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Highest oven temp that's safe for cast iron skillet?

ipsedixit Jan 17, 2009 10:11 PM

What's the highest oven temp that a cast iron skillet can be used at without damage?

I read somewhere that the max oven temp is 350 F. That just doesn't seem right to me as I know I've used my skillet in oven temps exceeding 400 F with no problems.

Anyone with a definitive answer?

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  1. alanbarnes RE: ipsedixit Jan 17, 2009 10:45 PM

    Over 450F and you'll start to burn off your cure. But the iron itself is good up to about 2000F. After that, you're on your own.

    1. m
      mpalmer6c RE: ipsedixit Jan 17, 2009 11:03 PM

      Cast iron will survive far higher temperatures
      than ever reached in a home oven.

      1. JoanN RE: ipsedixit Jan 18, 2009 04:45 AM

        Using a technique I learned for broiling fish fillets in "Fish Without a Doubt," I preheat my cast iron skillet under the broiler for 15 minutes before putting the fillets in the pan. Done this a few times, and it hasn't even burned off the seasoning.

        1. goodhealthgourmet RE: ipsedixit Jan 18, 2009 08:07 AM

          concur with the other posters, they're practically indestructible in home ovens (though if you make a habit of subjecting it to extremely high heat it will need to be re-seasoned).

          the warning/max temp you read may have been referring to enamel-coated cast iron pans, which aren't supposed to be used at temps above 400.

          2 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
            alanbarnes RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 18, 2009 08:55 AM

            Enameled cast iron can also withstand very high temperatures, but you have to replace the plastic knobs with steel.

            1. re: alanbarnes
              childofthestorm RE: alanbarnes Jan 18, 2009 12:09 PM

              You can also wrap the plastic knobs with tinfoil. Do this all the time with my Le Crueset.

          2. k
            Kelli2006 RE: ipsedixit Jan 18, 2009 08:30 AM

            Cast iron melts above 2200°F and doesn't show signs of weakening until well above 700°, so any temperature that you can generate in a home is safe for cast iron.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Kelli2006
              Clarkafella RE: Kelli2006 Jan 18, 2009 08:50 AM

              Yeah, but don't toss it in a sink full of cold water afterward. Don't ask me how I know this...

              1. re: Clarkafella
                mkmccp RE: Clarkafella Jan 18, 2009 12:37 PM

                I gotta know.. what happened? did it crack or did it end up like something from a Picasso painting?

                1. re: mkmccp
                  Clarkafella RE: mkmccp Jan 18, 2009 01:25 PM

                  Cracked- a big one. Went from where the handle joins the skillet 3/4's of the way across. My favorite skillet too!

                2. re: Clarkafella
                  Kelli2006 RE: Clarkafella Jan 18, 2009 05:27 PM

                  That is a interesting method of quenching but I suspect that your skillet had a crack, because steel and iron are commonly quenched after heat treating in a oil bath during processing.

                  I loved my material science courses.

                  1. re: Kelli2006
                    Clarkafella RE: Kelli2006 Jan 18, 2009 06:09 PM

                    Could be- to tell you the truth, it wasn't actually me who did it, but my sister-in-law. I had let her borrow it, and when she returned it the crack was there. She didn't know how it happened, but that was what we reasoned out...

              2. hotoynoodle RE: ipsedixit Jan 18, 2009 10:55 AM

                a home oven cannot get hot enough to damage a cast iron skillet.

                1. Karl S RE: ipsedixit Jan 18, 2009 01:23 PM

                  500 is not too high. If you put it in the self-cleaning cycle, though, you will be re-seasoning it. It doesn't damage the skillet at all.

                  1. m
                    MakingSense RE: ipsedixit Jan 18, 2009 02:15 PM

                    When Paul Prudhomme was starting that Blackened Redfish craze and singlehandedly starting the local Redfish on its way to being an endangered species, he used to get the cast iron skillet almost glowing hot on top of a commercial range.
                    Probably ruined the seasoning, but the pans were likely dedicated for that dish in the restaurant.

                    I've used my cast iron under the broiler and in a 500 degree oven without any ill effects to the seasoning.
                    The self-cleaning cycle (about 850 degrees) will remove the seasoning and take it back to bare metal.

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