The purpose of seasoning a skillet


I've seen a couple questions on how to season a skillet, and this may be a dumb question, but why do you season a skillet?

  • Does it impart flavor onto the food?
  • For how long? (which I guess is one way of asking, "How often do I need to do it?"
  • Do I still "need" to apply butter etc.. to the pan even though I "seasoned" it? (in this case, maybe it's a question of taste, not need)

Best Answer

Purpose of Seasoning

  • protect bare cast iron from rust
  • make the pan surface non-stick

How often to season the pan?

  • You'll need to season it more when it's new.
  • Use it frequently and you'll need to season it less often.
  • Don't cook beans or tomatoes in it at first; if you do so later, you may want to re-season it.

Regarding adding butter, you're right: that would be for taste, not necessity. If seasoned properly, a cast iron pan is non-stick.