Want to prolong the life of your cast iron pan? Follow these step-by-step instructions.

How to Season Your Cast Iron Pan

For starters, a lot of cast iron pans now arrive “pre-seasoned,” meaning you have to do it only once that finish has worn off. But if it hasn’t been done yet…1. Preheat oven to 375°F.2. Rub the entire pan with oil (you can use lard, canola oil or even bacon fat, but stay away from olive oil, which has a low smoke point) using a paper towel. The pan should be covered but not dripping.3. Put a cookie tray or disposable roasting pan on the bottom of the oven to catch drippings.4. Bake pan for approximately 60 minutes. Let cool in oven. Remove and make sure entire cooking area looks consistent and sealed. If it doesn’t, repeat steps 2 and 3. If it does, give the cooking surface one more very light coat of oil and put pan away.

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How to Clean Your Cast Iron Pan

1. If you can get away with just giving it a good wipe with a paper towel, then do that and quell your inner Howard Hughes.2. If a simple wipe isn’t going to cut it, then you can use water and a normal brush with plastic bristles. Never steel wool.3. If that still doesn’t cut it, then drop some kosher salt in the pan and clean with paper towel (if dry) or brush (if wet).4. No soap. No dishwasher.5. Or ignore all of the above and clean how you’d like, but just be prepared to re-season your pan frequently.6. Once clean, give the cooking surface a light coat of oil before storing.

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