best oil to season cast iron skillet

Best Oil To Season Cast Iron Skillet : Top 10 Picks for 2021

Cast iron skillets have become a part and parcel of our daily culinary habits. Because of its non-stick surface, we can cook up a wide range of dishes without having to worry about the food getting stuck at the bottom repeatedly.

However, this non-stick surface will grow weaker with time if not taken care of properly.

Without the right amount and kind of seasoning, it may soon be the victim of rust formation and other damages. That is why you need to find the best oil to season cast iron skillet effectively.

Here we compiled the most popular choices in this category so that you can make an informed decision to restore the shine and smoothness of your favorite cookware!

Image

Name

Editor's Rating

Price

Kuche Chef Organic Cast Iron Oil

5 out of 5

Cast Iron Seasoning Oil by CLARK'S

5 out of 5

Caron & Doucet - Cast Iron Seasoning Set

4.5 out of 5

Barlean's Fresh Flax Oil

4 out of 5

Crisbee Stik Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Seasoning

4.5 out of 5

Top 10 Best Oils To Season A Cast Iron Skillet in 2021

1. Kuche Chef Organic Seasoning Oil for Cast Iron

Küche Chef is an American brand whose creations are now available throughout the globe.

Their extensive collection includes both kitchenware and other convenient items that make the daily cooking experience easier. From the latter section, we have found an organic oil that should prove to be beneficial for the longevity of your cast iron cookware.

The brand claims this oil to be 100% organic and made from flaxseed. It is also the only edible drying oil which means you can include it in your food preparation without any worries.

Unlike other common household oils like palm or canola, a drying oil converts into a hard film once it has been applied. Additionally, it will never make your skillet sticky or turn rancid.

All of these aspects make the flaxseed oil even more fitting to be an ideal oil to use on cast iron. You can keep the skillet smooth and shiny without it being sticky at all!

In terms of nutrition as well, including it in your cooking can bring in some extra points. It has a high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids which contributes to improving cardiovascular health, rheumatoid arthritis and more.

For extending its lifespan, you can store it in the refrigerator. This natural seasoning oil will make the skillet easier to clean and make all your dishes taste better!

Highlighted Features:

  • 100% organic and only edible drying oil.
  • High concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Never goes rancid or makes skillet sticky.
  • Suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
  • Can be refrigerated for long-term use.

2. Cast Iron Seasoning Oil by CLARK'S

The brand of CLARK’s began out of necessity and curiosity, intending to make essential but often overlooked cooking items completely safe for use. Among them, there is a group of products dedicated to cast iron, like this the seasoning oil meant for taking care of cookware including skillets.

Although coconut oil is usually not the best oil for cast iron skillet seasoning, this one follows a specialized formula that repels unwanted liquids or moisture.

As a result, the surface of your cast iron kitchenware can stay safe from moisture damage and subsequent rust formation.

So the lifespan of your skillets can be longer and thus you don’t have to worry about getting a new one anytime soon!

Similar to the previous oil, this one too promises to never go rancid like other oils such as palm, canola or grapeseed. You don’t even need to refrigerate it to have this guarantee. Besides, it claims to be 100% natural and sourced from refined coconut oil, which makes it a good choice for vegan people.

You will get 12 fluid ounces of this oil in each bottle. Simply apply it to the cast iron skillet in a thin layer after cleaning and drying. It will restore the natural seasoning and maintain the superior finish for the non-stick surface.

Highlighted Features:

  • 12 fluid ounces available at an economical price point.
  • 100% natural product made from refined coconut oil.
  • Prevents moisture damage or rust on the skillets.
  • Doesn’t go rancid even without refrigeration.
  • Restores and maintains a superior finish.

3. Caron & Doucet - Cast Iron Cleaning & Conditioning Set

Although the brand of Caron & Doucet is relatively young, it has already assembled a unique combination of products which includes kitchenware, houseware and skincare items. However, such versatility has not hampered any of their quality. Instead, they have proved to be effective and thus reliable.

One of those products is the essential cast iron care bundle of cleaning soap and seasoning oil. This pair should be enough to keep your skillets clean after use and then season it to maintain their quality over the next few years. 

The oil to season a cast iron pan is made from solvent-less refined coconut oil that is safe to be used during food preparation.

Having such a base has enabled it to be free of long-chain fatty acids. This improves its shelf life and also prevents the oil from going rancid. And of course, it restores the properties of your cookware’s natural seasoning.

On the other hand, you can use the plant-based soap of this set to clean any cast iron cookware. Its special formula guarantees an effective wash that does not compromise the chemical contents of cast iron griddle or pan.

The brand has combined pure essential oils in a proprietary blend which removes food odors naturally. Both the seasoning oil and the cleaning soap come in bottles of 8 fluid ounces.

Highlighted Features:

  • Comes as a pair of cleaning soap and seasoning oil.
  • Made from food-grade solvent-less coconut oil.
  • Can restore and maintain the natural seasoning.
  • Proprietary blend naturally eliminates odors.
  • 8 fluid ounces available in each bottle.

4. Barlean's Fresh Flax Oil to Use on Cast Iron Skillet

Barlean’s is a family-owned brand that started producing flax oil based on personal interests. Over time it reached new heights of popularity and now serves an international group of customers. Now they have multiple kinds of flax oil for catering to the different needs of that diverse group of people.

The brand believes this award-winning oil to be the “World’s Freshest Flax Oil” as written on its body. It has been prepared as an organic, pure and unrefined form of flaxseed oil to retain all of its naturally gifted properties. To keep its freshness, this oil is cold-pressed and protected from both sunlight and air.

Each tablespoon of Barlean’s flax oil comes with 7,640 mg of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. This variation of Omega-3 fatty acid can improve your heart condition.

Therefore, in addition to using it as the best oil to season a cast iron skillet, you can also add it to your oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt and salad dressings.

It suits a wide variety of dietary habits and health concerns. This oil is gluten-free, kosher, 1% vegan, verified as non-GMO and USDA Organic.

So you can easily incorporate it into your daily culinary routines without worrying about messing up the diet. Get it in sizes of 8, 12, 16 and 32 fl oz.

Highlighted Features:

  • Organic and unrefined flaxseed oil.
  • Formula is gluten-free and 1% vegan.
  • High ALA Omega-3 fatty acid in each tbsp.
  • Can be added to salad, smoothies and more.
  • Available in four sizes of 8, 12, 16 and 32 fl oz.

5. Crisbee Stik Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Seasoning Oil & Conditioner

The family-owned brand of Crisbee brings in a unique formula for their products to ensure an effective solution to common cleaning and maintenance problems.

Their cast iron seasoning oil named Stik does not break away from this tradition. It is also made using a proprietary blend of soybean oil, palm oil and beeswax.

Both of the oils used here are non-GMO which means neither of them contains genetically modified properties. Because of its well-researched formula, this oil does not go rancid.

It is also very cost-effective in more ways than one. Firstly, the price point it comes at is already quite easily affordable. Moreover, it requires less amount to cover the same area as other seasoning oils.

To be more specific, you would need a tablespoon or an ounce of most oils in each application. As a result, 8 ounces of such oils can be applied only 16 times.

The same size of a Crisbee Stik however can be applied more than 60 times on a 10-inch skillet. So the overall cost of your regular groceries will also go lower.

In addition to cast iron, you can use this oil with your carbon steel cookware as well. Both of these materials can be restored and maintained for a long time with daily treatment of the Stik.

Highlighted Features:

  • Proprietary blend of beeswax and oils.
  • Non-GMO product that doesn’t go rancid.
  • Ensures non-stick finish for cast iron cookware.
  • Ideal for daily maintenance and initial seasoning.
  • Works great for carbon steel cookware as well.

6. Creation Farm Foodieville Cast Iron Oil for Seasoning

Along with skincare, aromatherapy and others, the company of Creation Farm also produces seasoning oils utilizing its experience in essential oils and herbs expanding over 20 years! This oil falls under its umbrella of cast iron care, known as Foodieville.

You will find it only one size but this single unit can prove to be a lot more useful than many similar products. Each container contains 12 fl oz. of the oil, making it the best oil for seasoning cast iron skillet on a daily basis.

It has been created from an optimized blend of common oils like sesame, flaxseed and coconut MCT. This oil is formulated specifically for taking care of cast iron cookware by restoring and maintaining its original non-stick surface. Food-grade lemon essential oil is included in the oil to enhance it even further.

The impressive part about its container design is the inclusion of a spray applicator. Whenever you need to use the oil, just press on the trigger and apply it to your cast iron skillet! You don’t have to open up the bottle every time the pan needs some seasoning anymore.

Highlighted Features:

  • Comes in large sizes of 12 fluid ounces.
  • Designed to keep the cast iron non-stick.
  • Made with oils of sesame, flax and coconut MCT.
  • Enhanced with food-grade lemon essential oil.
  • Designed with a spray applicator for easy application.

7. Kuche Chef Organic BBQ Grill Seasoning Oil

This oil from Kuche Chef shares a lot of similarities with the previous oil we discussed from the same brand. Much like that one, this oil too is prepared from flaxseeds. As we know by now, flax oil is the only edible drying oil and thus should pose no health hazard if it gets mixed into your dishes.

Many products on the market claim to be 100% organic, but the Kuche Chef BBQ oil is certified by USDA to be so. Therefore, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you are not being the victim of any con label.

If you want to boost your cardiovascular health, this oil for cast iron pan can be a resourceful companion. It carries a high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids in each tablespoon which are well-known for their ability to improve heart conditions.

Although the title suggests that it is only for cast iron grills, it can also be used for skillets made from the same material.

Regardless of the category, this oil can be applied to any cast iron cookware to restore its smooth and shiny surface. It prevents stickiness and maintains it through the process of fat polymerization. Each bottle will come with 8 fluid ounces of the product.

Highlighted Features:

  • Certified by USDA as 100% organic.
  • Contains high concentration of Omega-3.
  • It won’t go rancid since it is a drying oil.
  • Keeps cast iron cookware smooth and shiny.
  • Fat polymerization ensures non-stick surface.

8. La Tourangelle, Grapeseed Oil for Cast Iron Skillet Seasoning

La Tourangelle is one of the oldest providers of oils. It was established more than 150 years ago in a picturesque town in France called Saumur. From a small oil mill powered by animals, it has now turned into a multinational brand that actively operates in the USA as well.

Unlike most other oils on this list, La Tourangelle offers grapeseed oil to take care of your cast iron skillets. This oil can be used to maintain the smooth and shiny surface of your cast iron cookware.

It contains high levels of polyunsaturated fats. You can use it to strengthen your guard against bad cholesterol and heart diseases.

Another aspect that makes the oil an ideal partner for healthy cooking is its ability to be heated up to 450°F. That makes it the best oil to season cast iron skillet and cook high-temperature dishes like steaks!

Based on your application preferences, you can get this oil in a regular bottle or a sprayer. Using the sprayer, you can make the entire process more efficient by removing the need to apply it with your hand. It comes in three sizes of 5 fl oz, 16.9 fl oz and 25.4 fl oz to make sure you are getting exactly as much as you need.

Highlighted Features:

  • Available in two container designs and three sizes.
  • Combats bad cholesterol and heart diseases.
  • Contains a high level of polyunsaturated fat.
  • Has a light flavor that can improve your dishes.
  • Ideal for cooking since it can be heated up to 450°F.

9. BetterBody Foods Avocado Oil for Seasoning Cast Iron Skillet

Even though BetterBody Foods began in 2007 with just one product, now it has dozens of items catered to a diverse group of customers across more than 20 countries!

One of them is avocado oil which can be used for both adding nutrients to your dishes and seasoning your cast iron skillets.

This oil is refined naturally to get rid of any potentially harmful chemical present in it initially. So you can now include this oil for cast iron cooking without worrying about any adverse side-effects.

Besides, it is non-GMO, gluten-free and does not contain any additives. Since it is made from clean ingredients, it provides a clean flavor.

For all these properties, it makes a really good option to elevate the items on your keto or paleo diet chart.

Most of the healthy oils to season cast iron are typically used for dressing on salads. However, the high smoke point of 500°F makes this oil eligible for use in other homemade dishes prepared through frying, baking or sauteing!

Although it comes at a very economical price point, the amount and the quality are the same as any other seasoning oil available at a higher cost. You will get 16.9 fl oz of product in each of these bottles.

Highlighted Features:

  • One size of 16.9 fl oz available at a very low cost.
  • High smoke point of 500°F makes it highly useful.
  • Naturally refined oil made from clean ingredients.
  • Subtle and smooth flavor works for many dishes.
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free ideal for multiple diets.

10. Puritan's Pride Organic Flaxseed Oil

Since 1973, Puritan’s Pride has been providing nutritious food products that can significantly contribute to someone’s daily dietary habits. Similarly, this flaxseed oil from their brand can also help you to achieve your health goals while keeping your cast iron skillet shiny and smooth.

It has no flavor of its own which means you don’t have to worry about any surprising taste in your skillet dishes. This vegetarian oil is certified as organic by Quality Assurance International or QAI.

The cold-pressed and pure flaxseed oil contains several useful nutrients like three kinds of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

You will get the benefits of Omega-3, 6 and 9 from here which can improve your heart condition. Additionally, it helps with your joint, circulatory and overall cellular health.

You will get 16 fluid ounces or 473 millimeters of oil in each bottle. If you are running low on budget or working on minimizing your monthly expenses, this can be a great option since it is set at a very economical price point. Therefore, it can easily be the best oil for cast iron skillet for people on a tight budget.

Highlighted Features:

  • Each bottle has 16 fl oz or 473 ml of product.
  • Unflavored vegetarian oil is certified as organic.
  • Good source of fatty acids like Omega-3, 6 and 9.
  • Helps heart, joint, circulatory and cellular health.
  • Available at a very economical price point.

Oil for Cast Iron Skillet Comparison Chart

Brand

Source

Sizes (fl oz)

Smoke Point

Flavored

Flavored

Flaxseed

4

225°F

No

CLARK'S

Coconut

12

350°F

No

Caron & Doucet

Coconut

8

350°F

No

Barlean's

Flaxseed

8, 12, 16, 32

225°F

No

Crisbee Stik

Soyabean, Palm, Beeswax

2.3

450°F

No

Creation Farm

Sesame, Flaxseed, Coconut MCT

12

375°F

No

Kuche Chef

Flaxseed

8

225°F

No

La Tourangelle

Grapeseed

5, 16.9, 25.4

450°F

Yes

BetterBody Foods

Avocado

16.9

500°F

Yes

Puritan's Pride

Flaxseed

16

225°F

No

Oil to Season Cast Iron Skillet Buying Guide

Oil to Season Cast Iron Skillet Buying Guide

1. Source

a. Flaxseed

Flaxseed is the most common source for the majority of these oils for seasoning cast iron. One of the reasons behind its high demand is it being among the only edible drying oils to exist. This means it dries up or hardens over time when exposed to air through polymerization.

Unfortunately, these oils are usually more expensive than other seasoning oil variations and also less accessible. For purchasing offline, you may need to search in health food stores or pharmacies to find it.

Another issue with flaxseed oils is their unpleasant odor which can easily make you discontinue using it after a while.

b. Grapeseed

Grapeseed is considered by many as the best oil for seasoning cast iron skillet. Along with a high smoke point, it comes at very affordable price points and is easily accessible at the usual grocery stores. It can ensure a long-lasting seasoning for your cast iron cookware and thus improve its lifespan.

This durable oil has a neutral color which can be included in the preparation of many kinds of dishes.

You can use it to fry, roast, sear or sauté ingredients, as well as to make salad dressings. Remember that it has a light flavor which can add to the overall taste of that dish.

c. Coconut Oil

This oil is supremely popular among people for a myriad of reasons. Its high-fat content makes coconut oil a great choice for low-carb diets like keto and it helps to reduce protein loss for your hair. However, it may not be the most fruitful choice in the seasoning because of its high ratio of saturated fats.

This ratio suggests that it cannot form bonds properly leading to unsuccessful polymerization. As a result, the coating established on your cast iron skillet will end up weak and useless. However, some brands have found a way to resolve this issue with a specialized formulation.

d. Soybean Oil

Along with seasoning your cast iron cookware, this oil can also be used to prepare a wide range of dishes. You can take its help while cooking something as simple as eggs in the morning, or a much more sophisticated dish like steak or pork loin! It can also be a good source of healthy fats for your family.

e. Avocado Oil

One of the main reasons behind the rising popularity of avocado oil for cast iron seasoning is its incredibly high smoke point. So it can be used for searing, frying, roasting, as well as salad dressings!

Additionally, avocado is a common favorite in all kinds of healthy diets since it is full of antioxidants and useful fats.

f. Others

If any of these don’t fit your requirements, there are many other kinds of oils you can check out for seasoning your cast iron skillet.

Among them the notable options would be palm oil, sesame oil, corn oil, sunflower oil and olive oil. These can be found easily in any typical grocery shop. 

2. Smoke Point

Smoke point is the temperature at which your seasoning oil will not stay on the skillet surface anymore and start to polymerize into the material.

Needless to say, a good seasoning oil for cast iron needs to have a high enough smoke point to not cause such issues during daily cooking routines.

Flaxseed fails in this aspect since its smoke point is only around 225°F which is not at all enough for cooking all kinds of dishes.

However, grapeseed shines here with a high smoke point of 420°F. The highest temperature however belongs to avocado oil that can stay on the cast iron surface up to 520-570°F!

Apart from these, other common options are soybean oil (450°F), sesame oil (450°F) and olive oil (228-323°F).

3. Health Benefits

Oils in general are mostly known for their fat content. Even though it is a detested nutrient in many low-fat diets, the rise of low-carb diets has rebranded it as a very beneficial element if used in the right way.

The fat composition of all these oils can be divided into three categories - polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated.

Typically, the first two are considered to be good since they lower the risk of many diseases. Saturated fats can be bad by increasing cholesterol and deteriorating heart conditions.

Here is a chart so that you can check out the different distributions of fats in several seasoning oils at a glance:

Name

Polyunsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated Fats

Saturated Fats

Flaxseed Oil

68%

18%

9%

Grapeseed Oil

70%

16%


10%

Avocado Oil

12%

76%

12%

Coconut Oil

1.8%

6%

87%

Corn Oil

55%

28%

13%

Sunflower Oil

36%

46%

13%

Olive Oil

11%

73%

14%

4. Flavor

Some seasoning oils have a flavor of their own which can add to the dishes, while some come with no additional flavor. The latter will be a better fit for those who don’t like any new flavor in their dishes. 

However, if you do want an extra kick in the taste, you can use any oil except avocado, sesame, olive, coconut and flaxseed.

Tips To Keep Clean And Take Care Of Your Cast Iron Skillet

The First Wash

When you first get the brand new cast iron skillet in your hand, the wash needs to be a little different from the regular ones.

Usually you should not use soapy water on them but it is an important step for the first wash. Mix a bit of soap into some hot or warm water and then use it to eliminate factory residue.

Source: https://www.seriouseats.com/2016/09/how-to-season-cast-iron-pans-skillets-cookware.html

Right Utensils

It is safer to use relatively softer utensils made of rubber, silicone or wood. The metal ones can be used occasionally but their contact with the skillet surface needs to be at a minimum. You need to keep them away specifically when you are laying down the seasoning.

Cleaning After Cooking

Often there are food particles stuck on the surface of skillets. For those made from cast iron, remember to use warm water to rinse the skillet first. Then take a gentle brush or a griddle scraper to get rid of particles.

If they are still stuck, prepare a mixture of canola oil and kosher salt with 3-5 tablespoons of each. Dip a paper towel into it and then scrub your skillet’s surface with this towel.

Limited Use Of Water

Of course long and continuous exposure to water can cause rust over time on cast iron. However, that doesn’t mean you need to completely remove water from the cleaning of these skillets.

You do need to rinse it with warm water before cleaning and soak it for a few minutes in warm water occasionally. Just remember to follow it up by drying the cookware perfectly.

The water needs to be warm or hot because cold water on a cast iron skillet can warm the material.

On the other hand, washing a cooled-down skillet can be hard because the particles stuck on it may get dried up and thus tougher to remove.

Proper Storage

Needless to say that your cast iron skillet should be stored in a dry place since long contact with water can easily result in rust. For the same reason, make sure the skillet has been dried off fully.

It would be better if you don’t stack them over one another. But if you have to do so for the lack of space, make sure to place a single paper towel on each of their surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Okay To Cook Tomato Sauce On A Cast Iron Skillet?

It is a common idea that cooking any dish involving a tomato can be harmful to a cast iron skillet.

Because of its acidic properties, tomato is capable of eating away the seasoning you so carefully put there. However, you can still cook tomato sauce in it occasionally with the help of really good seasoning.

As long as the pan is well-seasoned and you are not cooking acidic foods in it every day or every week, it should be fine.

How Often Do You Season A Cast Iron Skillet?

The seasoning will need to be more often if you cook with it frequently. Besides, if your diet or your family requires you to cook with many acidic foods regularly, you may have to season it more regularly than others. If not done so, the acidity will gnaw at your cast iron surface and ruin its purpose.

Does Cast Iron Heat Evenly?

Even though it often may seem like it, cast iron doesn’t ensure even heat distribution. However, it does retain a lot of heat which then manages to cook the dish easily.

To see it for yourself, you can use a laser thermometer to measure the temperature in multiple areas of your hot cast iron skillet.

Why Is My Cast Iron Seasoning Sticky?

If you notice that the cast iron surface has become sticky right after applying the seasoning, it means too much oil has been applied.

The delivered amount was higher than the required amount. Another possibility is the oil has a high content of saturated fat which prevents forming a strong bond.

Final Words

It might be overwhelming to find the best oil to season cast iron skillet from so many varieties produced by so many reputable brands.

But that is where our detailed discussions on this matter can help you! Now you know which factors to keep in mind while checking out this versatile array of seasoning oils.

The most beneficial one is grapeseed but flaxseed and avocado are also good options. However, if you are a fan of steaks and fries, you will need a much higher smoke point than what flaxseed can put up with.

Besides, the presence of additional flavor and the amount you are getting in each unit plays a role in your final decision as well.

So begin your hunt for the right cast iron seasoning oil today!

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