Cast-iron skillets are one of the best cookware to have. They are great investments. With proper care, they could last you a lifetime. You might even be able to pass it down to one of your kids! Of course, we can’t forget that they can help with lots of mouth-watering meals too.
Unfortunately, the delicious meals won’t come out of the skillet magically. No, not even if you rub your cast-iron skillet like a lamp. You would need to properly prepare your skillet for the mouth-watering meal to come out. With that, one of the first things you might ask is: what is the best oil to season a cast-iron skillet? Well, allow us to help out with that!
5 Oils to Season Cast-Iron Skillets
Cooking and baking could be confusing at times.
You’d have to find the right recipe. After that, you’d have to look for fresh ingredients. Then, you’d want to find the right tools!
At first, it may look like there are only three things on the agenda. However, as you might already know, the choices branch.
It is the same when choosing oil to season with. Who knew there were so many oils out there? Here are our top choices. Let’s take a look at each one.
5. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil was not always one of the crowd favorites, but it sure is one of the popular options now. Many might disagree that flaxseed oil only ranks 5th on the list, but hear us out.
Many attest to the greatness of this oil as a seasoning. Don’t get us wrong! We believe it could get the job done. However, with its pros, this oil also comes with cons.
It has lots of health benefits, and it also dries naturally. However, its price, smell, and elusiveness put it at the bottom of the list. However, note that it’s still on the list!
Flaxseed oil undoubtedly does not have the most pleasing smell compared to the oils on this list. It’s not odorless as well, as many like their oils.
Additionally, it’s not easy to find, and when you do find one, you can count on it having a hefty price tag!
4. Avocado Oil
Next up, we have the avocado oil.
Avocado oil is another oil you would want to consider. It also offers many health benefits, and it can also give you durable seasoning along with those benefits.
The avocado oil is also known for being a neutral-flavored oil. If you don’t want your seasoning to add any taste to your dish, this oil is one way to do just that.
Avocado oil does have a downside. Like flaxseed oil, it can also be pricey.
3. Vegetable Oil
Third on the list is the trusty ole vegetable oil.
So far, the oils we have listed have been pricey. You don’t need to look any further if you’re looking for an affordable option.
Its price point and its convenience might probably be its best features. However, like the first two oils we’ve mentioned, vegetable oil has some cons, which only puts it in third place instead of first. Vegetable oil will do the job, but you can’t expect it to do it flawlessly. Depending on the vegetable oil you’re using, you would probably see a problem or two here and there. Usually, it is easy to overlook the problem or problems. If you’d like to work on the dish with as little inconvenience as possible, vegetable oil might not be for you.
2. Canola Oil
Canola oil and vegetable oil are pretty similar. Many would even put them in the same category.
With that, you could expect almost the same thing with vegetable and canola oil. In addition to the good features already mentioned above, the two are also neutrally flavored. If you don’t want the oil you season with to interfere with the flavor of the dish, then you might also want to consider these oils.
Now, you might be wondering why canola oil ranks higher than vegetable oil if they work in almost the same way. We decided to put canola oil higher on this list than vegetable oil because many believe it is a healthier choice between the two.
1. Grapeseed Oil
Finally, let’s talk about the top choice of many. The winner of the cast-iron skillet seasoning oil contest is grapeseed oil!
So, what makes grapeseed oil so great?
Well, grapeseed oil ticks off most – if not all – of the things you would want in the cooking oil you’re going to season with. Additionally, there isn’t much of a downside with this oil. Now, isn’t that the dream?
First, grapeseed oil is one of the best go-to cooking oils to season your cast-iron skillets if you want an oil that has neutral flavoring and odor. In other words, if you only want an oil that will do its job without bothering your nose or your tastebuds, then this oil is for you.
Second, according to many, grapeseed oil could do its job almost flawlessly. You don’t have to take our word for it! Many experts and home cooks alike say the same thing!
Third, grapeseed oil is not going to break the bank. It might be a little more pricey than vegetable or canola oil, but it’s affordable! Additionally, it is also pretty easy to find. You won’t have to search far and wide to get your hands on a bottle of grapeseed oil.
Forth, it also has some health benefits.
Finally, of course, it can also offer good protection for your cast-iron skillet. With grapeseed oil, you can almost always be sure you will end up with a smooth and shiny seasoned skillet on your hands.
With all of that, many kitchen geniuses can’t help but fall in love with this oil. So, if you’re still wondering what oil to season your cast-iron skillet with, you might want to seriously consider grapeseed oil!
What Not to Use
You might have heard from someone or somewhere that you can use any cooking oil for seasoning. That could be true. However, if there are good oils, there are also not-so-good oils. You might want to steer clear of the oils on this list.
No, just no.
Many experts and home cooks give a big fat no to olive oil. It might be one of the most popular cooking oils out there, but it’s not the best for seasoning cast-iron skillets.
One reason we season cast-iron skillets is to protect them. Olive oil can easily degrade, and when that happens, it will leave your skillet unprotected.
Not only is it not the best, but you have to be cautious with this one. When overheated, olive oil could release harmful things. Things we believe you won’t want on your food!
There are lots of great options. Try to stay away from olive oil.
Did you know that around 3 million Americans are allergic to peanuts? Peanut oil is not the best seasoning oil, but it is also not the worst. The only real reason it made it to this list is that it could be harmful to many.
If any of your family members are allergic to peanuts, or you plan to use your cast-iron skillet to make dishes for guests in the future, it might be best to forgo this oil. Remember, the oil you use would inevitably get to the food.
Additionally, peanut oil is not at all worth the risk. It has a strong peanut flavor, and we don’t think that would go with all the dishes you can cook in a skillet. However, don’t get us wrong. We do think that no dish is good enough to put one’s health at risk! That’s why forgo peanut oil if you have the slightest hunch someone you’re cooking for is allergic.
We’re saying no to peanut oil because many people are allergic to peanuts. With that, it might be a good time to note that it’s a good idea to check if you or someone is allergic to a kind of oil before using it. Often, oil names are straightforward, but sometimes they also contain other things. You might want to check what those things are.
What is the best oil to season a cast-iron skillet?
There are many different oils you can use to season your cast-iron skillet. However, we think that five stands out among the rest. Among those five, we think one reigns supreme – the grapeseed oil!
Still, there are many cooking oils from which you can take your pick. It could be that other cooking oils would work better for some dishes. Don’t be afraid to experiment! However, in your experiment, you might want to keep in mind the caution of using olive and peanut oils.
Do you have any other cooking oil concerns? Maybe you also have another question about cast-iron skillets? Well, you might want to give our past discussions a visit. We might be able to help you with your problems and concerns!