Should You Season A Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Pan?
We may earn commissions for purchases made through links on our site. Learn more on our about us page.
First, what is it to season your cast iron? It’s not necessarily using spices, more so seasoning as a traveler would be seasoned to maneuver through an airport. It’s conditioning the pan for the best performance.
The official information from many cast iron pan brands is generally no, and you don’t have to add more seasoning to your cast iron. Your pan is ready and raring to go. After all, it is pre-seasoned.
Why should you have to season it again before you even use it? There are as many different opinions on the proper care and maintenance of cast iron as there are blank in the blank. Iron is a mineral, so certain chemical considerations need to be taken under advisement.
Outside of those considerations, personal preference becomes the main drive in how one addresses their pre-seasoned cast iron.
Why Should You Do it?
Because you want to, no, seriously, there are few things in life that we can say that about, but what you choose to do with your cast iron is up to you. Still, there are some benefits to seasoning your pre-seasoned cast iron.
You can’t go wrong by adding a bit more patina that will prevent your food from sticking and will also prevent rust. Also, this can be a great way to put your mark on your cast iron right away.
You can choose oils based on your personal preference or based on what the maker recommends. The choices are endless.
Why Shouldn’t You Do it?
Our theme here is personal preference. If you don’t want to season your pre-seasoned cast iron, then you don’t have to. Manufacturers have their recommendations, but these pans are made ready to use.
Some caution to take under advisement when seasoning your cast iron would be to use oils with a high smoke point. If you use an oil with a low smoke point, the oil will burn off before proper seasoning can be done.
If done improperly, seasoning your cast iron can cause the seasoning to become brittle and flake off. The good news, though, is that you can reset and start over. All will not be lost if not done right the first time.
Does it Ruin the Taste of Food?
It can ruin the taste of food but generally only if something has gone wrong. For example, oils can go bad or rancid if not worked with properly.
If the oils aren’t heated to the proper smoke point and don’t get the chance to polymerize or harden properly, they will stay in a liquid state and possibly spoil. So, seasoning in itself won’t ruin the taste of the food.
However, if something is done wrong in the act of seasoning the cast iron, then there is room for the foods to be affected.
How Much Should You Season it if You Still Decide to Do it?
The good news is if you are using your cast iron consistently, there won’t be an urgent need to season it consistently. My household, for instance, uses our cast iron at least once or twice a day, and we honestly haven’t seasoned it in years.
It’s generally recommended that you season your cast iron properly every two to three years. After that, the best conditioning is again used. So use your cast iron regularly and often.
Which Seasoning Should You Use for a Pre-Seasoned Pan?
We talked about it a little before, but the best oil to use to season your cast iron is an oil with a high smoke point. A high smoke point allows for the oil to get hot enough to polymerize. The heat changes the composition of the oil from a liquid to a smooth non-stick coating.
So, what oils are best for this? There are many oils to choose from, and it does come down to preference. However, if we’re looking at smoke point specifically, surprisingly enough, avocado oil has one of the highest at 520F.
Other strong contenders are beef tallow, canola oil, and grape seed oil, amongst others.
So, what have we learned? Basically, at the end of the day, the choice is yours. You will find all kinds of folks telling you this or that when it comes to maintaining your cast iron. You’ll hear passionately what to do and what not to do.
But at the end of the day, remember that cast iron, at its simplest, is a mineral that is very susceptible to water and prone to rust.
So protect your cast iron from water, don’t keep it completely away from water. Just make sure it’s dried completely. Happy decision making and have fun cooking!