Table of Contents
- Can you season a cast iron skillet with avocado oil?
- What is Seasoning?
- Why Seasoning is important?
- What are the different types of Seasonings?
- Characteristics of Great of best cast-iron seasoning oils
- What kind of Oil Can be used to Season Cast Iron?
- What To Avoid While Seasoning Cast Iron?
- Final Thoughts
Can you season a cast iron skillet with avocado oil?
The topmost concern that most of the new cast iron users have is the seasoning of their skillets. Some are unsure about the seasoning technique while some do not know about the oils to use for seasoning. The basic question most of them ask is whether can you season a cast iron skillet with avocado oil?
Avocado oil is not the only oil that can be used for seasoning cast iron skillets, but yes, avocado oil can be used for this purpose. You can use any other vegetable oil too like coconut oil, grapeseed oils, etc.
Here in this post, we will discuss what is seasoning, how it is properly done and we’ll provide you the list of the best cast-iron seasoning oils.
What is Seasoning?
The process of protecting cast iron cookware from rusting and providing them with non-stick coating is called seasoning.
The primary purpose is to provide stick resistance so that food doesn’t stick on the surface instead slides right off easily. This makes cleaning much easier. Another purpose is to prevent it from rusting. So, after every use, it should be cleaned properly and dried. If not, it may start to rust.
Why Seasoning is important?
Seasoning is the process of protecting cast iron cookware from rusting and providing them with non-stick coating. If not seasoned properly, your pans may get rusted very soon. Seasoned cast iron provides you the easy release of food that makes cooking easier and cleaning much faster.
What are the different types of Seasonings?
There are two types of seasons available in the market which you can apply to your skillet for better results. It includes Liquid seasoning and Dry seasoning methods. We will now discuss both one by one to help you understand their method better.
In this method, a thin layer of liquid oil base season is applied by using a paper towel or lint-free cloth over bare metal cooking utensils. This layer is made by applying vegetable oil and allowed to dry into a thin coating that gives an appearance of dull sheen or matte finish.
In this method, you need to apply a thicker coat of oil base seasoning which provides more durability than liquid seasoning. Apply enough amount of oil on the pan and spread it evenly over its entire cooking surface with the help of a paper towel or lint-free cloth until it looks hazy. To achieve the best results you should follow this process two to three times.
Characteristics of Great of best cast-iron seasoning oils
The seasoning process of cast iron cookware makes its surface smooth. It prevents food from sticking. The right oils used for seasoning make a better nonstick coating which goes a long way in making your cooking experience easy and healthy.
When selecting the oil for seasoning your cast iron, these 5 factors must be considered.
High smoke point
The smoke point of any oil is the temperature at which that oil starts to burn and release toxic fumes and free radicals. It should be high enough that it can withstand the heat of the pan without burning or smoking excessively.
For regular cooking, lard, bacon grease, and other animal fats provide a better choice as these oils have high smoking points up to 450 degrees F. If you are choosing oil for seasoning your cast iron skillet, but its smoke point is very low then it’s not a good idea. So, this is the first factor to consider when selecting oil for seasoning cast iron.
High concentration of Unsaturated fats
The second important factor is the concentration of unsaturated fats. Unsaturated oils are healthier than saturated oils because they contain less amount of saturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids are healthy for your heart as they help to lower LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. They also raise good HDL cholesterol that reduces the risk of coronary heart diseases.
Oil with neutral flavor is much better when you are seasoning cast Iron. Because it will not affect the taste of food which means that the seasoning process will not alter the natural flavor, color, and taste of your utensils.
The right oil for seasoning should have a high density to withstand the heat temperatures required for correct curing. When choosing oils for seasoning, their smoke point must be at least 350 degrees F because higher temperature heat can damage your cookware’s surface by burning or setting free toxic fumes. Also heating pan at these temperatures without oil may cause damage to bare metal so always apply some amount of oil to prevent this type of mishaps.
The last factor is the cost or affordability. Expensive oils are not always good for seasoning cast-Iron cookware. Some inexpensive nutritious oils are equally good in creating a non-stick protective layer against rusting and oxidation. So, when choosing oil choose the one which is affordable for you.
After understanding these 5 factors it’s time to learn How to season your cast iron cookware. It has two steps:
The first step includes – Preheat oven up to 350 degrees F and placing dry utensils in the oven on an aluminum foil-lined for 15 minutes to burn off any manufacturing debris inside the pan. After this heating process cool it down completely before starting the next step of seasoning.
The second step is to apply a thin coat of oil on all surfaces of utensils by using a paper towel or a lint-free cloth. Apply a generous amount of oil on the cooking surface and let it stay for about 4 hours or overnight before wiping excess oil from the pan with fresh paper towels or rag. Then, bake it again inside the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees F. For ideal results, you should do this process 2 times consecutively.
What kind of Oil Can be used to Season Cast Iron?
When seasoning cast iron utensils most people use vegetable oils, but some people also prefer animal fats like Bacon grease because these provide a more durable nonstick coating than plant oil which requires frequent re-application.
If you are new to the cast iron cooking and seasoning process then vegetable oil is always recommended because it’s simple and inexpensive.
But remember, animal fats like lard or bacon grease provide stickier and stronger coating therefore these oils should not be used on an unfinished surface of your utensils. Also, vegetable oils have a lower smoking point so don’t use these for the seasoning process if you want high-temperature resistance from your cookware.
Here are some healthy cooking oils which can be used as a base to create a nonstick protective layer against rusting & oxidation in the next steps of the seasoning process.
Olive Oil: Olive oil has a high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids which provides superior quality nonstick properties to any oil. This is a healthy and nutritious oil with delicate flavor and aroma which excels other cooking oils in sautéing and stir-frying but has a low smoke point which you can improve by mixing it with Peanut oil.
Avocado Oil: It’s a good saturated fat that provides high-temperature resistance to cast iron utensils. Avocados are full of healthy nutrients like Vitamins A, B1, B2, D & E. Also avocados have more monounsaturated fatty acids than olive oil so these also provide excellent nonstick properties to cast Iron cookware.
Canola Oil: Low in saturated fats, Canola is a great choice for seasoning cast iron utensils because these cooking oils are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, Vitamin E & Omega 3. Canola oil provides even heating and a long-lasting nonstick cooking surface to cast iron utensils.
Coconut Oil: Unrefined coconut oil is a very healthy cooking oil with lauric acid which has good anti-bacterial properties too. Coconut oil contains around 90% saturated fats so these should not be used on an unfinished surface of your utensils because it can damage the cookware’s surface by sticking to it. Also for seasoning, you should mix coconut oil with other cooking oils like Olive or Safflower to increase its smoke point.
Peanut Oil: It’s also a good source of healthy fats which prevent cardiovascular diseases. Peanut oil also has a high smoking point of around 450 degrees F, so for the seasoning process, you can mix it half and half with Avocado or Canola oil.
Lard: It’s rendered pig fat which is a very healthy alternative to any cooking oil because it’s 100% pure animal fat. Lard also has a good shelf life like butter if stored properly. Also, lard is tastier than any other cooking oil.
What To Avoid While Seasoning Cast Iron?
Avoid using Flaxseed oil, Rice bran oil, Sesame Oil & Margarine at all costs during the seasoning process because these are low in saturated fats but have a high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are the worst choices for cast iron cookware because these can cause damage and rust to the cookware.
Oil and cast iron cookware are like peanut butter and jelly. You can’t have one without the other. And, since selecting the proper oil is such an important element of cast iron seasoning, you should do your research. According to science, look for oils with higher amounts of unsaturated fats and high smoke points. Avocado oil and Crisco solid shortening have worked well for me, but it’s up to you. Just be careful not to spread your oil too thinly; instead, heat your pan past the smoke point.