How To Remove Cast Iron Seasoning: A Step-By-Step Guide

cleaning What do I need to clean off before I season this cast iron
cleaning What do I need to clean off before I season this cast iron from


Cast iron cookware has been a staple in kitchens for centuries. It’s known for its durability and excellent heat retention properties. To keep your cast iron skillet or pan in top shape, it’s important to maintain its seasoning. However, there may come a time when you need to remove the seasoning, whether it’s because of a buildup of grime or you want to start fresh. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to safely and effectively remove cast iron seasoning.

Gather Your Materials

Before you start the process, make sure you have all the necessary materials. You’ll need a mild dish soap, a non-abrasive scrub brush or sponge, paper towels, a clean towel, and a suitable oil for re-seasoning your cast iron.

Step 1: Assess the Condition

Take a close look at your cast iron cookware and determine if it really needs to have the seasoning removed. Sometimes, a simple cleaning and re-seasoning can do the trick. If you notice any rust or the seasoning is flaking off, it’s time to proceed with the removal process.

Step 2: Scrub with Dish Soap

Use a mild dish soap and warm water to scrub the entire surface of the cast iron. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the cookware. Gently scrub away any food residue or built-up grime.

Step 3: Rinse Thoroughly

After scrubbing, rinse the cast iron thoroughly with warm water. Make sure to remove all traces of the dish soap. Any leftover soap residue can affect the taste of your food when you start cooking with it again.

Step 4: Dry Completely

Use paper towels to pat dry the cast iron. Make sure to remove any excess moisture to prevent rusting. Then, let the cookware air dry completely or use a clean towel to speed up the process.

Step 5: Apply Heat

To remove the remaining seasoning, you’ll need to expose the cast iron to high heat. Place the cookware in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. This process will help burn off the seasoning.

Step 6: Let it Cool

Once the hour is up, turn off the oven and allow the cast iron to cool down completely. You can leave it inside the oven until it reaches room temperature.

Step 7: Scrub Again

After cooling, use a non-abrasive scrub brush or sponge to scrub away any remaining residue or ash. This step will help remove any last bits of seasoning that may still be clinging to the cookware.

Step 8: Re-season the Cast Iron

Now that you’ve successfully removed the old seasoning, it’s time to re-season your cast iron cookware. Apply a thin layer of a suitable oil, such as vegetable oil or flaxseed oil, to the entire surface of the cookware. Make sure to cover all areas, including the handle and the bottom.

Step 9: Bake in the Oven

Place the oiled cast iron upside down on the oven rack or a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. This process will help the oil polymerize and create a new layer of seasoning.

Step 10: Cool and Store

Once the hour is up, turn off the oven and let the cast iron cool down completely. Then, it’s ready to be used again or stored for future use. Remember to store your cast iron cookware in a dry place to prevent rusting.

By following these steps, you can easily remove cast iron seasoning and restore your cookware to its original condition. Whether you’re starting fresh or deep cleaning, this process will ensure your cast iron is ready for many delicious meals to come.