Can you put a cast-iron skillet in the oven?

Can you put a cast-iron skillet in the oven?

Being a perfectionist in the kitchen is no easy play; you must consider factors like maximum temperature limits, safe utensils, correct cookware, and whatnot.

One common concern for home cooks is whether or not their favorite cookware is safe to use in the oven. Do they need to worry about the skillet’s well-being while cooking meat at high heat, or it does just fine?

If you aren’t sure whether to put a cast-iron skillet in the oven or not, we’re here to answer. It is safe to put cast-iron cookware in the oven; iron is a sturdy metal that doesn’t give in to high heat and regular usage. However, if your cast-iron skillet is enameled or has a rubber/wooden handle, follow the maximum temperature limit specified by its manufacturer. Other than that, you’re free to bake, sear, cook, or boil anything in cast-iron cookware without worrying about its temperature limits.

Sure, it’s safe to put cast-iron in the oven, but does that mean you don’t follow its care instructions? Certainly not! Several factors impact the safety and usability of cast-iron cookware, and you must learn about them.

In this guide, we’ll explain what’s allowed and what’s wrong while cooking in cast-iron; stick around and give your skillet the life it deserves.

Cast-iron is Sturdy, not Eternal

Cast-iron is the toughest cookware material, but it’s not indestructible. If you continuously surpass the safe temperature limit and subject your cast-iron skillet to heat shocks, it will soon stop performing that well.

Or even worse, its interiors will crack. But fret not because we’ve listed the factors you should know while cooking in cast-iron.

Max Cast iron Temperature Limit

Cast-iron’s melting point is 2200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is way higher than a home oven can reach. But this temperature is not the standard; cast-iron starts getting weak at 700F, so always maintain a temperature lower than that. You can also put a cast-iron pan in the broiler for the brown finish, so it’s an added benefit of using cast-iron cookware.

Enameled cast-iron skillets come with a maximum heat limit of up to 500F, something cooks don’t like. Luckily, this limit is not for the cast-iron pan but its enameled interiors.

If you cook a recipe that requires extreme temperature or prolonged pre-heating, re-season your pan afterward, and you’re good to go. 

Cat-Iron Doesn’t Offer Uniform Heating; What to do?

We all admire cast-iron cookware’s durability and versatility, but if there’s one thing it lacks, it is the uneven heat distribution.

Whether you use a gas stove or an oven, your cast-iron skillet might show several hot spots, leaving some of your food overcooked.

Fortunately, you can fix this situation too.

Preheat Cast-Iron Skillet in Oven Temperature

If you’re cooking in the oven, pre-heat your cast-iron skillet at 450F while you do the meal prep. Let the pan pre-heat for about 15 minutes and carefully take it out.

Pre-heating will provide you with an even cooking surface that doesn’t leave any ingredients under or overcooked. But if you use a gas stove, leave your cast-iron skillet on low-medium flame for uniform heating and easy food release once you’re done cooking.

Gradual heating and cooling let metal cookware expand and contract at its original pace; hence no uneven heating or food sticking. Remember this rule; don’t add cold ingredients to a hot cast-iron skillet, and don’t put a hot skillet in cold water.

How to Make a Cast-Iron Skillet Non-Stick?

Cast-iron isn’t naturally non-stick; it is coated with a silicone or beeswax layer to provide you with easy food release. If food sticks to your skillet’s interiors, season it with a high smoke point oil to enjoy a better cooking experience.

Seasoning in the Oven

  1. Thoroughly clean your skillet to remove food gunk and grime from it. Towel dry it and leave it for 5-10 minutes on the countertop.
  2. Drizzle a minute amount of cooking oil on your skillet (flaxseed, grapeseed, olive oil, etc., are all good choices). Use a kitchen towel to remove the excess oil and leave only a thin film.
  3. Turn on your oven and set it to 450F; place your cast-iron skillet in the oven, face down.
  4. Bake the skillet for about 60 to 90 minutes, leave it inside the oven to cool down, and take it out.

The method will coat your skillet in a thin oil layer, which offers quick food release and easy clean-up.

Seasoning Cast-iron on the stove

Seasoning a cast-iron skillet on the stove is similar to the method I explained above. Use a low-medium flame for 60 minutes, and it’ll leave a smooth oil film on your skillet.

Remember to re-season your skillet whenever it’s feasible for you, and enjoy an excellent non-stick cooking experience. 

Can a Cast-Iron skillet crack?

If you accidentally drop a super-hot cast-iron skillet, it will get dented or bulged. But collision isn’t the only responsible factor that cracks a cast-iron skillet; heat shocks do even worse.

If you put a skillet in cold water right off the stove or oven, it will warp and crack really bad. Therefore, always let your cast-iron cookware cool down before you wash it.

Cracks and warping ruin a skillet’s performance and look; you don’t want that.

Be mindful of the temperature underneath your skillet and never expose it to heat shocks.

Related Questions:

How long can a cast-iron skillet go in the oven? This duration depends upon the recipe you’re making. If your cast-iron skillet doesn’t have a padded handle and coated interiors, it can stay in the oven for hours without going bad. However, you must remove an enameled cast-iron skillet from the oven after a maximum of two hours; the longer it stays in there, the faster its coating cracks.

Can you put a Lodge cast iron skillet in the oven? Yes, you can. Lodge is an excellent choice if you’re looking for new cookware, thanks to its durability and professional crafting. However, remember to remove the silicone holder (if you’re using any) from your Lodge pan before putting it in the oven. Cast-iron is a tough guy, but elements like bakelite, silicone, wood, etc., cannot withstand high oven temperatures.

How long do you bake a cast iron skillet? If you’re baking a cast-iron skillet for the seasoning purpose, 60-90 minutes in the oven will suffice. Keep the temperature between 400-500F, use a high smoke point oil, and bake your skillet for up to 90 minutes for a seamless finish.

However, if you’re baking bread, meat, etc., follow the recipe guidelines. Most recipes need baking for up to two hours, and cast-iron skillets are capable of that.

Final Thoughts

Cast-iron cookware has been in our kitchens for centuries, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Learn to use this cookware with your modern-day appliances, and you’ll love how your food turns out in a cast-iron skillet.

Here’s a recap of this guide for you: cast-iron cookware is oven-safe, and you can cook anything in a cast-iron skillet without damaging its interiors. But if you have enameled cast-iron cookware, follow the max temperature limit specified by the manufacturer you purchased it from.

Be patient with the flame and temperature setting and cook finger-licking recipes in your tough cast-iron skillet, Ta-Da.

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