According to most users, there is nothing that beats the durability of cast iron cookware.
A cast iron pan can last for centuries and be used by multiple generations, as long as you treat it right.
When it comes to maintaining your cast iron cookware, seasoning is very crucial. You should season your cast iron cookware before using it to ensure that it remains with a perfect cooking surface and lasts long.
This might have left you wondering what is the best seasoning oil to use on your cast iron cookware. But don’t worry, you’ll find out soon!
In this article, we provide a list of the 17 best cast iron seasoning oils that you can choose from. We also have a detailed guide on how to choose the best oil for seasoning cast iron.
Which Oils Should You Use to Season a Cast Iron Pan?
Grapeseed Oil – This oil is my choice for seasoning my cast-iron currently
The type of seasoning oil you use on your cast iron pan will determine the quality and effectiveness of the coat you create.
Grapeseed oil is considered the best cast iron seasoning oil due to its high smoke point. It’s also one of the most versatile oils you can find out there.
Grapeseed seasoning oil contains 10% saturated fat, 16% monounsaturated fat, and 70% polyunsaturated fat.
Its high smoke point of 420 degrees Fahrenheit means that you have to heat up the pan past that point for the oil to start breaking. So, it won’t smoke easily when seasoning your pan.
While grapeseed oil has almost similar properties to flaxseed, it’s a more affordable option. This makes it the best season oil, and that’s why we highly recommend it.
The best thing about grapeseed oil is that it blends well with most flavors, giving your dish a great taste.
Nonetheless, you will want to be careful when buying grapeseed oil as some cold-pressed and virgin types have a lower smoking point.
Flaxseed oil has a smoking point of 225 degrees F but still makes one of the best seasoning oils used on cast iron pans.
Naturally, flaxseed oil will dry out forming a hard layer over the pan’s surface. If you are looking for a durable and versatile oil, then this is a good one.
It bonds with the pan surface creating a perfect, sleek, and non-stick surface for ideal cooking and easy washing.
However, to reap these benefits of cast iron, you have to use unfiltered and organic flaxseed oil. This means it should not be mixed with other oil types and should not have any additives and flavors.
Vegetable oils are an incredible option when it comes to seasoning cast iron. They have an almost neutral taste. Thus, they add little to no flavors to your food.
An excellent example of vegetable oil is canola oil. It forms a solid bond with the cast iron material for an extended seasoning period.
Perhaps the best part of vegetable oil is its availability in local shops and markets and at an affordable price.
Like most vegetable oils, Canola is among the most commonly used oil in most homes today. The main reason this oil is popular is its low price. You don’t have to dig deep into your pockets to get several liters of this oil.
It also has a relatively high smoking point which is just right to season even cast-iron pans.
Canola oil is highly refined, meaning it is the last resort for cooking healthy foods. It’s not the most nutritious oil for cooking.
However, you can take advantage of the high smoking point when seasoning your cast iron on the outside. In this way, it will not come in contact with the food that you want to cook.
Most people would preferer using soybean oil for seasoning their cast iron pan because of several reasons.
The main reason is its high smoking point of 453 degrees F. This means it can withstand a wide range of temperatures necessary to cook foods like pork loin, eggs, and steaks.
After seasoning your cast iron pan with soybean oil, you can use almost any heat source that you have in your kitchen. Be it a campsite fire, regular oven, grill, stovetop, and natural gas.
Besides the seasoning function, soybean oil is an excellent option for cooking food. It has healthy fats, amino acids, and omega-3.
Coconut oil has gained popularity over the past decade due to its varied health benefits and fair prices.
It has a pleasant aroma and a slight flavor that is best for preparing delicious food. But does this mean coconut oil is best for seasoning on cast iron?
Well, coconut oil has a high smoking point and can be used to season cast iron pan. However, on the first seasoning, you should heat your pan to 350 degrees F before adding this oil. It has a relatively lower smoking point.
Coconut oil is the best option for a seasoning cast iron pan when you mostly cook at lower temperatures.
If you look forward to cooking with high temperatures, oil with a much higher smoking point will work for you, not this one.
Corn oil has a smoking point of 449 degrees F which makes it a good option when you want to cook food at high temperatures.
It has a high percentage of unsaturated fat, the main reason it bonds so well with cast iron for a durable seasoning.
Besides its s good seasoning properties, corn oil has many health benefits. This is the main reason it’s used all over the world for cooking.
Unlike other types of oil like olive, corn oil is cheap and can be easily accessed. Due to their low-price tags, people don’t often reuse them. This is important because reusing oil can cause health effects.
Animal Fats like butter and bacon grease
If you are in for a more saturated and natural seasoning oil, this oil is your best option. Animal fat seasons your cast iron naturally during regular cooking.
You don’t have to invest a lot of money into buying this oil neither do you need to apply multiple seasoning layers. It is effortless to find, efficient to use, and easy to apply.
A few downsides to expect with this oil include dark spots and streaks on your pan’s surface. This will make it uneven, and finally, your whole pan will turn very dark.
Purpose Made Cast Iron Seasoning
If you can’t easily decide what oil is best for your cast iron pan, you can simply use the cast iron seasoning oil.
Made from 100% plant-based and food-grade refined oil, the purpose-made cast iron seasoning oil is a great way to season, care for, and restore your cast iron pan.
It uses refined, solvent-less coconut oil that has a very light scent that won’t ruin your food flavors.
When used on a cast iron pan, this oil creates an effective non-stick seasoning that prevents the pan from absorbing moisture. It works best when applied to a clean and dry cast iron pan, washed with cast iron soap.
Unlike other seasoning oils, purpose-made cast iron seasoning doesn’t go rancid. It can last for a long time without going stale.
What Oil Not to Use
Generally, the higher the seasoning temperatures, the better the results. This means that the best seasoning oils with cast iron should higher smoking points.
Different oils have various smoking points, after which they start to produce smoke which may interfere with the taste of your food.
Particularly, the olive has a lower smoking point ranging between 325- and 375-degrees Fahrenheit.
Olive oil contains much oleic acid, antioxidants, and polyphenols, contributing to its stability and making it a healthy oil for cooking.
However, when it comes to seasoning casting iron with this oil, problems begin to arise. If you heat your pan beyond its smoking point, this seasoning starts to damage, wearing and tearing off, making your pan sticky. This will reduce the quality and taste of your food.
However, if it’s the only option available for seasoning your cast iron pan then choose specific types, including light and redefined olive oil.
These two types have a higher smoking point and will reduce the above challenges to a greater extent.
The ordinary types of olive oil are not the best type because you will have poor quality results if you don’t season your pan repeatedly.
This oil has a very high smoke point of 520 degrees F, which is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
The advantage of using avocado oil is that you will enjoy cooking your foods even at high temperatures after completing the seasoning. The chances of cooking foods that exceed 520 degrees F are minimal.
Moreover, avocado oil has more neutral flavors and has many nutrients that are beneficial to your health.
On the downside, this oil comes with relatively higher price tags compared to other types of oils.
Moreover, the whole process of seasoning a cast iron with avocado oil is way too risky.
You have to heat your pan to very high temperatures, leading to severe burns if not handled with care. Even pouring oil over a pan such hot increases the risks.
Besides those risks, this oil is the best with a serious kitchen with high standard equipment, cast iron included.
If you feel you must use this oil at your home, you must not be discouraged by the risks. Only you have to handle everything with care during seasoning.
If you do it successfully, you will get the best cooking experience for a long time without worrying about rust or rough surface.
Reviews of The Best Cast Iron Seasoning Oil That You Can Buy Online
Flaxseed Oil and Omega 3 by Nature’s Bounty
Most people use flaxseed oil to season their cast iron cookware, such as pots and skillets, due to its top-notch performance.
The Flaxseed Oil and Omega 3 by Nature’s Bounty is a healthy oil that you can use for both cast iron seasoning and cooking.
You can use it to season your new cast iron cookware or restore an old rusted pan and make it usable again.
When used for cooking, this oil delivers many health benefits, including improved heart health and better skin. It’s also a source of Omega-3 and 6.
Pompeian 100% Grapeseed Oil
If the Flaxseed oil was quite expensive for your budget, then this grapeseed oil should be your go-to seasoning oil.
Not only is it a cheap cast iron seasoning oil, but it is also very effective when it comes to smoothening cast iron cookware.
And when you finish seasoning your cast iron cookware, you won’t have to dispose of the oil as it’s a super versatile oil.
You can use it for various cooking tasks, including baking, grilling, deep-frying, and high-heat cooking, as it has a high smoke point.
Crafted from grapes from France, this grapeseed oil is a healthy option, rich in vitamin E, and is naturally gluten-free. It also contains healthy fatty acids and Omega 7.
La Tourangelle Organic Canola Oil Spray
Want to go traditional? This cast iron seasoning oil is for you.
The La Tourangelle Organic Canola oil spray is a traditional and simple seasoning oil that’s very easy to apply on a cast iron cookware.
It’s an excellent option for the planet as it doesn’t have any added chemicals that may be harmful to the environment.
Apart from seasoning your cast iron cookware, you can use this Canola oil in so many ways, including sautéing, grilling, and dressing salads, and popcorns.
After seasoning your cast iron pan with the La Tourangelle Organic Canola oil spray, you won’t have to worry about a bad smell being transferred into your food.
With this oil, you can make distinctive meals on your cookware, regardless of your cooking experience. Your cookware will also last for an extended period.
Lodge Seasoning Spray
Made in the USA by a reputable cast iron brand, Lodge seasoning spray is a high-quality non-Aerosol spray that enhances cast iron cookware’s durability.
It can protect your cast iron cookware from rust and improve its finish. This is to ensure that you have a better frying, baking, and high-heat cooking experience.
Its high smoke point means that you’ll have to heat the cookware harder when seasoning it. This will lead to better seasoning results.
The Lodge seasoning spray is 100% canola oil, which creates a long-lasting gleam on your cast iron pan, especially when you use several layers.
However, you will want to be careful when seasoning your cast iron cookware with this spray, as it’s easy to bunch excess oil.
Puritan’s Pride Organic Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oils work magic when it comes to seasoning cast iron cookware, and it’s not different with this oil.
The Puritan’s Pride Organic Flaxseed oil is a versatile oil used for many kitchen applications.
You can use it to season your new or old cast iron cookware, fry delicious meals, or even bake healthy foods in the oven.
Whether your cast iron cookware is new or old, you will get excellent seasoning results when you use this oil. It contributes to a shiny black surface that will last for a longer time.
Another exciting thing about this oil is that it doesn’t leave any funny smells on your skillet. So, you won’t have to worry about nasty flavors interfering with your food’s taste.
Mazola Corn Oil
If you are looking for an affordable oil that will deliver reliable results in cast iron seasoning, you may want to try this corn oil.
The Mazola corn oil is made with refined corn oil and canola oil. You can use it for cooking everything, from eggs, vegetables, and chicken to baking cakes and deep-frying French fries.
When seasoning your cast iron cookware with the Mazola Corn Oil, it’s essential to apply a thin layer first for the best results.
It also works great when used to season a grill for roasting various foods like pork, chicken, turkey, or even bacon.
The best thing about corn oil is that it’s cheap and available in most stores and groceries, but you can also buy it online.
La Tourangelle Oil-100% Organic Sunflower Oil
Made from expeller-pressed organic sunflower seeds, the La Tourangelle Oil-100% Sunflower Oil is highly versatile.
It has a high oleic fatty acid level, making it a perfect option for seasoning cast iron cookware.
This oil has a high smoke point, which will allow your pan to season well at a high temperature. For effective seasoning, you should use about three to four layers.
It’s also one of the most affordable yet effective oils for high-heat cooking, deep-frying, and baking.
When using this sunflower oil, you won’t have to worry about harming the environment.
However, manufactures recommend that you use the oil within six months of opening.
So, if you don’t plan to use it for other purposes, you will want to buy only small quantities for seasoning your cookware.
4Th Heart Original Grass-Fed Ghee
The 4th and Heart Original Grass-Fed Ghee is packed with health benefits and sweet aromas.
You can replace your coconut oil or corn oil, or butter with this high-quality Keto ghee.
This ghee works very well when it comes to seasoning cast iron cookware.
While the 4th and Heart Original Grass-Fed Ghee is quite expensive, it delivers a long-lasting seasoning and is definitely worth the money.
There will be no savory flavors on your pan when you season it with this ghee. Instead, it provides a food-friendly flavor that doesn’t interfere with your food’s taste.
Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil
Nutiva works with organic farmers to produce the finest, food-friendly organic coconut oils.
The oil has a high smoking point of 350 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it will get your cookware ripping hot for perfect seasoning.
This oil is not only a great way to season your cast iron cookware but also provides a durable, smooth and non-stick surface.
There are many other ways to use the Nutiva Organic Food Cold-Pressed Virgin coconut oils, from frying and baking to high-heat sautéing.
Caron & Doucet – Cast Iron Seasoning & Cleaning Oil
If you are looking for a high-quality oil made explicitly for cast iron season, this oil is a perfect match.
The Caron & Doucet is a premium cast iron seasoning oil that will smoothen your cookware and eliminate odors.
It’s made with food-grade, refined coconut oil, which means it’s safe for your dishes. Unlike most oils used for cookware seasoning, this oil doesn’t go rancid.
Once you season your cast iron cookware, the oil will prevent moisture from destroying the surface and retain its gleam.
Keep in mind that moisture can easily damage your cookware as it’s the significant cause of rust in cast iron.
Spectrum Naturals Oil Canola Refined Organic
Spectrum Organic Canola oil is an excellent companion for any delicious food you want to prepare in your kitchen. It’s a multipurpose oil that can perform all the functions that require cooking oil.
The last thing that anybody wants is an oil that adds its favor and smells into the food. This oil is specially refined for a very neutral taste and smell.
It has many nutrients that have been proven beneficial to your body. They include omega-3 fatty acids.
If you are planning to buy a suitable oil for seasoning your cast iron pan, look no further, this oil has a high smoking point of 450 degrees F. This is also suitable for cooking foods that require high temperatures.
This oil has been certified by the USDA and Non-GMO Project Verified and is Certified Kosher by the OU.
Native Harvest Organic Vegetable Oil
If you are looking for a cheap way to season your cookware, this organic vegetable oil is another great option for affordable cast iron seasoning.
It contains monosaturated fats, making it excellent and stable for high-temperature cooking, baking, and sauteing.
It is organic, non-GMO, naturally expeller-pressed oil. GMO means genetically modified organisms. These are created in the lab through genetic modification. GMOs are known to cause harmful side effects in the body.
It comes in a glass bottle where you can monitor your oil level and you can also use it for other purposes after you finish the oil.
Nutiva Organic Shortening
Nutiva is manufactured through the natural filtration process to yield an oil-rich with nutrients, pure and with a light taste. The manufacturer doesn’t hydrogenate the oil, nor does they use harmful chemicals like hexane.
It’s certified by the USDA as a non-GMO product and contains many antioxidants, vitamins A and E with 0% cholesterol.
It has a high smoking point therefore suitable for seasoning purposes, baking, sauteing, frying, and can be used in place of butter.
Nutiva company complies with all the USDA guidelines in efforts to deliver high-quality and safe cooking oil.
Despite its high positive reviews, some consumers have found that this product is not shortening in some recipes.
Greene Flax Seed Oil
This product is a precise solution for anybody looking for a pure and versatile oil. You can use it for a variety of tasks, and its high smoking point makes it suitable for seasoning.
Moreover, it comes in different sizes to cater for your specific needs.
Greene Flax Seed oil is loaded with various nutrients like Omega 3-9-9, omega three, and omega 9.
Extracted from high-quality flax, this oil is pure virgin cold-pressed flaxseed oil free from additives and chemicals.
This product comes with a 30-day warranty from the manufacturer. If you are not satisfied with it, you can reach the manufacturer to have your problems solved.
You should not cook with flaxseed oil, but it can boost both metabolism and digestion when consumed. It is also outstanding for skin and hair health due to the high omega three and omega 6.
Crisbee Stik Cast Iron and Steel Seasoning Oil
Your search for an oil that can extend your cast iron pan’s live without compromising quality ends with this product.
It has a high smoking point and other properties that will improve the longevity of both cast iron pans and carbon steel cookware.
This oil is excellent for initial seasoning and daily maintenance of your cast iron pan. Moreover, its non-stick properties make it easier to clean and maintain.
It’s manufactured from non-GMO Palm oil, non-GMO Soybean, and Beeswax. All these are natural; thus, they don’t pose any risks to your health.
When it comes to the cost, this oil is the best due to its much affordable prices.
However, to ensure a long, high-quality seasoning, you have to add a layer of this oil regularly as the initial layers don’t last for long.
Pompeian 100% Grapeseed Oil
Pompeian Grapeseed oil is made with franchise grapes and is extracted and blended with perfection.
Widely famous due to its excellent taste and high smoking point, this oil is the best solution for seasoning your cast iron pan.
Pompeian oil has just the proper fluidity to prevent your foods from absorbing too much oil. You can use it for frying, sauteing, baking, stir-frying, and deep-frying.
It’s rich in essential nutrients like Vitamin E, omega 6, and other fatty acids that are essential to your body. Moreover, grapes seed is pure and cannot transmit any flavors into your food.
Barlean’s Fresh Flax Oil
This award-winning oil is produced naturally from flax seeds protected against damaging heat from harvesting to bottle.
The high smoking point and the high quality make it an excellent option for seasoning your cast iron pan. Every time your season your pan with this oil, it will look like the first time you seasoned it.
Besides its excellent seasoning properties, this oil is also a great cooking companion. Cook almost any food you have in mind and reap the nutrients and mid flavors.
It’s also available in different bottle sizes, which almost everybody can afford.
Buyer’s Buying Guide
Why Should We Season Cast Iron Pans with Oils?
We season cast iron pan to improve their efficiency and make them last for a longer time.
Cast iron pans are made from iron metal, which can rust easily when not seasoned. Seasoning creates a layer that blocks moisture from reaching the pan’s surface.
The bond created in the pan after seasoning is usually protective and non-stick.
Cast iron pans are also not as perfectly smooth as you might want, making it hard to cook on them.
Fortunately, seasoning oil can take care of this problem too. When you season your cast iron pan, its surface becomes smooth and very convenient to cook on.
Seasoning isn’t a one-time thing, as you’ll need to do it over the months and years of cooking to maintain the pan’s perfect gleam.
If you season your cast iron pan properly, it will last longer and serve several generations.
What to Know Before You Buy a Cast Iron Oil?
For most people, grapeseed oil is the best seasoning oil for cast iron, but some believe that vegetable oil or peanut oil are better options.
See, there is nothing wrong with that as we all have different tastes and preferences.
However, kitchen experts reveal that the best cast iron seasoning oil depends on the heat you intend to use and the flavors you prefer.
For instance: If you love the avocado flavor, why not pick the avocado oil for cast oil seasoning instead of corn oil.
But that’s not all. Here are the various things you need to know before buying a cast iron seasoning oil:
- Saturated VS Unsaturated Fats
When buying oil for seasoning your cast iron pan, it’s essential to consider if it has saturated or unsaturated fats.
In this case, oils with high levels of unsaturated fats are the best for seasoning a cast iron pan.
The reason is that unsaturated fats polymerize better than saturated fats. This means that it can give a better and superior coating on the pan.
Unsaturated fats can efficiently form bonds with the molecules in the cast iron, giving a shiny layer that won’t allow water to pass through.
On the other hand, saturated fats can’t form bonds quickly with other molecules. This means that they offer insufficient seasoning.
Therefore, you will want to look for oils with more unsaturated fats and less saturated fats to achieve the best seasoning.
- Smoke Point
This refers to the temperature where seasoning oil starts to break down or create smoke.
When you apply seasoning oil on a cast iron pan, unsaturated fats start to break down in a process known as polymerization.
Now, if the oil doesn’t reach the smoke point, it means that unsaturated fats won’t break, and polymerization won’t happen.
So, it’s essential to know the smoke point of the seasoning oil you want to buy to ensure that you can heat the oil past that temperature.
Remember, polymerization will not occur if you don’t heat the oil past its smoke point.
As with other products, price is a crucial factor to consider when buying the best oil to season a cast iron pan.
Seasoning oils come at different prices, depending on their brand, type, and ingredients used.
The best seasoning oil for your cast iron pan will depend on your budget. Of course, high-quality oils will be more expensive than low-quality seasoning oil.
If you are looking for high-quality oil and don’t mind paying the extra bucks, flaxseed oil has to be your match.
Grapeseed oil is a cheaper option that will deliver almost similar seasoning results.
If you are on a budget and are looking for a good seasoning oil that will get the job done, you cannot go wrong with corn oil or vegetable oil.
Signs That Your Cast Iron Cookware Needs Seasoning
Your Cookware is New: If you just bought your cast iron cookware, you should season it before any usage. This will prevent rust and enhance the cookware’s durability.
Water Wets the Surface: The metal surface of well-seasoned cast iron cookware doesn’t get wet when water is poured on it. Instead, it runs off over the polymerized finish. If water seems to cling to any section of your pan’s surface, it’s time to season your cookware.
Rough Surface: If the surface of your cast iron cookware feels rough, it’s time to season it. Seasoning your cast iron cookware will help smoothen the pan.
Sticky Surface: A seasoned cast iron cookware doesn’t stick things while cooking. You should be able to flip your food without leaving traces that you’ll have to scrub later. If your cast iron pan has a sticky surface, then you need to season it.
How to Season a Cast Iron Pan
If you’ve made it to this point, you now understand how seasoning works and the best oils to use on your cast iron pan.
So, let’s take a look at this step-by-step guide on how to season a cast iron pan:
Step 1: Clean the Pan
Whether your cast iron pan is brand new or second-hand, you need to clean it before you start seasoning it.
Now, you want to ensure that the entire surface is perfectly clean to allow the seasoning oil to form a strong bond with the iron.
So, you need to scrub the pan first with salt to remove any rusts that may be stuck on the surface.
Pour about a quarter cup of kosher salt into the cast iron pan and use your hands to scrub the whole surface.
Kosher salt is a great way to remove impurities on your cast iron pan, and it leaves no traces of rust behind.
Once you are done scrubbing the surface, wash the pan thoroughly with hot soapy water and rinse it with clean water before drying it.
To dry the pan, you can heat it lightly instead of leaving it to drip dry as it won’t dry well. Then start the oven to pre-heat the pan.
Step 2: Cover the Whole Surface of the Pan with Oil
When your pan is clean and dry, take your preferred seasoning oil and apply it lightly on the entire surface.
To apply the light coating, you don’t need to use too much oil as it may impede polymerization. Too much oil will also leave a sticky surface.
One teaspoon of oil should be enough for the first seasoning. You can use your finger or a paper towel to spread the oil uniformly throughout the surface.
However, I recommend using your fingers instead of a paper towel. This is because the rough surface of the cast iron pan can tear the paper towel, leaving some traces on the surface.
Then cover the outer surface with some oil as well. This may not be as important as seasoning the inside, but it prevents rust.
Step 3: Heat the Cast Iron Pan in the Oven
Once you are done applying the seasoning oil, it’s time to heat the pan in the oven.
You must be wondering why you need to use the oven, right? Here is the point.
An oven is better than a stove when it comes to seasoning a cast iron pan as it ensures even heating for consistent results.
If you heat the cast iron pan on a stove, it won’t heat up uniformly, which means the seasoning will be inconsistent.
Whether you heat the pan while upside down or upright is up to you, but it’s beneficial to heat it upside. This is because excess oil can drip from the pan instead of remain on the surface.
However, it will be unnecessary to heat it upside down if you used the right amount of oil.
It’s also essential to ensure that you set the oven to heat beyond the smoke point of the seasoning oil you are working with. For instance:
If you applied grapeseed oil, its smoke point is 420 degrees Fahrenheit or 216 degrees Celsius. So, you can set the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
To obtain the best results, the cast iron should heat in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes.
Step 4: Repeat Step 2 & 3
Applying the seasoning oil once won’t produce a long-lasting bond. You need to repeat steps 2 and 3 to achieve multiple seasoning layers.
After applying multiple coats on your cast iron pan, you should end up with an even and glossy surface of the entire pan.