Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes · 2 months ago

Why shouldn't I cook with oil in a cast iron skillet?

I've just spent my day preseasoning a cast iron skillet (with canola oil) and I keep reading online that I shouldn't actually cook food with oil in this thing, or if I do I should apply oil to the food directly rather than the skillet. Why? 

I cook a lot with extra virgin olive oil and wanted to make hash browns, I could always substitute oil for more butter, but I use a touch of oil first to stop the butter from burning. You can imagine why applying oil directly to hash browns would be a hassle.

This is my first cast iron pan and there is a lot of conflicting information about these things on the internet, so any beginner tips would be appreciated.


@Anton there are plenty of people claiming that you either shouldn't or don't need to. Canola oil is fine for preseason although I never cook with it. Lets all just chill out.

Update 2:

@mamawidsom Thanks for the feedback, although you are right that you shouldn't try to fry food with extra virgin olive oil, it can still be used in lower temperature applications.

Update 3:

@kswck2 thanks for the tips and for not being weirdly aggressive with your answer

6 Answers

  • kswck2
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    I found an old, rusted iron skillet someone threw out. I spent 10 days refurbishing it-now it is my Best pan. 

    When using an iron skillet-heat it first-it can take it. When screaming hot, add enough oil to just coat the pan. Add your food. It retains heat so it will cook it fast. Don't walk away. 

    You Can cook with EVOO, but keep in mind that it Can burn since it has a low smoke point-so pay attention. 

    Things you should Not cook in an iron skillet-particularly a new one: Day old Rice, noodles. Potatoes are fine IF you watch it. 

    Best thing to cook in it? Rib eye steaks-with butter, garlic and fresh rosemary. 

    The whole trick to using an iron skillet is that once it is seasoned, it NEVER sees soap again. Wash in Hot water-scrub with a plastic sponge if needed. And then recoat with oil, wipe clean and put away. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Huh? When I plan on frying anything my cast iron is all ill use.

  • 2 months ago

    I don't know what you are reading but everyone with a cast iron skillet uses fat of some kind.  I would encourage you to NOT USE EVOO.  The smoke point for extra virgin olive oil is way too low for you to use it for cooking.  You can use it on the food after it is cooked, but it will change chemically and burn if you use it to fry things.

    Try a high smoke point oil like avocado or peanut.

  • 2 months ago

    I've been using the same cast iron pans for 40 years, use oil in them almost every time and they're still fine. I have read any amount of advice on caring for them and never seen anything saying not to cook with oil in them. Since you 'keep reading' this advice, please tell us where you are reading it, or post the websites where you see it.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    I've never heard of not using oil in a cast iron pan despite using cast iron for decades!  Of course you can use oil, just don't reuse the actual oil you used to season the pan because it will have been exposed to a very high heat if you've done it right.  It's true that a regularly used cast iron skillet builds up a patina over time and eventually becomes practically non-stick, but I've never, ever heard of needing to apply oil to the food before putting it in the pan.  Does the person who wrote that even cook?

  • A
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I have used cast iron for many years , go ahead and cook!

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