-seasoned, I always like to season my new cast iron pans myself.

Whether you've got a new cast iron skillet or you're restoring an old one, read on to learn how to season cast iron cookware so it lasts for generations!

The skillets shown here are the Uno Casa 10” and 12” cast iron skillets. They come in a set, which is awesome because I love having a smaller one and a larger one depending on what I’m cooking (plus I often find myself using more than one at a time). 

They also come with two silicone handle covers, two silicone skillet scrapers and a free recipe book. Check out the set right here.


Do I have to season pre-seasoned cast iron cookware?

If you’re in the market for a new cast iron skillet, you’ll probably notice that most of the new cast iron cookware comes pre-seasoned. This means that the manufacturer seasoned it in the warehouse before releasing it to the public.

While you could technically go ahead and start cooking in it right away, an extra layer of seasoning never hurts. Plus, you never know what the cast iron has been seasoned with.

In our house, we like to use only natural, unrefined fats and oils like olive oil, lard, avocado oil and coconut oil. Many pre-seasoned cast iron pans are seasoned with Crisco, vegetable oil or even wax. It’s worth it to spend a little time and put in a little elbow grease (literally and figuratively!) and re-season your cast iron cookware before cooking in it, even if it’s brand new and pre-seasoned.


How to season old cast iron cookware

If you’ve got older cast iron cookware, the process for seasoning it is the same. The only difference would be to consider what shape it’s in first. 

If it’s old and rusted, you’ll want to restore it first. You can read more about how to restore old cast iron cookware here. 

If it’s in good shape and has been used continuously (say, a cast iron skillet that was passed down to you and has a solid coat of seasoning on it), you might not need to re-season it. In this case you could just continue cooking in it with fats and oils to keep the seasoning up.

If it’s in good shape but is looking a little dull and/or hasn’t been used in some time, it’s a good idea to re-season it by following the steps below.


How to season cast iron cookware

Whether you’ve got a brand new cast iron pan or an old hand-me-down, the first thing you’re probably going to want to do is season it. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 450ºF. 

Step 2: Wash your cast iron cookware in hot soapy water and scrub it to remove any old seasoning or bits of anything that might be stuck on an old pan. Dry it very well with a lint-free towel.

  • This is the only time you should use soap on cast iron as the soap removes the seasoning. We’ll talk more about how to properly wash and care for cast iron below.

Step 3: Apply a thin coating of fat or oil to your skillet or cookware. Start with a couple teaspoons or so and add more as needed. It’s better to add multiple thin layers of seasoning over time rather than one thick layer at the beginning as this can cause the seasoning to be thick and sticky.

My favourite oils for seasoning cast iron include lard, coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil. I like to render my own lard at home and use that to grease and season my cast iron; I’m using lard to season my skillets in the photos below. Click here to learn how to render your own lard at home too!

Whether you've got a new cast iron skillet or you're restoring an old one, read on to learn how to season cast iron cookware so it lasts for generations!

Step 4: Use a paper towel or lint-free towel to rub the fat or oil all over the inside and outside of the cookware. Once it’s all rubbed in it should completely cover the cookware but should not be drippy or runny.

Step 5: Place cast iron cookware upside down in your pre-heated oven and bake at 450ºF for one hour. (Placing it upside down allows any excess oil to run off instead of get baked in and turn goopy, although you shouldn’t have to worry about oil dripping in your oven if you’ve followed instructions and only applied a thin layer).

Step 6: Once time is up, turn your oven off and allow cast iron to cool in the oven completely before removing.

Whether you've got a new cast iron skillet or you're restoring an old one, read on to learn how to season cast iron cookware so it lasts for generations!


How to use your cast iron after seasoning

Once your cast iron has been properly seasoned, it’s ready to use! 

While there are many benefits to cooking with cast iron, one of the biggest benefits is its versatility.

You can cook, fry, grill or bake in cast iron.

You can use in on your stovetop, in your oven, on a BBQ or grill and even use it to cook on your wood stove or over an open flame. (This is why cast iron is so great for camping!)

While you can cook just about anything in cast iron, try to avoid cooking highly acidic foods like tomatoes/tomato sauce or anything with too much vinegar or lemon juice. This is because acidic foods can wear away at the seasoning over time.

That being said, I do cook tomatoes and pasta sauces in my cast iron, I just don’t do it often. And when I do, I always make sure to apply a layer of oil over my skillet before storing.

The best thing you can cook in cast iron is anything with a lot of oil or fat as this will just add to the seasoning. The more you use and season your pan, the smoother and more non-stick it will become!


How to wash and care for cast iron

Every time you use your cast iron cookware you’ll of course need to wash it. But you want to be careful not to strip the seasoning off. 

To wash cast iron, simply use water and a cloth or soft scrub brush. DO NOT USE SOAP!!!

While it’s okay (and even advisable) to use soap to clean cast iron before you season it the first time, you want to avoid using soap to clean your cast iron cookware between each use.

Be sure to dry your cast iron very well after washing. Any leftover moisture has the potential to cause rust damage.

Once your cast iron is dry, apply a thin layer of fat or oil on your skillet or cookware to further protect it before storing.

At the end of the day, seasoning cast iron isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds. Once you do it once and get used to cooking with cast iron and washing/caring for it properly, it will become second nature. You might just find yourself ditching all of your other cookware and replacing it with cast iron! And honestly, I wouldn’t blame you:)

To learn more about the many benefits of cooking with cast iron, as well as see a list of all the different brands I use and recommend, you can learn more right here.

P.S. Are you striving to become more self-sufficient and looking for a little help, encouragement and inspiration to help guide you along on the journey? Subscribe to Modern Homesteading Magazine and get exclusive, seasonally-inspired modern homesteading information, recipes, expert interviews, advice and inspiration delivered straight to your inbox! Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get your first issue free!




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Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Winter often gets a bad rap for being the coldest, darkest, dreariest season of the year, when life as we knew it in the summer ceases to exist.

But winter offers us a much-needed reprieve from the busy-ness of the rest of the year;

A time to slow down, rest, reflect and dream;

A time to give ourselves over to the projects, hobbies, crafts and activities that we just don’t seem to have time for the rest of the year;

A time to devour books, soak up knowledge, learn new skills and sharpen old ones.

The winter issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine showcases just a few of the many unique activities, projects and opportunities that this season affords us the time to immerse ourselves in.

Here’s what you’ll find in this issue:

✨ Inspiration and ideas to help you make the most of winter on the homestead
🌱 The many ways to put a greenhouse to use all year long
🥂Homemaking tips for the holidays (and beyond!) with Homemaker Chic podcast hosts Shaye Elliott & Angela Reed
🍴Holiday recipes & comfort foods, featuring Honey Taffy, Mulled Wine and Winter Squash
🪵 Winter woodworking tutorials with The Humble Handyman and Anne of All Trades
❄️ And more!!!

To read the full issue AND get instant access to our entire library of past issues (26 value-packed issues and counting!), click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to

P.S. When you subscribe during the month of December, you’ll also get a coupon code for a free one-year subscription that you can gift to someone you love!

Give the gift of self-sufficiency this Christmas —>

We’re all familiar with eggnog, but have you ever wondered what “nog” is anyway, or how this decadent holiday drink came to be?

The general consensus is that eggnog originated in England in the 17th Century and was made with eggs, milk and some sort of alcohol (aka. “nog”).

It may have even been enjoyed earlier than this, as a similar beverage called posset (a hot, milky, ale-based drink) has origins dating back to the 13th century.

As I was researching this topic, I found at least one source that claims eggnog was created by mixing alcohol with eggs and milk earlier in the season when egg and milk production was at a high. The alcohol was used to preserve the dairy products so that they could be consumed during the winter months when egg and milk production was low.

It was originally made with sherry or brandy, but when eggnog reached America it was typically spiked with rum because rum was easier to come by. Eventually some people started substituting American whiskey.

Nowadays we can drink eggnog with or without alcohol, but traditionally eggnog was always an alcoholic drink that wealthy folks (who could afford milk and eggs and alcohol) would use to toast to their prosperity.

Eggnog has remained a favourite beverage around Christmas time; One that most of us are accustomed to buying in a carton from the grocery store. But like most processed foods, store-bought eggnog is often loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup and thickeners.

This holiday season, why not make your own eggnog instead?

All you need are fresh eggs, milk, cream, sugar and a little nutmeg (and an optional cinnamon stick) to garnish.

If eggnog is on your list of holiday must-haves but you’d rather avoid the processed grocery store stuff and make your own with fresh ingredients, you can grab the full recipe via the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or by visiting

What’s your position on eggnog? Do you love it or hate it? And if you spike it with alcohol, what alcohol do you prefer?

One of the things I love MOST about homesteading is that it empowers us to become producers of goods rather than merely consumers.

It allows us to become less dependent on outside sources to provide for us because we can provide for ourselves.

But that doesn't mean we don't need any outside help or resources ever when we're striving to become more self-sufficient. In fact, it's even more important that we have the right tools, equipment and resources on hand so that we can be more self-sufficient and consume less overall.

Every year around this time, I compile a list of my favourite things: Things that I love and use on a regular basis, and things that I know other modern homesteaders will love too!

This year I've narrowed it down to my top 10 favourite things; Things I've been using for long enough now that I know they're a great investment and I can feel confident recommending them to others.

For the most part, these are things you're going to buy once and never have to replace.

I put a lot of thought into this year's list, made some ruthless cuts to last year's list and added a couple new things I've come to love over the past 12 months.

If you're looking to invest your money rather than waste it this holiday season –whether you're taking advantage of sales for yourself or looking to buy for others on your list– you have my personal guarantee that the items on this year's favourite things list are well worth the money.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to to check out the full list if you’re looking for the perfect gift for yourself or for another homesteader on your list, or if you’re just curious to see what we use around our place:)

What are some of your favourite homestead-y things??

🥧 Wanna know the secret to a perfect, flaky pie crust EVERY TIME??

It all comes down to 3 simple rules…

Rule # 1 - Keep your butter (or lard) as cold as possible.

Freeze it even!

The colder the better when it comes to the fat source in a pie crust because you want the fat to stay solid until it melts in the oven. Then when it does melt, little air pockets will remain in the crust which is what makes it flaky and light (instead of everybody’s least favourite alternative: chewy and dense).

Rule # 2 - Keep the fat content as high as possible.

Fat equals flavour, and also helps keep the crust light and flaky.

Consider using whole fat milk instead of water, along with your butter or lard.

Rule # 3 - Don’t overwork your dough.

Unlike bread, pie crust should not be kneaded and should actually be handled as little as possible.

The more you work your dough, the more gluten strands will form, and which is what makes bread (and sadly some pie crusts) chewy.

Work your dough only as much as necessary to form a dough ball before you put it in the fridge to chill. The less you touch it, the lighter, flakier and more delicious your pie crust will be!

At the end of the day, homemade pie crust is almost always better than store-bought, but you’ve gotta follow a few simple rules to knock it outta the park.

I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting my own flaky pie crust recipe, which I use for sweet and savoury pies alike.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead for more tips and to get the full printable recipe or go to

What’s your favourite kind of pie? Answer with an emoji below!

(Mine’s 🍒;)

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The worst part about every holiday dinner is being stuck in the kitchen cooking while everyone else is just enjoying each other’s company.

The second worst part is store-bought cranberry sauce —You know, the kind that makes that oh-so appetizing slurping noise as it slides out of the tin and into the bowl, still shaped like the can it came out of.

Homemade cranberry sauce is stupidly easy to make and tastes SO much better than store-bought. Plus you can add spices to put your own delicious spin on this holiday classic.

While it takes just a few minutes to whip together homemade cranberry sauce on the big day, you can make it ahead of time and either refrigerate it (up to 3 days), freeze it or even can it to enjoy later!

Canning is my favourite method of preservation when it comes to homemade cranberry sauce because I can make it well in advance and I don’t have to worry about remembering to defrost it ahead of time.

Canning it means you’ve always got a jar of made-from-scratch cranberry sauce ready to go in your pantry long before you’re ready to set the table (and trust me, it’s a lot prettier coming out of a Mason jar!)

Plus you can make enough for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas, all in one go, and even keep enough on hand to enjoy mixed into yogurt, oatmeal or over ice cream whenever you like!

Now is the time to start your holiday dinner preparations to ensure you don’t spend all day in the kitchen and get to soak up as much valuable family time as possible.

Yesterday I shared my family recipe for homemade Perogies, which you can make ahead snd freeze. Here’s just one more recipe you can make ahead of time and preserve to make your life easier this holiday season.

Recipe link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to

Have you ever made your own cranberry sauce from scratch, or will this be your first time??

#cranberrysauce #fromscratch #homesteading #homesteadkitchen #canning #preserving #thanksgivingdinner #christmasdinner

Did you know that the fragrance industry has a stockpile of over 3,100 synthetic chemicals that they use to concoct their signature fragrances?😬

And get this: Because of trade secrets, they’re not even legally required to disclose the list of chemical ingredients in their products! 😱

Luckily, there’s an easy, affordable synthetic-chemical-free alternative…. Make your own DIY home and body sprays with essential oils and all-natural ingredients!

If you wanna learn how, you can check out my DIY Home & Body sprays Masterclass for FREE today only by joining me and a whole bunch of other simple living bloggers for the last day of A Cozy Gathering.

Learn how to create your own all-natural sprays, craft handmade rope coil baskets, cook delicious and nourishing winter soups, make herbal honey infusions and more!

If you’ve already signed up, be sure to check your email for the links to all of today’s presentations!

And if you haven’t signed up yet, there’s not much time left, so click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to to sign up and watch for free before it ends tonight!

You also have the option of purchasing lifetime access if you miss it:)

I’ll be making more of these for Christmas gifts this year, along with candles and baskets of goodies from our pantry 😊

Let me know if you’ll be making some too!

I woke up this morning and it was still dark as night.

The rain was pelting down on our roof and the wind was howling.

Outside it was cold and dreary, but inside I lit my morning candle, turned on the soft white fairy lights we have strung in our kitchen, put a few drops of oil in the diffuser and snuggled back under the blankets with a hot cup of coffee before it was time to “officially” start the day.

I just love this time of year!

I talk a lot about seasonal living, mostly because as a homesteader, you have no choice but to live with the seasons.

You’re either starting seeds and planting in the spring, tending your garden in the summer, preserving in the fall or sitting by the fire in the winter as you eat from the larder full of food you worked so hard to put up the rest of the year, and dreaming about starting all over again in the spring.

Our success as homesteaders really does depend on us changing up our routines and making the most of each season, though this can sometimes feel easier said than done when the weather outside is dark and miserable.

But there’s something magical and deeply nourishing about this time of year, should we choose to embrace it for all it has to offer.

If you’re looking for a little help or inspiration to help you approach the winter months with intention and make this season as cozy, joyous and restful as it can be, I’m so excited to invite you to A Cozy Gathering: a 3-day virtual summit featuring 16 expert speakers, giveaways, and a lifetime’s access to a wealth of information and actionable ideas for simple-living during all four seasons (but especially fall and winter!)

The summit starts on Monday, November 8th and is completely FREE to attend.
OR you can upgrade and get instant, lifetime access to the entire summit, including all of the presentations and exclusive bonuses for just $47 (until Sunday only).

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to register for free and save your seat, or purchase instant, lifetime access to A Cozy Gathering!

Tell me, what’s your favourite thing about this time of year??

We woke up to a killing frost the other day. If you’re a farmer, gardener or homesteader, you know what that means…

It means our days to get everything done outdoors are numbered.

It means we need to make sure the chickens and rabbits have fresh, warm bedding.

It means we need to finish putting the garden to bed, which includes adding a layer of compost and mulch to feed and protect the soil until we’re ready to plant again next spring.

It means tidying up our tools, putting away our hoses and making sure the water’s turned off so it doesn’t freeze.

So much of life as a homesteader is dictated by the weather and the seasons, and while that can often mean a mad scramble to get everything planted, harvested and/or put to bed, there’s something invigorating about every seasonal transition and shift. It gets my adrenaline going!

But it’s still work. Nobody said that the “simple” life would be easy!

But it’s precisely that hard work that makes falling into bed each night so gratifying. It’s the feeling of a day well spent and a job well done.

If you’re looking for some tips on what to do now before the ground freezes solid to make sure you’re ready for winter AND ready to start all over again in the garden next spring, be sure to check out the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, which is full of tips and advice to help you wrap up the growing season and get a head start on the coming months.

As always, a little bit (more) hard work right now will definitely make life easier down the line.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to subscribe and read the latest issue if you haven’t yet, or go to

#homesteading #homesteadersofinstagram #simplelife #selfsufficiency #winteriscoming

Fact: You can use a cast iron skillet to cook your food, get extra iron in your diet and even to ward off criminals!

These are just a few of the benefits of cooking with cast iron. Wanna know more??

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to

Do you cook with cast iron? If so, what do you like most about it? Let me know down below!👇

#castiron #castironcooking #homesteadkitchen

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