Maintenance for Cast Iron – Seasoning Flaking, Outside Care and More!

Maintenance for Cast Iron

Are you having trouble with your  cast iron? Is your seasoning flaking? Spotting? I have some of the best tips to fix those problems and general ideas on how to periodically maintain a great seasoned cast iron skillet!

How Do I Clean the Outside of Cast Iron?

Well, folks, if you’re cooking inside it’s not quite as bad as cooking outside, especially if you’re over an open fire or you’re cooking with propane.  Soot can build up and you’ll need to take care of the outside.

Maintenance for Cast Iron

Some soot has built up.

As you can see this ol’ Wagner skillet of mine it has a little build up. To get this off, the skillet has to be hot. I’m sure not going to use oven cleaner! When it gets hot you can take a  putty knife or some really rough grit sandpaper to get the build up off.

Maintenance for Cast Iron

Scrape it off with a putty knife.

This works pretty well too with steel wool, but steel wool gets your fingers pretty close too hot pan. So I prefer to do this with a putty knife or even a wire brush. Yet, the best way to prevent this, folks, always clean that outside every time you use it.

Get the Skillet Seasoned

Maintenance for Cast Iron

Keep your cast iron clean, hot and seasoned.

After you got it all cleaned off really well, you’re gonna have to re-season it. When seasoning the outside of cast iron I use any cheap ol’ vegetable oil.

How often do I do this? If there the outside is splotchy I’d do this after every time you use it to build up the seasoning. But if the outside is in pretty good shape you can do it maybe once or twice a week.

If you’re cooking outside over an open fire you may get soot build up. To prevent that, I’ll take any kind of cooking spray or cooking oil and give it a light coating all the way around the outside. It’s gonna make it easier to clean up. Most of the time, you can just take that rascal over to some hot water give it a little scrub and clean it right off. This trick also works for Dutch ovens and coffee pots.

Flaking Care

Maintenance for Cast Iron

Is your seasoning flaking?

Did you ever notice your cast iron skillet that your seasoning is flaking?

There are a few reasons this could be happening- and you can check out our video below for more info, but you need to fix it so that flaking doesn’t get worse!

Take some coarse salt or sand paper and remove any loose, flaking pieces of seasoning.

After you clean, dry, and warm up your cast iron pour a little grape seed or flaxseed oil in it. Get a lint-free rag and wipe it around, wipe it a little on the outside too. In the oven, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. After that, I’m gonna turn the oven off and let it cool off to room temperature. Depending on the severity of your flaking, you may need to do this a few times. I will also do this periodically, just to keep a good seasoning going.

Maintenance for Cast Iron

Use grape seed, flax seed oils

Your seasoning won’t come in black right away – so be patient. Your skillet needs to be used and cooked in so it can build that great seasoning coating.

Also the best thing to do after this step is deep-fry something in it because that will help build up that seasoning quicker.  I’d also recommend deep frying in your skillet on occasion to keep a slick finish.

A final question I still get quick often is, “Why is my cast iron sticky?” Well folks we’ve got you covered because we did previously do a video on that which you can find here:  link to watch it.

So, remember, take care of that cast iron, cause it’s taking care of you and you can pass it on to generations to come!


For more helpful cast iron tips and care check out our CAST IRON PLAYLIST HERE


Watch the full video on How to Take Care of Your Cast Iron Skillet