Which oil for seasoning pans?

Hope this article helps!

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I think this article is nonsense . Seasoning a pan takes time. Cook in it . Again and again. I’ve used the top olive oils, the most hideous vegetable oils , imported duck and pork fat . Cook in your pans have fun . I love my pans . My most precious pan I picked out of a dumpster. Cast iron.


Recently I seasoned a new cast iron pan, I used grapeseed oil. It has a relatively high smoking point and neutral flavour. I repeated the heating process 4 times until the seasoning is non sticky. I’m happy with the lower cooking part. The pan has a wooden handle, and I can only process this on a stove top and not oven, meaning some part closer to the handle, the seasoning is not done correctly, as the temperature is not high enough.

I’ve read that one can use animal fat for seasoning, but that utensil, you have to use it often to prevent the development of dominating rancid odor.


I picked up an old Griswold - sandblasted it to clean up.
then simply cooked fatty stuff in it - bacon/sausage type stuff. never sat around “seasoning” the pan. did not take long.

I don’t agree that animal fats will carry along a odor - the whole purpose of seasoning is to burn it in - harden / polymerize the pan to a carbon slick.

pioneers were not using organic flax oil to treat their pans . . .


@droolingdoggie I found the article helpful. Thank you.

As someone who has somehow messed up a so-called (factory) preseasoned pan, I could use all the help I can get. I think I need to scour it all over and start again?

What @emglow101 says. Quick seasoning methods often if not usually result in tacky surfaces.
My most luxuriously seasoned pan is a cast iron omelet pan I use for making crepes. Wiped with vegetable oil, heated to high, make crepe, repeat, repeat, repeat. Used that pan only for crepes. Never washed with detergent.

I plan to remove the existing flaking coating using copper wire pads, which are less harsh than steel wool.

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I’ve had my cast iron pans forever. Can’t remember where or when I acquired them. All are black with smooth surfaces. Even the grill pan ridges are black and smooth. I never did anything special to season them. Use and time worked well. I wonder, though, if the new, pre-seasoned pans are the ones giving folks trouble. Their surfaces appear a tiny bit rough.

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My experience has been that whatever oil you use (I use canola), it needs to be the thinnest coating you can apply. I use an old cotton tee-shirt to buff it out so it is practically invisible… then in a 400+ degree oven for a couple of hours.

Heavier coats of oils can result in rancidity or less than ideal polymerization of the coating.


My carbon steel pan is rusty on the outside. What do I need to do with it?

Use steel wool or sand paper to remove it, and then remember that you need to season it inside and out.

Thank you. The handle is made of scillicone. Therefore, I cannot heat the pan in the oven and must use the gas stove top for seasoning. Can I season the outside this way?

Most silicon can survive 400°F, which is fine for seasoning. Check with the manufacturer if you no longer have the instructions that came with the pan.

Gas stovetops are indeed an issue with seasoning the bottom/outside of your pan as it is simply too hot. If you have something like a pizza stone you can use that to disperse the heat… but in my experience the oven is way better.

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My higher heat neutral oil is grape seed, so that’s what I use.

For those of you (like me) that finish your seasoning in the oven, do you use the convection setting? Why or why not?

Like @droolingdoggie, I’ve had my issues with my cast iron pan, so any advice other than “just cook with it” is welcome. I thought I was meticulous about cleaning and drying it out but obviously, not enough.

I will try to re-season. Again. Because I do love cooking with cast iron.



Apologies for the upside photo. That’s my continuing photo issue. It’s not you, it’s me.

Looks to me like you first need to remove some crud from the interior? A 24 hour soak with a little dish soap and attack with a metal scrubbie would be my suggestion. I then hot wash, rinse, and leave mine to dry for about 10 minutes, wipe dry with paper and then heat gently for 5 minutes to drive off any remaining moisture. Whilst still hot I paper wipe again with a tiny splash of oil, and then use that bit of paper over the exterior. More maintenance than full seasoning I suppose, but it seems to work.

I use these. They last for ever and can go in the dishwasher:

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I think the selection oil matters, but probably not as demanding. As long as you use a cooking oil with high smoke point, then it should be fine.

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My personal experience is that the cheapest refined oils are the best for seasoning and for searing at high temperatures in general.

EV olive oil is best for light sautéing of vegetables and for italian pasta dishes.

I season my carbon steel pans using either cheap refined grapeseed oil or refined peanut oil.


I note that much of the above is related to cast. while I love my cast iron, as I get older, I am switching more and more to carbon steel. Seasoning carbon steel is not really like seasoning cast iron, and time is the major factor. I used several of the seasoning suggestions online with superficially beautiful results, but ultimately a fragile seasoning coat. I use my pans every day, clean and wipe them after use, dry and lightly re- coat them. After a couple of years, they are now very well seasoned and durable, much like my cast iron.

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