Cast Iron Care
To many cooking with cast iron can be intimidating. There are multiple views on the best care, but a lot of it contradicts how we would normally treat our cookware. The good news is, a lot of this advice can be misleading and incorrect. Mainly, that a good scrub now and then will remove the pan’s seasoning. I am happy to say this is incorrect. While cleaning with soap each time is not necessary, it is not harmful and often gives an extra peace of mind. Here I will tell you why.
The biggest key to upkeep of cast iron is to keep it dry. I would not soak in water, but I often wash and dry immediately after. Do not be afraid to get your cast iron wet. It is often necessary to keep them clean.
Here is the simple, easy cast iron care that will keep you using this marvelous tool daily in your kitchen.
New/ Used skillet should be cleaned with soap and water after any rust is removed with steel wool. Then dry with towel. Generally a new skillet will not have as smooth of a surface as older, vintage cast iron. This can be remedied by extra seasoning cycles or just by using it more often. When I buy a new skillet I always use Lodge brand. Here’s a link to a great all purpose cast iron set .
Seasoning a new skillet is easy. Coat skillet with oil and pop into the oven at around 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. It is now ready to use.
After cooking, while still warm, add salt and scour with cloth.
Rinse and dry with medium heat on the stove top.
For heavy soil, feel free to use soap and water. The seasoning on your pan is polymerized by the heat. It is chemically bonded. Even the toughest grease fighter isn’t going to ruin it if used now and again. I also use a pan scraper like this one from Amazon to remove stuck-on bits without using soap.
Oil again and put back on stove top for a few minutes then wipe with clean towel to remove excess oil if needed.
Store in dry place.